Fresh Green Peas Curry/Mutter Masala

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Every year in spring we plan out our garden, this includes updates to flowering plants as well as planning out what plants we will grow in our vegetable patch. Regular features include tomatoes, zucchini, yellow squash and radishes. We have tried out bell peppers, chilli peppers, cucumbers, green beans etc. but until this year we had never tried green peas. Turns out, green peas are the most easiest vegetables to grow, all you need to do is sow the seeds and water the plants and add support for the vines. They are disease free and give a great yield.

We planted a small row of green peas this year and got a whopping 4 lbs of green peas. I have been using the green peas by adding a little bit to all of the dishes I make, from pulavs, kurmas, vegetable gravies etc. Peas are a vegetable that often gets overlooked and added as an extra. Given I had access to fresh organic green peas, I wanted to make something that will help the green peas take center stage, and this mutter masala recipe is the one that came to mind immediately. It is a great combination for rice or rotis and is the perfect dish to showcase green peas.

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Ingredients:
3 cups fresh shelled green peas(can use frozen too)
2 onions, finely chopped
2 tomatoes, finely chopped
5 green chillies, slit
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 tbsp coriander powder
1 tsp garam masala
2 tbsp oil
2 bay leaves
salt, to taste.
cilantro, for garnish

For Masala Paste:
1 tbsp oil
2 cups onions, chopped
2 tomatoes, chopped
2 tbsp garlic, chopped
2 tbsp ginger, chopped
1 cup of cilantro, loosely packed, chopped
1/2 cup of mint, loosely packed, chopped
1 tbsp almonds, coarsely chopped
4 cloves
1 inch piece cinnamon stick
1 cardamom
6 green chillies

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Method:
Place the coarsely chopped almonds in a pan and toast until aroma arises. Set aside to cool.

Heat 1 tbsp oil in the same pan. Add the dry garam masalas to it: cloves, cinnamon and cardamom. Let it infuse the oil. Add the onion and green chillies. Fry until the onion turns golden brown. Add the ginger and garlic next, saute for a minute. Then, add the tomatoes and fry until it turns mushy. Turn off the stove and add in the cilantro and mint. Let the herbs wilt in the heat of the pan. Let this cool and grind this to a paste along with the almonds. Do not add any water while grinding.

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Heat the remaining oil in the pan. Add the bay leaves. Let it turn brown. Add in the finely chopped onion and fry until golden brown. Add the green chillies and tomato along with the salt. Let the tomatoes become mushy. Add the green peas and saute until they become soft. This will only take 3-4 minutes, whether you use fresh or frozen green peas. Do not overcook at this stage, otherwise you will lose the beautiful green color of the peas.

Add in the ground masala paste, turmeric powder, coriander powder and garam masala. Rinse the blender jar with 1/2 cup water and add it to the curry. Cover with a lid and simmer for 10 minutes, until the raw smell of the masalas is gone. Garnish with chopped cilantro and serve with roti or rice.

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Verdict: This green peas masala tasted just like you would get in restaurants. The green peas were sweet and yummy in the creamy gravy. The addition of mint and cilantro in the curry sauce gives a great flavor and the almonds make it a rich gravy.

Sending this to ‘My Legume Love Affair – 62′, event by Susan, now adopted by Lisa.

Also to ‘Eat Seasonal Food – fresh’ event, series by Jagruti.

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