Friday, January 24, 2014

Matar ka Nimona (Green Peas in Green Pea Curry Sauce)

This is a reasonably obscure dish from the Northern agricultural belt of India, and like all rural recipes, it is both simple and superb.

Even the name is outstanding. All those m's and n's caressing each other. The CC has been muttering (sic) the title to himself all day long sometimes a little bit sarcastically but mostly sweetly.

The recipe is made at a time when fresh green peas flood the rural markets which explains the dual purpose of the peas. You need to make the excess work somehow.

Let it be noted that this will not work with frozen peas. The curry portion will work fine but you need the starchy nature of fresh peas to make the other component work.

Lately the CC has been seeing fresh shelled peas from Georgia in the markets. He also sees them, of all places, in the Korean markets. So try and hunt around. You'd be surprised where they can be and you really don't want to miss out on this recipe.


3 cups fresh peas

2 cups cilantro leaves (yup!)
4 Thai green chillies
4 cloves garlic
1 piece of fresh turmeric (or 1/2 tbsp. ground)

1 tbsp. cumin seeds



Take 1 cup of the peas, the cilantro leaves, chillies, garlic, and turmeric and grind to a paste. A food processor makes quick work here.

Heat up some oil in a pan. When shimmering, add the cumin seeds. Let them color but not burn. Add the liquidized sauce from above. Be careful because it is wet and will splatter.

Let it fry until the "raw" smell has disappeared. Roughly 5-6 minutes. Add the remaining fresh peas and salt to taste until they are tender. Be careful not to overcook.

Serve with parathas or rice.

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