Green onions and basmati rice are combined in a simple, fragrant, one-pot recipe. This tasty, vegan basmati rice is a quick and easy rice pilaf seasoned with vegan ghee and minced herbs. Onion pulao is ready in 25 minutes.
Our herb of choice is centella asiatica, commonly called gotu kola, for its extra health properties. However, parsley makes a fine substitute when gotu kola isn't available.
⭐ Why it works
- Quick, easy recipe with 5 ingredients.
- Vegan and gluten-free. Suitable for vegetarians and meat-eaters alike.
- Sauteed in dairy-free ghee for the best flavor.
- Fluffy grains of rice that don't stick together.
- Green onions and a handful of herbs provide a boost of nutrition.
- Versatile side dish to accompany many meals.
- Reheats well and can be made ahead.
- Firm grains and well-seasoned means left-over pilaf make delicious fried rice in a flash.
- Green onions - scallions and spring onions are both delicious.
- Basmati rice - has a lovely, unique aroma and makes extra fluffy onion pulao.
- Gotu kola - has amazing benefits but can be replaced by fresh parsley in this recipe.
- Vegan ghee - Nutiva has an organic brand in stores, and my recipe for homemade is on the way!
Full instructions are in the recipe card, but here's a preview to show you how simple this stovetop onion pulao is to make.
- Rinse rice and drain well.
- Slice green onions and mince herb.
- Saute green onions and basmati in vegan ghee.
- Fold minced herb into cooked rice and fluff.
🧅 Spring onions vs. scallions and green onions
Scallions, green onions, and spring onions are loose terms that are often used interchangeably. Most of the time, the onions they refer to can be substituted successfully for one another in the kitchen.
However, there are differences in varieties of the allium family that you may want to know about. I find it fascinating to learn about plants and helpful to know how the botanical variety and age of an onion influence its taste when crafting a recipe.
Spring onions come from the onion family called allium cepa. The main thing that makes spring onions stand apart from scallions is the fact that they form a bulb at the end. You can recognize them at the farmer's market by the swollen bulb, which can be white, purple or yellow. They have a stronger taste than scallions when used raw, but the extra sweetness in the bulb end comes out when they are cooked. Thus, they make great grilling onions.
True scallions come from allium fistulosum or varieties specially bred to be harvested before forming a bulb at the end. They are also called bunching onions and have a milder flavor than the familiar large, dry-bulb onions. The green part is tender, has a fresh grassy flavor, and can be sliced in a variety of ways to make beautiful garnishes.
Any variety of onions can theoretically be harvested as green onions. I like to think of it this way. Just as they say, all Cognac is brandy, but not all brandy is Cognac, so it is with "green onions." That's because all onions begin as young plants with a tender end and green tops. However, not all green onions grow to be scallions, spring onions, or bulb onions. The variety and age influence the flavor and how tender the greens are. This determines whether these onions are best eaten as scallions without a bulb, spring onions with a small bulb and long greens, or finally as a dried bulb without the greens.
Fortunately, this vegan rice pilaf is a forgiving recipe, and any green onions you select will be fine as long as they are fresh and the greens aren't tough.
👩🏻🍳 Expert tips
- Rinse basmati rice in 3 washes of water, shake in a strainer, and drain well.
- Save time by slicing green onions and mincing gotu kola or parsley while the rice drains.
- Remove stems from gotu kola or parsley before measuring and chop very fine.
- Reserve ¼ cup of sliced green onions to sprinkle over pilaf before serving.
- Cook rice with green onions and wait until the end to stir in your chosen herb.
- Don't overcook the pulao. The grains should be firm and slightly undercooked when removed from heat.
- Rest rice in the pan with a lid on and off the heat for 5 minutes after stirring in herbs.
- Fluff pilaf with a long fork just before serving.
Traditionally no. The majority of ghee is made with butter from cows or buffalo. However, non-dairy vegan ghee made from all plant-based ingredients is becoming more available. Nutiva makes an organic product sold in stores and online that cooks just like traditional ghee.
Yes, pilaf, pulao, pilao, pilau, pillau, pilaw, pilaff, and plov are all regional names for rice that is cooked in such a way that the grains remain separate. The classic technique involves sauteing raw rice in oil with aromatics before adding broth and allowing the rice to finish by steaming. The addition of seasonings and vegetables, meat, or even fruit and nuts, like the names, vary by region.
Yes. Jasmine, quick-cooking brown basmati, and long-grain white rice can be used as well. Avoid short-grain, long-cooking, and sticky types of rice for making this pilaf.
🥗 More simple and tasty sides
Green Onion Pulao - Vegan Basmati Rice
- Rinse basmati rice three times and drain well.
- While the rice drains, thinly slice green onions and chop gotu kola or parsley leaves fine.
- Hold all of the chopped gotu kola or parsley aside to mix in after the rice cooks with green onions. Reserve ¼ cup of green onions to use as a garnish at serving time.
- Heat ghee in a saucepan. Add washed rice and green onions. Cook over medium heat for 3-5 minutes. Stir rice and scrape the bottom often.
- Add water and salt to the rice. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and cook for 15 minutes or until most of the liquid is absorbed and the rice is still slightly firm.
- Remove pan from heat. Stir in minced gotu kola or parsley, cover, and let sit for 5 minutes before serving.
- Fluff rice with a fork and sprinkle with green onions. If desired, drizzle with vegan ghee.
- Green onion pulao keeps in the refrigerator in a covered container for one week or in the freezer for one month.