Easy to make vegetable pulao rice recipe

Easy to make vegetable pulao rice recipe

This easy to make vegetable pulao rice recipe is a brilliant way to use up leftover vegetables. This is a delicious one-pot recipe that you can make as a side dish, or pack it full of vegetables and have it as a main. This recipe works for both lunch and dinner.

My recipe has roast pumpkin, but don’t limit yourself, you can swap out the pumpkin for butternut squash or even cauliflower.

Vegetables for your pulao rice

For my vegetable pulao rice, I’ve given my pumpkin a quick roast, this brings out its natural sweetness. If you’re not using pumpkin you could use butternut squash or cauliflower. Like the pumpkin, roasting the butternut squash will bring out its natural sweetness. Roast cauliflower has a glorious nutty flavour, you can’t go wrong.

In this pulao rice, I’ve added carrots, green beans and peas. Feel free to add any vegetable of your choice, it’s a great recipe to cook through the seasons.

Spices for your rice

A few choice dry spices will elevate your pulao rice such as cumin, cardamom and cinnamon. If you want to lower the heat level, you can either deseed the chilli or leave it out.

What type of rice should you use?

My preferred rice is basmati rice. I recommend that you soak your rice. Thirty minutes is sufficient for making your vegetable pulao rice. When I put my pumpkin in the oven to roast, I put my rice in water to soak.

Why should you soak the rice?

Soaking your rice several benefits:

  • Cuts down on the cooking time
  • Helps the rice hydrate and absorb water and swell
  • Improves the fragrance of the rice (I love the smell of freshly cooked basmati rice)

If you’re interested in the science behind cooking rice then check out this article by Nik Sharma which walks you through the science behind soaking your rice.

What can you eat with your vegetable pulao rice?

This recipe is delicious with a simple dhal or try my spinach and dhal recipe. Why not combine your vegetable rice with a delicious Sri Lankan beetroot curry recipe.

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recipe for vegetable pulao rice

Easy to make vegetable pulao rice

  • Author: Tooting Mama
  • Prep Time: 20
  • Cook Time: 45
  • Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: main course
  • Cuisine: Indian


This easy to make vegetable pulao rice is a brilliant way to use up leftover vegetables. This is a delicious one-pot recipe that you can make this as a side, or pack it full of vegetables and have it as a main. This recipe works for both lunch and dinner.


  • 300g basmati rice
  • 200g pumpkin peeled and cut into cubes
  • 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil (1tbs for the pumpkin, 1tbs for the vegetables)
  • 4 cardamom pods
  • 1 piece of cinnamon, approx 2cms
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 green chilli, finely sliced
  • 1 sprig of curry leaves
  • 2 cloves of garlic, chopped finely
  • A piece of ginger, peeled and chopped (about 2cm in size)
  • 1 red onion, sliced
  • 2 carrots peeled and cubed
  • 100g fine green beans, cut into 2cm pieces
  • 500ml of vegetable stock
  • 100g frozen peas
  • Salt


  1. Preheat your oven to 180 degrees
  2. Rinse the rice until the water runs clear, then place the washed rice in a bowl of water and leave to soak for around 30 minutes.
  3. Place the cubed pumpkin onto a baking tray and drizzle with the vegetable oil and season with salt. Place in the oven until the pumpkin pieces are soft, tender and browning around the edges, approx 30 minutes depending on your oven. Take out and set aside.
  4. Heat the remaining oil in a large frying pan (preferably with a lid), and the whole spices, chilli and curry leaves cook until the fragrance is released. Now add the garlic, ginger, and onions cook until transparent. Add the carrots and the beans, cook these until they start to soften.
  5. Drain the soaked rice, and add this to the pan, stir your rice so it’s coated with the oil and the vegetables are incorporated throughout.
  6. Now add the stock, place the lid on the pan and allow to cook on low heat. 
  7. Let the rice and vegetables cook for about ten minutes, before adding the frozen peas and the roast pumpkin. Pop the lid back onto the frying pan and cook until the rice is done. Keep an eye on the pulao, make sure it doesn’t dry out. If it does top up with a little water at a time. It’s done when rice is fluffy.
  8. Garnish with coriander and a scattering of pomegranate seeds and serve.


2 thoughts on “Easy to make vegetable pulao rice recipe”

  • Absolutely delicious! It was so easy to make I don’t think I’ll ever do the packaged version again…thanks!

    • Thank you! It’s a brilliant recipe, easy to make and so delicious, I hope you make this again and again!

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