Vegetable Pulao with Raita

Vegetable Pulao with Raita

This recipe is a firm favourite of the girls at Baale Mane. It is a typical South Indian rice dish which combines rice and vegetables - making it fresh, healthy and only mildly spicy. It is always served with a raita, a yoghurt and vegetable side, and goes well with a meat or fish side dish. 

Serves 6 as a main.  


for Vegetable Pulao

  • 2½ cups (500g) rice
  • A 3 inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled
  • 10 cloves of garlic
  • 10 small green chillies, deseeded (or to taste)
  • A small handful of mint leaves
  • A small handful of coriander leaves
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 2 cinnamon sticks, whole
  • 4 cloves, whole
  • 3 medium-sized red onions, chopped
  • 4-5 medium-sized tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 cups (250g) of vegetables, chopped small (any combination of haricot beans, carrots, cauliflower, peas etc.)
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • 5 cups (1,200ml) of water
  • Salt, to taste

for Raita

  • 3 medium onions, chopped
  • 4 small green chillies, deseeded and chopped
  • 1 large tomato, finely chopped
  • 2 small Indian cucumbers (the equivalent of 2/3 of a European cucumber), chopped
  • A few coriander leaves
  • Salt, to taste
  • 2½ cups of plain set yoghurt

This versatile rice dish is highly adaptable to your taste and the contents of your pantry. It is accepting of most whole spices and vegetables, except maybe beetroot, and you can replace the fresh vegetables with frozen ones – just soak to defrost before adding.


Wash the rice in 4 or 5 changes of water until the water runs clear. Soak for 20 minutes.

Grind the ginger and garlic into a paste. Set aside. Grind the green chillies with the mint and coriander leaves into a paste. Set aside.

Prepare all of the vegetables for your raita.


for Vegetable Pulao

Gently heat the oil in a large pan with a fitted lid. Add the cinnamon and cloves and fry for a minute. Now add the onion and sauté on low heat till it turns translucent. Add the ginger & garlic paste and stir. Now add the tomatoes and the chilli, mint & coriander paste. Cook for a few minutes till the tomatoes break down into a pulp.

Add the vegetables, turmeric and chilli powders, and cook for a couple of minutes.  Add water and salt. As you wait for the water to boil, drain the soaking rice.

Once the water comes to a rolling boil, add the rice and gently stir the pan. Cover and cook on low heat for 20 minutes or so, until the rice is tender and there is no residual water.

for Raita

For the raita, mix together the onion, chillies, tomato, cucumber, coriander leaves well. Add salt to taste. Let it stand for 10 minutes. Now add the yoghurt and combine thoroughly. Garnish with coconut flakes and some chopped coriander leaves.

Serve steaming hot pulao with room temperature raita. This dish goes well with some pickle, chutney and a poppadum on the side, and served with some meat or fish.