Easy and delicious paneer peas pulao is made with Indian cottage cheese, peas, and Basmati rice. This wholesome one-pot meal is a good source of vegetarian protein and is great for picnics, potlucks, and lunch boxes. It is ready in 20 minutes and uses minimal spices.
Why you will love this recipe?
- It is very easy to make and uses minimal spices.
- This one-pot dish is great for picnics, potlucks, and lunch boxes.
- Peas paneer pulao freezes well and is a good option for meal prep.
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.
See the recipe card for full information on ingredients and quantities.
Step 1: Heat ghee and add cumin seeds. Once they splutter, add garlic and green chili. Saute for one minute (image 1). Add onions and saute for 5-6 minutes (image 2).
Step 2: Add paneer, peas, garam masala, lemon juice, and salt. Mix gently and saute for 1 minute (image 3). Drain the water from the soaked rice and add it to the IP. Add 2½ cup water (image 4).
Step 3: Mix well and deglaze the pot (image 5). Close the lid and pressure cook on high for 5 minutes (image 6). Do a quick release of the pressure (image 7).
Step 4: Gently mix the pulao and serve hot (image 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.
What to serve with paneer peas pulao?
Raita: Raita is a yogurt-based condiment that complements the flavors of this dish. You can make cucumber raita, tomato-onion raita, or any other variety.
Dal: Serve paneer pulao with a side of dal fry or any other dal of your choice.
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.
Cool it to room temperature, then transfer it to airtight containers. In the fridge, paneer pulao stays fresh for up to 5 days and in the freezer for 2-3 months. When reheating, use a microwave or stovetop with a bit of water or oil to retain moisture.
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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.