Matar Pulau: Ayurvedic Spiced Rice with Peas

Photo Credit:  Arancha's Kitchen

Photo Credit: Arancha's Kitchen

Ayurveda has its own comfort foods and what could be more comforting than matar pulau, fragrant basmati rice with warming, vata soothing spices and shiny green peas and cilantro! Coconut milk adds a touch of vata and pitta balancing flavour. Enjoy this delicious recipe with dal and sabji or as a simple supper in its own right.

Serves 6 as a main dish

8 with dal and sabji


  • 2 cups basmati rice, soaked and drained

  • 2 Tbsp. ghee

  • 2 bay leaves

  • 4 cloves

  • 1 tsp. cumin powder

  • ½ tsp. black peppercorns

  • 4 green cardamoms, crushed

  • 1 cinnamon stick

  • 2 star anise

  • Small piece mace

  • 1 green chilli, slit

  • 2 cups frozen green peas, defrosted

  • 1 tsp. grated ginger

  • 1 tsp. turmeric powder

  • 1 tsp. mild chilli powder

  • 1 tsp. coriander powder

  • ½ tsp. garam masala powder

  • 1.5 cups coconut milk

  • 2 cups water

  • Salt to taste

  • 2 Tbsp. chopped cilantro


  • Heat ghee in heavy bottomed pan, add the bay, clove, cumin, peppercorns, cardamom, cinnamon, star anise and mace and sauté for a minute or two until the cumin seeds sputter and darken a shade (take care not to burn).

  • Add green chilli and ginger, and sauté for 2-3 minutes. Add red chilli powder, turmeric powder, coriander powder, garam masala mix and cook for a minute.

  • Add rice gently and sauté for 1-2 minutes, stirring. Add water and coconut milk, salt, and cilantro and mix. Bring to boil; cover and cook for about 30 minutes, until the water is absorbed and the rice grains stand on end.

  • Add the defrosted peas on top and cook 4-5 minutes more.

  • Take off heat, allow a few minutes for the fragile grains to firm up, then stir gently with a fork, taking care not to mash the rice.

Menu suggestion: pairs beautifully with Bitter Gourds Stuffed with Paneer!

Adapted from here.

Alakananda Ma M.B., B.S. (Lond.) is an Ayurvedic Doctor (NAMA) and graduate of a top London medical school. She is co-founder of Alandi Ayurveda Clinic and Alandi Ayurveda Gurukula in Boulder Colorado, as well as a spiritual mother, teacher, flower essence maker and storyteller. Alakananda is a well known and highly respected practitioner in the Ayurveda community both nationally and internationally.

Enliven your holistic health! Visit Alakananda Ma in Alandi Ashram’s ayurvedic clinic to support the overall rejuvenation of your body, mind, and spirit. In-person and virtual appointments available. Book now!