Yet another curry, ever so popular all over India and usually cooked with different spices in different households. Aloo Matar is a simple dish of potatoes and peas in a spicy tomato based sauce.
It is easy to make, considerably quick and an adaptable recipe as per your requirement. The spicy does not have to be the hot kind; it can be mild dish but rich and aromatic with a blend of spices. A simple but a satisfying dish.
This is a great recipe when you are weighed down with too much to do (but not limited to just these busy times), just like I am right now. It can be served as a side, but makes a wonderful main dish too when served with rice or flat breads.
A lot going on right now and too many things scheduled together all of sudden, but not much to write about. Today I will leave you only with the recipe.
- If you want a dry version (which usually works better if this is used as a side dish), use less water and cook till there is no more water left in the pan.
- This is kind of a comfort food, but can be taken at a more sophisticated level with the addition of a little bit cream at the tail end of the cooking process. The basic curry turns into a creamy goodness. I have not used any cream here, but have written the option in the recipe below. Do as you please.
- The cinnamon, cardamom and cloves along with the garam masala are all optional. Do not stop yourself from cooking this dish if your pantry is not stocked with these. The only difference will be the difference in flavor; it won’t be as fragrant.
Aloo Matar/Peas and Potato Curry
Ingredients: (serves 2-4, as main or side)
- 3 cups shelled/frozen peas
- 2 medium potatoes. peeled and cubed (each potato about 12 cubes)
- 1/2 medium onion, sliced into thin half moons
- 1/2 inch fresh ginger, peeled
- 1 large hot house tomato, (or any tomato equivalent to this size), chopped
- 6 cloves of garlic, peeled
- 2 cloves
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 2 small green cardamom
- 1 inch cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons turmeric
- 1 teaspoon red chili powder or chili flakes
- 1.5 teaspoons garam masala/or any other kind of curry powder (Optional)
- 3-4 tablespoons oil
- 2 tablespoons cream or half and half (Optional)
- fresh cilantro/coriander and more pepper flakes for garnish
Combine tomato, garlic and ginger and blend it to a puree till smooth. There is no need to add any water. Set aside
In a thick bottomed pan, add the cinnamon, clove and cardamom and dry roast for a minute. It will be fragrant; do not overheat, they will burn quick. Add oil in the pan and let the oil heat up. Add the cumin seeds to the oil; when they sizzle, add the onions and fry at high heat for about 2-4 minutes or till they are softened and the edges start to brown.
Add the potatoes to the pan and cook while tossing frequently for about 3 minutes. The potatoes will be coated with oil and will looked glazed. Add the tomato, ginger garlic puree to the pan and stir it well.
Combine salt, turmeric and chili powder with 1/4 cup of water and add to the pan. Cook everything together for about 12-15 minutes interchanging between low and medium heat while occasionally stirring and scraping the bottom of the pan.. The sauce would have got thicker and the oil will start to separate. The potatoes would be almost cooked.
Add the peas and about 2 cups of water to the pan. Simmer at medium heat for about 10-12 minutes or till the potatoes and the peas are cooked and there is still some sauce left. It is not going to be a dry dish. There should be enough sauce to mop it off with some flatbread or have it with rice.
If you are using the cream/half and half add it now. Add the garam masala if you are using it and simmer for a another 2 minutes. Garnish with fresh cilantro/coriander and pepper flakes.
Serve immediately with flat bread or over rice.
(If you are not serving immediately, you might need to reheat with some more water as the sauce usually is soaked up by the potatoes as it sits. Add a cup of water and simmer for about 7-10 minutes)
A warm spicy bowl of Aloo Matar and some bread makes a perfect meal. I usually serves some Raita (yogurt with veggies or fruits) and may be a salad on the side. A very comforting dish on a chilly night.