Satvik Vegetable Pulao

Satvik Vegetable Pulao

Pulao is one of the most sought after Indian rice dish all over the world. It is an aromatic blend of rice and assorted vegetables or meat using different exotic spices and normally served with a raita. Satvik Vegetable Pulao uses only vegetables.  There are many variations of spicy, flavorful pulaos, but this variation is distinct because it uses no onions or garlic, hence people who follow a satvik diet can easily make and enjoy it!!

Every Indian will vouch for their favorite biryani or pulao recipe or restaurant that serves their special!!  I have tried making various versions of vegetable biryani, pulao etc. but most of them used onions and garlic which give them a really flavorful taste. When I came across this recipe for vegetable pulao without onions or garlic, I was amazed at the flavor it had despite the absence of onions or garlic!!  So I tried it and our whole family loved it!!

Hope you all love my version of this spicy vegetable pulao with no onions or garlic and enjoy it with family and friends!!

It is a one-pot dish, with lots of seasonal vegetables and fragrant Basmati rice, flavored with an array of spices infused in each grain of the pulao. It is usually served with any raita like boondi raita, cucumber raita or just plain yogurt.

Along the way, try my other rice dishes too : Venpongal/Khara pongal , Jhatpat Vegetable Pulao, Bisibele Bath, Tawa Pulao and Quick Vegetable Fried Rice.


Satvik Vegetable Pulao

Serves 4 to 6 No-onion, no-garlic vegetable pulao

Prep time: 20 minutes plus 1 hour for soaking the rice

Cook time: 30 minutes


2 cups of Basmati rice or any long grain rice

1 medium tomato

2 green chillies

1 cup coriander leaves

½ cup carrots, cut into small pieces

½ cup green peas

1 cup cauliflower flowerets

½ cup potatoes (peeled and cut into ½ inch cubes)

½ cup green beans, cut into 1 inch pieces

½ inch piece ginger, grated

½ cup yogurt or curds

2 cups hot water

Dry Spices:

1 teaspoon Jeera or cumin seeds

4 to 5 cloves

1 inch piece cinnamon

1 star anise

2 green cardamoms

1 big black cardamom

1 bay leaf

2 teaspoons coriander powder

½ teaspoon turmeric powder

3 tablespoons oil

3 tablespoons ghee

Salt to taste


Wash the rice well, till the water is clear and soak it in water for about an hour.

After an hour of soaking, drain the rice and keep in a colander for all the water to drain.

In a blender, make a paste of the tomatoes, chillies and coriander leaves and keep aside.

In a large vessel or deep pan, heat the oil and ghee.

Add all the dry whole spices (jeera, cloves, cinnamon, cardamoms, star anise and bay leaf) and sauté for a few seconds till they sizzle and release an aroma.

Stir in the turmeric and coriander powder and mix.

Pour in the tomato paste and stir well.  Keep frying till the oil separates.

Stir in the rice and mix well.  Keep frying for a minute or two till each grain of rice is fried well.

Add the vegetables (carrots, peas, beans, potato and cauliflower), yogurt and salt and mix well.

Pour in the hot water and stir to combine all the ingredients well.

Bring to boil.  Once it starts boiling, reduce the heat to low and cook till the rice is fully cooked (about 20 minutes) and separate. In case you feel the rice is still uncooked, keep adding hot water in small quantities.

Serve hot with boondi raita, plain cucumber raita or yogurt.


Feel free to use any other vegetable you like.

A variation would be to add paneer cubes or tofu(soybean curd), garbanzo beans (chick peas) or even cooked rajma along with the vegetables to make it a whole meal as paneer, tofu and the beans will provide the necessary protein in your meal.

For a vegan diet, you can avoid the ghee and use only oil.

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