Matar Pulao

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Why I love Matar Pulao so much

I grew up eating rice almost everyday. If you’re gonna eat rice everyday, you need to come up with some variety. Matar Pulao, or Peas Pulao, is a great example of how simple ingredients like peas and basmati rice can be so flavorful. The stock extracts all the delicious flavors from the perfect blend of whole spices. The tomatoes and onions give the rice a distinct savory flavor. In our region of Punjab pulaos are greatly appreciated, and this has to be one of my favorites. You don’t always need chicken stock and meat to add flavor to your rice. Just some matar can do the trick.

How to treat your basmati rice for pulao

I use basmati for pulao’s / pilafs. If you follow a few steps they’ll turn out great every time. I have some tips in the recipe notes below. When you are using basmati, you always need to soak your rice before exposing it to high heat. The rice will not expand and it will break if it has not been soaked. Even if you have 10 minutes, that will help, but I recommend soaking the basmati for 30 minutes in lukewarm water. Another thing to keep in mind is that once the rice is cooked, don’t over mix. Carefully loosen the rice with a spatula or fork. The beauty of Basmati is in its long grain, and breaking it will do nothing to the flavor, but presentation is important.

Using whole spices in this matar pulao

Whole spices add lots of flavor, but they can also be over powering if use in the wrong amounts. Cinnamon and black cardamom are strong so I use them sparingly. Black peppercorns add a subtle heat that hits slowly, but you can tell it’s there, so just 4-5 is a good amount for 2 cups of rice. Follow this recipe and the pea to rice ratio will be perfect in your matar pulao.

Basmati Pea Pilaf- Matar Pulao

Basmati Pea Pilaf – Matar Pulao

This pulao is a great veegan/vegetarian rice dish that if full of flavor. It's also a great side for your meat dishes.
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Course Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine Pakistani
Servings 4


  • 2 cups basmati soaked for 30 minutes
  • 2 cups peas
  • 4-5 tbsp oil flavorless
  • 1 onion thinly sliced
  • 1 tomato chopped
  • 3 green chilli peppers
  • 1 inch piece cinnamon stick
  • 2 black cardamom
  • 3 dried red chillies
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 5 peppercorns
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp kashmiri laal mirch or chili powder
  • 4 cups water


  • In a large pot heat your oil and add the sliced onions. Saute till they turn a light golden brown.
  • Add the chopped tomato, the peas, all the whole spices and the green chillies. Saute for 4-5 minutes, until the tomato breaks down, then add the salt and laal mirch. Mix well, then add the water. Once the water comes to a boul let it simmer for 5 minutes.
  • Drain the soaked rice and add it to the pea stock. Let the stock simmer while the rice absorbs all the flavors. When most of the stock has been absorbed by the rice and you can see large bubbles forming, cover the pot with a lid, reduce the flame to the lowest setting and let the rice cook on dum for 10 minutes. Do not open the lid during this time.
  • After 10 minutes, steam should start coming out of the lid. Turn off the flame and leave the rice covered for 5 minutes, then open the lid and carefully loosen the rice with a spatula or fork. Serve warm. Refridgerate leftovers in an airtight container.


If you want to lower the spice level, omit the whole dried chillies. 
Basmati is the best rice to use for pulao’s, I have not tried to make the with any other grain. Always soak your rice is lukewarm water for at least 30 minutes before draining and using. 
I use frozen peas for this recipe. I just take them out and add them to the pot frozen and they work great. 
It is very important to keep the lowest flame setting for the dum (When you let the steam do the cooking) part of the cooking process. You can even place the pot on the smaller burner of your stove for this process. 
Keyword Basmati, Basmati Pilaf, Matar Pulao, Pea Pilaf

Have you tried this delicious vegan and gluten free basmati pea pilaf recipe?

Have you tried this delicious pea pilaf? I love serving this as a side with Chicken Curry or my favorite Achari Chicken Handi. This is great served on it’s own with a bowl of yogurt as well. If you did, I’d love to hear how it turned out in the comments below!

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I followed this recipe and achari chicken recipe it was so good and easy.. only took 30min literally.. for me that’s a win