In a large saucepan, heat olive oil over medium. Add fennel seed and onion; saute until soft, about 4 minutes. Stir in brown rice and cook 1 minute. Add 1 3/4 cups water and bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, covered, until water is absorbed, about 12 minutes. Stir in peas and cilantro, then season with salt and pepper.