This peas pulao is a fragrant curried rice recipe, which is gluten-free, and vegetarian. Also called matar pulao, it is a wonderfully fragrant, one-pot meal that is a big hit with the fussiest of eaters.
The best part about this green peas pulao is no prep work and it’s ready to eat in 15 minutes. It makes for a perfect, wholesome weeknight dinner.
There is always something delightful about fluffed up, perfectly spiced, fragrant basmati rice! You will want to double the quantities, so you have enough leftovers for lunch the next day. It stays perfectly fluffy, which also makes it a great potluck dish. It is always a hit with vegetarians and meat-lovers equally!
The key to making this peas pulao recipe is the technique in cooking and flavoring the rice. Unlike biryanis, this matar pulao recipe is not very heavy on spices. Its subtle flavor and mild seasoning are why Indians many would call this their favorite comfort foods. It is right up there with Dal and rice.
WHAT IS PEAS PULAO / CURRIED RICE?
Simply put, Peas Pulao is a one-pot curried rice dish cooked with green peas and spices.
WHAT GOES INTO THIS CURRIED RICE?
This is a detailed list of ingredients
- Basmati Rice
- Green Peas (Fresh or Frozen)
- Ghee (or cooking oil for vegan option)
- Ginger Garlic Paste
- Onion Paste
- Cumin Seeds
- Bay Leaves
- Whole Peppers
- Cardamom pods
- Cinnamon barks
- Vegetable broth (or stock cubes)
- Corriander or mint leaves for garnish
HOW TO MAKE PEAS PULAO / CURRIED RICE?
- Wash basmati rice about 2-3 times till the water runs clear.
- In a blender, add onions, ginger, garlic, and green chilies and make a smooth paste.
- If using stock cubes – Fill your kettle with water – twice the volume of rice. Eg 2 cups of water for 1 cup of rice. Using hot water will speed up your cooking time.
- Heat ghee or oil in a deep pan, and add the whole spices. Fry gently on low heat till fragrant
- Once the spices are gently fried, add the onions paste and continue frying gently.
- Next, add rice and gently fry it in onion paste for about 2-3 minutes
- Now toss in frozen peas and salt to taste.
- Add the liquid, stir gently, cover and let it cook on low flame. Once the mixture comes to a boil, first cover the pot with a lid, and let the team do its job.
That’s it! Your delicious Peas Pulao is ready.
Some Useful Tips Make Peas Pulao
- Fry onion paste mix on low flame. This step is key to develop a deep flavor to your Peas Pulao. It should caramelize well. Make sure there is no raw smell left from onions, ginger, or garlic. If the paste starts sticking to your pan, add a couple of tablespoons of water and keep frying.
- Adding vegetable stock or stock cubes will intensify this flavor even more. It’s really worth it.
- To keep the texture of rice nice and fluffy, carefully measure water volume. It should be 2 cups of water per cup of rice. No more.
- Once the Peas Pulao is steamed and ready, do not leave it covered. The starches in the rice will make it all sticky and the steam continues to overcook the rice. To et rid of the steam and keep your Peas Pulao nice and fluffy, take a fork and fluff the rice starting at the top and reaching all the way to the bottom. (see video)
- Serve hot. To store leftovers, once the rice is cool, and the grains stay separate, store it in container in the fridge.
Frequently Asked Questions :
What goes well with Peas Pulao / What to serve with Peas Pulao?
This curried rice is good enough to eat by it itself. Just add a spoonful of ghee, or leave it for a vegan option. Following go well with peas pulao.
- Simple Raita
- Mango Pickle
- Papad/ Poppadoms
- Pan-Fried Chicken
- Air Fryer Masala Prawns
- Kachumber Salad
- Masala Paneer
- Any curry or Dal of your choice
- Air fryer Eggplant
Is Peas Pulao gluten-free?
Yes. This recipe uses no gluten-based products and is gluten-free.
Can Peas Pulao be made vegan?
