Navratan Pulao

Navratan Pulao is a colorful pulao made from fresh vegetables, fruits and nuts with mild spice. Apart from awesome taste and flavor, this pulao is a colorful treat for your eyes too.

Navratan Pulao

In this blog post, we are going to talk about the delicious Indian dish called Navratan Pulao. This dish is known for its unique blend of flavors and the use of nine different ingredients, which is what "Navratan" translates to in English. It's a popular choice for special occasions and gatherings, and it's a great way to add some variety to your rice dishes. So, let's dive into the recipe and discover how to make this flavorful and aromatic Navratan Pulao at home!

What Is Navratan Pulao?

  • Navratan Pulao is a delicious and aromatic Indian rice dish that is packed with a variety of succulent main ingredients and unique seasoning. This dish combines the flavors of basmati rice, paneer cubes, green peas, cauliflower florets, carrots, French beans, and potatoes, along with a medley of nuts and fruits such as cashews, almonds, pistachios, raisins, pineapple slices, apple slices, and pomegranate seeds.
  • The dish is seasoned with a blend of Indian spices including cumin seeds, bay leaf, cloves, cardamom, and cinnamon, along with the freshness of green chilies, ginger, and mint leaves. The combination of these ingredients creates a flavorful and hearty rice dish that is sure to tantalize the taste buds.

Why You'll Love Navratan Pulao?

  • Delicious Texture: Navratan Pulao is a delightful combination of soft and fluffy basmati rice, tender paneer cubes, crunchy vegetables, and a variety of nuts. The contrasting textures create a satisfying and enjoyable eating experience.
  • Nutrient-rich Ingredients: This dish is packed with a colorful array of vegetables like green peas, cauliflower, carrots, and French beans, providing essential vitamins, minerals, and dietary fiber. The addition of nuts such as cashews, almonds, and pistachios also adds a dose of healthy fats and protein to the meal.
  • Low in Saturated Fat: The use of ghee and a small amount of oil in this recipe keeps the saturated fat content in check, making it a healthier option compared to other rich and creamy rice dishes.
  • Vibrant Flavors: The combination of aromatic spices, including bay leaf, cloves, cardamom, and cinnamon, along with the freshness of green chilies, ginger, and mint, creates a burst of vibrant and enticing flavors in every bite.
  • Guilt-free Indulgence: Despite being an indulgent and flavorful dish, Navratan Pulao is a guilt-free option due to the balance of wholesome ingredients and cooking methods used.
  • Perfect for Special Occasions: Whether it's a festive celebration or a special family gathering, Navratan Pulao is a dish that is sure to impress with its rich flavors and beautiful presentation. It's a dish that everyone will love and enjoy.

By highlighting the texture and important health benefits of Navratan Pulao, it's clear why this dish is a popular and well-loved choice for many occasions.

Ingredients for Navratan Pulao

  • Basmati Rice: Basmati rice serves as the base for the Navratan Pulao, providing a fragrant and fluffy texture to the dish.
  • Paneer Cubes: The paneer cubes add a rich and creamy texture to the pulao, along with a subtle, mild flavor.
  • Green Peas: Green peas add a pop of sweetness and a burst of freshness to the pulao, providing a delightful contrast to the other ingredients.
  • Cauliflower Florets: The cauliflower florets bring a light and earthy flavor to the pulao, adding a satisfying crunch with each bite.
  • Carrot and French Beans: These colorful and crunchy vegetables not only add visual appeal to the pulao but also provide a subtle sweetness and a satisfying bite.
  • Potato: The potatoes add a hearty and starchy element to the pulao, contributing to its overall filling and comforting nature.

How To Make Navratan Pulao?

To make a delicious Navratan Pulao, follow these simple steps:

  • Begin by preparing the vegetables - wash, peel, and chop the potatoes, carrots, and french beans. Also, blanch the cauliflower florets in hot water.
  • Heat olive oil in a pan and fry the cashews, almonds, pistachios, and raisins until they are lightly browned. Transfer them to a plate for later use.
  • In the same pan, fry the paneer cubes until they are slightly browned and then set them aside.
  • Roast the potatoes, cauliflower florets, and all the vegetables until they are slightly brown and crunchy. Season with salt and pepper.
  • In another pan, heat the remaining oil and ghee, and fry the cumin seeds, bay leaf, cloves, cardamom, and cinnamon until they splutter.
  • Then, add the green chilies, ginger julienne, and mint leaves, and fry for a while.
  • Add the cooked rice, salt, lemon juice, roasted vegetables, paneer, and roasted dry fruits. Mix everything well until combined.
  • Switch off the heat and transfer the Navratan Pulao to a serving plate.
  • Garnish the pulao with pineapple slices, apple slices, and pomegranate seeds.

