Savoury Rice and Green Pea Pilaf | Masala Hari Matar Pulao | Punjabi

An eye-catching and mouth-watering dish.

Green Pea Pilaf is a great 1-pot meal or the basis of a larger meal, and, of course, it is delicious. It is great lunch food and also good comfort food for sensitive times, you know what I mean. Eye-catching, it is perfect for a buffet, or a light dinner.

Rich in texture and flavour, this dish is common in Punjabi homes and has lots of variations. The recipe comes from Yamuta Devi, just one of her many dishes that always turn out perfectly. As usual, the combination of ingredients is so well balanced. She is the master of subtlety.

Are you after other Pulao dishes? Try Rice and Cauliflower Pilaf, Spicy Eggplant Rice, and Sago Pulao. And don’t forget the wealth of South Indian Mixed Rice dishes.

What about other Pea dishes? Try Carrots and Green Peas with Green Coriander, Stuffed Toasties with Potatoes and Peas, and Tawa Peas.

Want more? Please browse all of our rice dishes here, and all of our pilaf dishes. Or try all of our Pea Recipes here. There is also a range of Punjabi dishes for you to explore. Or simply take some time to check out our easy Early Winter dishes.

savoury Rice and Green Pea Pilaf | Punjabi | Rice | A Life Time of Cooking

Green Pea Rice Pilaf | Masala Hari Matar Pulao

prep time: 8 mins
cooking time: 30-40 minutes
serves 4 – 6 depending how you use it

1 cup basmati rice
3 Tblspn ghee
0.25 cup raw cashews
1 tspn cumin seeds
1 – 2 tspns green chilli, minced – use a spice blender for quick and easy work
0.5 Tblspn finely grated ginger
1.75 cups water
0.75 cup fresh or frozen peas
1 tspn turmeric
0.5 tspn garam masala
0.25 cup raisins or currants
0.5 – 1 tspn salt
3 Tblspn fresh mixed herbs – basil, mint, oregano, thyme (optional)
green coriander to garnish

Rinse the rice in water and soak it for 10 mins. Drain the rice and leave to dry on a plate for 20 or more minutes.

Heat the ghee in a heavy 1.5l pot over medium heat. Add the cashews and fry, stirring all the time, until the nuts are golden brown. Remove the nuts with a slotted spoon.

Turn up the heat and add the cumin seeds, the chilli, and the ginger. Fry until the cumin seeds start to brown. Pour in the rice and stir fry for about 2 minutes.

Pour in the water, fresh peas (if using), turmeric, garam masala, raisins, salt and herbs. Bring to a quick boil.

Immediately reduce the heat to very low, cover with a tight fitting lid and very gently simmer for 20 – 25 minutes, or until all the water is absorbed and the rice is tender and fluffy.

If you are using frozen peas, pour boiling water over them. Drain, and add the peas on top of the rice at about the 15 minute mark by quickly opening the pot and sprinkling the peas on top. Replace the cover and continue cooking.

Turn the heat off and without lifting the lid, allow the rice to sit for 5 mins to allow the grains to firm up. Just before serving, remove the lid, pour in the cashews and green coriander and fluff the piping hot rice with a fork.

recipe notes and alternatives
Coconut milk can be used to cook the pulao for extra flavour.

Serve Matar Pulao with curd or onion tomato raita, onion rings, kachumber, papad and pickle. Simple Potato Fry makes a good side dish also.


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