Do you think you’ve had your fill of pulao yet? I certainly hope not, because I’m serving matar pulao, a Jillani family favourite. I understand that this isn’t the most glamorous of recipes. However, it’s a tried-and-true favourite at the Jillani table. It’s a lot more adaptable than some of the other rice meals I’ve highlighted in that it goes with so many different things. Shami kebabs with raita, ideally dahi baingan, are my personal favourites. It’s also one of the first Pakistani meals I tried when I first started cooking in graduate school.


I’m still having trouble making roti (I know, it’s a pain), so


  •  cup oil canola/sunflower/vegetable
  • 1 medium yellow onion sliced in half rings
  • 1 teaspoon crushed ginger
  • 1 teaspoon crushed garlic
  • 1 black cardamom
  • 1- inch cinnamon stick
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ½ teaspoon black peppercorns
  • ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 cup peas
  • 2 teaspoon salt or to taste
  • 2 cups rice


  • Heat oil in a stockpot and add onions. Fry on medium-low heat till they are a medium golden brown, about 12 minutes.
  • Add crushed ginger and garlic, and fry for 30 seconds.
  • Add whole spices (cardamom, cinnamon stick, bay leaf, black peppercorns, cumin seeds) and fry for 1 minute.
  • Add peas and fry for a few seconds.
  • Add 4 cups water, salt and rice. Bring to boil.
  • Lower to a simmer, and let the water boil out, about 10 minutes.
  • Once the water has boiled out, remove from heat. Wrap a tight-fitting lid with a cloth and place it firmly on the pot. Bring the dial back to the lowest point and let the rice steam for 12 minutes.
  • Remove from heat, place in serving dish and fluff the rice with a fork.

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