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Green Pulao

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Cilantro, lime, and curry leaves are ground into a paste before cooking it in fragrant basmati rice. This is what makes this a green pulao. A simple and easy recipe that gets done in less than 30 minutes.

A skillet with green pulao.
Green Rice Pulao with Cilantro and Lemon

Growing up we called this green rice or green pulao. It has a wonderful flavor of fresh cilantro along with whole garam masala spices to make it fragrant. I also added some carrots and peas to make it a complete meal. It is one of my kids’ favorite rice recipes.

Of course, you must love the flavor of cilantro to enjoy this recipe. So, if you choose to serve this rice to guests make sure they love cilantro.

Ingredients and substitutes

  • Rice – I am using basmati rice but you can also use colum rice or jasmine rice. Just make sure to adjust the cooking time and water accordingly to the rice.
  • Green masala – I like a combination of fresh cilantro stalks, a few leaves, green chilies, curry leaves, and lemon zest. These can be adjusted to your own preference.
  • Whole spices – warm garam masala spices such as black and green cardamom, cloves, cinnamon stick, and bay leaves add wonderful fragrance and flavor to the rice.
  • Veggies – A few green peas and diced orange carrots add color to the rice. We also use fresh sauteed onions with garlic and ginger.
Green pulao in the skillet.
Green Rice Pulao with Cilantro and Lemon

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A skillet with green pulao.

Green Pulao

5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Calories: 487kcal
Adjust Servings Here: 4 servings
Cilantro, lime, and curry leaves are ground into a paste before cooking it in fragrant basmati rice. This is what makes this a green pulao. A simple and easy recipe that gets done in less than 30 minutes


  • 2 cups Basmati rice soaked in water for 30 mins then drained
  • 2 tbsp Vegetable oil or ghee
  • 1 medium Onion chopped finely
  • 1 large Garlic clove minced
  • 1 inch Fresh ginger grated
  • 1 cup Green peas
  • ½ cup Carrots diced

Garam masala spices

  • 2 pods Green cardamoms
  • 1 large Black cardamom
  • 1 whole Star anise
  • 2 large Bay leaves
  • 1 2-inch Cinnamon stick
  • 3 Cups Broth or Stock Chicken or vegetable

Green masala

  • ½ cup Cilantro stalks and leaves about 5 stalks chopped
  • ¼ cup Curry leaves
  • 2 large Green chilies
  • 6 mint leaves Optional
  • ½ tsp lime or Lemon zest about 1 lemon
  • 1 tbsp Lemon juice


  • Green masala – In a blender, combine the green masala ingredients and blend it into a smooth paste using a few tablespoons of water.
    Pro tip – using less water will make a smooth paste and blend in the rice easily.
    ½ cup Cilantro stalks and leaves, 2 large Green chilies, 6 mint leaves, ½ tsp lime or Lemon zest, 1 tbsp Lemon juice, ¼ cup Curry leaves
  • Saute – In a large saute pan, add the oil and saute the garam masala spices for 30 seconds. Then add the onion and saute another 2 minutes until translucent. Followed by the garlic and ginger for another 30 seconds.
    Pro tip – use low heat and do not brown the onions, we want them just translucent.
    2 tbsp Vegetable oil or ghee, 1 medium Onion, 1 large Garlic clove, 1 inch Fresh ginger, 2 pods Green cardamoms, 1 large Black cardamom, 1 whole Star anise, 2 large Bay leaves, 1 2-inch Cinnamon stick
  • Masala – Next, add the fresh green masala paste and saute for 2 to 3 minutes until fragrant. Add a few tablespoons of water if necessary to prevent burning. Add the carrots and peas. Combine well.
    1 cup Green peas, ½ cup Carrots
  • Rice – Add the rice to the pan and saute for 2 minutes with the green masala. Season with salt and pepper. Then, add the broth/stock and bring it to a boil.
    3 Cups Broth or Stock, 2 cups Basmati rice
  • Simmer – Once it comes to a boil reduce the heat to low and cover the pan. Cook on low for 20 minutes. Then turn the heat off and leave to rest for another 10 minutes.
    Pro tip – do not open the pan after 20 minutes of cooking time. Leave the rice to absorb excess steam. This will ensure the rice is not soggy.
  • Garnish – After 10 minutes, open the pan, add freshly chopped cilantro and fluff the rice with a fork.

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Nutrition Information
Calories: 487kcal | Carbohydrates: 92g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 0.04g | Sodium: 801mg | Potassium: 341mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 4648IU | Vitamin C: 615mg | Calcium: 187mg | Iron: 2mg

The nutrition information and metric conversion are calculated automatically. I cannot guarantee its accuracy. If this data is important to you please verify with your trusted nutrition calculator. Thank you

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