Paneer peas pulao step-by-step recipe with video and photos.
About this recipe
Delicious and fragrant paneer matar pulao is made with Indian cottage cheese, peas, and Basmati rice. This wholesome one-pot meal is very easy to make, uses minimal spices, and is a good source of vegetarian protein. It is great for busy days, lunchbox, and potlucks.
Pair this vegetarian pilaf with raita, or a simple curry for a complete meal. You can also serve kachumber as a side dish with this pilau. This naturally gluten-free casserole is ready in 20 minutes when made in an Instant Pot. Garam masala and whole cumin are the only spices you will need. I also use garlic and onions to flavor this matar paneer rice.
Read on for ingredients, step-by-step instructions, and useful tips to make this easy paneer pulao in Instant Pot. Also, check out my collection of more Instant Pot paneer recipes.
Ingredients to make Paneer Pulao
Paneer: Use store-bought or homemade paneer.
Peas: I have used frozen peas here.
Rice: Basmati or any long-grain variety of rice works best for pulao.
Ghee: Use store-bought or homemade ghee. This can be substituted with any cooking oil of your choice.
Spices: You will just need garam masala and whole cumin. If you don't have access to whole cumin, use ground cumin instead (see tips section on how to use it).
Garlic, chili, onions: Adjust the green chili as per your preference. You can also use serrano pepper. Red or brown onions can be used (see tips section for frying tips).
Heat ghee and add cumin seeds. Once they splutter, add garlic and green chili. Saute for one minute (step 1).
Add onions and saute for 5-6 minutes (step 2) - see tips section above.
Add paneer, peas, garam masala, lemon juice, and salt. Mix gently and saute for 1 minute (step 3).
Drain the water from the soaked rice and add it to the IP. Add 2½ cup water (step 4).
Mix well and deglaze the pot (step 5).
Close the lid and pressure cook on high for 5 minutes (step 6). Do a quick release of the pressure (step 7).
Gently mix the pulao and serve hot (step 8).
Use Basmati rice or any variety of long-grain rice to make this chickpea pilaf. Also, it is important to wash the rice thoroughly until the water runs clear and then soak it for 20-30 minutes.
Soak the paneer in warm water for 10-15 minutes. This will help keep the paneer soft.
I have used whole cumin in this dish; however, if you do not have it, you can substitute it with ground cumin. In that case, add it along with the garam masala.
The rice to water ratio I am using here is 1 to 1¼. This gives me perfectly cooked slightly chewy rice. You can reduce the water by ¼ cup for a firmer texture or increase the water by ¼ cup for soft cooked rice. For 2 cups of Basmati, I am adding 2½ cups of water.
Saute the onions well until they are brown, taking care not to burn them. Set the Instant Pot on saute mode - normal and fry the onions. They will first turn translucent and then begin to brown. Once they are browning, set the saute mode to low (to prevent the onion from burning). Also, it is important to keep an eye on it and stir it frequently to avoid the onion from burning. A burnt onion will add a bitter taste to the pulao.
I am making this paneer pulao using ghee. However, you may use any cooking oil of your choice.
I am using homemade paneer in this dish. Click here to see how to make paneer in Instant Pot.
Basmati rice or any variety of long-grain rice works best for a pulao. It is important to use non-sticky rice when making a pulao to get the perfect texture. Not only does Basmati rice have a great aroma, but it also has long grains that if cooked correctly, are separate, non-lumpy, and do not stick to each other.
Both biryani and pulao are rice-based dishes. The most important difference is in the assembly of the dish. In pulao, soaked rice is added along with vegetables/meat and cooked while in biryani, the rice is parboiled first and then layered with a gravy/curry made with vegetables/meat.
This Instant Pot paneer peas pulao is:
- good source of vegetarian protein,
- easy to make and uses minimal spices,
- great for picnics, potlucks, and lunch boxes.
Paneer Peas Pulao in Instant Pot
- Wash the rice thoroughly. Soak it in water for 20-30 minutes.
- Cut the paneer into ½-inch cubes. Soak them in warm water for 10-15 minutes.
Making the pulao:
- Set the Instant Pot in saute mode (normal) and add ghee.
- Once it heats, add cumin seeds.
- Once they splutter, add garlic and green chili. Saute for 1 minute.
- Add the onion and saute for 5-6 minutes, until they brown (see tips section).
- Drain the water from the soaked paneer.
- Add paneer, peas, garam masala, lemon juice, and salt.
- Mix gently and saute for 1 minute.
- Drain the water from the soaked rice and add it to the IP.
- Add 2½ cup water.
- Close the lid and pressure cook on high for 5 minutes. Do a quick release of the pressure.
- Gently mix the pulao. Serve with plain yogurt or raita.