Beetroot Pilaf/Pulao

Pulao is my most favorite dish and my goto comfort food on weekends. But since I love rice so much, I end up eating more than I could and end up completely bloated by eod. Back when I was a kid I used to pester my mom to make this all the time. My mom makes the best version of pulao I have ever had. She never knew what a pulao was and never looked into any recipes, yet she made the pulao just with the taste. 

I wanted to make vegetable pulao this weekend ,but to my greatest dismay I only had beetroot. As much as I love beetroot, I kinda don’t like the sweetness it brings in the Curries. I once added beets to my veg korma, which turned pretty sweet cos of the beets. But, to my big surprise, the spices in this pilaf masked the sweetness from the beetroot. My kid finished her portion of rice without a complaint.

 You get a rich taste in this rice by cooking in coconut milk or vegetable stock instead of water. I used home made vegetable stock which I make from the vegetable scraps .You can find the recipe here.  Spices like Bay leaf, cinnamon, cardamom and cloves gives the oomph factor to the rice. The concept of cooking is the same for vegetable pulao. You just sub mixed vegetables for the beetroot. There are many versions of making a pulao, this is a simple version.



Beetroot Pilaf/Pulao


  • 1 cup chopped beetroot
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion (red or white)
  • 1 cup basmati rice rinsed and soaked in water for 20 minutes
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tsp chopped ginger
  • 1 red chilli
  • Handful of coriander leaves
  • Oil to cook
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 to 2.5 cups of vegetable stock or thin coconut milk to cook the rice 


  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 star anise
  • 3 cardamoms
  • 4 cloves
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • Raisins and cashews (optional)


    1. Wash the basmati rice well, till the water is clear. Then soak the rice in water for 20 minutes.
    2. Add garlic,ginger in a mortal and pestal and make a coarse paste.
    3. Add oil in a wide pan and once it’s hot add the red chilli & spices. saute for 30 seconds or till aromatic. 
    4. Now add the chopped onions and saute till the onions turn brown.
    5.  Then add the ginger garlic paste. Saute till the raw smell goes off. Around a minute. 
    6. Add the chopped beetroots and roast them until it gets a little bit tender. 
    7. Reduce the flame and the soaked basmati rice . Stir in gently. 
    8. Pour the vegetable stock or thin coconut milk over the rice.
    9. Chop the coriander leaves finely and add to the rice. Add salt per taste.
    10. Cover the rice and Keep the stove in lowest setting. Cook until the rice becomes tender and completely cooked. Stir gently once in between.

      If you are using store bought coconut milk, then thin the coconut milk by adding 1.5 cups water to 1/2 cup coconut milk and then add to the rice.

      Have fun making this aromatic pilaf. Till next time šŸ™‚


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