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December 12, 2013

Restaurant Style Vegetable Pulao With Raita - South Indian Veg Biryani Recipe

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Spicy vegetable pulao
I got this restaurant style veg pulao recipe from a friend who is an expert in cooking non-veg recipes. She shared her South Indian style Vegetable pulao recipe with me. In Karnataka, all my friend call it as vegetable pulao/palav. In my house, mom and MIL call these kind of recipe as either biryani or vegetable rice. I tried this recipe for the first time. It came out super flavourful and tasty. When you cook this biryani, I bet your house will be scented with this masala flavour. U can feel the smell in your hands even after you finished eating it:) I am not exaggerating, its true. Try it :) Its totally my kind of recipe with full masala flavour.

Whenever my neighbours make biryani, I keep sniffing the aroma. Every time I feel like rushing to their house to get the recipe. As they cook mostly non-veg biryani, I hesitate to ask because I was thinking the same flavours cannot be achieved with vegetables. I thought its only because of chicken or mutton. Of course chicken/mutton may also be one of the reasons. But the major thing is the masala/spices we use. I got to know this only after making this biryani. U’ll get the taste and smell of non-veg biryani when you try this recipe. Its a keeper recipe for vegetarians like me.

If you make this for parties, make it directly in electric rice cooker like i did in my tomato rice recipe but with generous amount of oil and gheeRice cooker helps to keep the pulao hot till u eat. Last week i attended a birthday party. They kept this rice in their menu. It was awesome.So I thought of sharing this recipe before posting the party menu.

Ok, enough of boring, let us move on and see how to make spicy veg biryani & raita with step by step pictures :)

Click here for Masala vada recipe, Curd Rice recipe 

spicy vegetable pulao

Spicy vegetable pulao

Spicy vegetable pulao Spicy vegetable biryani/pulao recipe - Truly flavourful
Cuisine: Indian Category: Lunch Yields: Serves 3
Prep Time: 10 Minutes Cook Time: 20 Minutes Total Time: 30 Minutes

1 cup - 240ml
To soak in water
  • Basmati rice - 1cup
  • Water - 1.5 - 1.75 cups
To saute in oil
  • Cooking oil + ghee – 2tbsp + 2tsp
  • Bay leaf – 1no
  • Star anise – 1no
  • Lichen or Black stone flower – Kalpasi – 1/2 tsp (please see the picture in step by step & refer notes)
  • Vegetables - 3/4 cup (carrot-1no ,beans-8nos, green peas-1/4cup, potato - 1no)
  • Big onion – 2 nos (medium sized)
  • Red chilli powder - 1/2 - 1 tsp
  • Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
To grind
  • Big onion - 1/4 no (use only quarter piece)
  • Green chillies - 3- 4 nos (small finger size)
  • Mint leaves - 10 nos
  • Fennel seeds - 3/4 tsp
  • Cinnamon - 1 small piece
  • Clove -2 nos
  • Cardamom - 1 no
  • Ginger - 1 inch piece
  • Garlic - 5-6 pods(small)
  • Cashews - 2 nos (optional)

  • Wash and soak the basmati rice for at least 30-45 minutes. Else you have to add 2 cups of water for 1 cup of rice. Chop all the vegetables and onions(finely)  & grind the masala. Keep it ready.
Spicy veg pulao
  • In a pressure cooker or rice cooker base, heat oil+ghee and add the bay leaf, star anise and kalpasi. Then add the onions, saute for a minute or two. Now add the ground masala paste. Wash the jar with very little water and add it. Saute well in medium flame till you get a nice aroma(People sitting in living room will definitely come to your kitchen by the aroma;))
Spicy veg pulao
  • Add turmeric and red chilli powder. Saute for a minute. Lastly add the vegetables and required salt. Mix well. Drain the water from the soaked rice and add it. Mix well for a minute.
Spicy veg pulao
  • Lastly add 1.5-1.75 cups of water (depending on the basmati rice brand) and a tsp of ghee and pressure cook in low flame till one whistle or 10-12 minutes.
  • Remove, mix with a fork like ladle.
Spicy veg pulao
Serve hot with any raita.I served with mixed vegetable raita and its recipe follows.

