Matar Pulav is a mildly spiced rice dish made using green peas. It is a one-pot pulav that you can easily put together in a pressure cooker in a matter of minutes. For me, it is the perfect choice for lunch or dinner on a busy weekday. It’s a great family favourite, with all of us at home loving the simple flavours of this dish.
Today, let me take you through the process of making Matar Pulav (also called Green Peas Pulav), my way.
Matar Pulav recipe for Shhh Cooking Secretly Challenge
I am sharing this recipe in association with the Shhh Cooking Secretly Challenge.
The Shhh Cooking Secretly Challenge is run by a group of passionate food bloggers who share recipes based on a pre-determined theme, every month. The participants are grouped into pairs, and every pair exchanges two ingredients secretly, unknown to the rest of the group. These two ingredients are then used by each pair to cook a dish that fits the month’s theme. The other group members see the picture of the dish, and try to guess the two secret ingredients that have been used in it.
The group’s theme for the month of September was ‘Pulav and Biryani‘, as suggested by Swaty of Food Trails. Swaty has a large collection of interesting pulav and biryani recipes on her blog, including this beautiful Sprouted Moong Pulav and this flavourful Jodhpuri Pulav.
For the month of September, I was paired with Mayuri ji, the author of Mayuri’s Jikoni. I gave her the secret ingredients of ‘mint’ and ‘garlic’, which she used to prepare this hearty Turkish Bulgur Pilaf. Mayuri ji assigned me ‘garlic’ and ‘shahi jeera‘ as my secret ingredients, which fit right into my Matar Pulav recipe.
What goes into my Matar Pulav
Rice, green peas and whole spices are the major ingredients here.
I alternate between using Sona Masoori and Basmati rice, in the making of this pulav. You can use any variety you prefer.
Whole spices like shahi jeera (caraway seeds), bay leaves, Marathi moggu (kapok buds), cinnamon, cloves and mace go into this pulav. This eliminates the need for garam masala or any pulav masala powder.
I personally think this pulav tastes best with fresh green peas, when in season. However, frozen peas work just as well. I have seen restaurants substituting dried green peas (soaked overnight and cooked) in this dish but, for me, that just doesn’t work. I can’t make this dish if I don’t have fresh or frozen green peas available.
A freshly ground paste of ginger, garlic and green chillies adds spice to this pulav.
How to make Matar Pulav
Without further ado, let’s get to the recipe for Matar Pulav or Green Peas Pulav.
Ingredients (serves 3-4):
1. 1/2 teaspoon shahi jeera (caraway seeds)
2. A small piece of cinnamon
3. 1 Marathi moggu (kapok buds)
4. 1 clove
5. A small piece of mace
6. 1 bay leaf
1. 1 cup Sona Masoori rice
2. 1 heaped cup green peas
3. 1 medium-sized onion
4. 4 cloves of garlic
5. A 1-inch piece of ginger
6. 1-1/2 green chillies or as per taste
7. 3/4 tablespoon ghee
8. 1/2 tablespoon oil
9. Salt to taste
10. 2.75 cups of water
1. Peel the onion and chop finely. Keep aside.
2. Peel the garlic cloves and ginger and chop roughly. Chop off the tops of the green chillies and chop roughly.
3. Grind the chopped garlic, ginger and green chillies together to a paste, in a small mixer jar. Use very little water to help with the grinding. Keep the paste ready.
4. Wash the green peas thoroughly. Place in a colander and allow all the water to drain out.
5. Wash the rice well under running water. Drain out all the water. Keep ready.
6. Put together the whole spices you will need to use in the Green Peas Pulav.
7. Take the oil and ghee together in a pressure cooker bottom. Place on high flame and allow them to get heated up. Once hot, add in the whole spices. Allow them to stay in for a few seconds, taking care to ensure that they do not burn.
8. Reduce the flame down to medium. Add in the chopped onion. Saute on medium heat for about 2 minutes or till the onion turns soft.
9. Add in the ground garlic-ginger-chilli paste. Saute for a few seconds.
10. Now, add in the washed and drained green peas and rice. Saute on medium flame for a few seconds.
11. At this stage, add in the water and salt to taste. Mix well. Do a taste test and adjust salt if needed. Turn the flame up to high and let the water come to a boil.
12. Close the pressure cooker now, and put the whistle on. Allow 4 whistles on high flame. Let the pressure drop naturally.
13. Wait for 7-10 minutes after the pressure drops off, then open the cooker.
14. Wait for 5-7 more minutes, then fluff up the rice gently. Your Green Peas Pulav is ready. Serve hot or warm with an accompaniment of your choice.
Is this Matar Pulav vegan and gluten-free?
This is a completely vegetarian recipe, but not vegan (plant-based) because of the use of ghee. To make the dish plant-based, skip the ghee entirely and use only oil.
The above recipe is gluten-free.
Skip the onion and garlic if you wish to prepare a Sattvik version.
Tips & Tricks
1. I have used Sona Masoori rice here. You may use Basmati or any other variety of rice you prefer, instead. Adjust the quantity of water you need accordingly. The number of whistles you allow would also depend on the type of rice used and how grainy you want the pulav to be.
2. The above recipe yields pulav that is well-cooked, not mushy but not very grainy either. If you need the pulav to be grainy, you could reduce the amount of water further.
3. I have used a large 8.5-litre pressure cooker here.
4. Fresh green peas in season work best in this pulav. If you don’t have access to them, frozen ones work as well. Do not use dried green peas.
5. Go easy on the whole spices. Using too many whole spices or in large quantities will overpower the pulav.
6. If you don’t have one or two of the whole spices listed above, you can skip them – try to use at least bay leaves, clove and cinnamon, though. Other whole spices like black and green cardamom, nutmeg or stone flower can be used too.
7. If you don’t prefer onion and garlic, you can skip them. Use a paste of just ginger and green chillies in that case.
8. Adjust the number of green chillies you use as per personal taste preferences. If the chillies are too mild, you may use more.
9. Do not open the cooker immediately and fluff up the rice as soon as the pressure has gone down. Mixing overly hot pulav can cause it to become a mushy mess.
10. Finely chopped fresh coriander and mint leaves can be used to garnish the pulav, as can fried cashewnuts. Here, I haven’t.
11. There is no need to, but you could add in about 1/2 teaspoon of garam masala if you want to. Go easy on the garam masala. Using too much will overpower the dish. Here’s how to make garam masala at home.
12. I have used a mix of oil and ghee here. You can use only one of these too – 1/2 tablespoon + 3/4 tablespoon.
13. Since this is a mild-tasting pulav, it needs an accompaniment like Chana Masala or Paneer Butter Masala. Toor Dal Fry, Punjabi Aloo Matar Ki Sabzi or Matar Paneer go beautifully with this pulav too.
14. I do not soak the rice before making the pulav.
15. After salting, when you taste the water, it should be slightly spicy. The salt would later get perfectly adjusted.
Did you like this recipe? Do tell me in your comments!