There is something about fresh vegetables that makes my heart flutter. I happened to chance upon fresh peas this time in the Indian grocery store and couldn’t resist getting some home. Fresh peas means I had to make spicy peas masala curry and was it finger licking good!
Here is a simple recipe version for a quick peas masala curry that is a perfect solution to lazy evenings and tired days after work when you are low on energy to cook anything elaborate! Traditionally the peas masala curry made in Kerala has coconut milk in it which imparts the authentic Kerala taste. However, this is a simple healthier version here. I have made a note of how to make it Kerala style in the Notes section. Enjoy and Bon Appetit :)
Tomatoes – 1 cup – chopped
Onion – 1/2 cup – chopped
Fresh/frozen coconut – about 1/2 cup
Ginger – 1 tbsp
Garlic – 3 to 4 cloves
Fresh green chilies – 3 to 4 depending on desired spiciness (or more if you can take the heat)
Turmeric – 1/2 tsp
Red chili powder – 1/2 tsp
Cumin – 1/2 tsp
Dhania-jeera powder – 1 tbsp
Peas – 2 cups – fresh or frozen – though I strongly urge you to get fresh peas if available – it taste just amazing.
Salt – about 1 tbsp
Oil – about 1 tsbp
Cilantro – for garnish
Place the onion, tomatoes, ginger, garlic, coconut, cumin, green chilies and tumeric powder in a blender with 1/4 cup of water. Blend it into a smooth paste.
Heat oil in a pan and add the blended spice mixture. Cook for a couple of minutes till the raw smell goes off and gravy is cooked. Add the green peas and 1/4 cup of water. Season it with salt according to taste. Continue to cook till the peas are soft cooked. Sprinkle with some fresh cilantro.
Serve hot over rice or with roti.
To make Kerala – style peas masala curry- after the peas is cooked in the above recipe- add about 1/4 to 1/2 of thick coconut milk (depending on how much you like the taste of coconut milk in your dish) to the cooked dish , simmer for a few minutes and switch off. Do a tadka – Heat a little coconut oil, add mustard, when they pop, put a few curry leaves and pour over the curry. Kerala style peas masala curry is ready! If preparing in this manner, I would recommend to add a little more spiciness (a.k.a green chilies) as that will taste much better with coconut milk.
1) If you like to make this dish in a sattvik way for a festival , occasion or just because you prefer sattvik food – instead of adding the onion and garlic to make puree- avoid them completely and after making puree with remaining ingredients, heat oil and first add asafoetida(hing – this will replace the onion and garlic) , saute a bit (careful – do not let it brown) and then add the puree and proceed with remaining steps of the recipe to make the dish. It will taste just as wonderful.
2) If you have time on your side, I would recommend that you prefer the recipe very traditionally – you can saute the onion , garlic, ginger first in a few drops of oil before blending it to a puree as this will address any raw taste totally and lends a nice flavour. You can also saute in a few drops of oil - coriander seeds and red chilies till light brown, then add cumin seeds and switch off. Add it to the list of ingredients to puree. If doing this step, omit the dhania-jeera powder and reduce no.of green chilies to be ground accordingly. Need I say it ? Fresh roasted spices rock any recipe.
3) You can try adding different masala powders (like chole, undhiyo, pav bhaji masala etc) for different flavour. I like to keep it simple , basic and less ‘masaledhar’ – so prefer simple ingredients in it.