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Moti Pulao – Pearl Pulao

5 from 1 vote
Total: 1 hour 10 minutes
Serves 4 PEOPLE

How to make Moti Pulao.Pulao, pulav or Pilaf is a comfort food and a perfect dish for any occasion! Whether be a weekend or a busy week night, these one pot meals come in really handy. Just like pulao, Biryani is yet another delicacy that is a equally satisfying, and a flavorful one pot dish. Compared to biryani, Pulao is much simpler and a quick meal.

Biryani is a layered meal where most of the ingredients are cooked separately, then arranged in layers with rice, spices and later slow cooked until ready. Whereas, in pulao proteins, spices and veggies are cooked along with the rice. Fried onions, aromatic spices and chopped cilantro add layers of flavor to a pulao. Without much delay, let’s move on with our recipe today – Moti Pulao – Pearl Pulao. Moti Pulao - Pearl Pulao

RECIPE DETAIL – “Moti” means pearl and in this pulao pearl shaped balls of paneer-potato are tossed in with cooked rice to add extra flavor to the dish. First we begin by making pearl shaped balls. You can adjust the shape of the balls (pearl) as per liking. Cook these balls in an appe pan or feel free to deep fry them until golden brown and crispy.

Prepare rice as shown in the step by step tutorial below. Once the rice is ready, fluff it with a fork, add pearls (moti), spices, saffron and mix. Add fried onions, fried nuts and chopped cilantro. Cover and let it simmer for 2-3 minutes. A deliciously fragrant moti pulao is ready.

step by step Moti Pulao recipeFlavorful moti pulao seasoned with aromatic spices make a perfect lunch box meal. A great accompaniment to any raita and chutneys. Below are few variations –

  • This is a vegetarian pulao recipe but can be prepared with meat too. 
  • For vegan option – substitute paneer for tofu and milk with water.
  • Feel free to add fried nuts to this dish.
  • I have controlled the spice level by adding just the red chili powder, but if you like add chopped green chilies to the pulao. 
  • For extra crunch and flavor, toss in veggies of your choice.

While you are here, try other pulao recipes – Paneer tikka pulao, chana dal pulao, matar pulao.

Moti Pulao - Pearl Pulao

5 from 1 vote
Flavorful moti pulao seasoned with aromatic spices make a perfect lunch box meal. A great accompaniment to any raita and chutneys.
Prep: 30 minutes
Cook: 40 minutes
Total: 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings: 4 PEOPLE



  • 1/2 cup Crumbled Paneer
  • 3 tablespoon Boiled and mashed potatoes
  • 3 tablespoon Homemade breadcrumbs
  • 1 tablespoon Powdered Cashews
  • 1/2 teaspoon Red chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon Coarsely pounded coriander powder
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tablespoon Oil to cook moti



  • 3 medium Onions, peeled and washed
  • 2 tablespoon Cornflour
  • Oil for Frying



  • Slice onions. Transfer it to a strainer and dust it with cornflour. Reason I did this is to shake off all the excess cornflour before frying the onions.
  • Heat oil and deep fry the onions till they are light brown in color and crisp. Do not over fry them or else they will taste bitter.
  • Fried onions are ready. Set them aside.


  • Let's prep up ingredients to make moti (pearls) for our pulao.
  • In a bowl combine all the ingredients and..
  • Knead a soft dough.
  • Form balls, about the size of a penny.
  • Heat appe pan, grease, add these balls and..
  • Cook until brown in color and crisp.
  • Feel free to fry them until crisp. Set them aside.


  • Assemble: ingredients for rice.
  • And spices for pulao.
  • And minced garlic.
  • Add saffron to hot milk and set it aside.
  • Rinse rice under cold water to remove all the dusty stuff.
  • In a pan heat oil, add peppercorns and chopped garlic.
  • Saute for few seconds and add cumin, bay-leaves, cloves and black cardamom. Pour in water salt and add rice.
  • Boil till half of the water has evaporated and rice is clearly visible.
  • Cover and steam cook for another 3-4 minutes on low flame. Take it off the flame and let it sit covered and undisturbed for 5-6 minutes.
  • Remove the lid, fluff rice with fork and add in rest of the spices and motis.
  • Pour saffron and mix until well blended.
  • Add fried onions, chopped cilantro and return it back to the flame. Put a lid and let it simmer for 2-3 minutes.
  • A deliciously fragrant moti pulao is ready.
  • Serve hot with raita and chutney of your choice.
Disclaimer: The nutritional information provided above is approximate. Variations may exist due to the ingredients/brands used. These numbers should be considered estimates, as they are not calculated by a registered dietician.
Author: Ruchi

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  1. debjani mitra says:

    What is the proportion of water to rice since you have not drained the water and let it all absorb