This fragrant and flavorful Peas Pulao (Matar Pulao) is a staple in most Indian homes. Basmati rice is cooked with whole spices and green peas. It is delicious and effortless to make in the instant pot or stovetop. Pair this peas pulao as a side dish with any curry or dal for a wonderful meal!

fluffy Peas Pulao in a round plate
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If I eat rice, I love to have it flavored, such as Turmeric Rice, Cumin Rice, or Lemon Rice. And here is another one of our favorites – Peas Pulao or Rice.

My mom would make this peas pulao when there were guests, as it looks pretty with the green on the white rice and has a wonderful aroma from the whole spices. Peas pulao has a slight sweetness that goes well with the spices, making it delightful to eat.

I will share the recipe for this pulao in the instant pot and stovetop. Either way, it is a one-pot recipe and easy to make in less than 30 minutes.

What is Peas Pulao?

Peas Pulao, also called Matar Pulao, is usually made by cooking rice with peas and a mix of fragrant spices. It is a variation of the basic basmati rice recipe.

Peas Pulao can be made with either fresh or frozen peas, and it’s easy to change the flavor to suit your taste.

Of course, the pulao tastes much better with fresh green peas, but I usually don’t find them easily at the store. However, I always have frozen green peas in my freezer, so this pulao is easy to make at any time.

What makes Matar Pulao so darn good?

  • The subtle sweetness and just the right amount of spices.
  • The smell of the dish is enticing and hard to resist. 
  • It is vegan and gluten-free
  • It is easy to make in less than 30 minutes.
  • It pairs well with curries, kebabs, dal, and raita.

Ingredients

  • Basmati rice: I use extra long-grain basmati rice for this recipe (and many others). After cooking, the long-grain rice remains fluffy and separate. 
  • Oil and/or Ghee: You can use ghee or oil, or a combination in this recipe. I love to use ghee, as it does give a richer taste to the final dish. To keep the rice vegan, use any plant-based oil of your choice.
  • Yellow Onion: I used yellow onions, but you can use red onions if you like too.
  • Green chili pepper: Optional but gives the dish a slight spice kick.
  • Garam masala: A mixture of ground spices will give the dish flavor and depth. 
  • Green peas: I use frozen green peas when making this pulao.
  • Whole spices: Use bay leaf, cumin seeds, black cardamom, green cardamom, cinnamon stick, and cloves. They make the pulao aromatic and add a subtle flavor.
  • Cilantro leaves: to garnish. 

How To Make Peas Pulao?

Soak Rice: Put the rice in a small bowl and wash it gently until most water is clear. Soak the rice in water for 20 minutes to let it soften and soak up the water.

Stovetop Method

Bloom Whole Spices: Heat oil and/or ghee over medium heat in a pan. Add whole spices like bay leaf, cumin seeds, black cardamom, green cardamom, cinnamon stick, and cloves, and sauté for 30 seconds to release their aroma and flavor.

Cook Aromatics: Add thinly sliced onions and chopped green chili and cook, often stirring, for about 8 minutes or until the onions are golden brown.

Add Green Peas and Spices: Add the frozen green peas, garam masala, and salt and mix well.

Add Water and Rice: Pour the water into the pot and turn the heat up to high. Bring it to a boil. Then add the rice and stir it well. Let the water and rice come back to a boil.

Cook Pulao: Reduce the heat to low, cover it with a lid, and let the rice cook for 12 to 15 minutes or until it has soaked up all the water. Then, turn off the heat and allow it to rest for another 5 minutes without stirring.

Fluff and Serve: After resting, gently lift the rice from the edges with a paddle or fork to fluff it up. Transfer onto a serving tray.

Garnish with cilantro, if desired. Serve with cucumber raita, mint raita, or plain yogurt.

Matar Pulao in a white plate

Instant Pot Peas Pulao Method

  • Start the Instant Pot in sauté mode. Add the oil and/or ghee. Once it is hot, add the whole spices and saute for about 30 seconds until their aroma is released.
  • Add the onions and green chili pepper to the Instant Pot and sauté them until golden brown.
  • Add salt, garam masala, and frozen peas to the Instant Pot.
  • Add 1 3/4 cups of water to the Instant Pot. Then, add the rice and mix it with the other ingredients in the Instant Pot.
  • Turn off the sauté mode and close the Instant Pot’s lid. Set the Instant Pot for 4 minutes on high pressure. When the Instant Pot beeps, let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes, then manually release it.
  • Open the lid of the Instant Pot and fluff the Pulao with a rice paddle or fork.
  • Transfer the Pulao to a serving tray. Garnish with cilantro.
  • Note: it is best to remove the steel insert from the instant pot so the lower layer of rice does not overcook.

Stovetop Pressure Cooker Method

Follow the same method as the Instant Pot. Pressure cook for 2 whistles on medium flame, then let the pressure release naturally.

Expert Tips for Matar Pulao

Rice: Use aged basmati rice with long grains for the best results. 

Soaking: Soak the rice for at least 20 minutes before you cook it to ensure it cooks evenly and doesn’t break apart. 

Rice-to-Water Ratio: For fluffy rice, the rice-to-water ratio is very important. I use basmati rice, for which the ratio in the recipe works well. If you use a different variety (or sometimes even a different rice brand), the rice-to-water ratio will differ, so adjust accordingly.

