Matar Pulao (Peas Pulao)

Basmati Rice cooked with green peas and whole spices, this Matar Pulao pairs well with any curry, yogurt or dal.

It’s also vegan and gluten-free.

bowl of matar pulao with spoon placed on a blue napkin

Indians love their rice, irrespective of which part of the country they belong to. If you are from India, chances are that you cannot do without eating rice at least once a week.

I am a slightly different Indian in this context. I come from a family where rice was made every day for every meal (along with roti) but even then I couldn’t bring myself to love rice.

I do like it but I don’t love it and I can very well do without eating rice for months and years. I remember as a child, I used to find eating rice a very tedious process.

Mom would make me eat rice with dals and curries and I would always struggle to finish it. On the other hand I loved rotis and parathas and would finish them up quickly.

Of course things are a little different now. I do enjoy rice now (still not as much as roti) especially when it’s flavored and has veggies added to it like this Matar Pulao.

Peas pulao or matar pulao is a popular dish which was made especially during winter months in northern parts of India.

We would also call it matar wale chawal (matar=green peas). We used to get fresh green peas only during winters and this pulao and matar paratha were two of my favorite things around that time.

For matar pulao, basmati rice is cooked with fresh green peas and few whole spices.

Since here I do not find fresh peas very often, I make matar pulao with frozen peas. Of course it doesn’t taste as good as the one with fresh peas but it’s good enough!

This Matar Pulao

✓ is vegan and gluten-free

✓ pairs well with yogurt or any dal or curry

✓ one pot dish

✓ gets done in 30 minutes or less

✓ filled with aroma of cumin, cloves and cardamom

matar pulao served in a red bowl with a spoon

Like I said before, I have used frozen peas here but if you can get your hands on fresh green peas, then do use them for the recipe.

The pulao tastes great as such, I ate the entire bowl without any side dish or curry. I think it tastes best with raita like this mango mint raita or spinach raita.

Matar Pulao in Pressure Cooker/Instant Pot

For this recipe, I have used my stove top pan but you can very well make it in a pressure cooker or Instant Pot.

To make in an Instant Pot, don’t soak the rice and then follow the rest of the steps as it is.

Press the rice button which will automatically cook it for 12 minutes on low pressure. Let the pressure release naturally. Fluff with a fork.

For stove-top pressure cooker, soak the rice for 30 minutes and then drain. Cook on high heat for 2 whistles, then lower the heat to low and cook for 2-3 minutes. Let the pressure release naturally.

 

Method

1-Wash basmati rice until water turns clear, then soak it in enough water for 30 minutes. Once 30 minutes are over, drain the water and set aside the rice.

2- Heat a pan on medium heat. Once hot, add the oil and then add the bay leaf,  cumin seeds, green cardamom, black cardamom and cloves.

Saute until the spices are fragrant, around 30 seconds.

3- Then add the sliced onion and green chili and cook for 3 to 4 minutes until the onions turn light golden brown in color. You can add a pinch of salt here so that onions cook faster.

4- Add the frozen green peas (I soaked frozen peas in warm water for 10 minutes before using in the recipe) along with chopped cilantro. Cook for 1 minute.

step by step picture collage of making matar pulao

5- Add 1.5 cups water, salt and let it all come to a boil.

6- Once the water starts boiling, add the rinsed and drained rice to the pan. Stir.

7- Cover the pan with a lid and let it cook for 10 minutes on medium heat. After 10 minutes check the rice, if it isn’t done cook for additional 5 minutes. Mine was done in 10 minutes.

8- Open the lid and fluff the rice with a fork.

step by step picture collage of making matar pulao

Garnish matar pulao with some more cilantro! Serve hot with any curry or raita.

overhead shot of matar pulao in a bowl with a spoon with a small bowl of green peas and cilantro in the background and on the sides

If you’ve tried this Matar Pulao Recipe then don’t forget to rate the recipe! You can also follow me on FacebookInstagram to see what’s latest in my kitchen!

This post has been updated from the recipe archives, first published in 2014.

