Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Matar Polao ( Rice with Sweet Peas)

Servings: 4-6

  • Basmati rice - 4 cups
  • Sweet peas - 2 cups
  • Ghee/ Clarified Butter - 1/2 cup
  • Onion - 1 lrg, thinly sliced
  • Garlic cloves - 3, crushed
  • Ginger root - 1 inch, grated finely
  • Green chilies - 3-4, halved lengthwise (seeds removed if you don't like the heat)
  • Salt - 2 tsp
  • Whole pepper corns- 1 tsp
  • Cinnamon stick - 1.5 inch long pc
  • Cloves - 3-4
  • Cardamons - 4-5
  • Dried Bay leaf - 1 lrg
  • 1. Wash and drain the basmati rice in a colander. Set aside.
  • 2. In a deep base pot or dutch oven, heat 1 tbsp oil. Add the cardamon, cinnamon, bay leaf, pepper corns. Saute till they pop.
  • 3. Add the ghee/butter. I add it now, so that it does not burn. Add the onions and salt. Saute till they turn translucent and a little crispy on the edges. Add the garlic and ginger. Saute for 2-3 min.
  • 4. Add the drained rice, stir to combine and coat the rice with the butter. Saute for 4-5 min, stirring constantly so that the rice does not stick to the bottom of the pot.
  • 5. Add 8 cups (using the same cup you used for measuring the rice) of hot water. Cover and bring to boil on high heat.
  • 6. Once the water has boiled up, stir the rice to combine everything. Add the green chilies and reduce the heat to medium, cover and simmer for 10 min.
  • 7. After the 10 min, gently fold the rice, that is, with a spatula stir from the left bottom side to the left top and the same for the right side. Do NOT over stir the rice as it will make it soggy.
  • 8. Scatter the sweet peas on top of the rice, cover and simmer for 10 more min.
  • 9. Turn the heat off . Do not stir it yet. Let it rest for at least 10 min before serving. When serving, gently stir the rice to mix in the peas with the rice. Serve as a side with any fish or meat or vegetable entrée .
I have used some food colouring which is optional. If you also wish to do so, then mix 1 tbsp of Zafran (orange food colour) to 2 tbsp of water. At step 9, after turning the heat off, with a tsp, take spoon full of the colour mixture and pour it in one spot of the rice. Do this for several spots. Then cover and let it rest and serve as suggested above.


  1. Mmmmmmmmmm mmm ... looks like comfort food to me!

  2. :)... it is.. specially when my mom makes it..with Mughlai style Chicken roast...yumm