Matar Paneer Pulao or Peas Paneer Pulao is an easy to prepare rice dish cooked with green peas, fried paneer cubes and flavored with spices. This rice dish can be served with raita and is a great lunchbox idea.
If you are following my blog, you know how much I like this kind of easy and quick rice meal. We can't call this a one-pot meal in the literal sense, but it's close. I pack this matar paneer pulao to my daughter's lunchbox and she really enjoys this meal. If you haven't tried this delectable rice meal yet, follow this step-by-step guide and thank me later! You can also cook this pulao in rice cooker or Instant Pot.
Matar Paneer Pulao Ingredients
Here is the list of ingredients to cook this easy paneer pulao recipe
Rice: Normally, I cook pulao with long grain fragrant rice (basmati). You can use any other rice of your choice. However, the taste will vary.
Paneer: Paneer or Indian Cottage Cheese is the primary ingredient of this pulao.
Peas: Another important ingredient of this matar paneer pulao is green peas aka matar. If you are using fresh peas in the pulao, then add them when onions are translucent and cook them along with rice. However, if you are using frozen peas then add them when rice is done 70-80% because frozen peas are already flash steamed before they are frozen.
Onion: Use finely chopped onions in the pulao.
Ginger Paste: It gives a nice flavor and aroma to the pulao.
Dry Spices: I used coriander and cumin powder for this recipe. You can also use garam masala powder to make this more flavorful.
Whole Spices: Bay leaf, cinnamon, cardamom and clove provide aroma to the pulao.
Cashew nuts: I have used few cashew nuts in this pulao. You can dry roast them or just fry thhem in little ghee as I did.
Ghee/Oil: We cannot think our pulao without ghee. However, I have used it mindfully. Also, I have used oil to fry the onions and paneer.
If you are using fresh green peas, then start the preparation by removing the peas from the pod. You can do this ahead and use it when required.
You can use homemade paneer to prepare this pulao. Check this link How to make Paneer. If you are using store bought paneer, I would recommend to warm up water and immerse the paneer for few minutes. This makes the paneer block softer. However, avoid soaking it for longer time.
Wash and soak the rice for 20 minutes. Heat 1 tablespoon of ghee and roast the cashew nuts and keep them aside. After that, heat 2 tablespoons of oil and sauté the paneer cubes with a pinch of salt. Set things aside for now.
Add the bay leaf, clove, cardamom, and cinnamon to the remaining oil and heat it up. Add the chopped onion and sauté till transparent once the oil has become aromatic.
Next stir in the ginger paste thoroughly. After that, stir in the coriander and cumin powders thoroughly. Toss in the soaked rice and toss well to coat it with the spices. Add the fried paneer cubes to the rice at this point. Pour in the desired amount of water (normally double the amount of rice).
At this stage, taste the salt and allow it to cook by covering it with a lid. Add the frozen green peas to the rice when it's 70-80% done. Open the cover, add a spoonful of ghee, and let the remaining water to evaporate. Turn off the heat and set aside for 10 minutes. Serve it hot with raita or your favorite side dish.
Alternatively, you can also prepare this matar paneer pulao with leftover rice. Cooking time will further reduce in this case as you do not have to cook the rice. Instead after adding all the spices, add cooked rice, paneer, matar and combine thoroughly. Pulao will be ready in no time.
You can prepare the vegan version of this pulao. Replace paneer with tofu and make matar tofu pulao. Use a vegan alternative of ghee and enjoy this vegan pulao.
As an alternative, you can omit the paneer and prepare the rice solely with matar or peas, then eat it as matar rice (matar chawal) or matar pulao.
Serve hot or warm pulao with raita, papad, salad, and pickle. You can also serve it with just a bowl of fresh curd or any side dish of your choice.
More Paneer Recipes to try
More Rice Recipes to try
Matar Paneer Pulao
- 1½ cup Long Grain Rice (Basmati)
- ½ cup Green Peas
- 100 gms Paneer cut into small cubes
- 1 no Bay Leaf
- 1 inch Cinnamon Stick
- 1-2 nos Clove
- 1 no Cardamom
- Salt to taste
- 2 tablespoon Ghee
- 2 no Onion, medium chopped
- 2 teaspoon Ginger Paste
- 4 tablespoon Vegetable Oil
- 10-15 nos Cashew Nuts
- 1 teaspoon Coriander Powder
- 1 teaspoon Cumin Powder
- Wash and soak the rice for 20 minutes.
- Heat 1 tablespoon of ghee and roast the cashew nuts and keep them aside.
- Next heat oil 2 tablespoon and sauté the paneer cubes with little salt. Keep them aside.
- Now heat the remaining oil and add the bay leaf, clove, cardamom and cinnamon.
- Once the oil becomes fragrant, add the chopped onion and sauté them till translucent.
- Next add ginger paste and combine well.
- After that add coriander and cumin powder, mix them well.
- Add the soaked rice and coat well with the spices.
- Now add the fried paneer cubes into the rice.
- Add required water (normally double the amount of rice). At this stage, taste the salt and allow it to cook by covering it with a lid.
- When rice is 70-80% done, add the frozen green peas into it.
- Now open the lid, add a tablespoon of ghee and allow to evaporate the remaining water.
- Switch off the gas and allow to rest for 10 minutes. Serve it hot with raita or any side dish of your choice.
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