Authentic Karnataka style Veg Pulao Recipe

Karnataka style Veg Pulao Recipe with step-by-step pictures. It is a delicious one-pot rice dish made with medium-grain rice, assorted vegetables, and freshly ground masala paste. This flavorful rice dish can be eaten as it is or with a pachidi (raita) or plain yogurt for a delicious and filling meal.

The first time I had this famous rice delicacy was in Bengaluru. Was surprised to see it on the breakfast menu. A big steaming scoop of green-colored rice was served on a banana leaf along with chutney and raita. What a delicious rice preparation it was, the flavors lingered on and on …… During my short trip, I have seen different varieties of rice dishes prepared with different elements. 

In South Indian cuisine, you will find an array of flavored rice dishes with vegetables, herbs, and whole spices. Lemon rice, Pudina rice, Coconut rice, Tomato rice, Capsicum rice, Brinjal rice, Puliyogare, Pongal, BisiBele bath, are a few of the immensely popular rice recipes of south India.

karnataka style veg pulao recipe

What is Karnataka style Veg Pulao?

Karnataka style Veg Pulao is a type of pulao widely popular in Karnataka, and needs no intro to any Kannadiga. This veg pulao in the South is quite different from the regular pulao we make with basmati rice.

The pulao has unique flavors because of the freshly ground spice paste added to the rice. It is one of the rice recipes that showcase Indian spices.

The Karnataka Veg palav is made with medium-grain rice (Sona Masoori Rice or Jeera/Jeeraga Samba Rice rice), it is light green in color, and the texture is moist and a bit mushy. Also, the pulao is much richer due to the use of ghee.

In the hotels, this pulao has many names – ‘palav’‘tarkari palav’, ‘rice baath’. While it is pronounced just as you would the English word ‘bath’. In South India, it is a term used for any flavored rice or any ground grain dish.

Pulao is typically served for lunch or dinner but in Karnataka, many small hotels and canteens serve veg pulao for breakfast.

About Karnataka style Veg Pulao Recipe

Karnataka style Veg Pulao Recipe is a native recipe of Karnataka, South India.

Tried making this veg pulao many times by making changes and finally, I hooked up to this recipe which tastes very close to the hotel’s taste.

The making process of rice bath is similar to any traditional rice-based pulao but has an extra hint of flavors with a combination of the unique masala paste. The secret to the best veg pulao is the freshly made green masala paste, the whole flavor depends on the spice paste.

Cooking the rice and vegetables along with the masala paste infuses every grain of rice and vegetables with the fresh herbaceous flavors of the masala. Also, the pulao gets a distinctive greenish hue from ground mint, coriander leaves, and spinach leaves. 

Generally, in hotels, the veg pulao is made in large aluminum or copper vessels (handi) and the pulao is dum-cooked (slow-cooked without letting the steam escape). In this recipe, I’m using a pressure cooker to make the pulao. You can also make this veg pulao in an open pan, rice cooker, or an instant pot. The only point you need to remember is to adjust the rice: water ratio according to your cooking method and the texture of the rice. 

This veg pulao is a bit spicy because of the whole spices and green chilies. In Karnataka, every hotel and house has its own proportion and choice of herbs and whole spices.

You can also make this pulao by skipping coconut and the whole spices you do not have, and still, it tastes good.

For me, it is one of the perfect solutions to prepare a delectably healthy meal during working days. Can easily double or triple the recipe, you just need to use a large utensil for preparing the pulao.

Reasons to try

Authentic hotel-style recipe

One pot dish

Nutritious and wholesome

Unique and complex flavors

Wonderfully delicious

Burst of aroma

Soul-comforting dish

Does not need a side dish

Great option for lunch box, get-together, picnic, or while traveling

rice bath recipe

Pro Tips

1. I strongly recommend any short or medium-grain rice other than basmati rice.

2. Soak the rice for at least 30 minutes, this ensures the rice is cooked well and becomes fluffy.

3. My recipe will give a spicy rice dish. You can control the spice level by adding a minimum number of green chilies and reducing the number of whole spices.

4. While making the green masala paste, first grind the whole spices to a fine powder. Then, add the rest of the ingredients and grind to a smooth paste by adding minimum water.

5. For an authentic taste, try to add all the garam masala ingredients mentioned under green masala paste. In case you don’t have one, manage with bay leaf, cinnamon, cloves, and elaichi. Later add some garam masala powder or everest brand shahi biryani masala powder.

