Uyghur Polo (Paneer Carrot Pilaf)

Uyghur polo is pulao or pilaf from the Xinjiang province of China home to the Uyghur or Hiu. This dish is not originally vegetarian. I converted it by using paneer. The paneer is cooked with carrots and onion. Spices are then added to the mixture along with water. The rice is added to the top and cooked in the flavored water.

The process of cooking this dish is very similar to other pilaf. The different is the sparingly used spices.

You will need
7 oz. paneer, cut into cubes
2 tbsp. oil (I used olive oil)
1 onion, diced
3 slender carrots, cut into 1 inch strips
1 tbsp. cumin seeds
1 tsp. paprika or cayenne pepper (adjust to taste)
1 cup rice (I used brown basmati rice)
1/4 cup raisins
salt to taste

Wash and soak the rice. Keep aside until needed. Heat oil in a pan and add the paneer cubes. Brown the cubes on all sides then add the onions. Saute until the onions are tender. Add the carrots and saute until the carrots are cooked but not mushy.

Add salt, cumin seeds and 2 cups of water to the pan. Turn up the heat to high, bring the water to a boil. Lower the heat, cover and let it simmer for 10 minutes. This allows all the flavors to blend. Uncover the pan and add the rice. Spread the rice over the top but do not mix with the other ingredients. Turn up the heat until the water is boiling again. Let it boil until the water level drops below the rice. Lower the heat and add the raisins. Cover and let the rice cook for about 20-25 minutes. Do not open the lid during this time.

After 25 minutes open the lid. Mix the rice with the other ingredients.

The polo is ready.

It tastes best hot. Leftovers can be reheated.


  1. Somewhat like our Indian pulao..nice flavours. .would have tasted great with paneer.

  2. Simple flavorful polo. I can have it anytime, minus the raisins.

  3. This rice looks so inviting Varada..very nicely I said anything with paneer is our favorite!

  4. Its an interesting version of Pulao.Looks nice Varada...

  5. I would enjoy this Chinese version of pelau

  6. nice and simple flavours, love basic pulav recipes and this one falls in that space


Please leave a comment. I would love to hear from you.

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