Peas Pulao | Matar Pulao Recipe

Updated: August 29, 2022, By Swasthi

Peas Pulao also known as Matar Pulao is a classic Indian rice pilaf made with basmati rice, whole spices, herbs and of course green peas as they are the star of this dish. ‘Matar’ is the Hindi word for ‘green peas’ and Pulao is a word for pilaf. So this is more commonly known as Matar Pulao. This easy one pot dish is super simple to make and just takes 30 minutes. It is super flavorful on its own but a Simple raita, Kachumber or a Vegetable salad go well on the side. For a special meal, serve it with a curry.

Peas pulao also known as matar pulao served in a black plate

Recipe Comments

About Matar Pulao

This super easy one pot Peas Pulao is made much the same way as any other Indian rice pilaf. It uses pantry staples like onions, green chilies, basmati rice, ginger garlic, whole spices, ghee or oil & fresh or frozen green peas. There is no one way it is made in the Indian households. Every family has their own recipe. Some people make it with minimal ingredients and don’t use any onions and herbs. It’s just the whole spices, rice and peas.

But my recipe uses one very aromatic herb – mint (pudina). We personally feel a pulao is incomplete without mint leaves as it adds a whole lot of aroma to the dish. If you do not like the flavor of mint leaves, you can omit them. Peas Pulao can be made in a regular pot, pressure cooker, electric cooker or an Instant pot. I have the instructions covered to make for all these.

This recipe of Matar Pulao is the way my Mom would make for us mostly when fresh peas were in season. Green peas are a seasonal legume and the markets are flooded with fresh pea pods during the winters.

But I make Peas Pulao with frozen peas as I am rarely accessible to the fresh pods. This is one of the dishes I make at least once a week as my boys love it. It goes very well even in school & office lunch box.

I also make sure to cook peas pulao when we have guests home and plan for an elaborate menu. Since there is no chopping of any veggies it is really quick to make this.

Peas pulao can be eaten by itself without any side. But Raita or a nice veg curry like Veg kurma, restaurant style Paneer butter masala or paneer Makhani or non-veg gravy also goes well.

I made this peas pulao, a simple Chicken curry and a carrot raita for our lunch during the last weekend.

Photo Guide

How to make Peas Pulao (in cooker)

1. Wash 1½ cups aged basmati rice a few times until the water runs clear. Soak it while you prepare the rest. Later drain and set aside. Slice 1 medium onion and slit 2 green chilies. Grate or make a fine paste of 1 inch ginger & 3 medium cloves of garlic. We need about 1 tablespoon of paste. Also if using mint leaves, rinse, drain and fine chop them.

drain soaked rice to colander for peas pulao

2. Pour 2 tablespoons oil or ghee to a hot pressure cooker. When the ghee becomes hot, add
1 bay leaf
1 star anise
2 inch thin cinnamon piece
4 green cardamoms
1 strand mace
1 teaspoon cumin seeds (or shahi jeera)
4 to 5 cloves

saute spices in ghee for peas pulao

3. When the spices begin to sizzle, add sliced onions & green chili.

frying onions for peas pulao

4. Saute the onions on a medium flame until deep golden and begin to caramelize.

golden onions in a pressure cooker

5. Then add ¾ tablespoon ginger garlic paste.

add ginger garlic paste to cooker

6. Saute on a low flame until a nice aroma comes out. This takes about a minute.

saute ginger garlic paste

7. Then add 1 cup green peas and fine chopped mint leaves. Saute for a minute until the mint leaves begin to smell good.

saute mint and peas to make pulao

8. Then add drained rice and fry on a slightly high flame for 2 to 3 minutes. Do not over mix or mix vigorously as the rice grains will break.

Fry rice to make matar pulao

9. Then add ¾ teaspoon salt and pour 2½ cups water. Give a good mix and taste the water. It has to be slightly salty. If not add more salt.

pour water and add salt

Pressure cooking

10. Cover the pressure cooker and place the whistle. Pressure cook for 1 whistle on a medium high flame. Turn off and remove from the stove. Leaving it on the hot burner will further cook the rice.

pressure cooking matar pulao

11. When the pressure drops naturally, open the lid and fluff the peas pulao. For al dente rice, after 2 mins I release the pressure manually with a wooden spatula.

peas pulao ready to serve in cooker

Photo Guide

How to make Matar Pulao in a pot

1. This step is optional, you can also skip it. We usually prefer cashews in peas pulao so used it. Add 2 tbsp oil or ghee to a hot pot. Ghee lends a special aroma. Fry them until golden. Set these aside to a plate.

