How to make Paneer pulao Recipe at home with tips | Paneer pulao Recipe |


Paneer pulao is a fragrant and lightly spiced pulao made with freshly ground pulao masala. Can be served with raita or dal fry for a tummy filling experience. Check out this special and easy recipe by our chef at Mallika’s Restaurant.

Total Time

50 mins

Prep time

30 mins

Cook time

20 mins


3 Persons


    Pulao masala:
    • ½ tsp cumin seeds
    • ½ tsp caraway seeds
    • ¼ tsp fennel seeds
    • 1 black cardamom (seeds removed and husks discarded)
    • 2-3 green cardamom (kept whole or seeds removed)
    • 2-3 cloves
    • 1 inch cinnamon
    • 1 single strand of mace
    • a small piece of stone flower/rock

    For pulao:
    • 1.5 cups basmati rice or pulao rice
    • 250 to 300 grams paneer/cottage cheese
    • 1 medium to large onion, thinly sliced
    • ⅓ cup peas (optional)
    • 2 tbsp ghee for the pulao
    • 2 to 3 tsp ghee for pan frying the paneer/cottage cheese
    • 3 to 3.25 cups water
    • ½ inch ginger
    • 2 to 3 garlic cloves
    • 1 green chilli (crushed in a mortar-pestle to a paste)
    • 1 bay leaf
    • 1 to 1.25 tsp lemon juice
    • 1.5 to 2 tbsp chopped mint leaves
    • salt as required

  • Method

    The pulao masala:
    1. Grind all the spices mentioned for the pulao masala to a fine powder.

    The paneer pulao:
    1. Rinse the basmati rice and soak in enough water for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes drain and keep the rice aside.
    2. Slice the onions thinly. chop the mint leaves and keep aside.
    3. Crush the ginger, garlic and green chilli to a paste in a mortar-pestle.
    4. Heat ghee in a pot or a pan.add the bay leaf and saute for 2-3 seconds.
    5. Add the thinly sliced onions and sauté till the onions turn golden brown or caramelize.
    6. Add the ginger, garlic and green chilli paste. Sauté till the raw aroma of ginger garlic is gone (on a low flame, for approx 10-15 seconds).
    7. Add the chopped mint leaves and the ground pulao masala. Stir for 5-8 seconds.
    8. Optional step – if you are adding peas then add now and sauté for 2-3 minutes.
    9. Add the drained rice, stir gently and sauté for a minute. Add water, lemon juice and salt.
    10. Stir well, cover the pan tightly with a lid to not let the steam escape from the sides.
    11. On a low to medium flame, simmer till the rice grains are cooked. (If the water dries in the pan then add some more water.)

    Frying paneer/cottage cheese cubes:
    1. When the rice is cooking, chop the paneer into cubes.
    2. Heat ghee on a frying pan and add the paneer cubes and pan fry till light golden. (Over frying will make the cubes dense and rubbery)
    3. Once the rice is cooked, allow the rice to sit for 5 minutes then add the pan fried paneer cubes and gently mix it with the rice. (Keep aside a few fried cubes for garnishing)
    4. Cover the pan again with a lid and allow the paneer to be in the rice for another 5 minutes to make the paneer soft and to let it absorb the aroma of the pulao.
    5. Garnish with some mint leaves and the fried paneer cubes.

    If using a pressure cooker, add 2.5 cups water for separate grains and for a more soft texture of rice, add 3 cups water. Pressure cook for 2 to 3 whistles.