PERFECTLY FLUFFY PEAS RICE | MATAR CHAWAL
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Growing up, our family had a weekly schedule of going to local farmer’s market to buy fresh fruits and vegetables. Farmer’s market always had a special allure for me. I remember being submerged in the sea of vivid colors of fruits and vegetables in all shapes and sizes, the aromas of freshly baked goods and do not even get me started on the flowers!
Fast forward a few decades, I am prepping ingredients to cook this delicious & fluffy Asian peas rice aka matar chawal for my family. As I am shelling this seasonal legume – fresh peas from the pods…I cannot help but reminisce these beautiful memories from my childhood. Classic, quick, and easy but enchanting with aromatic herbs – this simple mouth-watering dish only needs 2 main ingredients – basmati rice and green peas.
Delicious & fluffy Asian peas rice (cooked the Asian way) is an easy one-pot recipe. It is defined as vegetarian comfort food and makes for a perfect pairing with almost any gravy dish; be it vegan, vegetarian or meat curry. It needs very little effort and prep time to cook. The best thing about peas pulao is, it is very nutritious and filling to one’s carb craving. It does not overload the stomach and is easily digestible.
A LITTLE BACKGROUND ON DELICIOUS & FLUFFY ASIAN PEAS RICE
It is one of the dying recipes of AWADHI CUISINE (present day – Uttar Pradesh, a state in India) because very few people knew about it.
It was the secret recipe of NAWABS of Awadh. Later, it trickled down to public with various versions. It is favorite of one and all whether rich or poor; young or old. Once you start cooking it, your entire house will be filled with it’s aroma.
You can enjoy peas rice with any gravy or sauce dish, raita or you can simply eat it by itself without any side. Today I am serving it for lunch with Paneer in creamy nutty sauce (Begum-e-Paneer) and potato raita as our long weekend celebration.
CHECK OUT OUR VIDEO ON DELICIOUS & FLUFFY ASIAN PEAS RICE!!!
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WHY THIS RECIPE IS SO EASY THAT ANYONE CAN COOK IT?
- This recipe does not need special equipment, instant pot or rice cooker. A simple pot with lid that fits, is all you need. Of course, not to forget a kitchen stove too.
- I have used basmati rice here; you can use any kind of rice you have in your pantry.
- The water & rice ratio is extremely easy to remember. Once you cook it 2-3 times, you will never need to google – “How to cook perfect rice”, again.
ASIAN FLUFFY & DELICIOUS PEAS RICE
- 1.5 Cup Basmati Rice soaked and washed
- ¾ Cup Peas fresh or frozen, shelled
- 2 ¾ Cup Water
- 1.5 Tsp Lemon juice
- ½ Tsp Salt
- 1.5 Tsp Cumin Seeds
- 2 piece Bay Leaves
- 1 Piece Black Cardamom
- 2 Piece Green Cardamom
- 5-6 Piece Black Peppercorns
- 2 Tbsp Ghee ,alternatively use unsalted butter or cooking oil
- Heat ghee in a deep non-stick pan
- Add cinnamon, black peppercorns, green cardamom, bay leaves, black cardamom, and cumin seeds. Sauté till fragrant/ slightly brown.
- Add rice and sauté well till the water dries up.
- Add peas on lowest heat and sauté for 2 minutes.
- Add salt and water with lemon juice, mix well.
- Let the mixture come to a boil, reduce heat, cover, and cook for 4-5 minutes.
- Gently stir to mix the peas, cover, and leave for another 5 minutes.
- Check to see if all the water is absorbed. If not, cover & leave for 2 more minutes.
- Take off the heat & let it sit for 5 minutes.
- White & fluffy peas rice is ready to be served.
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Rice can be stored in the refrigerator when it has completely cooled down. Just transfer into an air-tight container with lid, seal & put in the fridge. When you are ready to consume it, transfer the leftover rice into a pan with tight lid (for stove top heating ) or a microwave safe dish, add 1 Tbsp. water for every 1 Cup rice. Warm on medium heat for 5 minutes with lid on or for 2 minutes in a microwave. Your rice will be as fluffy as you just cooked them!!!
- Rice – Basmati rice or Jasmine rice is the best long-grain variety of rice that I prefer to use to get the best results. The cooked grain of rice looks quite distinct & does not get mushy. Both variety are easily available at your local Indian stores. Just use your google maps!!
- Peas – You can use fresh peas if you have the time to shell the peas from the pods. It’s an attempt I usually make once a blue moon. My go-to peas are the frozen kind available at all grocery stores.
- Whole Spices – Cumin Seeds, Bay Leaves, Black Cardamom, Green Cardamom, Black Peppercorns are some of the whole spices I used for this recipe. Few other whole spices that you use are Nutmeg & Mace.
- Rinsing Rice – I cannot lay enough importance on the fact that grains, lentils, veggies & fruits need to be thoroughly washed before cooking & direct consumption. WHY??? Because no one wants to eat food with impurities. Cooking unwashed medium & long-grain rice is unhealthy, as it has debris, possible chemicals that might have been used in the milling process. So, make sure to rinse the rice till water runs clear.
- Soaking Rice – Soaking rice in water helps the grain to absorb a little moisture, gives cooking process a kick start and yields a perfect, fluffier grain of rice that does not appear crisp & dried out!
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