frying cashews

2. To the same pot, add spices and saute for a minute or 2. You can skip whatever you don’t have. Spices to use are –

1 star anise / chakri phool
1 strand mace/ javitri
4 to 5 green cardamoms / elaichi
4 to 5 cloves / lavang
1 tsp jeera / cumin (or shahi jeera)
1 bay leaf / tej patta
2 inch thin cinnamon piece. If using true cinnamon like me, you can use up to 3 – 2 inch pieces.

sautéing spices

3. Add sliced onions and slit green chilies.

addition of onions chilies for matar pulao recipe

4. Saute until they turn golden.

golden fried onions

5. Lower the flame and add 3/4 tbsp ginger garlic paste.

frying ginger garlic to make matar pulao recipe

6. Fry until the raw smell goes off. Add mint leaves here and fry for 2 mins. I forgot at this stage so added later.

fry pudina or mint leaves to make peas pulao

7. Add 1 cup green peas.

addition of peas to make matar pulao

8. Add drained rice.

addition of soaked rice to make peas pulao recipe

9. Saute everything well for 3 to 4 mins. Handle the rice gently otherwise grains will break.

frying rice to make green peas pulav

10. Pour 2.5 cups water. If you are using rice from new harvest or sticky rice, you will need to heat water separately in a different pot and pour here.

pouring water to make matar pulao

11. Add salt. Stir and taste the water. It must be medium salty.

addition of salt

12. Since I forgot to add the mint leaves earlier I added them here.

addition of mint

13. Allow to cook on a low to medium heat until the water is almost absorbed. But it must be still soggy as you see below.

cooking rice in pot to make matar pulao

15. Cover the pot at this stage , lower the flame and cook for 5 to 7 mins. Switch off the stove and allow to rest for a while.

cooking peas pulao recipe with pot covered

16. If the rice is undercooked and needs more water, then pour little hot water and give a stir. Cover and cook until it is done. Fluff it up with a fork.

garnish peas pulao with coriander leaves

Garnish with cashews just before serving peas pulao. Enjoy with a raita or gravy.

peas pulao matar pulao recipe

More recipes using peas
Matar paneer
Aloo matar
Matar mushroom

Ingredients & Substitutes

Rice: Usually basmati rice is used to make any rice pulao. So this matar pulao is also made with the same. But any other premium quality rice can also be used. Jasmine rice or Sona masuri rice also works well.

Ensure you use aged rice so your matar pulao don’t become mushy or sticky. Avoid using sticky rice or rice that tends to get mushy after cooking.

Green peas: Fresh or frozen peas can be used to make matar pulao. If the green peas are mature and are harder (not tender or young), then you can precook them for 2 to 3 minutes in a pot. Drain and use them in the recipe. This is only if you are using basmati rice.

This recipe is best made with fresh or frozen peas but dried peas work but the flavour won’t be the same. To use them check the tips below.

Fresh herbs: Mint leaves (pudina) enhance the flavour of matar pulao. If you do not have skip them or use the same amount of coriander leaves to garnish at the end.

Whole spices: Use good quality whole spices that are within the shelf period otherwise they impart a bitter taste and flavour to the dish. Star anise, bay leaf, cumin (or shahi jeera), cardamoms, cinnamon and cloves are used.

Other spices like black cardamoms, a single strand of mace & a pinch of nutmeg can also be used. Replacing the whole spices with ground spices won’t give the same flavor to the peas pulao.

Water: Adjust the water quantity as needed depending on the kind of rice used & the cooking method adapted by you. The water quantities I have mentioned work well for aged basmati rice.

If using any other kind, use the same amount of water as you would use to cook plain rice.

Pro Tips

Rinsing rice: Rinsing rice helps to get rid of the excess starch on the surface of the rice. So each grain of rice will be separate and won’t turn turn mushy. So do rinse it thrice in lots of water.

Soaking rice: Ensure rice is soaked for at least 20 to 30 minutes. This way every rice grain expands well to the maximum length. Unsoaked rice usually requires more water so if you still want to cook unsoaked rice, then you may need a few tbsps more water.

To use dried peas, rinse and soak for 8 hours to rehydrate them. Pressure cook for 3 to 4 whistles with double the amount of water. They should be cooked al dente & retain their shape.

Drain the water completely. Discard any loosened skin of the peas as they won’t taste good in the pulao. Use them the same way mentioned in the recipe.

