October 12, 2008

Aalu Mattar

A little bit of history behind this recipe ;)

When I got married I had the culinary skills of a rat. After a stint with dishes that eventually made way to my garbage, I had a choice either to leave my foodie husband for good or do some serious research and establish myself as a cook. In any case it was too early to give up.

I don't remember where I found this recipe. At that point, I used to browse, gather, print recipes left right and center. It's been 3 years since and this recipe is still very dear to me for it marked my metamorphosis. So let us get going!

For the green peas you can either get them fresh which definitely adds to the taste or settle for frozen peas. In India green peas get cheaper in winter and almost unaffordable in the later months. I store Safal green peas in my refrigerator in all seasons. It definitely comes handy.

  • Oil / Ghee - 4 tbsp
  • Ginger - 1tbsp finely chopped
  • Garlic - 1tbsp finely chopped
  • Onion - 2 medium chopped fine
  • Salt - 1 1/2 tsp
  • Cumin - 1 tsp ground
  • Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
  • Red chilli powder - 1/2 tsp
  • Tomato - 2 medium - ripe and firm - finely chopped
  • Coriander leaves - 3 tbsp - fresh -finely chopped
  • Potato - 1 large - peeled and cubed
  • Peas - 2 teacups
  • Water - 1 cup
  • Garam masala - 1/2 tsp
  • In a heavy sauce pan, heat the oil/ghee over high heat until a drop of water flicked into it splutters instantly. Stir in the ginger and garlic, then add the onions and salt
  • Lower the heat to moderate and stirring continuously, saute the onions for 7 - 8 minutes, until they turn soft and golden
  • Add the cumin, turmeric and chilli powders.
  • Stir in tomatoes and 2 tbps coriander leaves. Keep stirring and cook for 5 minutes until most of the liquid in the pan evaporates and the mixture is thick enough to draw away from the sides and bottom of the pan in a dense mass.
  • Drop in the peas and potatoes and mix thoroughly.
  • Stir in the water and bring to boil over high heat.
  • Cover tightly and reduce the heat to low.
  • Simmer for 10 minutes or until the peas and potatoes are tender.
  • Sprinkle the garam masala and the remaining coriander leaves.
  • Adding salt along with onions helps speedup the process of sauteing. The salt will help to draw the moisture out of the onion, and will make it cook softer. For more details on how to saute onions click here.