Methi Pulao - a healthy, tasty and nutritious one-pot rice dish made with fenugreek leaves and a 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 and fresh methi leaves in this fenugreek rice recipe to make it more appealing for kids. Even with few spices, this methi rice with coconut milk 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 methi rice recipe.
How to cook one pot methi pulao on stove top
In a steel pot, heat butter over medium flame.
Once hot, add whole spices and saute for a half minute until spices are fragrant.
Now add ginger garlic paste, green chillies, sliced onions and saute well and cook for 3-4 minutes until onions turn soft and not brown, stirring occasionally.
Saute methi leaves 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 an electric burner).
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 and potato to make it healthy and visually appealing. It is one of the great ways to make kids eat their vegetables.
Add green peas to transform it into methi matar pulao.
Garam masala adds an extra flavour to the rice.
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 the 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 which requires a 1:2 (rice to liquid) ratio.
How to serve this easy pilau rice?
This methi rice is an ideal option to pack in a lunch box. Pack it along with chips or a dry side dish.
Vegetables: onion, tomato, green chillies. ginger, garlic, methi (fenugreek leaves) and 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.
How to cook fenugreek rice in instant pot?
1 & 2. Plug in an instant pot pressure cooker, switch it on and press SAUTE button.
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 and thawed half cup methi leaves 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 2 cups rice, 4 cups water, fresh coriander leaves and mix well.
Secure the pot with the lid and turn the knob (pressure vent) to the 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 the VENT position.
Once the pin goes down take the lid off the pot and fluff the rice gently.
Stir gently and serve piping hot fenugreek rice 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.
Fridge: Methi pulao stays fresh for 2-3 days in the fridge when stored properly in an airtight container. Transfer the leftover rice to an airtight container and then store it in the fridge.
Freezer: This one-pot vegetable rice freezes well. Consider freezing if you cook large quantities to use in the future. Divide the rice into desired portions, transfer it into freezer-safe containers and store them in the freezer. Ensure to allow the rice to cool down completely.
Reheat: Take out a portion from the freezer and keep it in the fridge overnight to thaw. Reheat in a microwave-safe bowl in the microwave when ready to serve.
More Instant Pot Recipes
Mango Dal: Tangy and spicy lentil curry made with raw unripe mango, toor dal (split pigeon peas) and basic spices.
Dal Palak: Simple one-pot curry made with spinach, red lentils and a few basic spices.
Vegetable Upma: Simple vegan savoury dish made with semolina, water and vegetables.
Cabbage Poriyal: Popular south Indian stir-fry made with shredded cabbage tossed with coconut and few basic spices.
Black Eyed Peas Curry: Gluten-free and vegan black-eyed peas curry is a delicious dish that goes well with rice or any Indian flatbread.
Green Moong Dal: Nutritious, protein-rich simple dish made with green mung beans and aromatic Indian spices.
📖 Recipe Card
Instant Pot Methi Pulao
1 Cup =250ml ; 1 Tablespoon =15ml ;1 Teaspoon =5ml
- 1.5 Tablespoon Butter
- 1 Tablespoon Oil
- 1 Bay Leaf
- ½ inch Cassia (Dalchini)
- 1 Cardamom
- 2 Cloves
- 1 Teaspoon Cumin
- 1 Cup (or) 140gm (or) 1 large Onion sliced
- 3 Green Chillies sliced (adjust to taste)
- 1 Teaspoon Ginger-Garlic crushed
- ½ cup (or) 113 gms (or) 1 medium Tomato chopped
- ¼ Teaspoon Black Peppercorn (optional) crushed (adjust to taste)
- Salt as required
- ½ cup (or) 116 gms Frozen methi (fenugreek leaves) thawed
- Coriander leaves handful
- 2 cups (or) 470 gms Rice
- 4 cups (or) 1000 ml Water
- Before you get started, scroll up a little and watch a quick recipe video.
- Wash rice with cold water 2-3 times or until water runs clear. Keep it aside.2 cups (or) 470 gms Rice
- Add butter and oil, once butter melts add bay leaf, cassia, cardamom, cloves, cumin and saute for few seconds until fragrant.1.5 Tablespoon Butter, 1 Tablespoon Oil, 1 Bay Leaf, ½ inch Cassia (Dalchini), 1 Cardamom, 2 Cloves, 1 Teaspoon Cumin
- Stir in onion, green chillies, crushed ginger garlic and cook for 3-4 minutes until onion turns soft.1 Cup (or) 140gm (or) 1 large Onion, 3 Green Chillies, 1 Teaspoon Ginger-Garlic
- Now add tomato and cook for 2-3 minutes until it starts to soften.½ cup (or) 113 gms (or) 1 medium Tomato
- Add crushed black pepper, salt, thawed fenugreek and saute for couple of minutes and then CANCEL saute mode.¼ Teaspoon Black Peppercorn (optional), ½ cup (or) 116 gms Frozen methi (fenugreek leaves), Salt
- Add rice, water, coriander, mix well.Coriander leaves, 4 cups (or) 1000 ml Water, 2 cups (or) 470 gms Rice
- 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.
More Pulao Recipes
Vegetable Pulao: delightful gluten-free and vegan one-pot rice recipe prepared with assorted vegetables, spices, herbs and rice.
Mint Pulao: An aromatic and delicious one-pot vegan rice flavoured with fresh mint and spices.
Tomato Pulao: Vegan, gluten-free and flavourful rice dish. It is a Karnataka style tomato bath recipe made with tomato, coconut, herbs and spice-based ground masala makes a great weeknight dinner and an ideal option to pack for a lunchbox.
Peas Pulao: Delicious and aromatic one-pot rice dish flavoured with peas and spices.
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