No Onion No Garlic Kadhai Paneer Pulao

No Onion No Garlic Kadhai Paneer Pulao is a easy and nutritious recipe with Paneer and Bell Peppers,flavored with Kadhai Masala. A quick and delicious option for lunchbox or busy weekday dinner.

Kadhai Paneer Rice

It is good to have even without anything,just  on it’s own . This goes well with Mint Cucumber Raita or any Mix Veg Raita. My kids like to have it with some butter on top. When I pack it for their lunch in thermos flasks, I put some butter on hot rice so that kids can enjoy some warm buttery rice for lunch in school.

Kadhai Masala is a spicy and flavorful spice mix of Red chillies and coriander seeds and is used to flavour curries like Kadhai Paneer, Kadhai Mushrooms and Kadhi Mix Vegetables. I have used this spicy mix to make a no onion no garlic Pulao with soft paneer and crunchy bell peppers.

My kids too like this Pulao and many times I pack it in their lunchbox. Moms are always on look out for new and interesting dishes that they can pack for their kids lunch and liked by kids also. This Pulao has  everything that kids like to have Paneer and Bell Peppers and of course rice. A one pot filling meal. You can adjust the spice level in this pulao as per the spice tolerance of your kids.

Steps for making No-onion No-Garlic Kadhai Paneer Pulao

The Pulao can be made from leftover steamed rice/jeera rice or you can make fresh rice for pulao. You can use store bought Kadhai Masala or make it at home..refer to my Kadhai Mushroom post. For the vegan option you can use Tofu or Mushrooms and skip cream from the recipe. You can add a tbsp of almond meal for creaminess.

First step in making this is to cook rice. Rice should be soaked for at least 15 mins. Cook rice with whole spices till almost done. We do not want  a mushy rice it should be just like the way we cook for making Biryani.

Next step is to make Paneer and capsicum gravy.In a pan saute paneer and bell peppers for 1-2 minutes.. The bell peppers should not lose the crunch. You can fry these separately also. Make tomato masala and add paneer and bell peppers to it. Mix nicely with masala.

Add cooked rice and mix in masala with very light hands , cover and keep on low flame for 5 minutes. Fluff lightly and serve hot.

Let’s see the recipe for No-Onion No-Garlic Steamed Rice

No-Onion No-Garlic Kadhai Paneer Pulao

No Onion No Garlic Kadhai Paneer Pulao is a easy and nutritious recipe with Paneer and Bell Peppers,flavoured with Kadhai Masala. A quick and delicious option for lunchbox or busy weekday dinner.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Course Dinner, Lunch, Main
Cuisine Indian
Servings 4


  • 2 Cup Rice
  • 1/2 Cup Paneer/Indian Cottage Cheese Cubes
  • 1/2 Cup Mixed Bell Peppers
  • 2 (Medium)
  • Ginger piece(small about 1/2")
  • 1 Cup Tomato Puree
  • 1-2 Green Chillies(optional)
  • 1 tbsp Fresh Cream
  • 1-1.5 tbsp Kadhai Masala
  • 1-2 Whole Red Chillies
  • 2 tbsp Vegetable Oil
  • 2 Bay Leaf
  • 4-5 Cloves
  • 1 Star Anise
  • 1 Cinnamon Stick( Small)


  • Wash rice 2-3 times and soak for 15-20 minutes. Puree tomatoes ginger and green chilli and keep for later use.
  • In pan take enough water around 6-7 cups, add whole spices and few drops of oil. Add rice once the water starts boiling.
  • Cook rice till almost done. Drain rice. Rice should not be mushy. Keep aside. You can take it out in a flat dish so that the rice grains do not stick together.
  • In a heavy bottomed pan, add oil when it is hot, add paneer and bell peppers and give a quick stir. Saute for 1-2 minutes.
  • Take out the paneer pieces and bell peppers, keep aside. Do not over fry, as paneer can gets hard and bell peppers turn mushy.
  • In the same pan, add cumin seeds, bay leaf and whole red chillies(optional) and add tomato puree cook for 2-3 minutes, add the powdered spices, salt  and kadhai masala.
  • Add rice and mix with light hands, taking care not to break the rice grains,
  • Cover the lid and keep on low flame for 5 minutes.
  • Once, done fluff lightly with fork and serve hot.


You can use homemade Kadhai Paneer Masala or store-bought. For homemade Kadhai Masala, click here. 
For Vegan version, skip Paneer, add Tofu or Mushrooms as per your choice. 
Keyword Easy Lunchbox Ideas, Fasting Food, Gluten-free,Vegan, Fried Food, Insian Cottage Chesse recpes, Paneer, Rice Recipe, Vegetarian Pulao recipe

You can have it without any curry on side. This goes well with Mint Cucumber Raita or any Mix Veg Raita. My kids like to have it with some butter on top. I always put some butter on hot rice so that kids can enjoy warm buttery pulao for lunch in school.

Do try my version this this No-onion No-Garlic Kadhai Paneer Pulao. A perfect recipe for the potlucks, picnic or weekend brunch parties.

You can make it for festivals also like Ganesh Chathurthi for family and friends, for no-onion no-garlic meal options.

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This is 14th in my series of A-Z Biryani/Pulao/Khichdi dishes, that I am taking to Mega Blogging Marathon April’19.

Day 14. N. No-Onion No-Garlic Kadhai Paneer Pulao

This is an event where I along with a group of fellow bloggers are blogging everyday about Biryani/Pulao/Khichdi dishes this whole April, with Sundays off.

My earlier posts for the event..

Day 1. A.. Aloo Matar Ki Tehri

Day 2.  B..Broccoli Mushroom Pulao

Day 3 . C..Chana Dal Khichdi

Day 4. D..Dhaniya Pulao

Day 5. E.. Easy Steamed Rice in Instant Pot with Pot in Pot Method

Day 6. F.. Fresh Mint and Peas Pulao

Day 7. G.. Gatte Ka Pulao

Day 8. H.. Hari Moong Dal Khichdi

Day 9. I.. Iyengar Puliyogare(Instant)

Day 10. J.. Jeera Rice

Day 11. K.. Kashmiri Pulao

Day 12. L.. Lucknowi Veg. Dum Biryani

Day 13. M..Mixed Veg Pulao


Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM#99

Author: Swati

Some who believes 'EAT WELL, READ DAILY, TRAVEL OFTEN AND LAUGH KHUL KE'!!! Hi!! Swati here!!! Chef, Chocolatier, food admirer, reader, love to travel, listen to music, Bollywood and shoot nature and food pics!! Welcome to my Foodtrails and join me in my food adventure!!

23 thoughts

  1. Pulao with kadhai paneer looks delicious and on that it is without onion and garlic is a good satvik meal.

  2. I also picked a no onion no garlic version for today. Love your kadhai paneer without onion and garlic. It’s an amazing option on festival days.

  3. Oh this is fantastic Swati and I would love to make this pulao. Making it no onion no garlic is really such a wonderful option.

  4. Love the kadai masala and interesting idea to make a pulao. I used to make this no onion no garlic pulao when in a rush. But now the kids want atleast garlic.

  5. Amazing , Paneer pulao looks and sounds super flavourful . The coriander seeds lend a special aroma , would love to try this recipe . Paneer and capsicum is a combination that works so well with rice . Super recipe !

    1. Thanks you so much Vaishali.. do try the recipe, kadhai masala adds a special flavour to Pulao

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