Paneer Dum Pulao

Paneer Dum Pulao is a perfect dish to make for dinner parties, it’s a show stopper. The paneer is nice and soft and the veggies have a tender bite to it. I like to serve the Paneer dum pulao with onions, some simple riata and you have got yourself a meal. Adding charcoal to steam to the pulao adds such a wonderful aroma to the dish that is so unexpected, bold yet subtle. Have I convinced you to  make it yet?!?

Hope you get a chance to try this, and if you do please tag me @zheelicious and let me know what you think!!

  • I use Royal basmati rice, perfectly separate grains of rice. 
  •  I used swad malai paneer. 
  • You can use leftover rice in this well if you have. 
  • Make the rice a day in advance to cut down the time. 
  • The charcoal I use is linked here.

Stay happy, stay hungry!

Prep time: 10 minutesCook time: 20 minutesTotal time: 30 minutesMakes: 6 servings


  • 1 cup paneer (6 oz.), Cubed
  • 1 cup dry rice, rinsed and soaked
  • 1 tbsp oil 
  • 1 large red onion, sliced
  • 2 thai chilies, slit  
  • 1 inch ginger, shredded
  • 6 cloves, shredded
  • ½ pepper, diced 
  • 1 carrot, diced, 
  • ½ cup peas, 
  • ½ cup cauliflower, florets 
  • ½ tomato, chopped 
  • 1 tbsp cashew (optional)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 pepper corns 
  • 2 cardamom pods, smashed 
  • ½ tbsp cumin seeds
  • 1 star anise 
  • 1 tsp garam masala 
  • 1 tsp cumin coriander powder
  • 1 tsp red chili powder 
  • ½ tsp biryani pulao masala ( I use the badshah brand)
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 charcoal 
  • 1 tbsp ghee 
  • Cilantro (optional for garnish)


  1. Rice: In a pot bring water to boil, once boiling salt the water as if it was pasta. Then add the soaked rice (drain the water before adding). Cook for 6-7 minutes, strain it.

    Add to a baking tray and put it in the fridge to cool.

  2. In a pan add oil and ghee, once hit add paneer cubes, fry them until they are golden brown.

    Take it out in a bowl and add hot water to it, set it aside until ready to use.

  3. In the same pan add more oil, once hot add bay leaf, peppercorn, cardamom pods, cumin seed, star anise, then add the sliced onion, and the split chilies.

    Cook for 1-2 minutes.

  4. Add garlic, ginger, and cashews and cook until fragrant. Then add peppers, carrots, peas and cauliflower. Cook until all the veggies are fork tender.

    Be sure to not over cook the veggies.

  5. Add the paneer, then add tomato, garam masala, cumin coriander powder, red chili powder,  biryani pulao masala, and salt to taste.

    Mix well and cook for 2-3 minutes.

  6. Add the cooked rice and mix well until everything is incorporated. 

  7. Push all the rice in the side making a hole in the middle of the pan for a small bowl to fit. Meanwhile, heat the charcoal for 2-3 minutes, make sure to turn it on all sides.

  8. Add your small bowl, then add some ghee in it. Add the heated charcoal and close the lid.

  9. Turn off the heat and let the steam of the charcoal fragrance the rice. 

  10. Garnish with fresh cilantro  and enjoy with some riata, onion, whatever you like!! 

Paneer Dum Pulao

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