More Rice recipesTomato rice, curd rice & lemon rice.

Related Recipes

Recipe Card

peas pulao also known as matar pulao

Peas Pulao | Matar Pulao Recipe

5 from 143 votes
Matar pulao or peas pulao is a aromatic one pot rice made with green peas, spices & rice. Instructions for regular pot, instant pot & traditional cooker.
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For best results follow the step-by-step photos above the recipe card

Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time25 minutes
Total Time30 minutes

Ingredients (US cup = 240ml )

  • cups basmati rice
  • cups water for pressure cooker (1¾ cups for instant pot, 3 cups for pot)
  • 1¼ to 1½ cup green peas (matar, fresh or frozen)
  • 1 tablespoon ginger garlic paste (or minced)
  • 1 to 2 green chilies slit
  • ¼ cup mint leaves (or coriander leaves fine chopped)
  • 1 medium onion (optional, ½ cup sliced or chopped)
  • 2 tablespoon ghee or oil
  • 10 cashews (adjust to taste)
  • ¾ teaspoon salt (adjust to taste)

Whole spices

  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds (jeera or shahi jeera)
  • 4 to 5 green cardamoms (elaichi)
  • 4 to 5 cloves
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 inch cinnamon piece (or Ceylon cinnamon three – 2 inch pieces)
  • 1 star anise (optional)
  • 1 to 2 strands mace (optional)


Preparation for matar pulao

  • Wash and soak rice for at least 30 mins. If you are in a hurry you can soak it in hot water for 15 mins and use up. Discard the water and drain to a colander.
  • Slice onions (if using) and mint leaves. Slit the green chilies. Make the ginger garlic paste. Set them aside.

How to make peas pulao

  • Heat ghee or oil in a pot or cooker. 
  • Saute cashews if using. When they turn golden remove them to a bowl and set aside for later to garnish. 
  • Next add cumin, cardamoms, mace, cloves, cinnamon, bay leaf and star anise. Saute them for a minute.
  • Add onions if using and fry until golden.  Keep stirring them while frying. You can also skip onions.
  • Next add ginger garlic paste and fry until the raw smell goes away.
  • Saute mint leaves for 2 mins.
  • Next add peas and rice. Saute for 3 to 4 mins.
  • Pour water and add salt. Stir well and taste test. Add more if needed. The water must taste medium salty.
  • For pressure cooker, cook for 1 whistle on a medium high flame. Turn off and remove from stove immediately. For al dente rice I release the pressure manually by lifting the whistle with a spatula.
  • If cooking in a pot, cook covered on a low heat until the water is absorbed.
  • Fluff up with a fork once done. Allow to rest for sometime.
  • Garnish peas pulao with fried nuts. Serve with raita or any gravy of your choice.

Instant pot peas pulao

  • Press the saute button and pour ghee/oil to the inner pot of instant pot.
  • Add the spices & saute for 30 seconds.
  • If using onion, add them along with green chilli and fry until they turn light golden.
  • Then add ginger garlic paste and fry just for 30 seconds.
  • Quickly add in peas & mint leaves. Fry for 2 mins.
  • Add 1½ cup soaked & drained rice. Optionally you can also fry the rice for 2 mins.
  • Pour 1¾ cups water. Press cancel. Stir in some salt & taste it. If needed add more. Deglaze the pot to release any bits of food stuck at the bottom.
  • Secure the lid of the instant pot & set the pressure release handle to sealing.
  • Press the pressure cook button (high pressure) and set the timer for 5 mins.
  • When the IP beeps, wait for 4 to 5 mins and then do a manual pressure release by moving the vent from sealing to venting. For softer rice, you can let the pressure drop naturally for 8 mins & then release the rest.
  • Peas pulao is ready. Fluff up with a fork. Serve with raita


  • Green peas: Fresh or frozen peas work well for this recipe. To use dried peas, soak them overnight and pressure cook for 3 to 4 whistles until al dente. Drain off the water and discard any loosened skins. Use the same way as mentioned in the recipe.
  • Rice: Aged Basmati rice (old crop/ harvest) rice is best for matar pulao. Jasmine rice or sona masuri (aged) rice also works well. Avoid using sticky rice that tends to become mushy.
  • Water: The quantities mentioned in the recipe card works well for me with premium quality basmati rice. If you are using any other kind, use the same amount of water as you would use to cook it plain. Also if you do not soak the rice for minimum 20 to 30 minutes, rice may need few tablespoons more water.
  • Do not substitute whole spices with ground spices, the taste of peas pulao won’t be the same.
  • Instant pot notes: This recipe is tested in a 6 qts Instant pot. I use aged basmati rice. If the rice grains turn slightly hard, add 2 tablespoons more water next time. To use any other kind of rice, soak and cook with the same amount of water as you would to cook it plain.


