Mixed vegetable pulao with ghee croutons

Indian cooking mixed vegetable pulao

Indian cooking comes effortlessly for me. The ratio of spices and I pinch of this and a pinch of that is my preferred way of cooking. But it doesn’t seem to suit my progeny. At this point, I have to say I had no intention of learning to cook until I starved in my dorm during my college years.

Learning Indian cooking

In the beginning, this was quite a difficult task.  The Indian spices and their balance is like Greek, Latin and many other mixes together. My beginnings were no better and now I remember this as we were undertaking the much-needed cooking skills for my kids during this Easter break. Since we focused on core recipes this time it was elaborate and time-consuming. A pinch, small amount, add that, instructions were so difficult for them to comprehend as Indian kitchen is loaded with masalas, spices and of course veggies and beans and mine is no better. So I had to work on my ways of making the kitchen sessions, not a tantrum. I have been listening to why can’t we just make “dump it all pasta “all this week. I am not ready to give up yet, so will persist till we reach some consensus.

This mixed vegetable pulao

After the first exhausting day of Indian cooking, I remembered a recipe my mum taught me when I was beginning to cook in my dorm. So this is on our menu practice today, the vegetable and bread pulao. This is a great recipe to feel the spices instead of the masala powders which you cannot figure out what is going on. I wonder how mum patiently described the recipe and standing by with each step just nodding saying nothing. I may not be that, I may need to tape my mouth.


Here are my tips following this teaching-learning session.

Today the mixed vegetable pulao went well. In fact, the end result of this mixed vegetable pulao with ghee croutons,  was so good it seems to have renewed some interest in the masala dabba coz I got the question

“so what is on for tomorrow? another one of this? this is bearable!!”

I guess they did not see the steam coming through my ears. but on hindsight here are some useful tips.

  • For winging this recipe, any cooked grain you have at hand will work. We worked with rice today. You can try it with millets, quinoa, bulgar, or even couscous. I like short-grain rice to start teaching as the basmati does have a mind of its own at times, especially with newbies.
  • That bag of frozen mixed veggie you can grab from the supermarket will suffice.
  • Since the spices are whole you can see them to recognise and add. Now if you don’t have all of them, never mind, it will still be fine.
  • Leftovers cooked grains are welcome in this recipe especially rice as It won’t make your pulao sticky while you mix it.

So here you are with a generously easy mixed vegetable pulao with crunchy croutons aka bread pulao that is loaded with veggies and dorm -friendly.

Here are a few more dorm friendly filling recipe

Bhindi pulao – stir fry rice with okra and walnuts

Fluffy mixed vegetable upma

Bagara rice- flavourful bagara rice mix from the Deccan cuisine

Peas lemon rice pulao

Hope you have some fun with these Indian cooking recipes too. This week my plan is to post five recipes that can be the best combination of your dinner menu. This will help to bring up a collection for meal prep and so useful once the stay-at-home season ends. This is the first of the series.
Stay safe and do tag us when you make these recipes.
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mixed vegetable pulao in indian cooking
Indian cooking mixed vegetable pulao

Mixed vegetable pulao with ghee croutons

Learning Indian cooking
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Course Main Dish, Traditional
Cuisine Autumn, Fusion, Indian, Kids choice, Pressure cooker, Spring, Vegetarian, Winter
Servings 8 people


For the rice

  • 1.5 cups Raw rice (approximatey 1/4 cup of dry rice per person)
  • 5 cups drinking water

For the ghee crutons

for the vegetable mix

  • 1/2 cup carrots diced
  • 1/2 cup french beans diced
  • 1/2 cup corn kernels I have used frozen
  • 1/2 cup peas I have used frozen

For the spices

  • 1 small red onion chopped small
  • 2 bayleaves
  • 2 cloves
  • 1 small piece cinnamon stick broken into pieces and get about an inch long piece
  • 1 star anise
  • 1 black cardamom
  • 1 small piece mace
  • 1/4 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/4 tsp caraway seeds
  • 1/4 tsp Nigella seeds
  • 1 clove garlic chopped fine
  • 1/2 tsp fresh ginger root grated or chopped fine
  • 1 small green chilli ( we omited this)
  • salt to taste
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder

for the saute

  • 1 tbsp ghee / clarified butter

for the garnish

  • 1 tsp coriander leaves Chopped ( optional)


