Tehri Recipe | Tahri (UP Style Vegetable Rice)
Sep 13, 2023
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Tehri is a type of vegetable pulao popular in the state of Uttar Pradesh in India. It is made with rice, vegetables and a bunch of whole spices. I grew up eating this one-pot dish as it was often made in my house. It’s packed with flavors, vegan and also really easy to make. It’s also easy to pack in your lunch boxes.
You can make tehri on a stovetop pressure cooker or Instant Pot or even in a pan. With the weather beginning to cool down, this will be the perfect comfort food!
Table of contents
What is Tehri
Tehri is a rice pulao/pilaf popular in the state of UP in India. My family is from eastern parts of Uttar Pradesh and tehri is a very common dish in that region. It is made with a lot of whole spices like cardamom, cloves, cinnamon, bay leaf etc. Vegetables like potato, green peas, carrots, cauliflower are also often added to it.
I grew up eating a lot of tehri, it was a staple in my house, much like nimona. But in my house, we only added potatoes and peas to tehri and so I still follow the same. My nani made the best tehri, there was something special about that tehri made in her pressure cooker. All those wonderful aromas and spices are still fresh in my mind.
My grandmother would always serve us Tehri with a drizzle of hot ghee. It made the tehri even more flavorful, definitely try it out!
Rice: in my house, tehri was made with a medium grain white rice that was grown in my village. However now, I just make it with basmati rice.
Whole spices: lots of whole spices like cinnamon, cloves, peppercorn, cardamom are used in tehri. If you don’t like biting into these whole spices, you can also tie them in a muslin cloth and then add it to the cooker.
Vegetables: I have used only onions, green peas and potatoes but you can also use veggies like cauliflower, carrots, beans etc. Some people also use tomatoes although we never used it in my house.
Oil: we always used mustard oil in tehri, but if you are not a fan of mustard oil or simply don’t have it, you can use any oil of choice.
How to Make Tehri- Step by Step Instructions
- Rinse 1 cup (200 grams) of basmati rice until water turns clear. Then soak it in enough water for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes are up, drain the water using a strainer and set aside the rice. Meanwhile chop 1 medium potato into 1-inch cubes.
- Heat 1 tablespoon mustard oil (or use any oil) in a stovetop pressure cooker on medium heat. If using mustard oil, make sure the oil gets really hot before you add anything to it. Add the cubed potatoes to the oil.
- Sauté the potatoes for 3-4 minutes until they develop a light golden skin on top. Then remove the potatoes from the cooker.
- Add 1/2 tablespoon more oil at this point and lower the heat to medium so that the spices don’t burn when you add them to the cooker. Add 1/4 teaspoon hing and then all the whole spices: 1 bay leaf, 1 whole mace, 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds, 3 whole peppercorns, 2 cloves, 3 green cardamom, 1 black cardamom, 1-inch cinnamon stick and 2 dried red chilies. Cook the spices for 30 seconds.
- Add 2-3 chopped garlic and cook for 1 minute until the garlic starts changing color. Then add 1 cup chopped red onion and 1 sliced green chili and cook for 2 minutes.
- Then add 1/2 cup green peas. I used frozen peas and added them to hot water for 10 minutes before using them in the dish. You can also add any veggie you like at this point like carrots, beans, cauliflower. Cook for 1 minute.
- Then add the soaked and drained rice to the cooker. Stir to combine everything.
- Roast the rice for 2 to 3 minutes on medium heat, stirring constantly.
- Add in the semi-fried potatoes back into the cooker and stir.
- Then add 1/2 teaspoon turmeric and 3/4 teaspoon salt and 1 & 1/2 cups water. Mix everything together.
- Close the cooker with the lid and cook on high heat for 2 whistles. After 2 whistles, lower the heat to low and cook a minute more and then turn off the heat. Let the pressure release naturally.
- Once the pressure releases naturally, open the cooked and fluff the tehri with a fork. Serve hot!
We used to eat tehri with spicy cilantro chutney. And that too the chutney that was made on sil-batta (grinding stone). But you can also eat tehri with any raita like boondi raita, cucumber raita or even with a pickle (achar).
Making Tehri in Instant Pot
To make this recipe in the Instant Pot, follow all the steps as is (you can skip soaking the rice, just wash it nicely until the water turns clear). Then close the lid and pressure cook on high pressure for 5 minutes. Let the pressure release naturally and then fluff with a fork.