NUTRITION INFO (estimation only)

Nutrition Facts
Peas Pulao | Matar Pulao Recipe
Amount Per Serving
Calories 493 Calories from Fat 117
% Daily Value*
Fat 13g20%
Saturated Fat 6g38%
Cholesterol 25mg8%
Sodium 509mg22%
Potassium 224mg6%
Carbohydrates 83g28%
Fiber 3g13%
Sugar 3g3%
Protein 8g16%
Vitamin C 7.3mg9%
Calcium 57mg6%
Iron 1.8mg10%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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© Swasthi’s Recipes

Peas pulao post first published in June 2016. Updated & republished in January 2021.

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About Swasthi

I’m Swasthi Shreekanth, the recipe developer, food photographer & food writer behind Swasthi’s Recipes. My aim is to help you cook great Indian food with my time-tested recipes. After 2 decades of experience in practical Indian cooking I started this blog to help people cook better & more often at home. Whether you are a novice or an experienced cook I am sure Swasthi’s Recipes will assist you to enhance your cooking skills. More about me

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5 stars
Quick, easy and water measurements were just perfect! Thanks for the tip reg 15 mins hot water soaking ?

5 stars
Nice ., tasty , simply & quick

5 stars
Swasthi…thanks for this beautiful compilation of Indian recipes, with clear instructions and pictures to explain each step in creating culinary magic! When it’s a new Indian dish I’d like to try…ur site is the first one I get to! Believe my Google search has also become smart and seems to be presenting ur site as the top search result! Been intending to share this much earlier..but finally doing it! Hosted a birthday party yesterday and it was peas pulao for mains with pav bhaji as one of the sides! Thanks again ??

Can you make it without green chilies and if yes is there any substitute to it?

5 stars
Hi Swasthi, I made this matar pulao tonight and really enjoyed the flavour and the texture of basmati rice. I have almost never got basmati rice this perfect. The flavors were so much appreciated by my kids & husband. Thank you!

5 stars
Love this peas pulao. I had some leftover coconut milk from another recipe. So used that and it turned out amazing.

5 stars
This matar pulao turned out delicious!! I made 2x but the water for pot did not change in the recipe. I cook rice often so I noticed that. Anyone making this in pot should check that while making. I only had to use 4 cups water for 3 cups rice. Served it with raita. Will be making it again. Thank you.

5 stars
This matar pulao is so delicious. I loved the aroma of mint leaves. I added more green peas because we like a heavier green peas to rice ratio, but everything turned out perfect. I rarely come back to review on websites but your matar pulao recipe was just so perfect & impressive that you made me come back to bookmark & leave a review. Thank you for the perfect recipes. Much Love …

5 stars
This is delicious! Mint leaves very important for this recipe.

5 stars
Thanks for the simple recipie.

Hi, I am going to try this recipe tomorrow. I am gonna use ponni raw rice… Shall I use the same method which you used for basmathi rice?

5 stars
Very Good . Plain Pulao with peas and modified second time with cooked mutton and peas. Just added little more onion and Ghee (100g) , Olive oil . All turned the way i wanted.

Best recipe lajwab taste any can prepare very well.

5 stars
Swasthi, all your recipes are excellent and simple! I made peas pulao today with the exact proportions you provided in here. Turned out fantastic, pure restaurant style ? thank you very much!! Keep it up ??

Hi mam, your recipe’s always clear tasty n actually amazing…?thanx a lot ..?

5 stars
Be it any recipe, I always open your site because it’s very simple and easy to cook. Thanks for making it easier for us.

Super and easy

5 stars
Made it with by just watching pictures of pot peas pulao,you explained it very clear, thanks for sharing it, share more instant recepies like this

5 stars
Going to try this today. Your recipes are always crystal-clear.

5 stars
I would say wonderful as always keep it up!

5 stars
This is a very tasty recipe and I have made it twice now without the chilli as cannot eat due to gut issue. It is so delicious with plain yogurt, mango chutney and poppadums. This recipe is a keeper. Thank you x

Can I use dried peas for this recipe? Should I boil them first or add directly