Thai Pulav In Pressure Cooker

Thai Pulav, as the name suggests, is a medley of Indian and Thai flavours. If you are smirking at that, I would tell you to wait till you give this a shot – this is an absolutely delicious dish! This is subtly done fusion, the elements from both cuisines perfectly combining with each other to create a beautiful whole.

Redolent with lemongrass, ginger and coconut milk, this vegetable-loaded pulav is a definite treat to the tastebuds. Once I got the recipe right, this Thai Pulav has become a big favourite with everyone at home. Let’s check out how to make it, in today’s blog post.

Delicious Thai Pulav!

Other Thai recipes on the blog

My love for Thai food is well documented on this blog. I have shared the recipes for many Thai dishes, using commonly available ingredients, and I am forever trying to learn more about the cuisine. Do check out the other Thai recipes on my blog too:

I’m loving the sound of the Thai-Style Roasted Corn Soup my blog friend Radha has shared. That’s next on my list to try out!

Pressure Cooker Thai Pulav

The inspiration for this dish comes from Soi Siam, a Thai restaurant in HSR Layout which closed its doors during the pandemic. They would serve a delightful Thai Pulav that I always wanted to recreate at home. I did succeed, after several trials and tribulations.

I use a pressure cooker to make this Thai Pulav, to save time and effort. All of the ingredients used are easily available, at least here in Bangalore. Once you have the ingredients ready, this pulav can be put together in a matter of minutes.

This Thai Pulav is so very flavourful on its own, it doesn’t really need an accompaniment.

Thai Pulav recipe

Here is how I went about making it.

Ingredients (serves 3-4):

To grind to a paste:

1. A 2-inch piece of lemongrass root

2. 1 green chilli

3. 4 garlic cloves

4. A 1-inch piece of ginger

To roast and powder:

1. 1/4 teaspoon white peppercorns

2. 1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds

3. 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds

Other ingredients:

1. 1 cup basmati rice

2. 1 cup thick coconut milk + 1 cup water

3. 3/4 tablespoon oil

4. 1 long Delhi carrot

5. 1/4 cup green peas

6. 10 beans

7. 1 medium-sized onion

8. 1 small capsicum

9. Salt to taste

10. 3/4 tablespoon jaggery powder

11. 2 small pieces of pandan leaves

12. 4-5 Thai basil leaves

13. 1 tablespoon finely chopped coriander


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

1. Wash the basmati rice well under running water. Drain out the water. Then add in enough fresh water to cover the rice completely. Soak for 20-25 minutes. In the meantime, we will do the other preparations.

2. Next, we will start preparing the spice paste that is needed for this recipe. Chop the lemongrass and green chillies roughly and add to a small mixer jar. Peel the ginger and garlic cloves, chop roughly, and add these to the mixer jar too. Grind these ingredients to a smooth paste, using a little water. Keep aside.

3. Next, we will prep the veggies that will go into the Thai Pulav. Peel the onion and chop finely. Remove strings from the beans and chop into large pieces. Peel the carrot and cut into cubes. Keep the shelled green peas ready. Remove the core and seeds from the capsicum and chop into large pieces.

4. Next up, the aromatics. Keep the pandan leaves, Thai basil and coriander ready.

5. Now, dry roast the white peppercorns, cumin seeds and coriander seeds on medium flame till they are aromatic. Do not burn the spices. This should take 1-2 minutes. Transfer the roasted ingredients to a plate and allow them to cool down completely, then crush to a coarse powder using a mortar and pestle. Keep ready.

Top left and right: Steps 6 and 7, Centre left and right: Step 8, Bottom left and right: Steps 9 and 10

6. When the rice is done soaking, drain out all the water from it. Now, we will start making the Thai Pulav.

7. Heat the oil in a pressure cooker base. Add in the prepared veggies. Saute for a minute on high flame.

8. Add in the spice paste we prepared earlier. Saute for a minute on high flame.

9. Add in the soaked and drained rice. Turn flame down to medium and saute for a minute.

10. Add in the thick coconut milk and water at this stage. Continue to keep the flame at medium. Mix well.

Top left and right: Step 11, Centre left and right: Steps 12 and 13, Bottom left and right: Steps 14 and 15

11. Add in salt to taste and jaggery powder.

12. Next, add in the powder we ground earlier.

13. Add the chopped coriander. Roughly tear the pandan leaves and Thai basil and add them in too. Mix well, then turn the flame to high. Close the pressure cooker and put the whistle on.

14. Cook on high flame for 3 whistles. Let the pressure go down naturally.

15. When the pressure has completely gone down, wait for 15-20 minutes to open the cooker. Your Thai Pulav is ready. Now, gently fluff it up with a spoon, trying not to break the grains of rice. Serve hot.

Vegan and gluten-free

This Thai Pulav recipe is completely vegetarian and vegan. It is suited to people following a plant-based diet.

It is an entirely gluten-free recipe as well.

Tips & Tricks

1. Adjust the quantity of green chilly as per personal taste preferences.

2. I have used store-bought thick coconut milk here, from the Ayam brand. You can make your own coconut milk at home too.

3. I have used a red Delhi carrot here. You can use any variety of carrot instead, too.

4. Don’t miss out the aromatic pandan leaves and Thai basil, because of the lovely touch they add to the pulav. You may add a couple of Kaffir lime leaves too – I didn’t use them because I didn’t have any. I picked up the Thai basil from Namdhari’s (as well as the lemongrass). I have a pandan plant at home that I got online from Trikaya.

5. Don’t miss out the jaggery, either. It adds a beautiful, very Thai flavour to the pulav. You may use coconut jaggery or palm jaggery instead, too. I have used regular jaggery powder.

6. White peppercorns add a subtle heat to dishes, without being too overpowering. I love using them in Chinese and Thai dishes, such as this one. However, if you don’t have them, you may use regular black pepper in a slightly lesser quantity.

7. I have used a mix of orange and green capsicum here, for more colour. You can stick to one colour too, as per your preferences.

8. You may add a dash of lemon juice to the Thai Pulav before serving, or garnish it with some roasted and coarsely crushed peanuts. I haven’t.

9. I have used fragrant Daawat basmati rice here. You may use jasmine rice instead, too.

10. I have used a pressure cooker to make this Thai Pulav, for ease of preparation and to save time. You may do the same in a pan, too.

11. You can grind the roasted white pepper, cumin and coriander seeds along with the lemongrass, green chilli, ginger and garlic, in a small mixer jar. I powdered the spices separately in a mortar and pestle because I wanted a coarse texture to them.

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


6 thoughts on “Thai Pulav In Pressure Cooker

  1. Pulao with thai style sounds interesting. A wonderful fusion of Indian and Thai flavors . Both these cuisines are a burst of flavors and taste and it will be fun to experiment and balance.


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