Green Peas Pulao recipe is an aromatic Indian rice with peas dish. Try this deliciously spicy rice dish called matar pulao today! Make this vegan rice recipe under 30 minutes and serve as a great side.
A Childhood Favorite
As kids, we would visit restaurants only with parents and that too only on special occasions. My younger brother and I began to like this one particular restaurant because of the food they served.
They had Green Peas Pulav on the menu and both of us would usually end up ordering just that.
The green peas recipe they served was mildly flavored and the rice was intentionally kept white.
In today's recipe, however, I decided to change things around a little bit and give it my own flavor. Read on!
This easy one-pot spicy rice recipe will help make your days less stressful so that you can enjoy more quality time with your loved ones and less time in the kitchen.
This Indian rice with peas is so flavorful and delicious that you'll absolutely fall in love with it.
Why this peas pulao recipe works
- It's a gluten-free & vegan rice recipe
- It's easy and quick to make - takes less than 30 minutes
- It's a one-pot meal
- It's irresistibly tasty
- Made with frozen peas
- Can be made with leftover rice
- A spicy rice dish
What is Matar Rice?
Matar is an Indian term for green peas. So Matar Rice or Pulao translates loosely to 'Rice flavored with Peas'. Of course, it's more than just peas and rice cooked together.
There are cilantro, garlic, and other spices involved that make it flavorful and delicious.
If you go to restaurants in India, the menu will usually have a section called 'Rice dishes' that will have a selection of flavored rice dishes.
Matar Rice or Peas Pulao is one such popular rice dish offered in most restaurants and each restaurant has its own way of preparing it.
What is the Difference between Veg Pulao and Veg Biryani
Most people use the terms Pulao and Biryani interchangeably. However, the two are not the same. The cooking methods used are different.
To cook Pulao, the spices and raw rice are both sauteed together and then we add the water and cook the Pulao on a medium to high flame.
The water is absorbed by the rice and the veggies when cooking. Pulao is usually mildly flavored and light on spices.
Biryani on the other hand uses a 'layering' system. The veggies and rice are cooked separately.
The rice is partially cooked, and the water is drained. The vessel (usually cast iron) is first layered with the partially cooked rice, then a layer of the veggies, then a layer of fried onions.
The vessel is sealed and the Biryani is slow-cooked on a low flame. Note the absence of water when cooking a Biryani.
Biryani is usually more heavy on the spices (cardamom, cinnamon sticks, cloves, etc.) and is more aromatic than Pulao.
Soya Chunks Biryani is one of my favorite biryani recipes. It is not your typical biryani recipe but so worth it!
History and Health Benefits
Matar Pulao is made in our house all around the year but traditionally it is a winter recipe.
The reason being, In India, freshly grown green peas are usually harvested sometime in November and available for consumption.
This is the reason why recipes with green peas as the hero ingredient like Vegan Mutter Ka Nimona | Green Peas Curry were mainly prepared during Winter back then.
That of course was the concept before frozen veggies. Today things are different and thanks to frozen peas being easily available anytime and everywhere, we can enjoy green peas all year round.
Here are some health benefits of incorporating green peas in your meals:
- Green peas are high in starch or complex carbs.
- They are low in calories and rich in fiber, protein, Vitamin A, and Vitamin K.
- Since fiber and protein-rich foods can keep you full for longer, green peas can be very helpful in curbing mid-meal cravings.
- High fiber content means good for digestion.
If you are looking for a great green peas recipe besides this one, check these out.
- Easy Kovalam Mutter | Vegan Green Peas Curry
- Methi Matar Malai | Fenugreek Green Peas Gravy - A Vegan Version
- Restaurant Style Aloo Mutter Gravy | Potatoes & Green Peas Curry
- Khoya Matar
Here's how to make it
I am using precooked rice to make Matar Pulao. For that, soak Basmati rice for 30 minutes, strain, add water, and then cook it.
If using leftover chilled rice, just warm it in the microwave by spreading it out on a plate and sprinkling it with water.
- Dry roast coconut, onions along with ginger, garlic, jalapeno, and cashews until slightly charred.
- Take it off the flame and allow it cool. Then grind it into a smooth paste.