  • Wash and soak the rice in 5 cups of water. Set aside for 10 minutes
  • Put the rice for cooking after 10 minutes
  • Prepare the vegetables, sort out the spices you need from the list above and keep it ready.
    prep for the pulao
  • Cut the bread in 1-inch squares and set aside
  • Set a nonstick pan, Add the tsp of ghee and gently toast the bread slices on a very low heat
  • Check on your rice and fluff it
  • In another deeper pan ( you need a lot of space), add the tbsp of ghee.
  • As the ghee warms up add the dry spices and roast for a minute.
  • Now add the garlic ginger and onions and saute till the onions are translucent.
  • Add the vegetables and saute them on medium heat. Add the salt and turmeric and continue with the saute.
    mixed vegetable
  • The rice should be ready now, fluff it and spread it out a bit to cool down a little bit
  • When the vegetables are cooked yet crisp add in the cooked rice and ghee croutons and remove from heat
  • Fluff and toss the whole mix together.
    mixed pulao
  • Add to a serving bowl and sprinkle on the chopped coriander
    Indian cooking mixed vegetable pulao
  • Serve warm with raitha of choice


For the sides
Enjoy with Tricapsicum dahi chutney or a sweet bablimos raita
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
5 6 votes

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Shailender sharma
4 years ago

Ghee croutons in mixed vegetable pulao is simple yet a unique idea to bring a crunch in every bite. The recipes sounds interesting and idea different.

4 years ago

Love the idea of teaching kids how to cook. I must start doing that with my kids. This is such a delicious and easy recipe – looks colorful and inviting. Those ghee croutons are a nice crunchy addition.

Lata Lala
4 years ago

Adding ghee croutons to simple pulao takes it to a notch higher. I can imagine the bite with the crunch that croutons provide to pulao.
Fabulous 😋

Mayuri Patel
4 years ago

Its a mouth watering and irresistible veg pulao Seema, would never have thought of adding my favorite ghee bread as croutons in a rice dish. Some recipes that we cook will always evoke fond memories.

Vanitha Bhat
4 years ago

I can almost smell the ghee in the croutons! I love pulao with croutons but I normally fry in oil; will definitely try using ghee 🙂 I grew up enjoying my Mom’s pulao with croutons so this is close to home! Love it!

4 years ago

veg pulao itself is just amazing and adding ghee croutons in it makes it even more interesting. Lovely share.

4 years ago

Vegetable pulao with ghee croutons is a fun recipe to create, crunchy texture with soft and fluffy rice. looks and taste delicious.

Padma Veeranki
4 years ago

My favourite one pot meal…never tried adding croutons to the pulao though!! Must try sometime..Looks delicious!!

4 years ago

Seema its a lovely way to add croutons into pulao. And that too ghee croutons, OMG i am just craving right away. Lovely share indeed . Will make some sure !

Shobha Keshwani
1 year ago
Rating :

Such a delicious and healthy one pot meal. Ghee croutons is cherry on the cake. I love them too. These always remind me of my childhood as one of my neighbour aunty used to add them to the pulao and she always would send some for us. It was so much fun those days exchanging food with neighbours.

Mayuri Patel
1 year ago
Rating :

Seema when I came across this recipe, I had to give the ghee croutons a try. And wow what a delightful crunch it added tot he mixed vegetable pulao. Thanks for the awesome idea.

1 year ago
Rating :

😀 Love the trials of cooking you have described here. hang it there girl you can do it! Love the idea of adding croutons in the pulao. Simple and easy pulao that can be enjoyed on weeknights.

Priya Vj
1 year ago
Rating :

Mix veg pulao is a comfort meal and easy to make as well . This is one of my early recipes amma taught me . Never fails me to this day as well.

1 year ago
Rating :

I so hear you on the “teaching progeny” process esp the steam out the ears ! lol 😜😜. with swiggy and Zomato sometimes I feel exercising a need to “teach” is futile. but learn they will – all at their own time (and dare I say, need)
meanwhile I could happily dig into this darshini style pulav, complete with the ghee laded croutons

Jayashree T.Rao
1 year ago
Rating :

The pulav looks flavoursome and good for our weekend menu. I will add the star anise and nigella next time.

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