Do not stir the rice while it is cooking or resting; this can break the grains and make the pulao too mushy. 

Fluff: Once the rice is cooked, lift gently from the sides to fluff the rice.

Variations

Vegetable Pulao: Add more veggies such as carrots, potatoes, sweet corn, or bell peppers to make it a vegetable pulao.

Matar Paneer Pulao: Add lightly sauteed paneer to the cooked pulao. You can also add sauteed tofu to keep it vegan.

Add Nuts: When serving guests, I love adding nuts, such as cashews or almonds, to the pulao.

Storage Suggestions

Matar Pulao can be kept in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to three days. Here are some storage suggestions to keep in mind: 

  • Before putting the pulao in the fridge, let it cool to room temperature. 
  • To warm up the pulao, sprinkle a few drops of water and heat it in the microwave for 1–2 minutes or until it is hot all the way through.
  • Don’t freeze the pulao because freezing can change how the rice feels and tastes. 
  • If you have leftover pulao that you won’t be able to eat in 3–4 days, you could use it to make a new dish, like a stir-fry with vegetables or fried rice.

What to Serve with Matar Pulao?

Matar Pulao is typically served as a side dish with curries, dal, or raita.

Serve it with chana masala or paneer tikka masala. It also goes well with chicken curry.

We love to have cucumber raita, boondi raita, or plain yogurt with this peas pulao. Kachumber salad goes well as a side too.

More Rice Recipes

5 from 5 votes

Peas Pulao (Matar Pulao)

This fragrant and flavorful Peas Pulao (Matar Pulao) is a staple in most Indian homes. Basmati rice is cooked with whole spices and green peas. It is delicious and effortless to make in the instant pot or stovetop. Pair this peas pulao as a side dish with any curry or dal for a wonderful meal!
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 6

Ingredients 

  • 1 1/2 cups Basmati Rice, extra long grain
  • 2 tablespoon Ghee or Oil
  • 1 cup Yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 Green Chili Pepper, finely chopped, I use Serrano or Thai chili, optional
  • 1/2 teaspoon Garam Masala
  • 1.5 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 cup Green peas, I used frozen
  • 2 3/4 cups Water, or for instant pot method use 1 3/4 cup
  • Cilantro leaves, chopped, for garnish (optional)

Whole Spices

Instructions 

  • Place the rice in a small bowl and gently wash the rice until the water runs mostly clear. Soak in water for 20 minutes.

Stovetop Method

  • Heat oil and ghee in a nonstick pan or dutch oven over medium heat. Add whole spices,and saute for 30 seconds.
  • Add the onions and green chili and sauté until they are golden brown, about 8 minutes while stirring frequently.
  • Add frozen peas, garam masala, salt, and stir. Pour in the water. Raise heat to high. Let it come to a boil.
  • Add the rice. Stir it. Bring to a boil.
  • Reduce the heat to low, cover with a lid, and allow to cook for 12-15 minutes or until all the water is soaked. Turn off the heat and allow to rest for another 5 minutes. Do not stir at this time.
  • Use a rice paddle or fork to fluff the pulao. Garnish with cilantro, if desired. Serve with raita or plain yogurt.

Instant Pot Method

  • Start the Instant Pot in sauté mode. Add the oil and/or ghee. Once it is hot, the whole spices and saute for about 30 seconds until their aroma is released.
  • Add the onions to the Instant Pot and sauté them until they are golden brown.
  • Add salt, garam masala, and frozen peas to the Instant Pot. Stir the 1 3/4 cups of water in the Instant Pot. Then, add the rice and mix it with the other ingredients in the Instant Pot.
  • Turn off the sauté mode and close the Instant Pot's lid. Set the Instant Pot for 4 minutes on high pressure. When the Instant Pot beeps, let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes, then manually release it.
  • Open the lid of the Instant Pot and fluff the Pulao with a rice paddle or fork. Transfer the Pulao to a serving tray. Note: it is best to remove the steel insert from the instant pot so the lower layer of rice does not overcook.
  • Garnish with cilantro and enjoy!

Video

Notes

Rice-to-Water Ratio: For fluffy rice, the rice-to-water ratio is very important. I use basmati rice, for which the ratio in the recipe works well. If you use a different variety (or sometimes even a different rice brand), the rice-to-water ratio will be different, so adjust accordingly.
Storing: Peas Pulao stores well in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 3 days. 

Nutrition

Calories: 252kcalCarbohydrates: 45gProtein: 5gFat: 6gSaturated Fat: 3gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.3gMonounsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 13mgSodium: 618mgPotassium: 174mgFiber: 3gSugar: 3gVitamin A: 191IUVitamin C: 13mgCalcium: 39mgIron: 1mg

Additional Info

Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Indian, Pakistani
Diet: Gluten-free, Vegan
Tried this recipe?Mention @pipingpotcurry or tag #pipingpotcurry!

About Meeta

I strongly believe that each one of us has a chef inside us, we just need to explore the ingredients and create great food. My passion is to share easy, healthy, and wholesome recipes made using Instant Pot & Air Fryer, that are well tested, so you can cook with confidence.

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6 Comments

    1. Hi Kelly – yes, the same. The steel inner pot is also called the steel insert. I hope you enjoy the peas pulao.

  1. Hi Meeta! I replaced the rice with cauliflower “rice” and it tasted great! Good way to get more veggies