Each step is important in creating the flavorful and aromatic Navratan Pulao. From frying the dry fruits to roasting the vegetables and seasoning the rice, every step contributes to the rich and vibrant flavor of this traditional dish. Enjoy your tasty Navratan Pulao!

Serving Suggestions

Complementary Sides: For a complete meal, consider serving the delicious Navratan Pulao with some creamy cucumber raita and a tangy mixed vegetable curry. The cool and refreshing raita perfectly complements the flavors of the pulao, while the spicy vegetable curry adds an extra depth to the meal.

Naan Bread: Pair the Navratan Pulao with some warm and fluffy naan bread to soak up all the flavorful juices from the pulao. The soft and pillowy naan is the perfect accompaniment to this aromatic rice dish.

Fresh Salad: To add a refreshing crunch to the meal, serve a fresh salad of mixed greens, tomatoes, cucumber, and a sprinkle of chaat masala on the side. The light and zesty salad will balance out the richness of the pulao.

Mango Lassi: For a refreshing beverage option, consider serving a tall glass of mango lassi alongside the Navratan Pulao. The sweet and creamy yogurt-based drink provides a soothing contrast to the spices in the pulao.

Fried Papadums: Complete the meal with some crispy fried papadums on the side. These thin, crispy discs add a delightful crunch and can be enjoyed with each mouthful of the flavorful pulao.

Mint Chutney: A zesty mint chutney is a perfect dipping sauce to serve with the Navratan Pulao. The refreshing and tangy flavors of the chutney complement the richness of the dish, adding an extra layer of deliciousness to every bite.

Tips for Making Delicious Navratan Pulao

  • Preparation Duration: When preparing Navratan Pulao, it's important to set aside enough time for chopping and blanching the vegetables, as well as for frying the dry fruits and paneer. Allow at least 30-40 minutes for preparation before you start cooking.
  • Cooking Techniques: To ensure the perfect blend of flavors in your Navratan Pulao, make sure to fry the dry fruits until they are browned, and the paneer until it is slightly brown. Roast the vegetables until they are crunchy, and fry the spices until they release their aromas.
  • Importance of Garnishing: Garnishing the Navratan Pulao with pineapple slices, apple slices, and pomegranate seeds not only adds a pop of color, but also enhances the overall flavor and presentation of the dish. Don't skip this step for the perfect finishing touch!
  • Balancing Flavors: To achieve a well-balanced flavor, be sure to adjust the quantity of salt, pepper, and lemon juice according to your personal taste preferences. The perfect balance of these flavors is key to a delicious Navratan Pulao.
  • Mixing and Combining: After adding all the ingredients together, make sure to mix everything well until it's thoroughly combined. This will ensure that every bite is bursting with the delicious flavors of the Navratan Pulao.
  • Serve with Love: Finally, serve the Navratan Pulao with love and pride, knowing that you have created a dish that is not only delicious but also visually appealing. Enjoy your tasty Navratan Pulao!

Variations for Navratan Pulao

  • Protein Options: Instead of using paneer, try using tofu or tempeh for a vegan version of Navratan Pulao. You can also add some cooked chickpeas or black beans for an extra protein boost.
  • Vegetable Medley: Get creative with the vegetables you use. Try adding some diced bell peppers, corn kernels, or even some diced zucchini to add more color and flavor to the dish.
  • Nutty Twist: Experiment with different nuts. Instead of cashews, almonds, and pistachios, try using walnuts, pecans, or even hazelnuts to add a new dimension of flavor to the pulao.
  • Fruit Infusion: Switch up the fruits used for garnishing. Instead of pineapple and apple slices, try using mango chunks, dried cranberries, or even some diced apricots for a sweet and tangy touch.
  • Spice Blend: Play around with the spices used. You can add a pinch of garam masala, ground coriander, or even some turmeric to give the pulao a different flavor profile.
  • Grain Swap: While Basmati rice is traditional, you can also try using quinoa, bulgur, or even brown rice for a healthier twist on this classic dish.

How to Store Navratan Pulao

Storing Cooked Pulao:

  • Once the pulao has cooled down, transfer it to an airtight container.
  • Place the container in the refrigerator to maintain its freshness.
  • Use within 2-3 days for the best taste and texture.

