Peas Pilau
from Ayurveda Today, Volume 2, Number 2, Fall 1989

Washing Rice

Wash the rice twice and drain. To wash rice properly, put the measured rice in a saucepan and fill to the top with water. Stir and gently pour off the water until the rice starts to escape. Fill again with water and stir 2 or 3 times. Gently pour off the water and put the last of the rice and water through a colander to drain completely. Rinse the last grains of rice out of the pan into the colander.

Doshic Notes
Vata +
Pitta =
Kapha =



2 Tbs
butter or ghee

hot green chili OR 1/2 bell pepper, finely chopped

1/4 to 1/2 cup
onion, finely chopped
1/2 to 1 tsp
ginger, fresh, finely chopped
cardamom pods
cloves, whole
cinnamon sticks, broken into small pieces
1/2 tsp
turmeric, powder
2 and 1/4
cups water
1 cup
basmati rice
1 cup
green peas, fresh or frozen
1 tsp

If using frozen peas, put them in a strainer and rinse with cool water. Set aside.

Rinse the rice as above and set aside.

Melt the ghee in a large pot over low heat. Add the pepper, onion, ginger, cardamom, cloves, and cinnamon. Stir continuously for 5 to 7 minutes, taking care not to burn the ghee. When the onions are soft, add the rice. Stir until the rice is fully coated with the mixture. If using fresh peas, add them now. Add the turmeric.

Stir the rice for 5 minutes over low heat, and then add the water and salt. Increase the heat slightly and bring to a boil. Cover and turn down the heat to a simmer. After 15 minutes, add the frozen peas (if using frozen peas) and stir in gently. Cook partially covered about 5 minutes more, until all the water is absorbed and the rice is soft and fluffy. Cover and let rest 5 – 10 minutes.


Turn the rice out onto a platter to serve. Fluff gently with a fork to mix in the spices and peas, taking care not to break the rice grains.


cardamom image © Ben Phillips,

© The Ayurvedic Institute 2011.  Fair use policyPrivacy policy. Contact us.