Coriander Vegetable Pulao | Coriander Rice | Green Pulao
Coriander Vegetable Pulao is a scrumptious twist to the classic veg pulao that is loaded with flavors of coriander and a subtle hint of whole spices. Recipe with step-by-step pics and tips will help you make the best pulao with long and non-sticky rice grains.
Delicious and flavorful rice dishes with green herbs and leafy vegetables are extensively made in South India.
While Hyderabad is popular for its World famous biryani, the city is also famous for its spicer cousin – the pulao. Restaurants serving authentic Andhra and Telangana cuisine have quite a number (up to 26 types) of pulaos on their menu.
After exploring a few restaurants, I came across Coriander Pulao but it was chicken. The name of the dish is Kothmeera Kodi pulao. Extra-long grain rice cooked to perfection, the pulao was delicately spiced but did not have overpowering masalas or pungent spices. The pulao was burst of flavors in the mouth with each morsel.
As my mom does not eat non-veg, I decided to try the veg version at home. Did Google for the recipes and tried a few of them, but the taste and color did not match. So, I made some tweaks and prepared the coriander vegetable pulao and everyone in the family liked it.
The recipe I’m sharing today is the best of my attempts so far.
About Coriander Vegetable Pulao recipe
As the name says, it is a rice dish where basmati rice is cooked with aromatic whole spices, vegetables of choice, and freshly made green paste.
Being a Hyderabadi I love biryani. Though I know how to prepare it, I prefer to make pulao, as it’s easy to make without compromising on the taste. Also, it is the best option for weekdays when time is limited and the stomach demands a wholesome meal.
If you plan properly, the coriander pulao will get ready in 40 minutes (including rest time). Start by soaking the rice first and proceed with the rest of the recipe.
The two important things for this recipe are – the quality of basmati rice and fresh coriander leaves.
I prefer to make pulao in a kadhai/handi (cooking pot) than in a pressure cooker and follow the dum method (after rice gets half cooked, cook on low flame for 10-12 minutes).
The Coriander Vegetable Pulao is divided into 3 components:
1. Soaking the basmati rice.
2. Making the coriander paste.
3. Making the pulao.
The pulao is mild in taste as there is no red chili powder added. However, you can make it spicy by increasing the number of green chilies.
Reasons to make
Green masala paste makes the dish very delicious.
Vegetables make this dish a wholesome meal and add nutrition.
Can serve it with raita as a complete meal.
Does not need a side dish.
Can pack it for the school or office lunch box with raita in a separate container.
The dish is a feast to the eyes – lush green color covering long rice grains and the color of mixed vegetables.
Even fussy kids and picky eaters will enjoy it.
Ingredients to make Coriander Rice
For coriander paste
coriander leaves, coriander seeds, cumin, fennel seeds, garlic cloves, ginger, green chilies, mint leaves, salt, and oil.
I have used coriander leaves along with stems for robust flavor.
Coriander seeds elevate the taste of the pulao.
Adding oil while making a green paste helps to retain the vibrant green color.
Green chilies are the only spice in this recipe. Reduce or increase the green chilies as per your taste.
For the pulao
Basmati rice: I personally prefer to use long grain basmati rice. In this recipe, I have used Daawat Biryani Basmati Rice, as it is aged, has the world’s longest grains, and has a perfect texture. You can see the length of the grains after cooking.
If you are using short-grain rice, select 1-2 years aged and not a new variety.
Onion: A must ingredient in pulao.
Oil and Ghee: For pulao, I use oil and ghee due to the aroma and flavor it lends to the rice.
Whole spices: bay leaf, cloves, cinnamon stick, star anise, mace, black stone flower (dagad phool), green cardamom, and kapok buds (marathi moggu).
All the whole spices are easily available in any grocery store. You can skip the whole spices that are not available in your pantry.
Curd (Yogurt): In pulao, fresh or slightly sour is fine. Curd abates the intensity of the spices added in the pulao and also adds a slightly tangy flavor.
Vegetables: potato, carrot, cauliflower, green peas, and french beans.
you can also add in other veggies such as sweet corn, baby corn, bell peppers, mushrooms, broccoli, etc.
Fresh herbs: coriander and mint leaves
Spice powder: turmeric powder and garam masala or everest brand shahi biryani masala.
