Matar Pulao or Peas Pulao is a mildly flavored, satisfying, and nutritious rice dish which is quick and easy to make.
It has sweetness from green peas and aromatic flavors from fragrant whole spices.
Matar pulao or pulav is a vegan and gluten free one-pot dish that is cooked using basmati rice, green peas, caramelized onions, and some sweet-smelling spices.
This peas pulao ticks all the boxes on the days when you want something quick, delicious, filler and nutritious at the same time.
You can make this one-pot rice dish in a pan, a stovetop pressure cooker or in an Instant Pot. This post has all three ways of cooking matar pulao from scratch.
With the amazing tips and variations on this page, you can make your favorite restaurant-quality matar pulao or green peas pulao at home.
What is Matar Pulao?
Matar pulao is an Indian rice dish where Basmati Rice is cooked together with green peas, onion and a bunch of whole spices. Green peas = hare matar, and pulao = rice. So this dish is the literal translation of peas rice. Pulao is also known as pulav, pilau or .
The great thing about this matar pulao is that it has a mild flavor and taste, and that is what kids love. Right? So it can be served to kids in their lunch boxes and they would thank you for this.
Peas pulao also makes a fabulous side dish for parties or get together because it is way too delightful when compared to a simple boiled or steamed rice. Also it is very comfortable and easy to make in a huge batch.
Some dishes can never go wrong no matter what way you have prepared them. And matar pulao is certainly one of those dishes. Whether you choose to cook it in a pan, or pressure cook it in a pressure cooker or Instant pot, matar pulao would always come out perfectly fragrant and delicious.
Peas pulao is my default choice when it comes to pulao. Here are some of the reasons why:
This Matar Pulao:
✓ is super easy and quick.
✓ is made in one pot.
✓ is best for the lunch box.
✓ tastes amazingly delicious.
✓ is healthy and nutritious.
✓ satisfies all the carbs cravings.
✓ ready under 20 minutes.
✓ looks extra pretty and presentable.
✓ perfect for parties.
✓ can turn a simple meal into an exotic dinner.
✓ is vegan and gluten-free.
When to make Matar Pulao?
Well, you can make matar pulao every other day or whenever you happen to have peas in abundance. This is a simple dish that can be prepared for any meal throughout the year. You can always make it as a fail-safe choice during celebrations, festivals, or other special occasions.
How to serve Matar Pulao?
Matar pulao can be served with curry, , , curry, papad, pickle or just as it is. You can even serve it with some chilled natural yogurt. You can replace this peas pulao in any meal where you’d serve plain steamed basmati rice. The serving options are limitless.
No matter how you choose to serve it, the mouth-watering taste of this simple rice dish would definitely elevate your mood.
Here are some meal ideas on how to serve matar pulao:
How to make matar pulao in an Instant pot?
Making matar pulao in an Instant Pot is simple. You can follow the pressure cooker recipe for the Instant pot version.
Or you can follow this recipe:
Press saute button on Instant Pot and and add oil to the inner pot. Once it displays hot, add the oil, cumin seeds and all the other whole spices. Saute for about 30 seconds or until spices are fragrant.
Then add sliced onions, ginger juliennes, green chilies and saute for 2-3 minutes or until onions are light golden.
Next add green peas and saute for another minute. Scrap the bottom to make sure there is nothing stuck at the bottom.
Add soaked rice, salt, lemon juice and mix everything well. Add water and mix again.
Cover the instant pot with the lid, set the valve to sealing position. Now press cancel. Then press the pressure cook or manual mode and cook for 5 minutes on high pressure. Let the pressure release naturally. Fluff rice with a fork and serve.
How to make Matar Pulao in a pressure cooker?
Making matar pulao in a pressure cooker is similar to matar pulao in a pan. To make matar pulao in a pressure cooker, follow the detailed recipe instructions given in the recipe box on this page.
Can I make green peas pulao with coconut milk?
Yes, certainly you can. To make Green Peas pulao with coconut milk, simply swap water with runny coconut milk. The rest of the recipe will be the same as mentioned in the recipe box on this page.
Important tips and variations to make your best matar pulao:
- To make matar pulao, always use good quality long grain basmati rice. Longer grains make the best tasting aromatic pulao.
- Also, if possible, use aged basmati rice, this is because it is so aromatic and has a perfect texture that is best for making any type of pulao. 2-3 year old rice is best.
- You can use fresh or frozen peas for this matar pulao recipe.
- Sauteeing and caramelizing sliced onions lends a sweet aromatic taste to this pulao. So it is advisable to use sliced onions. However, if you don’t like onions then you can surely skip them.
- Adding some lemon juice makes rice white and fluffy and it also adds a nice tang to the pulao. I personally like adding lemon juice, but you can surely skip it.
- Washing and soaking the rice before cooking is so important. So make sure you don’t skip this step. It not only helps in cooking faster, but also makes rice fluffy.
- To make aloo matar pulao, you can also add cubed potatoes to it while sauteing onions.
- Like matar , you can also make matar paneer pulao. Just add fried paneer cubes to make Matar Paneer Pulao.
