Paneer Pulao | quick pressure cooker recipe

October 26, 2022

Make this delicious and easy Paneer Pulao in 30 minutes. It is a one-pot, flavour-packed meal that gets done in a pressure cooker. If you follow a few tips I mention, you can make ‘fluffy’ pulao in a pressure cooker easily! The recipe is so simple and straightforward and you will be left wanting more.

This recipe involves no grinding, uses very less whole spices and lets the flavour of basmati and paneer shine! On the whole, it will take you 6- 7 minutes of active cooking time to make this Paneer Pulao, perhaps 15 minutes of total kitchen time to make this dish. It also does not involve a lot of chopping, which is always a win!

5 from 1 vote

Paneer Pulao in Pressure Cooker | Non mushy rice, easy recipe

This is a recipe for the simplest Paneer Pulao ever! It’s made in a pressure cooker, has no grinding and yes, paneer will be soft :)!
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Keyword 30 minute meals, paneer, pulao
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Resting time 10 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 3


  • ½ cup basmati rice I use India Gate Premium basmati and love the texture for pressure cooker pulaos.
  • ½ cup paneer chopped into chunks/slices as you prefer
  • ½ tsp chilli powder and salt for frying the paneer
  • few cashews to garnish
  • 1-2 tbsp ghee/oil
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 piece star anise
  • 1 medium onion sliced about 1/2 cup of onions
  • 1 tsp ginger garlic paste
  • 2 slit green chillies
  • ½ tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ cup frozen peas optional
  • 1 cup water hot boiling water is ideal
  • handful of coriander leaves for garnish


  • Soak basmati rice in water. I used 1/2 cup rice to serve two people, so all measures below are for that quantity. You can double it easily.
  • Slice 1/2 cup paneer into small chunks, pan fry in oil until golden brown. Remove, sprinkle some chilli powder and salt. Keep aside. In the same pan, fry some cashews and remove.
  • To a pressure cooker (I use 2L), add 1 tbsp ghee and 1 star anise, 1 tap cumin and sauté for 15 seconds. 
  • Now add 1 onion sliced thin, 2 slit chilies, 1 tsp ginger garlic paste and cook for 3-4 minutes. 
  • Add 1/2 tsp turmeric powder, 1 tsp salt, half cup frozen peas, handful of chopped coriander leaves and 1 cup water.
  • Once the water comes to a boil, add the soaked and drained rice, fried paneer cubes and close the cooker. 
  • Cook for 1 whistle on medium heat and reduce flame to low and turn off after 2 minutes.  The whole process will take you only 6-7 minutes of cooking. 
  • Let pressure settle fully, open and top with fried cashews, more coriander and serve.


  • Make sure you soak basmati rice so it can cook in minimal time. I use India Gate Premium basmati rice
  • Frying paneer helps for texture but the key to ensure it doesn’t get rubbery is to only cook it for a limited time
  • Soaking paneer in hot water prior to pan frying helps to keep it soft
  • Paneer can be substituted with mushrooms/tofu.
  • I don’t add a lot of spices in my cooking, so the flavour of star anise and cumin is sufficient for my tastes. If you prefer, can add 1 tsp garam masala. Do not be tempted to add bayleaf, cinnamon etc making it a complex flavoured rice. 

Want to make in Instant Pot?

In an IP ( I use a 6qt), set on Saute Mode and saute as given here, add soaked rice, and water and pressure cook for 3 minutes. release pressure after 3 minutes. The rice-to-water ratio is also less – it’s only one cup to 3/4 cup of water in an IP. It is ideal to double if making in an IP ( especially a 6qt). This recipe was made for just two adults for one meal, so I have used 1/2 cup of rice. It can easily be doubled or tripled! Just add adequate spice, taste the water to adjust the salt, and use a big vessel. It is so simple and tasty!

If you are increasing the rice to 1 cup or more, increase the cooking time and resting time each by 1 minute. So, it will be 4 minutes of pressure cook mode and then you need to release the pressure manually in 4 minutes.

Here’s my Paneer Pulao plate!

Want more interesting rice recipes?

Want more Paneer recipes?

Please leave a comment below if you made this recipe, have any questions or thoughts! Your comment will help me learn more about your preferences and will help other readers.

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1 Comment

  • Reply
    Throvnica C
    September 14, 2023 at 1:19 am

    5 stars
    Loved this recipe! It’s a reminder that the simplest recipes with minimal ingredients make for the most flavourful dishes 🙂

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