Water: The water quantity mentioned in the recipe is for basmati rice only. If you are using short-grain rice or other varieties of rice then adjust the water quantity and cooking time accordingly.
Wash the coriander leaves well to remove any dirt.
Rinse the basmati rice 2-3 times and soak for at least 30 minutes. The soaking process elongates the rice grains and reduces the cooking time too.
Add whole spices in less quantity. They are added to just get their flavors out and not to add the spice.
Beat/whisk the curd well until smooth consistency without any lumps. Adding it directly might split and the white granules in the pulao will spoil the look of the dish. Also, after adding the curd stir continuously until it blends well.
Do not discard the water in which the rice was soaked. For this recipe, use 2 cups of rice-soaked water and discard the remaining water.
Add the rice only after the water boils. After adding the soaked rice, do not stir vigorously, the delicate rice grains will break.
Add required salt to the water itself. The water should taste a bit salty. It is the only option for rice to absorb the salt.
After pulao is ready, do not open the lid. Rest for at least 15 minutes. The resting time allows the moisture to settle down. Also, the rice grains will firm up and don’t break while mixing.
Do not rest for more time, there will be big lumps of rice.
Apart from paste, add a few coriander and mint leaves while making pulao for a nice refreshing flavor.
Grind the coriander paste to a smooth paste by adding little water (a few tablespoons). If you add more water and grind to a runny consistency, it will take more time to cook and the color will turn dark.
How to make Coriander Pulao
Step 1: Rinse and soak the rice
Measure 1 cup of rice. Rinse it well 2-3 times or until the water runs clear (as seen in the pic below).
Add 3 cups of fresh water and soak for at least 30 minutes.
Step 2: Make the coriander paste.
1. In a grinder jar, add coriander leaves along with the stem, a few mint leaves, coriander seeds, garlic cloves, a small knob of ginger, green chilies, cumin, fennel seeds, salt, and oil.
2. Add a few tablespoons of water and grind to a smooth paste.
Step 3: Make the Coriander Vegetable Pulao
3 & 4. Heat oil and ghee in a pan on medium flame. When hot, add whole spices – bay leaf, cloves, cinnamon stick, star anise, mace, black stone flower, green cardamom, and kapok buds. Let them crackle and turn aromatic.
5 & 6. Add sliced onions and saute till they turn light brown in color.
7. Add vegetables of choice and saute for 5 minutes.
8. Add the frozen peas and fry for 30 seconds.
9 & 10. Add turmeric powder and salt to taste. Saute for a few seconds.
11 & 12. Next, add the coriander paste and saute till moisture reduces and oil separates.
13. Add a few coriander and mint leaves and give a good mix.
14 & 15. Turn the flame to low and add whisked curd. Stir continuously until curd blends well and oil separates.
16. Add 2 cups of water (use the rice soaked water and discard the remaining water). Give a good mix.
17. Turn the flame to high and let the water start boiling. Check for seasoning (salt and spice). If you feel the spice is less, add a few slit green chilies.
18 & 19. Add the soaked rice without water and mix gently.
20. Add garam masala and mix.
21. Continue the cooking process on high flame until water evaporates and you are able to see the layer of rice.
22. Reduce the heat to low, cover the pan, and simmer on low flame for 10-12 minutes. Turn off the flame and allow it to rest for at least 15 minutes.
Note: Can not specify the exact time as it depends on the quality of basmati rice, the intensity of the flame, and the density of water. For me, it takes 12 minutes. If it’s your first attempt, cook for 12 minutes and can adjust accordingly.
23 & 24. Remove the lid and gently fluff the rice from the sides of the pan. At this stage, you can add more ghee for extra aroma.
Coriander Vegetable Pulao is ready. Serve hot with your choice of raita.
You can enjoy the green pulao as such or serve it with plain curd, onion raita, tomato raita, tadka raita, or boondi raita.
As we have added vegetables to this recipe, it is a wholesome meal by itself and does not need any side dish. However, there are many veg and nonveg side dish recipes on the blog to check. Personally, I like nonveg fry items like chicken roast, or chicken fry masala.
You can store the leftover in the fridge for 2-3 days in an air-tight container. Before serving reheat it until warm.
