Pulao is usually my go-to dish when I am running short of time or I cannot think of what to make for dinner. Rice is always comforting and a smattering of vegetables added to it, makes it reasonably healthy. Paired with plain yogurt or a raita, it makes a fairly balanced vegetarian meal.
When my client Pure and Sure sent me their special Organic Pulav Masala, I wanted to try something special with it. So when we were to have friends over for dinner, I jumped on the idea of making a paneer pulao, where paneer is not only added to the pulao when it’s cooking but also pieces of marinated shallow fried paneer as a topping over the pulao.
The special Pulav Masala contains cumin, coriander, black pepper, cinnamon, bay leaf, chilli powder, cardamom, turmeric, clove and mace. It is quite possible for such a spice mix to get overwhelming, but this masala has a fine balance of spices, taking care of the proportion of the more intense ones.
Do ensure that the quality of paneer used is fresh and soft, otherwise, the pieces can stand out as rubbery knobs in a bed of rice, and that doesn’t make for a pleasant dining experience. I speak out of personal experience 🙂
I have used the Jeera rice variety, also called Ambemohar rice, as it has a lovely fragrance and this rice is much suited to making pulaos. Use basmati rice if you like though. Try making this paneer pulao / pulav for your next dinner party, paired with a simple cucumber and mint raita for the main course.
This recipe serves 6-8 people for a dinner party, typically 8, if you have more dishes on the menu.