Pea Pulao|Matar Pulao


Nik Sharma

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Pea Pulao/Matar Pulao

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Pea pulao is one of the most popular rice dishes on Indian menus, and it was the first rice dish I had learned to make after plain rice. Ghee and whole spices complement the fragrance of the basmati and make this pulao a classic. 

  • Yield: 4


1 cup/100 g basamatic rice

3 Tbsp ghee or neutral vegetable oil

3 to 4 green cardamom pods, lightly cracked

4 whole cloves

4 black peppercorns, lightly cracked

2 to 3 bay leaves

2 tsp whole cumin

fine sea salt

10 oz/280 g fresh or frozen peas


  1. Pick the rice for any debris, rinse under running tap water in a fine mesh sieve, and soak the rice covered in water for 30 minutes. 
  2. When ready to cook, heat the ghee in a medium Dutch oven or saucepan over medium heat. Add the cardamom, cloves, black peppercorns, bay leaves, and cumin; and sauté until fragrant, 30 to 45 seconds. 
  3. Drain the rice and add it to the spice. Fry the grains until they stop sticking to the Dutch oven, 3 to 4 minutes. Add salt and 4 cups/960 ml of water, bring to a boil over medium-high heat then reduce to a simmer, cover with a lid, and let cook.  Do not stir the rice during cooking. After 20 minutes, add the peas and cover with a lid. Continue to cook until the water has completely evaporated, the rice grains turn white, fluffy, and tender, and the peas bright green and soft. Remove from the heat and let the rice sit covered for 8 minutes. When ready to serve, carefully fluff the rice with a fork and transfer to a serving platter. Serve hot. Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container for up to 4 days or in the freezer for up to 1 month. 


  • I use 1/2 tsp of fine sea salt but feel free to adjust according to your preference. 
  • Use aged basmati rice (the bag will typically state how long it’s been aged; 1 year is great); it will be very fragrant. 
  • After cooking, you can remove and discard the whole spices, but they’re traditionally left in.

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