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Matar Pilau | Pea Pulao

Matar Pilau | Pea Pulao

Peas and rice – we have here a much loved pair.

Lets pair that with some soft, caramelised fried onions and aromatic cloves and cinnamon. We have here a winning combination.

Matar Pulao, rice cooked with peas and onions, have always been a favourite at my Mother’s house. My Mother would cook this to serve alongside a delicious Chicken Shorba or Aloo Gosht, or sometimes with some fried chicken and we would always gobble our plates down and greedily ask for seconds. 

Mattar Pilau - Pakistani Rice with Peas

What really makes this recipe a die-for affair is the sweet pops of flavour the peas provide us with. Kids often tend to love peas and since this is a relatively mild, non-spicy recipe, Matar Pulao is ideal for younger children.

My husband, strangely, doesn’t like peas (amongst many other things). I’m putting things very lightly here – the truth is my husband HATES peas and he RARELY eat anything with peas in them. Thus, I haven’t cooked Matar Pulao much since getting married. In fact – a browse through all the recipes I’ve posted on the blog will show you that peas make a scarce appearance in my cooks.

Just this past weekend, however, my family was holidaying in Paris for the new year and I received a message from my Father saying ‘I’ve been craving some hot and meaty Pakistani food! Please cook a chicken meat curry and some pea rice when we come back!’ Turns out, they had been living off croissants and cold sandwiches in Paris and had been dying for a hot Desi meal! So, thus after many months, I cooked a dish with peas in it. And that, my friends, is how a recipe with peas has made it’s way onto my blog.

Matar Pulao goes well with any curry, roasted or fried chicken and also goes quite well alongside kebabs and raita (yoghurt). I’d recommend the following recipes to try alongside your Matar Pulao!

Aloo Gosht

Aloo ki Tikki

Bhuna Chicken

Bhuna Gosht Masala

Matar Gosht

Matar Pilau - Pakistani Pea Pilaf

Lets get onto the recipe now!

Enjoy, with love x


EDIT: I have amended the quantity of water used in this recipe to 3 cups of water. Previously, it was vague and not precise and some readers reported trouble getting the quantity right. I have found 3 cups works perfectly with this recipe HOWEVER, if you would like to increase or decrease the amount of water needed, use this formula: Cups of water needed = Cups of rice + 1

Yield: 5

Matar Pilau | Pea Pulao

Mattar Pilau - Pakistani Rice with Peas
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes


  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 2 medium onions, sliced
  • 3 tsp cumin seeds
  • 9 whole cloves
  • 1 small stick cinnamon
  • 1.5 cups frozen peas
  • 3 cups white basmati rice, (wash and soak for half an hr before using)
  • 3.5 tsp salt, or to taste


  1. In a pot, heat up the oil and add the sliced onions. Once they become golden, add the cumin seeds, cloves and cinnamon stick. Continue to fry the onions till they become a very dark brown.Mattar Pilau - Pakistani Rice with Peas
  2. Add the peas and stir fry them till they defrostMattar Pilau - Pakistani Rice with Peas
  3. Add the basmati rice, salt and 4 cups.
  4. Cook on high heat till all the water has dried out. Stir once or twice with a slotted spoon.Mattar Pilau - Pakistani Rice with Peas
  5. Once the water has dried out, turn the heat to the lowest setting possible, cover the pot and allow the rice to steam for 15 minutes. Allow the rice to sit for 10-15 minutes before serving.


If you'd like to spice this up, add a few green chillis around the same time you add your peas.

Enjoyed this Matar Pulao recipe? I’d love to see a picture of your recreation! Send me a picture on Instagram @fatima.cooks,where I’m very active and post lots of day-to-day recipes, tips and also snippets of my day!



Tuesday 6th of July 2021

Do you mean add 4 cups of water when it’s 3 cups of rice. I was always told to Double the water according to the cup of rice


Monday 15th of March 2021

What is 4 cups for where it says salt and rice. and what is measurement 1/4 pls


Tuesday 25th of August 2020

Super easy recipe resulting in delicious muttar pilau - thank you!

Lucia Schultz

Wednesday 19th of June 2019

Thank you

Naveen Sohail

Wednesday 13th of February 2019

I read this blog, its quite interesting and this mattar pilao is best dish for dinner.

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