- If you are using green peas which are not tender, then make sure to boil them with some salt and sugar for 4-5 minutes before adding to the rice. Salt and sugar help in retaining the color of the green peas and also adds a nice flavor to them.
- If you don’t have much time for soaking rice, then you can also soak rice for 15 minutes.
- If all the water has been absorbed while cooking in a pan and rice grains have not cooked properly then you can add more (2-3 tablespoons) water. After that, cover and cook the rice again for a few minutes.
- The amount of water may vary with different varieties of rice. When cooking in a pan, 1:1.5 is the general rice to water ratio which works with almost all the varieties of the basmati rice. However, feel free to adjust the amount of water depending on the rice.
- While cooking in a pressure cooker, cook only for 2 whistles on a high heat and immediately remove the cooker from the stove.
- Make sure you let the pressure cool down completely before opening the lid. This way you will get perfectly cooked rice where each grain is cooked, yet separated. If you want to slightly undercook the rice, then give it only 1 whistle.
- To enhance the flavor of matar pulao, you can also add cilantro or mint leaves along with green peas.
- This is a mild rice dish which goes well with any curry or lentils dish. To make it hotter, you can increase the amount of green chilies or you can also add some garam masala powder to it along with salt.
- You can also add 1 tablespoon of ginger-garlic paste along with onions.
- I like the nutty texture of cashews in matar pulao. If you don’t like cashews then you can also add almonds to this pulao, or simply omit it if desired.
Matar Pulao (Pan, Pressure Cooker, and Instant Pot Recipe) (Step-by-step photo instructions)
Preperation for Matar Pulao //
- Rinse 1 cup rice a few times until the water runs clear.
- Soak the rice in water for 30 minutes. Drain excess water and keep the rice aside.
How To Make Matar Pulao In Pan //
- Heat 2.5 tablespoons ghee/oil in a pan over medium heat.
- Once hot, add 1 teaspoon of cumin seeds to it.
- Also add whole spices (bay leaf, black cardamom, green cardamom pods, cloves, and black peppercorns) and saute for a few seconds or till the spices release their aroma and become fragrant.
- Add 1 large sliced onion to the pan and saute over medium heat for 2 minutes or until onions are light golden and caramelized.
- Add the ginger juliennes, green chilies and saute for a minute.
- Next, add the green peas and saute for 2 minutes.
- Now add the drained basmati rice and stir well using gentle pressure. (Careful, do not break the rice grains.)
- Saute for 2 minutes.
- Add lemon juice and mix well again.
- Add 1.5 cups of water and stir well. Let it come to a boil.
- Cover the pot tightly with the lid and cook for 3-4 minutes.
- Uncover the pan and add roasted cashewnuts.
- Cover the pan and cook for 5-6 minutes or until rice is cooked.
- Turn off th heat, and uncover the pan. Then gently fluff the rice using a fork. Let the rice cool for 5 minutes.
- Garnish with coriander and leaves and serve matar pulao with some raita, curry, or green coriander chutney.
How To Make Matar Pulao In Pressure Cooker //
- Heat oil or ghee in a pressure cooker over medium heat.
- Add cumin seeds and saute for a few seconds.
- Then add green cardamom pods, black peppercorns, cloves, cinnamon, bay leaf, and star anise. Saute them for a few seconds or until the spices turn aromatic.
- Add cashews and saute until they turn turn golden.
- Next, add sliced onions and saute for 2 minutes.
- After that add ginger juliennes, green chilies and saute for 1 minute.
- Add green peas and stir well to combine.
- Now add salt and give it a stir.
- After that, add the drained rice and stir well. Saute for 2 minutes.
- Also add lemon juice and mix well to combine.
- Add 1.25 cups of water and mix well again. Let it come to a boil over medium heat.
- Cover the pan with lid and pressure cook over high heat for 2 whistles.
- Turn off the heat and keep the cooker aside. Let the pressure cool down before opening the lid.
- Once cooled, open the lid an fluff up matar pulao using a fork and allow it to rest for 5-7 minutes.
- Garnish with coriander leaves and serve matar pulao with dal or raita.
How To Make Matar Pulao In Instant Pot //
- Press saute button on Instant Pot and and add oil to the inner pot.
- Once it displays hot, add the oil, cumin seeds and all the other whole spices.
- Saute for about 30 seconds or until spices are fragrant.
- Then add sliced onions, ginger jullienes, green chilies and saute 2-3 minutes or until onions are light golden.
- Next add green peas and saute another minute.
- Deglaze the pot and make sure nothing is stuck to the bottom of the pot.
- Add soaked rice, salt, lemon juice and mix everything well.
- Add water and mix again.
- Cover the instant pot with the lid, set the valve to sealing position.
- Press cancel. Then press the pressure cook or manual mode and cook for 5 minutes on high pressure. (Pressure building takes around 10 minutes in Instant Pot. So be patient and don't try to open the lid to see why pressure is not building.)
- Let the pressure release naturally.
- Fluff rice with a fork and serve.