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).
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.
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, with the availability of frozen peas year-round, you can make it any time you want.
Each family has its way of making Peas Pulao. Some like to keep the dish simple and use only whole spices, rice, and peas, while others like adding onions and a few herbs.
In this post, I am sharing 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.
This green peas pulao recipe is vegetarian and gluten-free and can be easily made vegan. You can easily double or triple it too.
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.
If you like lightly spiced pulao, try some of my other favorite recipes
- Veg Pulao
- Paneer Pulao
- Gucchi Pulao
- Gobi Pulao
- Basanti Pulao
- Kashmiri Pulao
- Chicken Pulao
- Brown Rice Pulao
- Shrimp Pulao
- Tawa Pulao
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.
You can also use quinoa or brown rice. The time of cooking and the water-to-grain ratio will be different, though. Check out my Brown Rice Pulao to learn about the Brown Rice: Water ratio.
Onions – Onions give a lovely earthy flavor to this pulao. I like to use 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 like star anise (chakri phool), green cardamoms (hari elaichi), cinnamon sticks (dalchini), etc.
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.
You can add some garam masala powder and crispy fried onions to your pulao to give it a slightly different taste.
Try adding some pan-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.
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.
- 2-3 whole cloves
- 1 black cardamom
- 3-4 black peppercorns
to a mortar and pestle and gently crush. Keep aside.
Heat 1 tablespoon ghee in a pan over medium heat.
When the ghee is hot, add
- ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
- 2 whole bay leaves
- crushed spices
to the pan and saute for 4-5 seconds.
Add 10-12 cashew nuts and saute until they turn light brown, stirring continuously.
Add ½ cup of sliced red onions and saute until they are golden brown (3-4 minutes). Stir frequently while frying.
Reduce the heat to low.
Drain the rice and add it to the pan with
- ½ cup green peas
- ½ teaspoon freshly squeezed lime juice
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 and ½ cups water
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.
Frequently Asked Questions
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 1-¼ cups 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.
To make this dish in a pressure cooker, follow the 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.
You can make this delicious pulao with leftover rice, too. Ensure the peas are tender, as they are not cooking 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 saute 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. Add soaked and drained rice, water, peas, 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, replace ghee with any cooking 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.
To make Jain matar rice, skip adding onions to the recipe. All the other ingredients are Jain-friendly.
It is also excellent as a side dish with special or festive meals.
This green peas pulao will last in the fridge for 3-4 days when stored in an airtight container. Reheat in a pan or microwave until nice and warm.
If you feel it has become dry, sprinkle a little water, add a little ghee, and mix well while reheating.
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Easy Peas Pulao Recipe (Matar Pulao) Instant Pot + Stovetop
- 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
- 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 1 and ½ 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 1-¼ cups 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.