6. Preparing fresh masala paste brings out the intense flavors of all the spices and herbs used and the taste is heavenly.

7. Water to rice ratio plays an important role to make perfect rice. The ratio and cooking time varies depending on the variety and quality of rice. I have used sona masoori rice which requires a 1:2 (rice: water) ratio. If you prefer fluffy and nonsticky rice grains like biryani, reduce the water quantity by 1/4 cup.

8. This Karnataka style veg pulao uses a little more fat. I use oil+ghee, the combo not only enhances the taste of pulao but also keeps the rice grains moist and helps the pulao stay fresh for long.

Ingredients

As we are making the veg pulao with a freshly ground paste, the list of ingredients is long. But they are just everyday spices available easily in any Indian grocery store.

Green Masala paste: cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, shahi jeera or cumin seeds, coriander seeds, fennel seeds (saunf), star anise, stone flower, marathi moggu, mint leaves, coriander leaves, spinach leaves, fresh/frozen coconut, ginger, garlic, green chilies, and dried fenugreek leaves (kasuri methi).

Rice: The primary ingredient of the recipe. Traditionally, medium-grain sona masoori rice is used. Feel free to use any medium or long-grain rice variety.

Vegetables: Potatoes, carrots, and green peas are a must.

You can also use cauliflower, french beans, colored bell peppers, corn kernels, mushrooms, or any veggie that holds its shape without getting mushy.

Fat: I have used oil and ghee.

The duo gives a lovely aroma and brings out the best flavors in the pulao.

Curd: I have added curd for mild tanginess and also to balance the bold flavors of the whole spices.

Other ingredients: Onion, salt and water to cook the rice.

How to make Karnataka style Veg Pulao

1. Rinse 1 cup of rice until the water runs clear and soak it in water for 30 minutes.

Whilst cut the vegetables and prepare the green masala paste.

2. Gather all the ingredients – 1 bay leaf, 2-3 cloves, 1-inch cinnamon stick, 1 star anise, 1 small piece stone flower, 1 marathi moggu, 2 green cardamom, 1/2 tsp shahi jeera, 1/2 tsp saunf, 1 tsp dried fenugreek leaves, 4-5 green chilies, 2-3 tbsp fresh coconut, 1 tsp coriander seeds, 1/4 cup mint leaves, 1/4 coriander leaves, 4-5 spinach leaves, and salt.

3. Firstly, grind the whole spices to a fine powder. Add the rest of the ingredients.

4. Add minimum water and grind to a smooth paste.

Add ice cubes or cold water to avoid discoloring. Don’t add too much water while grinding, and later while sauteeing until moisture evaporates, the color will turn dark.

5. Heat oil + ghee in a pressure cooker over medium flame. When hot, add 2 bay leaf and 1 small onion sliced.

Meanwhile, I keep 2 cups of water to boil on the stovetop.

6. Saute until the onion changes to light golden color.

7. Add 1/2 cup of mixed vegetables and 1/4 tsp turmeric powder. Saute for 10 seconds.

8. Add 1 tbsp mint leaves and 1 tbsp coriander leaves. Saute until the leaves wilt.

The herbs add extra flavor.

9. Add the ground masala paste and saute until the raw smell of the masala goes away and the oil separates at the sides.

10. Add 2 tbsp curd and saute stirring continuously until curd blends well.

11. Add salt to taste and mix well.

12. Add 2 cups of water (possibly hot water) and give a good mix.

Water quantity more or less will depend on rice quality.

13. Let the water come to a rolling boil. Taste test for seasoning and add salt, if needed.

14. Add the soaked and drained rice. Give a good mix.

15. Cover the pressure cooker with the lid and pressure cook for 3 whistles on a high flame. Switch off the flame and let the pressure from the cooker release naturally.

The cooking time will depend on the variety and type of rice. So pressure cook accordingly.

16. Open the cooker lid and mix carefully.

The pulao may look slightly mushy when hot. Rice grains become fluffy and separate as it cools down.

17. Karnataka style Veg Pulav is ready to savor. Serve hot with any gravy kurma, salad, raita, papad, etc.

Serving Suggestions

Hotels in Bengaluru serve the veg pulao on a banana leaf with raita (yogurt+ finely chopped/thinly sliced onion+ salt) and or coconut chutney as an accompaniment.

