Green Pea Pulao with Cashews

Visit the Indian Food Glossary for information on the ingredients in this recipe
green pea pulao

Local garden peas are always something to savor and here I've dressed up rice with their plump texture and green goodness. Throw is some golden fried cashews, herbs and some Indian spice and you have a fine accompaniment to any meal, especially Indian legume curries. Grains never need be boring, and although I enjoy a pot of rice with little adornment, rice really is a blank canvas to explore to complement a culinary experience.

green pea pilaf

I've included instructions here for using frozen peas as well, to almost equally delightful results, but if you can find some fresh peas they're really worth your while.

Green Pea Pulao with CashewsGreen Pea Pulao with Cashews
Recipe by
Cuisine: Indian
Published on August 4, 2014

Simple and elegant yellow spiced and herbed rice pulao with plump fresh garden peas and golden fried cashews

Preparation: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 35 to 40 minutes

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  • 1 cup white basmati rice
  • 2 cups water
  • 3 tablespoons sesame oil, ghee or butter
  • 1/3 cup raw cashews, halved
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 2 to 3 green chilies, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1-inch piece fresh ginger, minced or shredded
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen green peas
  • 3 tablespoons mixed fresh herbs, finely chopped, or 1 1/2 tablespoons mixed dried herbs (I used lemon basil, oregano, thyme and rosemary)
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • Wash the rice thoroughly in a strainer until the water is no longer cloudy. Transfer to a bowl and cover with 2 cups water. Let rest for 20 minutes. Drain, reserving the soaking water, and let the rice air dry in a strainer for another 10 minutes, tossing the grains occasionally.

  • Heat the oil, ghee or butter in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. When hot, toss in the cashews and stir for 10 minutes or until they are golden brown. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside. Turn up the heat to medium and add the cumin seeds, green chilies and ginger. Stir for a few minutes until the cumin seeds darken a few shades. Add the turmeric, garam masala and paprika, and stir for another minute.

  • Add the rice to the pan and gently stir for another few minutes.

  • Now pour in the reserved rice soaking water, along with fresh peas (if using), herbs and salt. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Immediately reduce the heat to a very low temperature, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes undisturbed until the liquid is absorbed. If frozen peas are used, rinse them under warm water in a strainer and add to the pan 15 minutes into the cooking time, don't stir, and cover the pan again.

  • Remove from heat and let stand for 5 to 7 minutes. Add the cashews and fluff everything with a fork until combined.

  • Serve hot with your favorite curries and savory flatbreads.

Makes 4 to 6 servings

green pea pilaf

Other rice dishes to try from Lisa's Vegetarian Kitchen:
Brown Lentils and Rice with Roasted Onions and Spicy Baked Tortilla Chips
Mung Dal Kitcheree
Tomato, Olive and Avocado Rice
Vegan Rosemary Mushroom Brown Rice "Risotto"

On the top of the reading stack: The Complete Leafy Greens Cookbook: 67 Leafy Greens and 250 Recipes by Susan Sampson

Audio Accompaniment: Ambient 4 On Land by Brian Eno


Joanne said...

What a fun way to dress up what could have been a very plain side dish!

Unknown said...

This looks deslishes! Will try it soon.