If you neither have an Instant Pot or a stovetop pressure cooker, you can also make tehri in a pan. The instructions will remain the same. After you add the water, close the pot with a lid, set heat to medium and let the rice cook for 10 to 12 minutes until it is soft and tender. Fluff with a fork.
Making Tehri with Brown Rice
I have personally not tried but you can definitely make tehri with brown rice. I would not add potatoes in that case, would probably use veggies like peas, and add more vegetables later on once the rice is cooked. For cooking the brown rice, use the Instant Pot and cook on high pressure for 24 minutes.
- Adjust spice levels to taste. This dish gets spice from all the whole spices as well so I don’t like using more green chilies. But you can definitely add more and you can also add red chili powder which I skipped.
- You can use any veggies of your choice. Cauliflower, carrots, and beans will also go well there.
- Try to make the tehri with mustard oil, it gives the tehri an unique taste. However, as always with using mustard oil, make sure its heated very well before you add anything to it. If you add spices etc. to mustard oil before it’s really hot, the oil will taste raw and ruin your dish.
- Dry ground spices like coriander powder, red chili powder can also be used in this recipe.
- I recommend not skipping the step of roasting the rice with spices for 2 to 3 minutes. Stir constantly while roasting so that the rice doesn’t burn and so this over medium heat.
Tehri Recipe | Tahri (UP Style Vegetable Rice)
- 1 cup white basmati rice 200 grams, soaked for 10 minutes and drained
- 1 medium potato 180-200 grams, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 1 & 1/2 tablespoon mustard oil or use any oil of choice, divided
- 1/4 teaspoon hing asafoetida
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 whole mace
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 3 whole black peppercorns
- 2 whole cloves
- 3 whole green cardamom
- 1 black cardamom
- 1 inch cinnamon stick
- 2 dried red chilies
- 3-4 garlic cloves chopped
- 1 cup red onion finely chopped
- 1 green chili sliced, add more to taste
- 1/2 cup green peas I used frozen and place them in hot water for 10 minutes before using in the recipe
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
- 3/4 teaspoon salt or to taste
- 1 & 1/2 cups water 12 oz/ 360 ml
- cilantro to garnish
- Rinse rice in a bowl under running water until the water turns clear. Then soak it in enough water for 10 minutes. Meanwhile chop the potatoes into cubes. After 10 minutes are up, drain the rice using a strainer and set aside.
- Heat 1 tablespoon of mustard oil on medium heat in a stovetop pressure cooker. Make sure the hot heats up really well (importance else mustard oil will taste raw and spoil the dish). Once the oil is hot, add the cubed potatoes and fry them for 3 to 4 minutes until they have a little golden brown coating on them. Remove the potatoes from the cooker onto a plate.
- To the same cooker, now add the remaining 1/2 tablespoon of the oil and then add hing and stir. Then add all the whole spices. Let the spices sizzle for 30 seconds. Make sure to not burn them.
- Add the chopped garlic and cook for 1 minute until the garlic starts changing color. Then add the chopped onion and green chili and cook for 2 more minutes.
- Then add the green peas (I used frozen which were soaked in warm water for 10 mins prior) and cook for 1 minute. Now add the soaked and drained rice and roast it with the spices and veggies for 2 to 3 minutes on medium heat stirring constantly. Make sure the rice doesn't burn at this point.
- Add in the fried potatoes and stir. Then add the turmeric, salt and water. Close the lid of the pressure cooker and cook on high heat for 2 whistles. Lower the heat to low and cook 1 more minute and then turn off the heat. Let the pressure release naturally.
- Open the lid and fluff the tehri with a fork. Garnish with cilantro if you like and serve hot.
Instant Pot Instructions
- You may skip the "soaking the rice" step here. Press the sauté button. Once it displays hot, add the oil and let it heat up. Then add the potatoes and fry 3-4 minutes and remove on a plate. Add the hing, whole spices and cook 30 seconds. Then add the garlic, onion and cook 2 minutes. Add the green peas and cook 1 more minute.
- Add the rice and roast for 2 minutes. Then add back the semi-fried potatoes. Add the turmeric, salt and water and close the lid. Press the manual or pressure cook button and cook on high pressure for 5 minutes with the pressure valve in the sealing position. Let the pressure release naturally. Fluff with a fork and enjoy.
- Skip hing (asafetida) to keep this dish gluten free.
- Adjust spice levels to taste and preference.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.