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Easy Matar Pulao Recipe (Green Peas and Rice)

Rajan writes to share his knowledge of health, yoga, pranayama, alternative therapies, natural remedies, food recipes, and more.

Green peas and rice pulao

Green peas and rice pulao

About Pulao

Pulao, or pilaf, is a rice dish common in India, Iran, Central Asia, Turkey, and the Caribbean. Using the absorption method, the rice is cooked in one pot with meat or vegetables and aromatic spices. This recipe uses just one vegetable: green peas. Hence, the dish is called Matar Pulao, or green peas pulao.

Check out my recipe video below to see the step-by-step process of making this dish.

Pulao Is Not Biryani

Though pulao and biryani use the same ingredients (rice and meat or vegetables), they are totally different—not only in taste, flavor, and texture but also in terms of the cooking process.

Differences Between Pulao and Biryani

  1. Pulau is a one-pot dish from beginning to end, whereas, with biryani, the rice is cooked separately from the meat or vegetables
  2. Pulao uses the absorption method of cooking, while biryani uses the draining method.
  3. With biryani, the ingredients are layered separately, whereas, with pulao, the meat/vegetables are partially cooked/sauteed first, and then the rice is added, after which the dish is cooked until it is done.
  4. Biryani uses a wider variety of spices in higher amounts, both in whole form and ground. Pulao uses just a few basic spices.
  5. Biryani is usually cooked by giving dum or in steam; it is cooked in a sealed container on low flame, which is a long, drawn-out process. Pulao cooks fast, as it is cooked on medium heat.

Cook Time

Prep timeCook timeReady inYields

10 min

25 min

35 min

Serves 3-4 people


  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1.5 cups rice, soaked in water for 30 minutes prior to its preparation
  • 1.5 cups green peas, frozen/fresh
  • 1 medium sized onion, sliced
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 black cardamom, coarsely crushed
  • 3-4 lavang/cloves
  • 1-inch dalchini/cinnamon stick
  • 1 tsp jeera/cumin seeds
  • 2 tsp kasuri methi/dry fenugreek leaves
  • 1.5 tsp salt


  1. Add oil to a kadhai/wok and heat it on medium heat.
  2. Add the cumin seeds, black cardamom, cloves, and cinnamon stick and saute for 1/2 a minute.
  3. Add the sliced onion and saute it till it turns light brown, about 2-3 minutes. If you are using fresh peas, add them too, at this time, as these take longer to cook than frozen peas.
  4. Add the dry fenugreek leaves and frozen peas. stir and cook the peas for a minute.
  5. Add the soaked rice without the water and salt. Reduce heat to low and add 3 cups water. Mix well and raise the heat to high.
  6. When the water comes to a boil, cover it with a lid and reduce the heat to low. Cook till the added water dries up, and the rice is done. Check a few times in between. Our rice cooked for 15 minutes
  7. Once the rice is cooked, put off the heat, cover it with a lid, and let it sit for 5 minutes, then remove to a serving dish.
  8. Serve the matar pulao with plain dahi/yogurt or boondi raita.

© 2018 Rajan Singh Jolly