Matar ka nimona or a green peas curry made during winter is very common in Uttar Pradesh in the winters. The dish does have a strange name but it tastes good when made with fresh, sweet peas that one gets in winter. I remember mum cooking it during the winter months when I was a child. Some people also make it with green chana or fresh green gram.
It is a relatively simple, homestyle dish that goes well with chapatis and rice both. It is another great recipe with peas that come bountiful at this time of the year.
So here is my recipe of matar ka nimona:
- 1.5 cups fresh green peas shelled
- 4-5 green chillies (as per taste you can reduce or increase the number of chillies)
- 1 inch piece ginger
- 5-6 cloves garlic
- 2 tomatoes finely chopped
- 1 tbsp. mustard oil (use regular oil if you don't have mustard oil)
- 1 tsp. garam masala
- 1 tsp. cumin seeds
- 1 pinch hing (asafoetida)
- few sprigs green coriander
- chopped coriander leaves for garnish
- Make a green masala paste of green chillies, coriander, ginger and garlic and keep aside.
- I make a puree of tomatoes as well.
- Now heat oil in a kadhai or pan.
- Add in cumin seeds and asafoetida and allow to sputter for about 30 seconds.
- Add in the tomato paste along with the green masala paste. Cook till tomatoes are well cooked and there is no kachcha or raw smell to ginger-garlic paste. You can see that oil comes out on the sides of the masala.
- Take peas in a blender and make a fine paste leaving a few peas coarse or whole.
- Once the tomato-green masala is cooked, add the blended peas mixture to it and cook on a low flame for 5 minutes.
- Now add water depending upon how thick you want the curry to be.
- Add salt. Cover and cook on low heat till the gravy is done. Takes about 5-10 minutes.
- Switch off the heat. Add garam masala.
- Taste and adjust seasoning.
- Garnish with coriander leaves and serve hot.
2. Some people also add finely cubed potato to the dish. In case you are using potatoes, cook them along with the green peas mixture.
3. You may use onion in the masala but I avoid it.
4. Make the curry thick or runny as per your preference.
5. Mustard oil is preferred though you may use regular vegetable oil.
Do try it and let me know how it turned out.