Peas Pulao ( Matar Pulao) is a quick, filling, and flavorful one-pot rice dish that is nutritious as well as good for managing your carb cravings. Made using green peas, long-grain rice, and a few spices, this dish can be made in under 30 minutes using pantry staples (and it’s gluten-free).
About This Recipe
Peas in Hindi is “matar” and pulao refers to a flavorful rice dish, so Peas Pulao is basically a one-pot dish made using fresh green peas, long-grain basmati rice, and a few spices.
Also called Matar Wale Chawal or Matar Pulao, Peas Pulao is a quick (under 30 minutes) rice dish that is made especially in winters when fresh peas are in season. However, with the availability of frozen peas year-round, you can make it any time you want.
Each family has its own way of making Peas Pulao. Some like to keep the dish very simple and use only whole spices, rice, and peas, while others like to add onions and few herbs.
In today’s post, I am sharing the way I make this delicious Matar Pulao at home. You can make it in a pot over the stovetop, in a traditional pressure cooker, or in an Instant Pot.
Rice – I prefer using long-grain basmati to make Peas Pulao, but you can replace it with any rice you use in your everyday cooking.
You can also use quinoa or brown rice. Check out my Brown Rice Pulao to learn about Brown Rice: Water ratio.
Onions – Onions give a lovely earthy flavor to this pulao.
Green Peas – Fresh or frozen peas, both work fine. You can just rinse the frozen peas and use them in the recipe but if using fresh peas, boil them in water with little salt and sugar until they are tender.
I freeze my peas every year and they last for nearly a year. Do check out How to Freeze Green Peas and store them in winter.
Whole Spices – Whole spices when added to ghee creates a beautiful fragrance and flavor. I have used cumin seeds, cloves, black cardamom, and black peppercorns. 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 even more fragrant.
Ghee – I use ghee to make Matar Pulao, but you can use vegetable oil, olive oil, or butter instead. Use oil if you want to make the pulao vegan.
Others – Apart from the above ingredients, we will need lime juice and salt. Lime juice adds a refreshing taste along with a little hint of tanginess to this green peas pulao. It also makes the rice fluffier.
Variations – You can garnish the dish with some fried cashews and finely chopped cilantro (coriander).
You can add some garam masala powder and crispy fried onions to your pulao to give it a slightly different taste.
Try adding some fried paneer cubes to make a nice matar paneer pulao. You can also add potatoes and veggies to this rice.
How To Make Peas Pulao
Wash 1 cup of long-grain basmati rice with water 2-3 times until the water runs clear. Soak the rice in 3-4 cups of water for 20 minutes. If you don’t have basmati rice, use any rice that is available.
Heat 1 tablespoon ghee in a pan over medium-high heat. When the ghee is hot, add ½ teaspoon cumin seeds and fry for 3-4 seconds. Use oil in place of ghee for a vegan version.
Slightly crush 2-3 whole cloves, 1 whole black cardamom, and 3-4 whole black peppercorns using a mortar and pestle and add them to the pan. Add 1 bay leaf and fry for 3-4 seconds. Crushing the spices releases all their flavor in the ghee.
Add ½ cup of sliced onions and fry until they are golden brown (6-8 minutes). Stir continuously while frying.
Drain the rice and add it to the pan, along with ½ cup green peas, 1-2 drops of lime juice, 1 teaspoon salt, and 2 cups of water. Stir gently.
Cover the pan with a tight-fitting lid and cook the pulao on low heat until all the liquid is absorbed and the rice is tender. It should take 20-25 minutes. Stir the rice gently once midway while cooking using a fork.
Remove pan from heat and let the pulao rest for 5 minutes. Fluff gently with a fork and serve hot.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. To make matar pulao in an Instant Pot, press SAUTE.
2. Add ghee and when the ghee is hot, add cumin seeds and whole spices and fry them for 3-4 seconds.
3. Add the onions and fry until they turn brown (6-8 minutes).
4. Now add the drained rice, peas, salt, and lime juice. Add 1-¼ cups of water. 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.
To make this dish in a pressure cooker, follow the recipe until adding rice and water, and then put the lid of 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.
You can make this delicious pulao with leftover rice too. Just make sure the peas are tender as they are not cooking anymore in the recipe.
Heat ghee in a pan. Add cumin seeds and whole spices and let them crackle for 4-5 seconds. Add onions and fry until they turn brown. Now add the tender green peas and saute for a minute. Add cooked rice, salt, and lime juice and toss until everything comes together. Garnish with chopped cilantro and serve.
To make it in a microwave, heat ghee in a microwave-safe pan for 2 minutes.
Add cumin seeds and micro on high for 30 seconds.
Add the whole spices and micro for 30 minutes. Now add soaked and drained rice, water, peas, and salt, and micro for 10 minutes. If the pulao is not cooked, micro for another 3-4 minutes. Cover the pan while cooking.
To make this dish vegan, just replace ghee with vegetable oil or olive oil. All the other ingredients used in this recipe are vegan-friendly.
To make this dish with coconut milk, replace the water with thin coconut milk, and follow the remaining process as it is.
To make Jain matar pulao, skip adding onions in the recipe. All the other ingredients are Jain friendly.
It is also wonderful as a side dish with special or festive meals.
This green peas pulao will last in the fridge for about 2 days when stored in an airtight container. Reheat in a pan or microwave until nice and warm.
If you feel it has become a little dry, sprinkle a little water, add a little ghee, and mix well while reheating.
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Peas Pulao Recipe
- 1 cup long grain basmati rice
- 1 tablespoons ghee (use oil for a vegan version)
- ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
- 2-3 whole cloves
- 1 whole black cardamom
- 3-4 whole black peppercorns
- 1 whole bay leaf
- ½ cup thinly sliced onions
- ½ cup green peas
- 1 teaspoons salt
- 1-2 drops lime juice
- Wash rice with water 2-3 times until the water runs clear. Soak the rice in 3-4 cups of water for 20 minutes.
Pot over Stovetop Method
- Heat ghee in a pan over medium-high heat. When the ghee is hot, add cumin seeds and fry for 3-4 seconds.
- Lightly crush whole cloves, whole black cardamom, and whole black peppercorns in a mortar and pestle, and add them to the pan. Fry for 3-4 seconds.
- Add sliced onions and fry until they are golden brown (6-8 minutes).
- Drain the rice and add it to the pan, along with green peas, lime juice, salt, bay leaf and 2 cups of water.
- Cover the pan with a tight-fitting lid and cook the pulao on low heat until all the liquid is absorbed and the rice is tender. It should take 20-25 minutes. Stir the rice gently once during cooking using a fork.
- Remove pan from heat and let the pulao rest for 5 minutes. Fluff it gently with a fork and serve hot.
Instant Pot Method
- Press SAUTE. Add ghee and when the ghee is hot, add cumin seeds and whole spices and fry them for 3-4 seconds.
- Add onions and fry until they turn golden brown (6-8 minutes).
- Now add the drained rice, peas, salt, and lime juice. Add 1-¼ cups of water. 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.