Vegan Apple Walnut Pulao (Gluten, Onion & Garlic Free)

“Pulao”, “Pilaf”, “Pollou”, “Pilau” all refer to a rice dish that is cooked along with spices and vegetables in a big pot. The origins of this dish are shrouded in mystery but, I can certainly attest that this is a quick and easy dish to cook and, delicious and filling to eat. My ongoing saga of not using onion and garlic free continues with this dish being the latest instalment!

We need,

  • White Basmati Long Grain Rice, soaked for 30 minutes – 2 cups
  • Oil – 2 tablespoons
  • Apples (I used 2 small Red Delicous), diced finely – 3/4 cup
  • Fresh Ginger Root, minced – 2 teaspoons
  • Green Chillie, sliced finely – 1 medium
  • Walnut Pieces, broken – 1/4 cup
  • Black Cardamom, whole – 1
  • Cloves – 4 to 6
  • Cinnamon Bark – 1″ piece
  • Bay Leaves, whole – 2
  • Fennel Seeds – 1 teaspoon
  • Moxed Vegetables (fresh/ frozen) – 1 cup (I used a mix of broccoli, mushrooms, carrots, green peas & bell pepper)
  • Warm Water – around 2 cups
  • Salt, to taste
  • Roasted Almonds, for garnishing – 10 to 12 (optional)


  1. Rinse the soaked Basmati rice 4 – 5 times until the water runs clear. Drain and keep aside.
  2. Heat oil in a deep pan (I used my pressure pan).
  3. Add the black cardamom, cloves, cinnamon, bay leaves and fennel seeds to the oil. Cook on low heat until aromatic.
  4. Toss in the ginger and green chillie. Cook until golden.
  5. Mix in the apple pieces and walnuts and roast in the oil.
  6. Add in the vegetables and stir to coat with the spices and oil.
  7. Carefully stir in the drained rice into the above mix.
  8. Add enough water till the rice is covered. Season with salt.
  9. Clip on lid and cook on high for 4 – 5 minutes. Take off the heat and release steam immediately to stop further cooking.
  10. If cooking in an open pan then cook until the water dries up and the grains are fluffy and cooked.
  11. Fluff the grains with a fork and garnish with roasted almonds if using.

This tastes great the next day too, as the spices infuse flavour into the rice, veggies and apples. Happy cooking!

14 thoughts on “Vegan Apple Walnut Pulao (Gluten, Onion & Garlic Free)”

  1. Wonderful! I love pilau and I too am experimenting without onion and garlic, which I love but think my digestion doeesn’t care for. I will definitley add this to our menu. Thank you ☺️👏🏻

    1. Thank you 😊 Surprising about the onion and garlic isn’t it?! My father said the same thing the other day that he digests food that allium free easier too!

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