Personally, I like to pair the pulao with raita as the curd abates the intensity of the spices.

Storage Suggestions

You can store the leftover in the refrigerator in an airtight container for 1-2 days. Before serving, reheat in a pan on the stovetop or in the microwave.

The flavors mature and the leftover veg pulao tastes better the following day.

Variations

You can skip the vegetables and add soya chunks (soak them in hot water for 5-10) mins before using.

For the Vegan version, you can skip ghee and replace curd with tomatoes. Use seasonal/sour tomatoes as they provide a better flavor profile.

Can add nuts such as peanuts and cashews to make the dish rich. Add them to the tempering and saute until they start changing color.

There are a few eateries in Bengaluru that add fenugreek leaves (methi) and dill leaves to the green masala paste.

Also, a few eateries use a mix of medium-grain rice and long-grain basmati rice.

More Related Recipes

Tomato Pulao

Gongura Rice

Coriander Veg Pulao

Jeera Rice

Veg Pulao

Tawa Pulao

Masala Vegetable Pulao

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Recipe Card

vegetable palav karnataka style

Karnataka style Veg Pulao Recipe

Author: Santosh Allada
Karnataka style Veg Pulao recipe is a spicy and flavorful South Indian rice preparation. Rice and vegetables are cooked together with a special masala paste of spices, herbs, and fresh coconut.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine South Indian
Servings 3 people

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup Rice (soaked and drained)
  • 1 tbsp Oil
  • 2-3 tbsp Clarified butter (ghee)
  • 2 medium size Bay leaf
  • 1 small Onion (sliced)
  • 1/2 cup Mixed Vegetables
  • 1/4 tsp Turmeric powder
  • 1 tbsp Mint leaves
  • 1 tbsp Coriander leaves
  • 2 tbsp Curd
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 cups Water

Green Masala Paste

  • 1 small Bay leaf
  • 2-3 numbers Cloves
  • 1 inch Cinnamon stick
  • 2 numbers Green Cardamom
  • 1 numbers Star Anise
  • 1 small piece Stone flower
  • 1/2 tsp Shahi jeera
  • 1/2 tsp Fennel seeds (saunf)
  • 1 tsp Dried fenugreek leaves (kasuri methi)
  • 1 tsp Coriander seeds
  • 4-5 numbers Green chilies (adjust as per taste)
  • 5-6 cloves Garlic
  • 2 1-inch Ginger
  • 1/4 cup Mint leaves
  • 1/4 cup Coriander leaves
  • 4-5 numbers Spinach leaves
  • 2-3 tbsp Fresh Coconut (grated or sliced)
  • Salt

Instructions
 

  • Rinse 1 cup of rice until the water runs clear and soak it in water for 30 minutes.

To prepare Green Masala Paste

  • Add whole spices to a blender jar and grind to a fine powder. Add the rest of the ingredients and grind to a smooth paste by adding minimum water.

To prepare the Veg Pulao

  • Heat oil + ghee in a pressure cooker over medium flame. When hot, add bay leaf and sliced onion. Saute until the onion changes to light golden color.
  • Add mixed vegetables and turmeric powder. Saute for 10 seconds.
  • Add mint leaves and coriander leaves. Saute until the leaves wilt.
  • Add the ground masala paste and saute until the raw smell of the masala goes away and the oil separates at the sides.
  • Add 2 tbsp curd and saute stirring continuously. Add salt and give a good mix.
  • Add 2 cups of water (possibly hot water) and give a good mix.
  • Let the water come to a rolling boil. Check for seasoning and add salt, if needed.
  • Add the soaked and drained rice. Give a good mix.
  • Cover the pressure cooker with the lid and pressure cook for 3 whistles on a high flame. Switch off the flame and let the pressure from the cooker release naturally.
  • Open the cooker lid and mix carefully.
  • Karnataka style Veg Pulav is ready to savor. Serve hot with any gravy kurma, salad, raita, papad, etc.

Notes

I prefer to use sona masoori rice in this recipe, but feel free to use your favorite medium or long-grain rice. Make sure to adjust the amount of water according to the rice variety.
If fresh coconut is not available then you use coconut milk, 1/2 cup of coconut milk + 1.5 cups of water.
If you cooking in an open pot, close the lid and cook till done. It can take about 15-20 minutes on low flame.


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