Vegetable Bath| Simple Vegetable Pulav

Today, I’m going to share with you all the recipe for Vegetable Bath (no, not the kind you take in the bathroom!), straight from my aunt’s kitchen. For the uninitiated, that’s how Vegetable Pulav is referred to in South India. 🙂 There are several ways to make Pulav, and this is one of the simplest variations. Nonetheless, it tastes super flavourful and delicious.

Vegetable Bath or Vegetable Pulav

A bit about this Vegetable Pulav

My aunt, who is a wonderful cook, makes this Vegetable Pulav often. When guests visit without much of a prior notice, she often whips up this delectable confection with rice and vegetables in a matter of minutes. She has made this version of Vegetable Pulav for me many times, and I have always loved it. I decided to call her up recently, and get the recipe from her. Like I was saying earlier, it is a one-pot or pressure-cooker dish that is very, very easy thing to make.

Ingredients for this Vegetable Pulav

This Vegetable Pulav is flavoured using garam masala powder, which can be either store-bought or home-made. Some whole spices like cinnamon, cardamom and cloves go in too, along with some ginger-garlic paste. The pulav is mildly spiced, using a bit of red chilli powder.

Any vegetables of your choice can be used in this Vegetable Pulav. I prefer adding onions, beans, carrot, green peas, potatoes and capsicum, which is what my aunt uses too. She also occasionally adds in some ‘noolkol‘ (kohlrabi) or turnip, which adds a lovely flavour. A ripe tomato adds a hint of tanginess to the Vegetable Pulav.

We typically make this pulav using Sona Masoori rice. Basmati or any other variety of rice you prefer can be used instead, too.

How to make Vegetable Bath, a la aunty dear

Here’s how to go about it.

Ingredients (serves 3-4):


  1. 1 medium-sized carrot
  2. 1 medium-sized potato
  3. 1 medium-sized onion
  4. A handful of shelled green peas
  5. 1 small capsicum
  6. 7-8 beans

To grind:

  1. A 1-inch piece of ginger
  2. 5-6 cloves of garlic

Other ingredients:

  1. 1 medium-sized tomato
  2. 8-10 cashewnuts
  3. 1 cup Sona Masoori rice
  4. 3 cups water
  5. 1 tablespoon ghee
  6. A small piece of cinnamon
  7. 1 bay leaf
  8. 2 star anise
  9. 2 green cardamom
  10. 1 black cardamom
  11. A small piece of stone flower
  12. Salt to taste
  13. 1/2 tablespoon garam masala
  14. Red chilli powder to taste
  15. A handful of fresh mint leaves
  16. A handful of fresh coriander


1. First, we will prep the vegetables to be used in the pulav. Peel the onion, potato and carrot. Chop the potato and carrot into large cubes, and the onion finely. Remove the seeds from the capsicum and chop into medium-sized pieces. Remove strings from the beans and chop into large pieces. Keep the shelled green peas ready.

2. Chop up the cashewnuts roughly. Keep aside.

3. Chop the tomato finely. Keep aside.

4. Put together all the whole spices you need to use in the pulav – green cardamom, cinnamon, black cardamom, bay leaf, star anise and stone flower.

5. Peel the ginger and garlic cloves. Chop up the ginger roughly. Grind the ginger and garlic together, with a little water, to a smooth paste. Keep aside.

6. Wash the rice thoroughly, then drain out all the water from it.

Top left and right: Steps 1 and 2, Centre left and right: Steps 3 and 4, Bottom left and centre: Step 5, Bottom right: Step 6

7. Heat up a pressure cooker bottom. Add in the ghee. Allow it to melt.

8. Add in all the whole spices and cashewnuts. Reduce the flame to medium. Allow these ingredients to stay in for a few seconds or till the cashewnuts start browning.

9. Add in all the vegetables we prepped earlier – onion, green peas, carrot, beans, potato and capsicum. Saute on medium flame for a few seconds.

10. Add in the ginger-garlic paste. Mix well. Saute on medium flame for a few more seconds.

11. Add in the washed and drained rice. Mix well.

12. Saute all the ingredients together for about a minute on medium flame.

13. Add in 3 cups of water, along with the chopped tomatoes and salt to taste.

14. Add in the garam masala and red chilli powder. Mix well.

15. Now, close the pressure cooker and put the weight on. Increase flame to high. Allow to cook on high flame for 3 whistles. Let the pressure release naturally.

Top left, centre and right: Steps 7,8 and 9, Middle left, centre and right: Steps 10, 11 and 12, Bottom left, centre and right: Steps 13, 14 and 15

16. While the pressure is settling, chop the mint leaves and coriander finely. Keep ready.

17. When the pressure has released fully from the cooker completely, wait for 10-15 minutes before removing the whistle and opening it.

18. After about 10 more minutes, fluff up the rice gently.

19. Mix in the finely chopped mint and coriander. Your Vegetable Pulav is ready. Serve hot with raita of your choice.

Top left: The Vegetable Pulav, pressure cooked and ready, Top right: Step 16, Bottom left and right: Steps 18 and 19

Is this Vegetable Pulav vegan and gluten-free?

This is a completely vegetarian preparation, but not vegan because of the use of ghee. If you want to make it vegan or plant-based, substitute the ghee in the recipe with oil.

This recipe is entirely gluten-free.

Tips & Tricks

1. Adjust the quantity of water you use, depending upon the texture of the pulav you require. We use 3-1/2 cups of water for 1 cup of rice, when pressure-cooking it plain, for 4 whistles. For this Pulav, I have used 3 cups of water for 1 cup of rice + the veggies, and given it 3 whistles. The pulav was well-cooked, neither too grainy nor too mushy, the way we prefer it.

2. Do not be intimidated by the long list of ingredients. They are commonly available ones, and very simple to prep too. Once the ingredients are prepped and ready, putting the Vegetable Pulav together is almost child’s play.

3. You may skip the onion, ginger and garlic if you do not prefer using them.

4. You can use any vegetables you prefer.

5. I use an 8-litre pressure cooker to make this Vegetable Bath.

6. Use a good-quality garam masala, for best results. Chana masala can be used instead too, for a change.

7. I have used ghee in the Vegetable Bath. You can use oil instead too, or a mix of ghee and oil (use only oil if you want to make it vegan or plant-based). Increase or decrease the quantity as per personal preferences.

8. I don’t usually soak the rice before adding it to the pulav.

9. If you don’t have one or two of the whole spices used here, it would be ok to omit them.

10. The number of whistles suggested above work perfectly for us. The cooking time might differ depending upon the ingredients used, amount of water used, texture of the pulav you require (grainy or well-cooked), and the make of the pressure cooker.

Did you like this recipe? Do tell me, in your comments!


Check out the other pulav recipes on my blog: Pudina Pulav| Coconut & Mango Pulav| Haryana Style Aloo Chutney Pulav| Gondhoraj Lebu Pulav| Milk Pulav| Easy Vegetable Pulav| Malabar Masala Choru


7 thoughts on “Vegetable Bath| Simple Vegetable Pulav

  1. You know I had no idea that “bath” was name for pulao in South of India! I am a huge rice lover, and a pulao is such a simple and tasty dish!


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