There are three ways you can reheat the coriander vegetable pulao;
Microwave: Take the coriander rice in a microwave-safe bowl, sprinkle little water, and microwave for 1 minute. Take the bowl out, gently mix the rice, and microwave again for 1 minute or until hot.
In a pan or stovetop: Take the green rice in a non-stick pan, sprinkle little water, and toss on medium flame. Cover the pan and simmer on low flame for 3-5 mins or until hot.
Pressure cooker: Take the coriander vegetable pulao into a bowl. Place the bowl in the pressure cooker and cook on high flame for 1 whistle.
Increase the protein by adding soya chunks or granules. Soak them in hot water for 15 mins, squeeze them, and add after sauteing the vegetables.
Make plain coriander rice by skipping veggies.
Paneer lovers can add paneer cubes after step 15.
Chicken lovers can replace the veggies with chicken pieces. Cook the chicken pieces at least 80% before adding water and rice.
Can add coconut milk for more flavorful pulao. 2 cups of thin coconut milk or 1 cup thick milk diluted and 1 cup of water.
Replace the veggies with beans, sprouts, or whole masoor dal. Soak them for 6-8 hours and pressure cook before adding to the dish.
Can add a handful of cashews while frying the spices or garnish with fried cashew nuts.
More Rice recipes to try
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Coriander Vegetable Pulao | Coriander Rice | Green Pulao
To soak the rice
- 1 cup Basmati rice
- 3 cups Water
- 1/2-3/4 cup Coriander leaves
- 5 Mint leaves
- 1 tbsp Coriander seeds
- 1/4 tsp Cumin (jeera)
- 1/2 tsp Fennel seeds (saunf)
- 6-7 cloves Garlic (peeled)
- 1 inch Ginger
- 1tsp Oil
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- 2-4 tbspn Water (for grinding)
- 1 tbspn Oil
- 2 tbspn Clarified butter (ghee)
- 1 Star anise
- 2 Cloves (laung)
- 1 inch Cinnamon stick (dalchini)
- 2 small Green cardamom (elaichi)
- 1 small Stone flower (dagad phool)
- 1 small Mace (javithri)
- 1 small Onion (thinly sliced)
- 1 cup Vegetables of choice (peeled and chopped)
- 1/4 tsp Turmeric powder
- 3 tbspn Curd
- 1/2 tsp Garam masala (or everest shahi biryani masala)
- 2 cups Water
- Salt to taste
Rinse and soak the rice
- Measure 1 cup of rice. Rinse it well 2-3 times or until the water runs clear (as seen in the pic below).
- Add 3 cups of fresh water and soak for at least 30 minutes.
Make the coriander paste
- In a grinder jar, add coriander leaves along with the stem, a few mint leaves, coriander seeds, garlic cloves, a small knob of ginger, green chilies, cumin, fennel seeds, salt, and oil.
- Add a few tablespoons of water and grind to a smooth paste.
Make the Coriander Vegetable Pulao
- Heat oil and ghee in a pan on medium flame. When hot, add whole spices – bay leaf, cloves, cinnamon stick, star anise, mace, black stone flower, green cardamom, and kapok buds. Let them crackle and turn aromatic.
- Add sliced onions and saute till they turn light brown in color. Add vegetables of choice and saute for 5 minutes. Add the frozen peas and fry for 30 seconds.
- Add turmeric powder and salt to taste. Saute for a few seconds.
- Next, add the coriander paste and saute till moisture reduces and oil separates.
- Add a few coriander and mint leaves and give a good mix.
- Turn the flame to low and add whisked curd. Stir continuously until curd blends well and oil separates.
- Add 2 cups of water (use the rice soaked water and discard the remaining water). Give a good mix.
- Turn the flame to high and let the water start boiling. Check for seasoning (salt and spice). If you feel the spice is less, add a few slit green chilies.
- Add the soaked rice without water and mix gently.
- Add garam masala and mix.
- Continue the cooking process on high flame until water evaporates and you are able to see the layer of rice.
- Reduce the heat to low, cover the pan, and simmer on low flame for 10-12 minutes. Turn off the flame and allow it to rest for at least 15 minutes.
- Remove the lid and gently fluff the rice from the sides of the pan. At this stage, you can add more ghee for extra aroma.
- Coriander Vegetable Pulao is ready. Serve hot with your choice of raita.