Storing Key Ingredients:

  • Keep the paneer cubes in a separate airtight container and store them in the refrigerator.
  • Store the dry fruits like cashews, almonds, and pistachios in a cool, dry place to prevent them from becoming stale.
  • Place the remaining fresh ingredients like green peas, cauliflower florets, carrots, and French beans in separate airtight containers in the refrigerator to maintain their crispness.

Importance of Proper Storage:

  • Proper storage of the cooked pulao and its key ingredients is essential to maintain their freshness and flavor.
  • Storing the pulao and ingredients correctly will prevent the growth of bacteria and preserve the taste and texture of the dish.

By following these simple storage tricks, you can ensure that your Navratan Pulao stays fresh and delicious for a longer period.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What are some variations I can make to the Navratan Pulao recipe?

  • You can add or substitute vegetables and fruits based on your preference and availability. Some popular additions include bell peppers, corn, and pineapple chunks.

Can I make Navratan Pulao without paneer?

  • Yes, you can make Navratan Pulao without paneer for a vegan version. Simply skip the paneer cubes and adjust the seasoning as needed.

How can I make Navratan Pulao spicier?

  • To make the pulao spicier, you can increase the quantity of green chilies or add a pinch of red chili powder. Adjust the spice level to suit your taste.

Can I use brown rice instead of basmati rice?

  • Yes, you can use brown rice as a healthier alternative to basmati rice. Keep in mind that the cooking time and water ratio may differ, so adjust accordingly.

How long does Navratan Pulao stay fresh?

  • Navratan Pulao can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat it in a pan or microwave until it's heated through before serving.

Can I make Navratan Pulao in advance for a party or gathering?

  • Yes, you can prepare the ingredients in advance and assemble the pulao just before serving. This will save time and allow you to focus on other aspects of hosting.

You may also like Navratan Korma.

Navratan Pulao 2018-04-14 03:41:32

Recipe Card


Serves 4
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes


  • Basmati Rice -2 cups, cooked
  • Paneer Cubes -1/2 cup
  • Green Peas -1/2 cup
  • Cauliflower florets -1/2 cup
  • Carrot -1
  • French beans -5 nos
  • Small sized Potato -1
  • Ghee - 2 tsp
  • Oil -3 tbsp, divided
  • Cashews - 10
  • Almonds -10
  • Pistachios -10
  • Raisins -15
  • Salt to taste
  • Pepper powder -1/4 tsp
  • Lemon juice -2 tsp          

To temper

  • Cumin seeds -1/2 tsp
  • Bayleaf -1/2
  • Cloves -4
  • Green cardamom -2
  • Cinnamon stick -1 inch
  • Green chilies -2, slitted
  • One handful mint leaves
  • 1 inch ginger, grated or julienned          

For Garnishing

  • Pineapple slices -1/4 cup
  • Apple slices -1/4 cup
  • Pomegranate seeds -2 tbsp 



  • Firstly, wash, peel and then chop the potatoes in small chunks.
  • Secondly, cut the carrot and french beans into 2 inch pieces.
  • Finally, blanch the cauliflower florets in hot water.

How to Cook Navratan Pulao

  • Meanwhile, heat 2 tbsp of olive oil in a pan over medium heat.
  • When the oil heats, fry cashews until lbrowned.
  • Then add almonds and pistachios as well and fry for a minute  and then add raisins and fry until they puffed.
  • Transfer them to a plate for further use.
  • In the same pan, add paneer cubes and fry until slightly browned and transfer to the plate.
  • Then add potatoes and cauliflower florets, roast till they get slightly brown.
  • Also add all the veggies and roast until crunchy.
  • Then add some salt and pepper and give a good stir and transfer them  to the plate for further use.
  • Now heat a pan with remaining oil and ghee, when the oil heats, fry cumin seeds and then add bayleaf, cloves, cardamoms and cinnamon stick until spluttering.
  • Then add green chilies, ginger julienne and mint leaves, fry for a while.
  • Then add cooked rice, salt, lemon juice, roasted veggies, paneer and roasted dry fruits.
  • Mix everything well until combined. Switch off the heat and transfer it to the serving plate.
  • Finally, garnish it with some pineapple slices, apple slices and pomegranate seeds.
  • Now tasty Navratan Pulao is ready to eat.         

By Santhi Therese    The Indian Claypot

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