- I use this Mixer Grinder for all my Indian cooking.
- Heat oil in a pan and once its hot, temper mustard seeds and cumin seeds.
- Once they begin to crackle (in about 10 seconds), add chopped cilantro and chopped onions.
- Saute till the onions turn translucent.
- Immediately add the ground paste to the pan. Fry this for a minute or two.
- Then add the green peas and continue to cook for another 3-4 minutes.
- Add the spice mixes like Homemade Turmeric Powder, Cumin Powder, and Garam Masala.
- Fry this for another minute or till the spices are cooked.
- Finally, add the cooked rice and give it a good toss so that all the masala coats the rice well.
- Garnish this spicy rice with some chopped cilantro and serve.
To make this in an Instant Pot
No need to soak the rice. Follow the rest of the steps as it is. Press the rice button which will automatically cook it for 12 minutes on low pressure.
Or select the manual button and cook it for 12 minutes. Let the pressure release naturally. Fluff with a fork.
This one-pot Indian rice with peas recipe can be enjoyed by itself or served with a yogurt dip like Raita or just a bowl of plain yogurt.
You can substitute rice with Quinoa or cauliflower rice if you are looking for a low carb meal.
This Indian rice with peas is the perfect side dish for everyday cooking, easy to pack in lunchboxes, weeknight meals, or as a side at any party.
It can be made ahead, making it easy for the home chef to plan the holiday menu.
Peas Pulao is my go-to dish when I want to cook something warm and comforting for supper or craving to eat spicy rice.
But also something easy with minimal cleanup. Green Peas Pulao is the most convenient, easy dinner recipe for a weekday possible!
This peas pulao recipe is tasty, easy, and is good during any time of year.
Tips to make this Indian rice with peas
If you have cooked white rice leftover from the day before, you can use it to make this Matar Pulao. This dish actually tastes great when made using old, cooked rice.
If you prepare the dish using freshly cooked rice - always soak rice in water for 30 minutes and then cook it. This will guarantee that the rice is fluffy and the grains are long and separated.
Also, premium quality Basmati or any long-grain rice is always preferred when making such rice-based dishes.
Use rice: water ratio of 1:2. 2 cups of water for every cup of rice.
If using chilled leftover rice, then you can warm it in the microwave. Just sprinkle some water on it before heating it. This helps the rice stay moist.
While fresh peas taste the best in any recipe that calls for it, both frozen and canned peas will work fine in this spicy rice dish.
You can skip adding onion and garlic if you don't eat them.
If you have some leftover rice, here are some other great ways to completely transform it.
If you’ve tried this Green Peas Pulao Recipe or any other recipe on the blog please let me know how it went by commenting below, I love hearing from you!
Green Peas Pulao Recipe | How to make Matar Pulao
Ingredients to make ground paste
- 1/3 cup coconut shreds, grated, fresh or desiccated
- 1 onion roughly chopped
- 8 cloves garlic roughly chopped
- 1 inch ginger or 1 tbsp ginger paste
- 1 jalapeno roughly chopped
- 2 tbsp cashews
- 1-2 tbsp water for grinding
Ingredients to make the Green Peas Pulao
To make ground paste
- Dry roast coconut, onions along with ginger, garlic, jalapeno and cashews till they begin to get slightly charred. Take it off the flame and allow it cool. Then grind it into a smooth paste by adding little water.
To make the Green Peas Pulao
- Soak Basmati rice for 30 minutes, strain and then cook it in water. I prefer to cook rice either in my Instant Pot or Rice Cooker. If using leftover rice, just warm it in the microwave and spread it out on a plate.
- Heat oil in a pan and once its hot, temper mustard seeds and cumin seeds. Once they begin to crackle (in about 10 seconds), add chopped cilantro and chopped onions. Saute till the onions turn translucent.
- Immediately add the ground paste to the pan. Fry this for a minute or two.
- Then add green peas and continue to cook till for another 3-4 minutes.
- Add the spice mixes like Homemade Turmeric Powder, Cumin Powder and Garam Masala. Fry this for another minute or till the masala is cooked.
- Finally add the cooked rice and give it a good toss so that all the masala coats the rice well. Garnish with some chopped cilantro and serve.
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