Peas Pulao (Matar Pulao)

4.58 from 7 votes

Peas Pulao (Matar Pulao) is a quick, filling, and flavorful one-pot Indian rice dish that is nutritious and good for managing your carb cravings. Make it using my easy recipe.

If you like lightly spiced pulao, try some of my favorite recipes: Paneer Pulao, Gucchi Pulao, Gobi Pulao, and Basanti Pulao.

Peas pulao (matar pulao) served in a bowl.
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When I have guests at home for lunch or dinner, I prefer making Jeera Rice or Matar Pulao to serve with dal and curries instead of plain steamed rice. It’s just a teeny bit more work, but it makes the humble rice a fancy dish.

Now, making any rice dish is fairly easy if you keep the measurements in check. Many ladies of my mom’s generation had a unique way of measuring the rice and water ratio. They would dip their fingers in the water over the rice and measure with their finger marks. It baffles me how they did that and almost always managed to get perfectly cooked rice.

I don’t do any such stunts and firmly rely on my standard cup and spoon measures. I suggest you do that too!

About Peas Pulao (Matar Pulao)

Peas in Hindi is “matar,” and pulao refers to a flavorful rice dish, so Peas Pulao is a rice dish with peas added.

It is a one-pot Indian rice dish made using fresh green peas, long-grain basmati rice, and a few Indian spices.

This dish pairs well with Indian curries and dals. It can also be served with a pickle and a raita of your choice.

Also called Matar Wale Chawal or Matar Pulao, Peas Pulao is a rice dish made especially in winter when fresh peas are in season. However, frozen peas are available year-round so you can make it anytime.

Each family has its own way of making Peas Pulao. Some like to keep the dish simple and use only whole spices, rice, and peas, while others like to add onions and a few herbs.

In this post, I share how I make this delicious matar pulao at home. You can make it in a pot over the stovetop, a traditional pressure cooker, or an Instant Pot.

If doubling the recipe in an instant pot, use a 6-quart instant pot (or a 5-liter stovetop pressure cooker) instead of a 3-quart instant pot (or a 3-liter stovetop pressure cooker). The cooking time will remain the same.

Ingredients

Rice – I prefer using long-grain white basmati rice to make peas pulao, but you can replace it with any white rice grains you use in everyday cooking.

Onions give a lovely earthy flavor to this pulao. I like red onions but feel free to use any variety.

Green Peas – Fresh or frozen peas both work fine.

I freeze my peas every year, lasting for nearly a year. Do check out How to Freeze Green Peas and store them in winter.

Whole Spices – When added to ghee, whole spices create a beautiful fragrance and flavor. I have used cumin seeds, cloves (laung), black cardamom (badi elaichi), and black peppercorns (kali mirch). You can skip the ones that are not available.

Crushing the spices gently before adding them to the ghee or oil makes the matar pulao recipe even more fragrant.

You can also add other whole spices, such as star anise (chakri phool), green cardamoms (hari elaichi), and cinnamon sticks (dalchini).

Ghee – I use ghee to make matar pulao, but you can use any cooking oil or butter instead. Use oil if you want to make the pulao vegan.

Others – You will also need cashew nuts, freshly squeezed lime juice, and salt.

Lime juice adds a refreshing taste and a hint of tanginess to this green peas pulao. It also makes the rice fluffier.

Adding cashew nuts is optional. You can replace cashew nuts with peanuts or almonds.

Variations

You can garnish the dish with fried cashews and finely chopped cilantro (fresh coriander leaves). I top it with crispy fried onions to make it more indulgent.

To give your pulao a slightly different taste, you can add some garam masala powder and crispy fried onions.

Replace water with thin coconut milk or veg stock for a taste change.

Try adding some pan-fried paneer cubes to make a matar paneer pulao. Add potatoes and veggies, like carrots, cauliflower, bell peppers, etc., to this rice.

Add a few green chilies for a spicy kick.

How To Make Peas Pulao

Rinse 1 cup of long-grain white basmati rice with water 2-3 times until the water clears.

Soak the rice in 3-4 cups of water for 20 minutes. If you don’t have basmati rice, use any available rice.

Soaked rice.

Add the following whole spices to a mortar and pestle and gently crush. Keep aside.

  • 2-3 whole cloves
  • 1 black cardamom
  • 3-4 black peppercorns
Crushed whole spices.

Heat 1 tablespoon ghee in a pan over medium heat.

Ghee heating in a pan.

When the ghee is hot, add the following ingredients to the pan and saute for 4-5 seconds.

  • ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 2 whole bay leaves
  • crushed spices
Cumin seeds, crushed whole spices and bay leaves added to hot ghee.

Add 10-12 cashew nuts and saute until they turn light brown, stirring continuously.

Cashew nuts added to the pan.

Add ½ cup of sliced red onions and saute until they are golden brown (3-4 minutes). Stir frequently while frying.

Onions added to the pan.
Golden brown onions.

Reduce the heat to low.

Drain the rice and add it to the pan with the following ingredients

  • ½ cup green peas
  • ½ teaspoon freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups water

Stir gently.

Soaked rice, peas, lime juice, salt and water added to the pan.
Everything stirred together.

