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How to make nutritious vegetable brown rice pulao at home?

This pulao is full of nutrients and contains the goodness of an array of colourful vegetables.

Deepa Gupta | New Delhi |

There are many different recipes to make different pulao recipes. All rice are also not created equal. They come in many varieties including white rice, black rice, brown rice etc. Brown rice is quite healthy because it is whole grain rice containing three parts – kernel (the outer covering), bran (the fiber-filled layer) and germ (the nutrient-rich core).

This recipe is highly nutritious, low in calories and glycemic index, high in fiber and also gluten-free. Besides packed with vitamins, minerals and lots of fiber, adding vegan protein, such as soy chunks and cottage cheese (paneer) makes the dish a complete package of health and satiety. The rainbow vegetables not only lend the dish an appealing look but also a delicious juicy taste. The uniqueness of this pulao recipe lies in the use of aromatic whole spices and cashew nuts. These ingredients give this simple dish a rich taste and flavour. This pulao is served fresh and hot with fresh coriander-mint chutney, onion raita, papad and mango pickle.

Brown rice pulao is not only easy to prepare but it is one of the best ways to get the health benefits of many vegetables, whole grain, soya bean and paneer in one go. So enjoy a healthier meal in a super-easy way with this yummy recipe:

Serves: 4

Preparation time: 20-25 minutes

Cooking time: 30 minutes

Ingredients

Brown rice: 1 cup

Pure ghee: 3 tbsp

Water: 3 cups

Bay leaf: 1

Cinnamon stick: 1

Whole black cardamom: 1

Cumin seeds: 2 tsp

Cloves: 4

Whole black peppercorns: 4-5

Red chilli powder: 1.5 tsp

Garam masala: 1 tsp

Turmeric powder: 1 tsp

Cashew nuts: 10 (sliced into two halves)

Paneer: 200 grams

Small soya chunks: 1 cup

Peas: 1 cup

Potato: 1

Carrot: 2

Cauliflower florets: 2 cups

French beans: 12

Onion: 1

Coriander leaves: 1 cup (finely chopped)

Method

Wash rice thoroughly and soak in plenty of water for half an hour. Wash soya chunks and soak them in hot water for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, discard the water and wash them thoroughly five to six times, squeezing properly and discarding the water every time. After washing, squeeze them and discard the water and keep aside. Heat one tablespoon of ghee in a big pan. Add sliced cashew nuts and shallow fry them on low flame until they turn golden brown in colour. Take them out and keep aside. In the same pan add two more tablespoons of ghee.

When ghee is appropriately hot, add cumin seeds. When cumin seeds start to crackle, add bay leaf, cinnamon stick, cloves and whole black peppercorns and cardamom. Saute for few seconds on low flame. Add sliced onion. Cook on low flame until it becomes translucent. Chop carrots, potato, cauliflower and French beans in small pieces. Dice paneer into small cubes. When onion is semi-cooked, add all the chopped vegetables and peas. Give a good stir and cook on medium flame for three minutes. Add soaked rice after draining the water and stir gently on low flame for two minutes. Add red chilli powder and turmeric powder. Mix well.

Add soya chunks, water, salt and garam masala. Stir on high flame. When water starts boiling, turn the flame low and cover the pan with the lid. After 20 minutes, open the pan and add paneer cubes and fried cashew nuts. Mix gently and cover the pan again with the lid. Let it cook for five more minutes until done. After five minutes turn the flame off. Do not open the lid for ten minutes. Let the rice cook properly in the steam. After 10 minutes, open the lid and garnish the pulao with coriander leaves after transferring them in a serving dish. Serve hot with raita, papad, chutney and pickle.

Tips to make perfect brown rice pulao:

Wash brown rice thoroughly and soak them for at least half an hour.

Use rice and water in 1: 2.5 ratio that is for every one cup of brown rice, two and a half cup of water should be added. Here we used three cups of water because we have added soya chunks in the recipe. Soya chunks absorb a lot of water, so we need to add half cup of extra water.

Shallow fry cashew nuts before adding as it gives a rich taste to the dish.

Soak soya chunks for half an hour in hot water before adding to the pulao. Wash them thoroughly five to six times after being soaked. Squeeze them properly before adding to the pulao. Otherwise, they will give a foamy taste.

Add paneer cubes at the end, otherwise, they will become chewy in texture. Add them just five minutes before turning off the flame and stir gently to mix well. Add fried cashew nuts also with the paneer cubes at the end so that they do not become soggy in taste. Cover the pan again with the lid.

Add fresh vegetables for best taste and colour.

Serve the dish fresh and hot to enjoy the best taste.

Once you try this healthy recipe, you will never want to cook pulao in any other way. This recipe is a complete winner, be it the taste, presentation or nutrition value. The dish is perfect to be cooked for weekend lunch or dinner. You may also cook it during weekdays for office lunch and reheat it before eating. However, it would not taste as great on reheating.

An amazing recipe that is beautiful and delicious too!