Methi Pulao - a healthy, tasty and nutritious one-pot rice dish made with fenugreek leaves and few basic spices. Easy pilau rice made with minimal spices in an instant pot is an ideal option for a quick meal or to pack in a lunchbox.
Methi pulao is also called pilau/pilaf, methi rice, menthe soppina pulao. I have used minimal spices to cook this easy pilau rice to make it more appealing for my little girl. Even with few spices, this methi rice turned out flavourful and tasty. It is a great way to include greens in our diet. I make it a point to include greens at least 4 meals a week, either in flavoured rice dishes, curries such as Methi Malai Paneer, Dal Palak, or side dish Drumstick Leaves Curry. Although basmati rice is most preferred for pulao and biryani for its rich aroma and long grain, I've used sona masoori rice as I couldn't get good quality basmati rice due to the lockdown. So go ahead and use any rice variety that you have in hand to make this one-pot rice dish.
As always, you will find the full ingredients list with measurements and detailed recipe instructions in a separate recipe box underneath the text section. To bypass the text section choose “SCROLL TO RECIPE” or “PRINT RECIPE” or click the “SCROLL TO VIDEO” option to watch the full video of this recipe. All options are located at the beginning of the post.
How to cook pilau rice on stove-top
In a steel pot, heat butter over medium-low heat. Once hot, add whole spices and saute for a half minute until spices are fragrant. Now add ginger garlic paste, green chillies, onion and saute well and cook for 3-4 minutes until onions turn soft and not brown, stirring occasionally. Mix in methi and cook for a couple of minutes. Now increase the heat slightly, add water, salt, mix well and bring it to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, add washed rice carefully and stir gently ensuring not to break the rice grains. Let it cook until 80% of the liquid is absorbed. Close the pot with the lid and simmer for 8-10 minutes. Once done, turn the heat off and let it sit for 10 minutes before you fluff the rice(take the pot off the burner if you use electric).
Methi Pulao Recipe variations
Fresh fenugreek leaves can be substituted for frozen leaves. You may have to remove bitterness before you use it. To do so place the chopped leaves in a bowl of salted cold water, let it sit for 15 – 20 minutes, discard the water and then use it.
You can add a dash of lemon juice to add a slight tang and to enhance the flavour. Add it just before you close the lid.
For a vegan version, swap vegan butter for regular dairy butter.
You can swap coconut milk for 1 cup water. Coconut milk imparts a lovely aroma and nutty flavour.
You may add vegetables - carrot, beans, cauliflower, potato, peas to make it healthy and visually appealing. It is one of the great ways to make kids eat their vegetables.
How to cook perfect rice
Water to rice ratio plays an important role to make perfect rice. You can use any rice such as basmati, long-grain, easy cook, brown, red rice, sona masoori or ponni but make sure to follow the liquid to rice ratio on the pack. The cooking time and liquid to rice ratio vary with variety and quality of rice. Some rice varieties may require more liquid to cook without soaking than the rice that has been soaked for 15-20 minutes. I’ve used sona masoori rice that requires a 1:2 (rice to liquid) ratio.
How to serve this easy Pilau rice
This methi rice is an ideal option for packed lunches. Pack it along with chips or dry side dish.
You can serve methi pulao with raita and Mango Lemonade or juice for young kids. Fruity drink compensates the spiciness just in case.
Watch how to make methi pulao in instant pot
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More Instant pot recipes
Whole and Dry Spices: bayleaf, cassia, cardamom, cloves, black peppercorn, cumin, salt are used here.
Vegetables: onion, tomato, green chillies. ginger, garlic, methi (fenugreek leaves), coriander. I've used frozen methi but feel free to use fresh ones. However, ensure to remove bitterness before cooking it.
Rice: I've used sona masoori rice here but any rice variety works. I've made this dish many times with basmati, ponni, successfully with the timer set to 5 mins.
Liquids: oil and butter to temper spices and cook vegetables. Water to cook rice.
1 & 2. Turn SAUTE mode ON.
3. Add butter and oil, once butter melts add bay leaf, cassia, cardamom, cloves, cumin and saute for few seconds until fragrant.
4. Stir in onion, green chillies, crushed ginger garlic and cook for 3-4 minutes until onion turns soft.
5. Now add tomato and cook for 2-3 minutes until it starts to soften. Add crushed black pepper, thawed fenugreek and saute for a couple of minutes and then CANCEL saute mode.
Wash rice with cold water 2-3 times or until water runs clear.
6. Add rice, water, coriander, mix well.
Secure the pot with lid, turn the knob (pressure vent) to SEALING position.
7. Set PRESSURE COOK /MANUAL MODE, high pressure 5 minutes.
Once the timer goes off, let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes and then turn the knob to VENT position.
Once the pin goes down take the lid off the pot and fluff the rice gently.
Stir gently and serve piping hot methi pulao with any side dish of your choice.
Adjust spices to your taste.
The total cook time stated includes the time IP takes to start the timer until the countdown ends.
Ensure to deglaze the pot to prevent BURN message. Even a tiny bit of vegetable or spice stuck to the pot results in burn message!
I've made this recipe in Instant Pot Duo 5.7 litre (6 Qt) and the rice cooked perfectly fluffy.
This recipe works for double the quantity with the timer set to 5 minutes. However, the IP would take more time to start the timer.
Try not to skip butter as it elevates the flavour of pilau rice.
You can add boiling water with rice to cut down the total time IP takes to cook rice. I've used cold water here so the pot took around 8 minutes to come to pressure and start the timer. With boiling water, it would take less than 5 minutes.
Instant Pot Methi Pulao
1 cup =250ml ; 1 tbsp =15ml ;1 tsp =5ml
- 1.5 tbsp Butter
- 1 tbsp Oil
- 1 Bay Leaf
- ½ inch Cassia (Dalchini)
- 1 Cardamom
- 2 Cloves
- 1 tsp Cumin
- 1 cup/ 140gm/1 large Onion sliced
- 3 Green Chillies sliced (adjust to taste)
- 1 tsp Ginger-Garlic crushed
- ½ cup/ 113 gms/ 1 medium Tomato chopped
- ¼ tsp Black Peppercorn (optional) crushed (adjust to taste)
- Salt as required
- ½ cup/ 116 gms Frozen methi (fenugreek leaves) thawed
- Coriander handful
- 2 cups/ 470 gms Rice
- 4 cups/ 1 lt Water
- Before you get started, scroll up a little and watch a quick recipe video.
- Check the notes and tips at the bottom of the recipe for extra info and help.
- Wash rice with cold water 2-3 times or until water runs clear. Keep it aside.
- Add butter and oil, once butter melts add bay leaf, cassia, cardamom, cloves, cumin and saute for few seconds until fragrant.
- Stir in onion, green chillies, crushed ginger garlic and cook for 3-4 minutes until onion turns soft.
- Now add tomato and cook for 2-3 minutes until it starts to soften.
- Add crushed black pepper, thawed fenugreek and saute for couple of minutes and then CANCEL saute mode.
- Add rice, water, coriander, mix well.
- Secure the pot with lid, turn the knob to SEALING position.
- Once the timer goes off, let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes and then turn the knob to VENT position.
- Once the pin goes down take the lid off the pot and fluff the rice gently.
- Stir gently and serve piping hot methi pulao with any side dish of your choice.
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KEEP IN TOUCH
Do let me know if you make this easy pilau rice. I love to get feedback from readers.