plate of rice and potatoes

DELICIOUS ONE POT TEHRI (Rice & Potatoes Pilaf)

A delicious Pakistani and Indian vegetarian rice dish that is made with rice, whole and powdered spices and potatoes.  This is one of my favorite childhood meals and now my kids also love. It’s a classic South Asian comfort one pot meal put together with simple ingredients. 


Tehri is a rice dish that is usually much easier to make than other South Asian rice dishes like Biryani and Pulao. Tehri is the name given to vegetarian versions of rice dishes. This recipe is made with basmati rice, whole spices, powdered spices or a mix of both. The addition of one or a variety of vegetables is also common. This rice dish can be cooked with chicken, meat or vegetable stock. This dish has many variations across the region and also goes by a few different names. 


This recipe is actually very simple and it’s a very common rice dish that can be served along with many Pakistani and Indian curries. I love to make this dish when I need to use up some vegetables. I can be made mild or spicy. Ingredients are pretty basic when it comes to South Asian cooking. Think of this recipe as a blank canvas, add the vegetables your family enjoys. 


Everyone has got some different tips on how to cook the perfect rice. But a few tips are mentioned every time you see a great recipe for rice. 

  • TYPE OF RICE: Best rice to use for this type of recipe is basmati rice. This is a long grain rice that is commonly grown in Pakistan, India, and the Himalayas. It’s aromatic and once cooked properly, it’s light, tender and fluffy. Basmati rice has varieties, so you have to try a few different brands. 
  • RINSE: Make sure to rinse the rice to get rid of extra starches. Rice should be soaked following the package instructions. Regular varieties of rice mention that soaking can be for around 20-30 minutes. You can cook basmati rice without soaking. 
  • RICE & WATER RATIO: Standard ratio of rice to water is 1 cup of rice to 1 ½ cups of water. But depending on the variety of rice and soaking ratios will be different. It can also depend on how you prefer the cooked texture of your rice. Some may even do 1 ¾-2 cups of water for 1 cup of rice. 
  • TIGHT FITTING LID: You want a tight-fitting lid so there is no escape of steam. We want to create the steam so the rice turns out tender and fluffy and that will happen with the steam. If the lid is not fitting tight you can wrap the lid with foil. I wrap the lid with a clean kitchen towel. If using the kitchen towel be very careful of the flame not being high. 
  • DON’T PEEK: Once you cover the rice to cook, do not open the lid. Always check the rice towards the end of cooking time. Once the timer has gone off, still let the rice sit with the lid on. Gently fluff the rice with a fork or using a flat spatula. 

VEGETABLES: I have only added potatoes for this recipe. I make this dish with different varieties of vegetables. Cauliflower, spinach, green beans, carrots and peas are some great options to add. 

WHOLE & POWDERED SPICES: The spices I have used are very standard when it comes to Pakistani cooking. You can add more or less according to your preference. 

STORAGE & REHEATING: Rice can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator and consumed within 3-4 days. You can reheat in the microwave or stovetop. Sprinkling some water on the rice will make it tender again. 


DELICIOUS ONE POT TEHRI (Rice & Potatoes Pilaf)

5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 3 -4
A delicious Pakistani and Indian vegetarian rice dish that is made with rice, whole and powdered spices and potatoes.  This is one of my favorite childhood meals. It's a classic South Asian comfort one pot meal put together with simple ingredients.


  • 1 cup Basmati rice (rinsed and soaked)
  • 1/4 cup Olive oil or neutral oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 small tomato, chopped
  • 1 medium potato, medium cubes (place in water )
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • a few cloves
  • a few brown cardamom
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp. garam masala
  • 1 tsp. cumin powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. red chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp. turmeric powder
  • chopped fresh cilantro for garnish


  • Use a heavy bottom medium size saucepan. Preferably nonstick. Make sure you have all ingredients ready before you start cooking.
  • Heat oil in the pan on medium heat and add the whole spices. Let these sauté in the hot oil for about 10-15 seconds, make sure they don't burn.
  • Add chopped onions, let these get light golden brown (about 3 minutes) than add the garlic and sauté for about 10 seconds.
  • Add tomatoes and powder spices, mix well and let this mixture cook till the tomatoes have cooked down, you will start to see oil separate (about 5 minutes). If you feel like mixture is sticking to bottom of pan, just add a few tablespoons water.
  • Add potatoes and 1 cup of water. Let it cook for about 10 minutes, the potatoes will be cooked half way.
  • Add rinsed rice and 1 1/2 cups of water. If you see there is plenty of water left over from previous step, decrease liquid by 1/4 cup of water. Cook on medium until most of water has evaporated. Once you are able to see the rice and majority of water has evaporated cover the pot tightly and turn heat to lowest. Cook for another 15-20 minutes. Always check rice towards end of cooking time.
  • Fluff with a fork & garnish with chopped cilantro.


Author: Shazia



  1. 5 stars
    Thank you so much for this recipe. I made it for my mum on mother’s day. She liked the combination and will make it herself in future. ☺️

    • Shazia Reply

      Awesome! So happy you gave it a try and gave me feedback:)

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