Matar Chawal – Green Peas Pulao Rice In Pakistani Style

Matar Chawal the Pakistani rice dish with green peas on a round dish.

Comfortingly delicious is what this Matar Chawal is about. A humble healthy rice dish that you can make in no time.

Matar Chawal

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 every 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. 

Matar Chawal the Pakistani rice dish with green peas.

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 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

As mentioned above, you make this rice dish with green peas the same way you cook pilau rice, such as chicken pilau rice or vegetable pilau rice.  

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.

photo collage of frying the chopped onion and whole spices.

Let me pause here.

Some people prefer the colour of finished rice to be slightly brown just like pilau rice. If you are one of them, you will have to fry the onions until golden brown. The darker the onion the browner your matar pulao will be. 

Next, you pour in the hot boiling water and let it simmer for a few minutes before you put the rice in. Then boil the rice until all the liquid evaporates.

photo collage of boiling rice with green peas.

Lastly, 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.

photo collage of Matar Chawal.

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 the rice. 

Storing Matter

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. 

Pakistani Matar Chawal the rice with green peas in a round white dish with green flower pattern.

Recipes that go well with Matar Pulao

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.

And please follow me on Facebook, Instagram and/or Pinterest to sneak a peek at what’s cooking in my kitchen. 

Before you go, don’t forget to check my other recipes that will go well with this rice dish.

Thank you and all the best.

Yield: 4

Matar Chawal - Green Peas Pulao Rice In Pakistani Style

Matar Chawal the Pakistani rice dish with green peas on a round dish.

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.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes


  • 1 ½ cups/ 300 gr/ 10.58 oz basmati rice.
  • ½ small brown onion, finely chopped.
  • ½ tsp whole cumin seeds.
  • 2 black cardamom seeds.
  • 1-inch cinnamon stick/ quill.
  • 2 bay leaves.
  • ½ tsp whole black peppercorns.
  • ½ tsp Himalayan salt (see the note).
  • ½ cup/ 85 gr/ 3 oz green peas (fresh or frozen).
  • 2 tbsp cooking oil.
  • 2 ¼ cups/ 540 ml/ 18.26 fl.oz hot boiling water (from the kettle).


  1. Wash and rinse the rice several times. Then soak with plenty of water. Set aside
  2. Heat the oil in a cooking pan, then place the chopped onion in. Fry until the onion turns soft and translucent. 
  3. Add the whole spices in and cook further for a few minutes until it all release aroma.
  4. Drain the rice using a colander or a large sieve. Then carefully add in the spices. Toss around and stir fry for a few minutes. 
  5. Carefully pour in the hot boiling water to the rice. Give it a good stir to make sure there is no grain sticking on the bottom of the pan.
  6. Cook at medium-high heat. You can put the lid on to quicken the process until the water reboils. Once it reaches the boiling point again, take the cover off. And stir the rice every now and again. So the rice will not get stuck on the sides or bottom of the pan.
  7. Leave it to cook until all the liquid evaporates. Then turn the heat to low. Line the lid with a tea towel or a kitchen towel and put it back on the pan. Cook further at low heat until steam comes out. 
  8. When it starts, let it steams for a few minutes before you turn the heat off. Leave the lid on until all the steam has gone before you open the lid and serve the rice.


  • I use Himalayan pink salt these days for health reasons. If you don’t have it, you can always use any salt you prefer. And you can put it according to your taste.

Nutrition Information



Serving Size


Amount Per Serving Calories 187Total Fat 7gSaturated Fat 1gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 6gCholesterol 0mgSodium 199mgCarbohydrates 27gFiber 2gSugar 2gProtein 3g

The nutrition calculation you find here is just a guide provided by online nutrition calculator. You should not use to substitute advice from nutritionists or health practitioners.

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  1. Hi Devy. A question – the recipe says 2 cardamom seeds, but the photograph shows a whole pod. Should I be deseeding the pod? I only ask because black and brown cardamoms pack quite a punch in terms of flavour. I love green cardamoms though and often use more than suggested. Many thanks.

    1. Hi Susan, for Matar Chawal we don’t use green cardamom. Only black cardamoms. And you don’t have to deseed them. Apologies for late response.

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