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Flavourful Pea Pulao with Lemon (25 Min, Vegan)

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Pea Pulao serving|

Flavourful and playful pea pulao. Try saying that with a mouthful. Or don’t. Just focus on the sweet, soft onions and delicate flavours instead.

It’s a light dish, but you won’t feel hungry after. The fibre takes care of that. The dish itself has been around for thousands of years – it’s even mentioned in the histories of Alexander the Great.

So it must be…great!

It’s literally limitless in variety and could contain any number of a broad swathe of spices, along with whatever vegetables, dried fruits, meat or fish you fancy.

Ours is vegetarian of course, and can certainly be made vegan with the removal of the honey (replace it with agave nectar, or slow cook the onions).

Right now, our favourite variety is this pea version. It’s a dish of contrasts – green peas against sweet onions, crunchy peanuts against soft raisins, lemon against honey.

Health Benefits – Flavourful Pea Pulao with Lemon

This ancient dish is rammed with fibre. Just one serving contains nearly half a day’s recommended intake – and most Americans never reach their target.

Fibre is great in so many ways – not only does it keep you feeling full (so you eat less other shit), but it also protects against some of our biggest enemies – heart disease and diabetes (Life-Saving Fibre).

It contains no cholesterol but is very high in vitamin B6 (normally found in meat and fish), which is important for an active and healthy mind (Brainy B6).

Throw nearly two thirds of your vitamin C GDA into the mix as well and you’ve got a beast of healthy meal. No wonder it’s been eaten for centuries.

Flavourful Pea Pulao with Lemon
4.72 from 25 votes
Flavourful Pea Pulao with Lemon. A zesty yet sweet, light but filling rice dish handed down through generations.
Cuisine:Indian, Vegetarian
Diet: dairy-free, egg-free, gluten-free, vegan
Prep Time:5 minutes
Cook Time:20 minutes
Total Time:25 minutes



  • Dice the onion.
    1 onion
  • Chuck the olive oil to the pot then the diced onion. Let it simmer a little.
    1 tsp olive oil
  • Add the honey, tumeric, cumin and salt. Stir. Dice the tofu.
    1 tsp honey, 1 tsp turmeric, 1 tsp cumin, ground, Salt and pepper to taste
  • Add the peanuts, tofu and raisins. Let is simmer for a minute or two.
    2 cup peas, 1 oz peanuts, 1 oz raisins, 7 oz tofu
  • Add vegetable broth and the rice. Stir a little. If the liquid runs out before the rice is cooked add a little more. I've found you generally don't need to, but it can depend on the rice.
    1 ¼ cup vegetable broth, ⅓ cup basmati rice
  • Then stick the lid on top and let it simmer for about 15 minutes until the rice is done. Add the peas about 3 minutes before the end, they don't need long.
  • Meanwhile get a bowl for the dressing.
  • Grate in the garlic and lemon zest (make sure to wash the lemon well beforehand!).
    1 clove garlic, 1 tsp lemon zest
  • Add the lemon juice and vinegar.
    3 tbsp lemon juice, 2 tbsp vinegar
  • Add salt and pepper to taste.
  • When the rice is done, you're done. Add the dressing.
  • Enjoy!
    A zesty, tasty Pea Pulao that’s really quick and easy to make | Hurry The Food Up


  • Add any veggies you want to pep up the recipe. Broccoli fits well.
  • Basmati rice isn’t the healthiest choice as it’s processed. It’s arguably more flavourful than brown rice, but switch it if you wanna be really healthy. Keep in mind that brown rice needs about 25 minutes to cook (basmati 15) and requires more broth.
  • One reader said it took even longer with his brown rice, so definitely keep an eye on the broth levels and top-up when needed.
  • The dish has quite a bit of natural sugar (about 16g per serving). If you want less, we’d suggest leaving out the honey. You can slow cook the onions for a nice caramelised effect.
  • Make-ahead? Yes, prep the night before. It can be reheated.
  • Make it vegan: Use maple syrup instead of honey.


Nutrition Facts
Flavourful Pea Pulao with Lemon
Serving Size
444 g
Amount per Serving
% Daily Value*
Saturated Fat
Polyunsaturated Fat
Monounsaturated Fat
Vitamin A
Vitamin C
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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Recipe Rating

  1. I am unable to eat tofu because of an allergy and I am also vegan, so chicken is not an option. How would this recipe be with no tofu?


    1. Hi Donna, actually funnily enough this recipe used to me made without tofu, but we added it a couple of years ago to keep the protein and ‘filling’ feeling nice and high. But it works totally well without it! You could also add a few more peas or nuts instead, if you wish 🙂

  2. do you have any replacement ideas for the vegetable broth?
    It is sadly no available in my region.

    1. Hi Itamar! Maybe order online? Otherwise salt + a few spices can definitely be an acceptable replacement. 🙂

  3. Can you use dried split peas?

    1. I would not bet on it, because to my knowledge dried split peas need about 20 mins cook time. I’d probably prep them in a separate pot OR make sure you use enough extra water and let everything simmer until the peas are done.
      I good idea by the way, will try this out myself!!

  4. Beautiful dish and full of flavour! My husband made it for lunch and our nearly six year old daughter loved it as well. He followed the recipe exactly as written. We will definitely be keeping this in rotation!

    1. Really glad to hear this, Alyssa!! I’m happy that your daughter liked the dish!

  5. 4 stars

  6. I made this tonight to go with my grilled tandoori inspired chicken and it was a hit! I did make some moderations which I think really worked well:

    I really love Indian spices, so I added a tsp each of ground coriander seeds, caraway seeds, fennel seeds along with a bay leaf, a few cloves, a few green cardamom pods in addition to the cumin and tumeric, to my oil. I used grapeseed oil instead of olive oil. I fried the spices till everything smelled really fragrant, then I added my onion and about a tsp of fresh grated ginger as well and sauteed everything until the onions were soft. Instead of honey I used a little date syrup, and because my youngest hates peanuts I substituted them with almonds.

    Everything else I kept the same. It was absolutely delicious!

    1. Ah sounds lush! I’m also a big Indian spice fan (I tried chaat masala for the first time today and it was great). The subs you made for the pulao sounds great. Whenever I read a comment about this dish I get a craving for it. Glad you enjoyed it, and thanks for writing!

  7. 5 stars
    I didn’t have any peas (discovered this 1/2 thru making it – so much for mis en place!) so I used a very small head of cauliflower. Yummy! Thanks for the recipe.

    1. Haha, yes, it’s always a surprise to find you’re out a key ingredient halfway through – I’ve done the same myself plenty of times! Cauli sounds like a great sub, I bet it worked well with the lemon. I’m glad you enjoyed it, Moo!