Side dish

Peas Pulao with Crispy Fried Onions

Discover the delicious flavors of Peas Pulao recipe, a simple yet elegant dish topped with crispy fried onions.

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peas pulao
Recipe insights & TIPS
peas pulao

I've got a fantastic recipe that's a feast for the senses and will leave your guests asking for more. Introducing my Peas Pulao with Crispy Fried Onions, a dish that artfully combines the gentle sweetness of peas with the aromatic spices and the delightful crunch of fried onions. This dish is not only a treat to eat but also visually appealing, making it a standout at any dining table.

This meal is versatile enough for a simple family dinner yet sophisticated enough for a more festive occasion. Preparing this pulao is straightforward, taking about 70 minutes from start to finish, and it's sure to become a go-to recipe in your culinary repertoire.

To enhance this dish's healthfulness, consider using brown basmati rice for added fiber and nutrients. Also, opt for organic cold-pressed oil for frying to keep things lighter and more heart-friendly. To make it even more colorful and nutritious, feel free to toss in some additional green vegetables like spinach or kale during the last few minutes of cooking. These tweaks not only boost the nutritional value but also add a pop of color, making the dish even more enticing!

peas pulao


Can I use olive oil for frying the onions?

While neutral oil is recommended for its higher smoke point, olive oil can be used for a different flavor profile.

Is it possible to make Peas Pulao without nuts?

Absolutely! You can skip the nuts if you prefer or have allergy concerns.

Can I make this dish with frozen peas instead of fresh?

Yes, you can definitely use frozen peas in this recipe. Frozen peas are a convenient option as they are often flash-frozen at peak ripeness, preserving their flavor and nutrients. There is no need to thaw the peas before cooking; just add them directly to the dish during the cooking process.

What other types of rice can I use if I don't have basmati?

If basmati rice is not available, you can substitute it with other long grain rice varieties such as jasmine rice, which also has a slightly aromatic flavor and a fluffy texture when cooked. Keep in mind that the water absorption and cooking times may vary slightly.

How can I add more protein to this Peas Pulao?

To increase the protein content of this dish, consider adding chunks of paneer (Indian cottage cheese), tofu, or cooked chicken. These can be sautéed separately with a little seasoning and mixed into the pulao just before serving to maintain their texture and flavor.

Is this dish suitable for making ahead of time?

Yes, Peas Pulao with Crispy Fried Onions can be made ahead of time and refrigerated. It reheats well in the microwave or on the stovetop with a little added water to prevent the rice from drying out. However, for the best texture and flavor of the onions, it’s recommended to fry them just before serving.

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Peas Pulao with Crispy Fried Onions is a quick and aromatic dish combining fluffy basmati rice, sweet peas, and crispy onions, perfect for a light, comforting meal. Ideal for busy weeknights, this simple yet flavorful dish is ready in minutes and beloved in many cultures.

Side dish
55 minutes
Total TIME:
70 minutes
15 minutes


  • 1 cup extra-long basmati rice, preferably aged
  • ⅓ cup + 2 tablespoons neutral oil, divided
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 2 whole cloves
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 large red onion, sliced thinly and divided in half
  • ¼ cup cashews or slivered almonds
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • ¼ cup cranberries or raisins (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon ghee or melted butter (optional)
  • 1 lemon, zested and cut into wedges
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen peas
  • A generous handful of fresh herbs, such as mint and cilantro, chopped

Ingredient Swaps

  • Use locally sourced or certified organic brown rice instead of extra-long basmati rice
  • Use certified organic coconut oil or sustainably sourced avocado oil instead of regular neutral oil
  • Use plant-based butter or organic, grass-fed ghee


  1. Place the rice in a strainer and rinse under cold water until the water runs mostly clear. Soak the rice in a bowl covered with water for 30 minutes.
  2. In a saucepan, heat 2 tablespoons of oil over medium heat. Add cumin seeds, cloves, and cinnamon sticks until they start to sizzle. Add half of the thinly sliced onions and sauté until golden brown and soft.
  3. Bring a pot of water to boil. Add the soaked and drained rice to the boiling water. Cook for about 5 minutes until the rice is almost done but still has a bite. Drain the rice using a strainer.
  4. Return the parboiled rice to the saucepan with the cooked onions. Stir in cranberries or raisins, lemon zest, peas, and the remaining oil. Add salt and pepper to taste. If using, stir in the ghee or melted butter.
  5. Wrap the lid of the saucepan with a kitchen towel to catch excess moisture. Cook over low heat for 25 minutes until the rice is fluffy.
  6. While the rice cooks, heat the remaining oil in a small pot and fry the remaining sliced onions until crispy and golden. Drain on paper towels.
  7. Fluff the Peas Pulao with a wooden spoon, garnish with fresh herbs, and top with crispy fried onions. Serve in a serving dish with lemon wedges on the side.
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