Yes. Just substitute the ghee with the oil of your choice – like Olive oil, Coconut Oil, or even Vegetable Oil. Just serve with papads, pickles, or a crunchy salad.
What other vegetables can I add to this Curried Rice?
You can add frozen vegetable mix, like corn, peas, carrots, spinach leaves, etc.
More recipes for quick and delicious vegetarian weeknight dinners.
Ratatouille – A wonderful French vegetable dish to spread over favorite toast
Dal Tadka – Another popular comfort food.
For another delicious vegetarian meal, try this Sweet Potato Black Bean Burger by The Nut Butter Hub
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Peas Pulao (Curried Rice)
- Deep Pan or Wok Or Sauce Pan or Kadhai
- 1 tbsp Ghee Oil for vegan option
- 1 tsp Cumin Seeds
- 2 leaves Bay Leaves
- 1/2 tsp Cloves
- 2 Cardamom
- 1 Star Anise
Onion Paste Mixture
- 1 tbsp Ginger
- 1 tbsp Garlic
- 1 cup Onions
- 2 Green Chili
- 1 cup Basmati Rice see note #2
- 3/4 cup Peas fresh or frozen
- 1 tsp Curry Powder optional (see notes)
- 2 cups Vegetable Stock or stock cubes and water
- 1 tsp Salt to taste
- 1/4 tsp Pepper
- 1/2 cup Corriander Leaves Or Mint for garnish
- Add onions, ginger, garlic, and red chili to a blender and grind to a smooth paste. Keep aside.
- Wash rice thrice in cold water and drain. Keep aside.
- Heat your pan on a low to medium flame, and add ghee.
- Once ghee is melted, add the while spices and gently fry on low heat for a minute.
- Add onion paste mixture, and fry on low flame for 3-5 minutes, till slightly caramelized. It should not smell of raw ingredients anymore. (See Notes #1)
- Add washed rice and fry gently for 3-5 minutes. (Note #3)
- Add peas (Note 4) and curry powder (if using see Note #5))
- Add vegetable stock or water with stock cubes. Increase the flame to high. (Note #6)
- Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Please adjust salt if adding stock cubes as they have salt as well. (Note #7)
- Once the liquid comes to a boil, reduce the flame, cover the pot with a secure lid and turn off the flame. (Note #8)
- After 10 minutes, your Peas Pulao is ready. (Note #9)
- This method of slow frying onions and spices is called ‘bhoona’, and is the most important step to develop a deep flavor to a dish. Keep flame on low and fry till slightly caramelized. At this point, there would be no raw smell of onions, ginger, or garlic. If the paste starts sticking to the pan, just add 1 tablespoon of water at a time, scrape the bottom of the pan and continue frying. If this paste burns, your whole dish will have a burnt flavor. This is why low flame and patience are key; but so worth it!
- Basmati Rice – Any long-grained rice can be used, but Basmati is highly recommended for its distinct fragrance that is typical of this pulao.
- Washing Rice: Wash rice two or three times till the water runs clear. This gets rid of any starchy residues that could cause the grains to stick together. Unlike Jasmine rice, sushi rice, or even Arborio Risotto rice, which are meant to be sticky, Basmati rice pulao needs to be fluffy and grains need to be separated after cooking. Rinsing rice helps this process.
- Peas: I have used frozen peas. However, if you have fresh peas, you could use them too.
- Curry Powder: A mild spice mix like the Curry Powder can add a nice touch to this Curried Rice. Curry Powders are available in almost all major supermarkets. You would also use Kitchen King Masala, available in Indian grocery stores. Do not use hotter mixes like Garam Masala.
- Stock cubes (even Chicken Stock Cubes) are vegetarian products and are suitable for this dish. If you prefer, use vegetarian stock, stock cubes or if available, actual vegetable stock)
- Since stocks and stock cubes have salt, adjust the final salt to taste.
- Basmati is quick-cooking rice and can finish cooking in the steam after you turn off the heat.
- Take off the lid, and fluff up the rice gently with a fork. This will release all trapped steam and moisture and make your pulao fluffy and keep the grains separate.