I usually add Paneer to many of my Pulao Varieties as DH is a die hard fan of paneer. Most of the paneer pieces though find its way into his plate and the less preferred veggies like carrots etc would end up in mine- not fair right!!!What if I prepare Pulao with only Paneer in it,both of us would then have to share the paneer pieces and enjoy the meal thoroughly. Well that's how this Paneer Pulao came into existence in my house.I prepare this Pulao just like my usual Vegetable Pulao with minor changes and I replace the vegetables with Paneer.I like to add green peas to this pulao as it goes really well with paneer and helps balance the texture and flavors of pulao.I always grind fresh masala for the pulao along with the addition of spices directly while tempering helping make the pulao taste better.In my opinion, this taste cannot be replicated by the addition of Garam masala and hence I suggest you to try this process once and I am sure you would be hooked on to it.
I usually saute the soft Paneer variety and immerse in warm water and cook along with rice for the paneer pulao. This helps the paneer stays soft and absorb the flavors well after it is cooked.Frozen Paneer is not recommended as it makes the paneer rubbery after it is cooked,instead of frozen paneer I suggest you to try with fresh home made paneer.I had paired it with Kashmiri dahi Baingan,papad and salad and it was a perfect lunch on our weekend.
If you are interested check out other Pulao varieties in my blog - Methi Pulao, Vegetable Pulao, Mint Pulao, Tawa Pulao, Peas Pulao and Spicy Corn Pulao.
Paneer Pulao | Paneer Pulav Recipe:
Prep time:15 mins | Cooking time:30 mins | Total time:45 mins
Cuisine:North Indian | Category:Pulao Varieties - Main Course
1 heaped cup Basmati Rice
150 gms Homemade Paneer (Cottage cheese) (or store bought) ,cut into cubes
1/3 cup fresh/frozen Green Peas
1 Onion,finely sliced
juice of 1/2 Lemon
2 Green Cardamoms ,slightly slit
1 Bay leaf
Salt to taste
2 tbsp Oil
1 tbsp Butter/Ghee
2 cups Water
1-2 Marathi Moggu
4-5 Garlic pods
10-12 Mint leaves
2 tbsp chopped Coriander leaves
3-4 Green chillies
- Wash and soak basmati rice in water for 10-15 mins.
- Grind all the ingredients mentioned under 'to grind' in whipper mode to a coarse paste.Do not make it into a smooth paste,it will make the paneer pulao green.Just pulse it for a couple of time until you get coarse mixture.
- Heat oil and ghee together in a pan(or pressure cooker) and add cubed paneer pieces and fry them for few minutes until they turn golden on one side.Turn them over and fry on the other side too until golden color.Drop them in warm water until its usage,this will make it soft.
- In the same oil add bay leaf,green cardamom,cloves and cinnamon and fry for a minute.
- Add sliced onions and fry until they turn translucent.
- Now add fresh/frozen peas and fry for a couple of minutes.
- Add the ground masala and fry for 2-3 mins
- Add soaked and drained basmati rice and fry gently for a couple of minute until the moisture in the rice evaporates.Do this process gently taking care that the rice does not get broken.
- Slightly squeeze the paneer pieces and add to the rice and mix it gently.
- At this point you can follow any of the following 3 methods.option-1:If you are using pressure cooker you can add 2 cups of water,salt and lemon juice and pressure cook it for 1 whistle and simmer it for 5-6 mins.option-2:If you want to prepare in kadai add 2 cups of boiling water,salt and lemon juice and cover it and cook for 10-12 mins until done.option-3:Transfer all the rice mixture into the rice cooker and add 2 cups of hot water,salt and lemon juice and cook it until done.I always follow this process while making pulaos and biryanis as they come out perfect in rice cooker.
- Do not get tempted to open the lid immediately after it is done.Leave it for 10 mins,this helps the rice to absorb all the flavors and stay fluffy.
- Using a fork fluff the rice gently.
Serve it hot with a gravy of your choice or Raita and papad.I served it with Kashmiri Dahi Baingan.
- You can even add paneer pieces in the end after the rice is cooked,but I prefer to cook it along with the rice and masalas so that it absorbs flavors well.
- Use fresh paneer,the frozen variety is not suitable for pulaos as they become rubbery after they get cooked.
- For a south Indian touch you can add 1/3 cup grated coconut while grinding the masala for pulao.
- Marathi Moggu gives a nice flavor to puloas,however it is optional as it is not easily available everywhere.
Check out other paneer recipes in my blog:
- Kadai Paneer - Restaurant style
- Paneer Butter Masala - Restaurant style!!
- Paneer Modak Peda
- Paneer Tikka
- Paneer Bhurji
- Paneer Jalfrezi
- Paneer Sabzi | Simple Paneer Curry
- Palak Paneer
- Paneer Makhani/Paneer Makhanwala
- Grilled Corn-Palak Paneer | Makai Palak Paneer
- Matar Paneer
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