Click here for Masala vada recipeCurd Rice recipe 

  • Do not add more mint leaves and onion than the above mentioned quantity. Do not use turmeric powder to get white colored pulao. Add more green chillies if you want too spicy.
  • Add oil/ghee generously when you make for parties or guests.
  • If you have Lichen or Black stone flower - Kalpasi, please add it. Mostly U’ll get this ingredient in biryani masala packet. It gave a nice smell to the pulao. Please click this link to see the picture of this ingredient. Skip if you don’t have it.
  • Adding water depends on the amount of soaking. If you soak for one hour, add 1 to 1.5 cups of water. Here I used around 1.75 cups of water after soaking the rice for about 15 minutes as my husband likes that way. I used India gate basmati rice.
Spicy vegetable biryani


This raita was served along with this pulao in that party. It was a nice combo for this pulao. We loved it.
Raita recipe for pulao/biryani

Mixed vegetable raita

Mixed vegetable raita Raita recipe for pulao/biryani
Cuisine: Indian Category: Lunch side dish Yields: Serves 4
Prep Time: 5 Minutes Cook Time: 5 Minutes Total Time: 10 Minutes

To mix in curd
  • Finely chopped big onions - 2 nos
  • Finely chopped cucumber - 1/2 no(small size)
  • Finely chopped green chillies – 1-2  nos if small 
  • Grated carrot – 1 medium no
  • Salt - as needed
  • Fresh thick curd – 2-3 cups

  • Finely chop all the vegetables. Mix well in a big bowl adding the required salt. Just before serving add the curd, Mix well without adding water. Tempering is not needed. Serve with pulao/biryani.
Raita for biryani/pulao


Cucumber will leave water and the mixture will become watery if you mix curd in advance. So add curd only 10 minutes before serving. After mixing, if you feel the mixture is too thick, add little water. Else do not add water.

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Rumana Rawat said...

Makes me hungry :)

AparnaRajeshkumar said...

makes me hungry seriously + 111 on rumana comment.. loved the combo and masala vadai too

lubnakarim06 said...

That looks the color.....

Home Cooked food said...

I just love biryanis, this is sure I can have to go please.

Unknown said...

Looks super cool...tempting too!

great-secret-of-life said...

looks so yummy and perfect lunch box

pepper bowl said...

Looks super delicious dear!!

chow and chatter said...

love this :-) my kind of meal said...

Very spicy n hot luking biryani....n raita is very tempting..

Anusha Madhavan said...


Thank you for sharing this biriyani/pulao recipe.
Made it and love both the taste and the fragrance.

Just one question, since you don't fry the onion until golden, would it be completely cooked?
Since I was unsure, I cooked it completely before adding the paste.


divya said...

Makes me hungry :)wonderful clicks!

Vimitha Durai said...

Lovely color and nice clicks

Sangeetha Priya said...

Delicious one pot meal n tempting clicks :-)

Chitra said...

Thanks a lot for the feedback.As i have chopped the onions into small pieces,it gets sauteed very soon and it should be cooked while we saute the paste and vegetables.Asu did,sauting till golden brown is good for flavour too :) Will update in the post :)

Hema Krishnamohan said...

Nice clicks. Can make out seeing the rice, that it is right texture, which can be had only with use of right measure of oil, ghee and water. It tempts me to try using the Lichen next time to get the aroma. I used to think Saajeera gives the aroma. It will be nice if someone shares their recipe which calls for different combo of masala uses, specially saajeera which gives a sweet smell. thanks for sharing.

M SUSMA said...

Very tempting pulao

Unknown said...

Thank you for the delectable recipe! much appreciated!

Chitra said...

Thanks a lot !

Ramaa N said...

Hi mam, shall we add capsicum also and make this pulao?

Chitra said...

Yes,u can add,But use very little otherwise its flavour will dominate :)

Ramaa N said...

thank you mam