This Indian-style vegetable rice pilaf is a great one-pot meal that’s perfect for a quick and easy weeknight dinner. This dish is super adaptable to whatever vegetables you have on hand and makes a satisfying plant-based main or a tasty side dish!
Some of my favourite recipes are super simple ingredients cooked in a clever combination of spices to make a total flavour bomb. This vegan curried rice with raisins, chickpeas and cilantro is a great recipe that smells wonderfully as it’s cooking and makes a great base for a Buddha bowl.
This vegetable rice pilaf is another one of those recipes. Basmati rice and a selection of vegetables are simmered together in a mix of fragrant spices then garnished with toasted cashews and fresh cilantro. Not only is this vegan dish easy to make, it’s also ready in less that 30 minutes!
For this vegetable rice pilaf recipe came about as a way to use up some leftover veggies I had in my fridge. I’ve used cauliflower, sweet potato, carrot, green beans and peas. Feel free to change up the vegetables based on what you have handy; any combination of veggies would be delicious in the pilaf!
This time I chose to serve my vegetable pilaf with some grilled flatbread. I didn’t happen to have any vegan yogurt handy but if you do I recommend making this vegan naan recipe to accompany this recipe.
Another great accompaniment for rice-based dishes is a dhal. This easy vegan dal recipe can be made with yellow or red lentils and you can leave it simmering away while you chop the veggies for this vegetable rice pilaf. Pilaf, dhal and naan is my idea of a perfect meal!
Wanna see how easy it is to make this vegetable rice pilaf? Watch the video and share it on Facebook!
- 1 ½ cups (300 grams) basmati rice
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 green cardamom pods
- 1 small stick of cinnamon
- 3 cloves
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon minced ginger
- 1 green chili, finely diced
- ½ teaspoon chili powder or ground cayenne
- ½ teaspoon turmeric
- ½ teaspoon garam masala*
- 1 medium sweet potato, peeled and diced
- 1 medium carrot, peeled and diced
- 1 ½ cups (150 grams) chopped cauliflower
- 12 green beans, cut into thirds
- ¼ cup (40 grams) frozen peas
- Salt, to taste
- 3 cups (750 ml) water
- 1 lemon
- A small bunch of cilantro
- A handful of cashews, toasted
- Wash the rice in fresh water three times. Leave it to soak in a bowl covered with water while you prepare the veggies.
- Heat the oil over medium-high heat and add the cumin. When the cumin darkens in colour and is fragrant – about a minute – add the onion. Fry until transparent.
- Add the bay, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, garlic, ginger and chili pepper. Fry, stirring, until the garlic and ginger is cooked through – about 30 seconds. Add the chili powder, turmeric and garam masala and continue frying, stirring constantly, for about another 30 seconds to cook out the spices. If it sticks to the pan add a bit more oil.
- Add the vegetables, salt and water. Bring to a boil then drain the rice and add it to the pan. Cover and reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook for 8 – 10 minutes until the vegetables are tender and the rice is absorbed. Remove the pan from the heat but don’t uncover it. Leave it to steam for 5 more minutes.
- Uncover the pan and squeeze over the juice of half a lemon. Fluff the rice with a fork and remove the cinnamon and bay leaves (and the cloves if you can find them!).
- Serve the pilaf garnished with chopped cilantro, toasted cashews and an extra slice of lime on the side.
*For a homemade mix try this garam masala recipe .
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 4
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 421 Total Fat: 20g Saturated Fat: 5g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 12g Cholesterol: 25mg Sodium: 788mg Carbohydrates: 49g Fiber: 7g Sugar: 8g Protein: 16g