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Matar Chawal, which means green pea rice is an essential sundry in Pakistani cuisines. This simple rice dish is packed with piquant flavour from whole spices with some delicate sweetness of green peas.
It’s the homely dish that most households make now and again. And mine is included.
This rice dish is a simplified form of pulao/ pilau rice.
That means it uses a few similar whole spices and the same method of cooking. But it doesn’t take as much time nor as ingredients to make.
Humble Ingredients For Flavoursome Rice Dish
I call it humble ingredients, as rice and green peas are the most essential for the dish. Yet, both are relatively easy and readily available for most people.
When it comes to green peas, you can either use the fresh peas from the pods or frozen peas. There is no doubt the fresh ones will give a more superior taste and flavour. However, you can also put the frozen peas as well with equally delicious Matar Chawal.
Now, as for spices, the dish will only need six of them. Brown/ yellow onion, whole cumin seeds, whole black peppercorns, bay leaves, cinnamon quill and black cardamom seeds.
You will also need a little bit of cooking oil. You can choose any neutral oil that you prefer. I usually use either rapeseed oil, sunflower oil or light olive oil.
And for the salt, I have been using Himalayan salt these days. I find its level of saltiness is a little more intense than the table salt, but not that much. So feel free to use whichever salt you like and adjust to your taste.
Easy Way To Make Matar Chawal
In short, there are three steps you have to go through.
Firstly, you fry the onion until it becomes soft and translucent. Then you add in the whole spices and fry for a few minutes until they release the aroma. After that, you put in the rice and let it fry for a minute or two as you keep stirring it.
Secondly, you pour in the hot boiling water and boil the rice until all the liquid evaporates.
Thirdly, once all the water has gone, put the pan lid on (lined with a kitchen towel or tea towel) and turn the heat to the lowest. Leave the rice to cook until the steam comes out between the lid. It takes approximately 3-5 minutes to steam the rice.
Top Tips For Best Tasting Green Peas Pulao Rice
- Soak the rice for at least 20 minutes before cooking. The rice will look ready when the grains turn white opaque, and they become slightly longer.
- Use a colander or a large sieve to drain the rice so there won’t be much water left in it.
- Make sure you fry the onion until it is fully cooked and becomes soft, so it gives a better aroma.
- Boil the water/ stock before you add in the rice.
Technically, you can always freeze your food and keep it for about two months. It applies to this matar chawal as well.
If you want to keep and freeze your rice with green peas, ensure it is completely cooled down and at temperature before putting it in a tight-lidded food container. And store it in your freezer.
When you need it, keep it in the fridge overnight to thaw. Once the rice has thawed it should be eaten within a few days.
As for storing in the refrigerator/ fridge, this rice will be fine for about 5 days. Provided it is kept in a tight-lid food container.
The best way to reheat the rice is by steaming it before serving it. But you can always use the microwave if you prefer.
Thank you for checking this Matar Chawal recipe. I hope you are now intrigued to try it out. When you do, I appreciate it if you can share what you think about it in the comments below.
Before you go, don’t forget to check my other recipes that will go well with this rice dish.
- Aloo Gosht: potato and meat curry.
- Whole Mung Dal: green mung bean curry.
- Aloo Keema: potato and minced meat curry.
Thank you and all the best.