Matar Pulao

Basmati rice cooked with green peas and whole spices like cardamom, cloves & cumin seeds! This Matar Pulao makes a great side dish and goes well with any dal or curry or yogurt. Vegan and gluten-free.

bowl of matar pulao with spoon placed on a blue napkin
Course Sides
Cuisine Indian
Keyword matar pulao
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 2
Calories: 594 kcal
Author: Manali
5 from 1 vote
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Ingredients

  • 1 cup basmati rice, 200 grams, soaked for 30 minutes
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 3 green cardamom pods
  • 2 black cardamom
  • 3 cloves
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 green chili, finely chopped
  • 1.5 cups green peas , I used frozen green peas, soaked in warm water for 10 minutes before using in the recipe
  • 2-3 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • 1.5 cups water, 12 oz
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste

Instructions

  1. Wash basmati rice until water turns clear, then soak it in enough water for 30 minutes. Once 30 minutes are over, drain the water and set aside the rice.

  2. Heat a pan on medium heat. Once hot, add the oil and then add the bay leaf, cumin seeds, green cardamom, black cardamom and cloves.Saute until the spices are fragrant, around 30 seconds.

  3. Then add the sliced onion and green chili and cook for 3 to 4 minutes until the onions turn light golden brown in color. You can add a pinch of salt here so that onions cook faster.

  4. Add the frozen green peas (I soaked frozen peas in warm water for 10 minutes before using in the recipe) along with chopped cilantro. Cook for 1 minute.

  5. Add 1.5 cups water, salt and let it all come to a boil.

  6. Once the water starts boiling, add the rinsed and drained rice to the pan. Stir.

  7. Cover the pan with a lid and let it cook for 10 minutes on medium heat. After 10 minutes check the rice, if it isn’t done cook for additional 5 minutes. Mine was done in 10 minutes.

  8. Open the lid and fluff the rice with a fork.

  9. Garnish matar pulao with some more cilantro! Serve hot with any curry or raita.

Instant Pot Instructions

  1. To make matar pulao in an Instant Pot, don’t soak the rice. Press the saute button and once it displays hot, then add the oil and whole spices and saute until spices are fragrant. Add onion and green chili and cook for 3 to 4 minutes until onion is light golden brown. Then add the green peas and cilantro and stir. Add the water and deglaze the pot, make sure there's nothing stuck at the bottom. Add the rice salt and stir and close the lid. Press the rice button which will automatically cook it for 12 minutes on low pressure. Let the pressure release naturally. Fluff rice with a fork.

Recipe Notes

  1. You can use butter or ghee in place of oil in the pulao.
  2. Use fresh green peas for best result and taste. I have used frozen peas in this recipe because I wasn't able to find fresh ones in the market.
Nutrition Facts
Matar Pulao
Amount Per Serving
Calories 594 Calories from Fat 135
% Daily Value*
Fat 15g23%
Saturated Fat 11g69%
Sodium 681mg30%
Potassium 525mg15%
Carbohydrates 100g33%
Fiber 9g38%
Sugar 9g10%
Protein 13g26%
Vitamin A 860IU17%
Vitamin C 51.3mg62%
Calcium 100mg10%
Iron 3.8mg21%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

36 thoughts on “Matar Pulao (Peas Pulao)

  1. Yum, I love pulao!

    That’s so funny you don’t like rice.. I on the other hand don’t really like chapatis, and so if I have a choice I usually go for the rice!!

  2. I love basmati rice and I love peas! This looks perfect. I wasn’t even aware that there are different cardamoms – like black and green. I just have regular ol’ cardamom. Regardless, it’s one of my favorite spices ever. This dish looks fabulous! Gorgeous pics as always too!

  3. Your rice is probably similar to our potato, since that was what we always had growing up. Rice would be exotic and weird in those days…:) and I like potatoes but I’d rather eat rice… 🙂 and this dish looks pretty good to me!

  4. I’m both Greek and Armenian, among other things, and I love my rice, too! I grew up on my Armenian grandmother’s rice pilaf — it was always that instead of mashed potatoes on the holidays! This rice looks so amazing — the cardamom and peas sound so delicious. 🙂 Pinned.

  5. 5 stars
    I was looking for a quick hearty meal for my family and this recipe did it for me. Loved how rice came out to be moist and flavorful, thank you!

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