Paneer Pulao - Easy, Simple, Delicious, Aromatic, Gluten-free and perfect Vegetarian Instant Pot rice dish for busy weeknight dinner, for potluck or your kids lunchbox!
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Instant Pot Paneer Pulao

Paneer Pulao - Easy, Simple, Delicious, Aromatic, Gluten-free and perfect Vegetarian Instant Pot rice dish for busy weeknight dinner, for a potluck or your kids' lunchbox!
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Keyword Paneer Biryani, Paneer Pulao
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4 people
Calories 259kcal
Author Dhwani

Ingredients

  • 1 cup - Long grain Basmati rice
  • 2 1/4 - Vegetables Used beans, bell pepper, carrots, and peas
  • 250 - Paneer Cubes
  • 1 tbsp - Ghee

Whole Spices

  • 3 - cloves
  • 1 inch - cinnamon sticks
  • 2 - small red dried red chilies Optional
  • 1 - Bay leave
  • 1 - Cardamom pod

Other Spices

  • Salt to taste
  • 1/2 tbsp - Red chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp - Turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp - Garam masala

Other ingredients

  • 1 tbsp - Oil for pan frying the paneer
  • 1 1/2 cup - water
  • 1 tsp - Kasuri methi optional
  • 1/4 cup - fried onions Optional
  • Chopped cilantro for garnishing

Instructions

Paneer Pulao in Instant Pot

  • First, in a pan (preferably cast iron), heat oil. Add paneer Cubes and saute from both the sides until golden brown color. Keep them aside.
  • Soak Basmati rice for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, drain the water and keep the rice aside.
  • Next step, Turn on the saute mode, heat ghee,  add whole spices, curry leaves, ginger, garlic, and onion. Saute them for a minute.
  • Now add vegetables, rice, water, salt, chili powder, turmeric powder, and garam masala. Mix them very well. Make sure all of the rice is under the liquid.
  • Add paneer cubes. DONT stir.
  • Close the Instant Pot with pressure valve to sealing. Select Manual/Pressure Cook and adjust the cooking time to 6 minutes.
  • After 6 minutes, Let pressure release naturally for 10 minutes and then quick release the pressure.
  • Open the lid, sprinkle some Kasuri methi, cilantro, and fried onions. Fluff up the rice with a fork and serve it hot with Boondi Raita.
  • Enjoy!

Paneer Pulao on Stove-top

  • For stovetop version, you need to cook soaked rice first in hot boiling water until perfectly cooked, drain the water and let it cool down.
  • In a pan (preferably cast iron), heat oil. Add paneer Cubes and saute from both the sides until golden brown color. Keep them aside.
  • Heat ghee/oil in a pan, add whole spices, curry leaves, garlic, ginger, and onions. Saute for a couple of minutes. Add masalas, rice, and pan-fried paneer.
  • Mix them gently. Now finish it with a sprinkle of some Kasuri methi, cilantro, and fried onions.

For Traditional pressure cooker paneer pulao version.

  • Follow the same 1 to 5 steps (instant pot version), close the pressure cooker, take 2 whistles and let the pressure release.
  • Open the pressure cooker, add kasuri methi, cilantro, and fried onions.
  • Fluff the pulao with a fork and enjoy it hot with Cucumber Raita.

Video

Notes

To make shahi paneer pulao,  add some cashews, raisins, and saffron.
You can also substitute rice with quinoa. You don't need to soak the quinoa for this recipe.
You can make this simple rice dish vegan by sub paneer with tofu and ghee with oil.
You may also add some mint leaves to give that special biryani effect.
This recipe can easily be doubled in 6qt and 8qt Instant Pot.
For general FAQ and some important tips, please scroll the page above. I have shared some important tips and some info to make this dish perfect. But still, if you have any questions, ask me in the comment box below. I will try to answer them as soon as possible.

Nutrition

Calories: 259kcal | Carbohydrates: 39g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 9mg | Sodium: 52mg | Potassium: 72mg | Fiber: 1g | Vitamin A: 295IU | Calcium: 19mg | Iron: 0.6mg