I did a blogging marathon once with Seven days of paneer recipes couple of years back. I prepared paneer pulao as first attempt as one of the seven recipes. I really don't know such pulao recipe exists or not, but I prepared it similar to my vegetable pulao and substituted vegetables with paneer. It was tasted good but I was not satisfied with the picture, so I didn't post the recipe that time.
From then, I have been making it and over this period, I have tweaked many things to get perfect tasted pulao at the end. I use coconut milk in all my pulao recipes to get the rich taste which I skipped here without compromising the taste.
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes
Basmati rice - 1 and 1/2 cups
Paneer - 1 cup, cubed
Green peas - 1/2 cup (optional)
Ghee - 1 tablespoon
Cloves - 5 nos.,
Cinnamon - 1 inch piece
Star anise - 1 no.
Cardamom - 2 nos.
Bay leaves - 1 no.
Ginger - 1 inch piece
Garlic cloves - 3-4 nos.,
Green chillies - 3 nos.,
Onion - 1 no., thinly sliced
Mint leaves - 1 hand ful, tightly packed
Coriander leaves - 1 handful, tightly packed
Water - 3 Cups
Salt - to taste
1) Wash and soak rice for 30 minutes. Fry paneer cubes and set aside. You can also immerse them in water to retain its softness. Make a paste of ginger, garlic and green chilli. Set aside.
2) Heat ghee in a pressure cooker.
3) Add cloves, cinnamon, fennel, cardamom, star anise and bay leaves.
4) When the added spices splutters, add onion. Saute it without changing its color and till it becomes soft and translucent.
5) Add minced ginger, garlic and green chili. Saute it for few minutes.
6) Add mint leaves and coriander leaves. Saute for few seconds. These leaves spread nice aroma to the kitchen.
7) Add green peas if using.
8) Drain the water from rice, add it to the pressure cooker. Mix well.
9) Add water and salt. Mix well again. Cover using lid and cook for 3 whistles.
10) Let the steam suppresses, open the lid. Add fried paneer cubes and cover again immediately for 3 minutes. After 3 minutes, transfer the rice to a wide plate, tap it to separate the rice from sticking with each other. Toss to mix the paneer cubes with rice or fluff it off using fork without breaking rice.
11) Serve hot with any of your favourite gravy. We enjoyed it with kolhapuri Egg Curry.
1) You can also cook rice separately and mix it with paneer and other spices(After step 7).
2) I used Milky Mist - store bought paneer for making this pulao. It was very soft and so I fried slightly and added to the rice at the end.
3) You can also add paneer cubes along with uncooked rice in a pressure cooker. Sometimes, the paneer cubes becomes hard when you do so(It again depends on the brand, type of paneer) and therefore always add the fried paneer cubes only at the end for best results.
4) You can also add cashews to this rice while doing the seasoning.