Cover the pan with a tight-fitting lid and cook the pulao undisturbed on low heat until all the liquid is absorbed and the rice is tender (20-25 minutes).

Pan covered with a lid.

Remove pan from heat and let the pulao rest for 5 minutes. 

Remove the lid and fluff the matar pulao gently with a fork. Serve hot.

Cooked matar pulao.
Ready peas pulao fluffed with a fork.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I make peas pulao in an instant pot?

1. To make matar pulao in an Instant Pot, press SAUTE mode.
2. Add ghee, and when the ghee is hot, add cumin seeds and whole spices and saute them for 3-4 seconds. Add cashew nuts and saute until they turn light brown.
3. Add the onions and saute until they turn brown (3-4 minutes).
4. Now add the drained rice, peas, salt, and lime juice. Add 1 cup of water and stir gently. Close the lid and set the valve to the sealing position.
5. Press PRESSURE COOK and set the timer to 6 minutes on high pressure.
6. Once the timer goes off, let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes. Release the remaining pressure manually and open the lid. Fluff the pulao using a fork and serve.Instant pot peas pulao ingredients.

How do you make peas pulao in a pressure cooker?

To make this dish in a pressure cooker, follow the pan recipe until rice and water are added, and then put the lid on the pressure cooker.

Pressure-cook for 2 whistles on high heat and then remove the cooker from the heat. Let the pressure release on its own. Open the lid and fluff the pulao.Pressure cooker peas pulao ingredients.

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Peas Pulao (Matar Pulao) is a quick, filling, and flavorful one-pot Indian rice dish that is nutritious and good for managing your carb cravings. Make it using my easy recipe (vegetarian, gluten-free).
4.58 from 7 votes

Peas Pulao Recipe (Matar Pulao) Instant Pot + Stovetop

Peas Pulao (Matar Pulao) is a quick, filling, and flavorful one-pot Indian rice dish that is nutritious and good for managing your carb cravings. Make it at home using my easy recipe.
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 25 minutes
Soaking Time: 20 minutes
Total: 50 minutes
Servings: 4 people

Ingredients 

  • 1 cup long grain white basmati rice
  • 2-3 whole cloves (laung)
  • 1 whole black cardamom (badi elaichi)
  • 3-4 whole black peppercorns (kali mirch)
  • 1 tablespoons ghee (use oil for a vegan version)
  • ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 whole bay leaf (tejpatta)
  • 10-12 whole cashew nuts (optional)
  • ½ cup thinly sliced red onions
  • ½ cup green peas (fresh or frozen)
  • 1 teaspoons salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly squeezed lime juice
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Instructions 

  • Rinse the rice with water 2-3 times until the water runs clear.
  • Soak the rice in 3-4 cups of water for 20 minutes.
  • Add cloves, black cardamom, and peppercorns to a mortar and pestle and crush gently. Keep aside.

Make the Pulao In A Pan Over The Stovetop

  • Heat ghee in a pan over medium heat.
  • When the ghee is hot, add cumin seeds, bay leaves, and crushed spices to the pan and saute for 4-5 seconds.
  • Add cashew nuts and saute until they turn light brown, stirring continuously.
  • Add onions and saute until golden brown (3-4 minutes). Stir frequently while frying.
  • Reduce the heat to low.
  • Drain the rice and add it to the pan along with green peas, lime juice, salt, and 2 cups of water. Stir gently.
  • Cover the pan with a tight-fitting lid and cook the pulao undisturbed on low heat until all the liquid is absorbed and the rice is tender (20-25 minutes).
  • Remove pan from heat and let the pulao rest for 5 minutes. 
  • Remove the lid and fluff the matar pulao gently with a fork. Serve hot.

In An Instant pot

  • Press SAUTE button of the instant pot and follow the recipe until adding the lime juice.
  • Add 1 cup of water and stir gently. 
  • Close the lid and set the valve to the sealing position.
  • Press PRESSURE COOK and set the timer to 6 minutes on high pressure.
  • Once the timer goes off, let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes.
  • Release the remaining pressure manually and open the lid. Fluff the pulao using a fork and serve.

In A Traditional Stovetop Pressure Cooker

  • Follow the pan recipe until adding rice and water, and then put the lid on the pressure cooker.
  • Pressure-cook for 2 whistles on high heat and then remove the cooker from the heat. Let the pressure release on its own. Open the lid and fluff the pulao.

Video

YouTube video

Notes

If doubling the recipe in an instant pot, use a 6-quart instant pot (or a 5-liter stovetop pressure cooker) instead of a 3-quart instant pot (or a 3-liter stovetop pressure cooker). The cooking time will remain the same.
To give your pulao a slightly different taste, you can add some garam masala powder and crispy fried onions.
Try adding some fried paneer cubes to make a matar paneer pulao.  You can also add potatoes and veggies like carrots, cauliflower, bell peppers, etc., to this rice.

Nutrition

Calories: 328kcal, Carbohydrates: 57g, Protein: 7g, Fat: 8g, Saturated Fat: 4g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 3g, Cholesterol: 13mg, Sodium: 782mg, Potassium: 209mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 3g, Vitamin A: 190IU, Vitamin C: 12mg, Calcium: 35mg, Iron: 1mg
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