June 23, 2010

Matar Bhaat- Fluffy Basmati Rice with Fresh Peas

matar bhaat 4

This dish of fluffy, buttery rice with peas alongside a bowl of kadhi encapsulates everything it means to be Gujarati. Ever been to a Gujarati wedding? If so, you’ve probably eaten this before. You’ve heard me say it a hundred and one times before but I know I’ll be saying it again and again; hot, sweet, sour, savoury, fresh and aromatic. These are the flavours of matar bhaat and kadhi and the flavours of Gujarat. I’ve eaten these dishes so many times that a fillet of Sanjana probably tastes similar. That’s not an invitation- you know very well that this is a vegetarian blog.

Well, you get the picture. Hot, sweet, sour… blah, blah, blah.

This is a remembered recipe passed on to me by my idol, my mum. She taught me her father’s recipe for matar bhaat and I personally challenge you to unearth a better version of the dish. I’m positive that Nanabapu’s recipe is probably being served to the Rishimunnis (those having reached enlightenment) up in the fluffy, white clouds of heaven. Very cool.
Forget marshmallows, angel cakes and artisan breads; this matar bhaat recipe is as light as air.
matar bhaat 3


Enjoy with kadhi and puris. Lots of puris.


Matar Bhaat- Fluffy Basmati Rice with Fresh Peas

(serves 6)


170g fresh peas, washed and shelled with both the inner and outer membranes removed (you could also use mange tout with a handful of frozen peas)
350g white basmati rice
300g new potatoes, washed and quartered
¼ tsp turmeric
2 ½ tbsp ghee
2 tsp cumin seeds
8 curry leaves
¼ tsp asafoetida
2 tsp salt (or to taste)
700ml boiling water


1. Gently wash the rice around 5 times in cold water. This will help to remove some starch and give you perfect fluffy rice. Leave the rice to soak in a bowl of cold water for 30-40 minutes and drain before you need to use it in step 3.

2. Boil the potatoes in salted water with ¼ tsp turmeric added for colour until al dente. Drain and set aside.

3. Heat the ghee in a large non-stick pan (one that comes with a lid). Add the cumin seeds, curry leaves, asafoetida and peas. Sauté for a few minutes then add the rice. Combine gently until the rice is coated in the ghee and spices.

matar bhaat 2

4. Add around 700ml boiling water, 2 tsp salt and the boiled potatoes. Bring to the boil. The water should come up about ½ an inch to an inch above the surface of the rice.

5. Turn the heat to low/medium and cover the entire surface of the rice/water mixture with a piece of tin foil. The foil should just sit on top of the contents of the pan so that the steam doesn’t escape.

6. Cover the pan with a lid and leave on a low/medium heat for 10-15 mins. I would suggest checking the rice after 10 minutes. If it is almost, but not quite done, turn the heat off and put the foil and lid back on for a further 5 minutes. The rice should finish cooking perfectly in the steam.

7. Inhale the beautiful earthy, sweet scent of the steaming rice. Note: Don’t burn your face.

8. When your rice is perfectly cooked, allow it to cool for a little while and then gently separate the grains with a fork.

matar bhaat 5

I never had the teeth to sample Nanabapu’s famous matar bhaat (pah! Not like I would have really needed them!) but I’m sure he would have given this recipe two thumbs up!

Did you make this?

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30 responses to “Matar Bhaat- Fluffy Basmati Rice with Fresh Peas”

  1. Priya (Yallapantula) Mitharwal says:

    Sanjana, that is amazing looking bhath, beautiful and delicious 🙂

  2. T. The Destructor says:

    This looks so simple and soooo good.

    I wish you would create a cookbook…that way I could treasure all your recipes AND you'd get compensated, which is really what should happen. You're magical in the kitchen 🙂

  3. Sharmilee! :) says:

    Luv peas bath very much…ur verison sounds yummy

  4. Vegetable Matter says:

    Beautiful pics, and I love a vegetable dish that's "fluffy"

  5. AshKuku says:

    Kya 'Bhaat' hai????? Awesome pics of the well prepared & presented platter….. I love the greens with white….. Makes a lovely combo for my cards too….. They looks so temptingly alive on screen, that it just leaves me 'wanting'…… No end to wants what so ever 😉 Hugs )))


  6. AshKuku says:

    Oops! that reminds me of my prep lost & forgotten in my draft….. My next post I guess…. 😉 The lazy bug has actually bit me….. 🙁


  7. 5 Star Foodie says:

    What a delicious rice bowl! I love the addition of fresh peas and new potatoes here, yum!

  8. Sanyukta Gour(Bayes) says:

    sanjana….truly inviting…love eating this with kadhi and refreshing my childhood memories…specially love the greens in white rice…so so refreshing to the eyes….ahh…mindblowing pics..

  9. Just Food Snobs says:

    A very beautiful dish! Light and healthy for summer!

  10. Shree says:

    beautiful bhaat it does look light 🙂

  11. tangledreflections says:

    My mouth is watering even when I just had breakfast!! Sounds amazing!

  12. Jay says:

    very tempting recipe…with beautiful clicks.

  13. Angie's Recipes says:

    What a pretty and delicious rice stir-fry!

  14. Priya says:

    Wow such a beautiful and tempting matar bhaat, looks very prefect and catchy..

  15. The Housewife says:

    Looks so pretty! I love the colors in the bhaat! I'm sure it tastes even better than it looks… 🙂

  16. Premalatha Aravindhan says:

    very tempting rice,beautifull photography…

  17. Kathy Gori says:

    Sanjana you have done it again. What a fabulous recipe, I can't wait to try this.

  18. penny aka jeroxie says:

    Being an Asian means I love rice. I love the smell and taste of just rice. Keep it simple and it always tastes good.

  19. Az says:

    Looks great.. nice recipe and click!!!

  20. Cherine says:

    What a lovely rice bowl, looks really tasty!

  21. Saint bapu says:


  22. Vaishali Sharma says:

    Simple yet delicious and beautiful!!

  23. Vegetarian Zest says:

    Simple yet looks so delicious.I'm a krishna believer too.

  24. Trix says:

    I have no doubt that your mom's recipe is the best! The photos are practically edible, and new potatoes are in season right now so this would be a perfect use for them!

  25. sensiblecooking says:

    I love the bhaat recipe. I am bhaat fan and if I could I would eat it for breakfast to dinner. BTW we call rice bhaat in Nepali. My mom used to make similar version but usually with sweet pea or dried fruits and nuts. I am defiantly trying this out.

  26. artipatel88 says:

    I have puri cravings now…thanks love 🙁

  27. Shobha says:

    Lovely colour..such an appetizing dish.
    Never added snow peas to the rice or pulao before.

  28. Mr. P says:

    That second photograph… I want to frame it. Gorgeous!

  29. […] of the pod if you want to use it in a dish. Once, when I was at university I forgot to do it and my Matar Bhaat left a lot to be desired. The cooked pods were like actual shards of glass. I won’t forget to […]

  30. Anilkumar Shah says:

    Thanks for posting the recipe. Lovely pictures. Remind sme of my childhood days when my mum used to make it kadhi. Kind regards. Anilkumar Shah. Londres.

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