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Sunday, 21 February 2016

Methi Matar Malai Recipe


Methi Matar Malai is a popular North Indian curry and a flavorful winter delicacy. As the name suggest it is a rich and creamy gravy made with fresh Methi ( Fenu greek) leaves , Matar ( Green Peas ) and Malai (cream). The dish is fragrant and very delicious owing to the use of  freshly ground spices. I have replaced cashews with almonds and cooked the gravy in milk which makes it all the more rich and creamier without adding much cream. The dish is mildly sweet in taste and pairs well with naan or chapati. 
                             

My first encounter with methi matar malai curry was at a North Indian wedding a couple of years ago. Until then, i had never imagined a milk based curry for a green leafy vegetable, especially fenu greek which has a characteristic bitter taste. To my surprise the curry was very delicious and had mild sweet flavors complimenting very well with the aromatic spices and the fenu greek leaves. Perfectly cooked fresh green peas making the curry all the more desirable. Methi matar malai made using fresh veggies makes it a flavorful winter treat. The dish is rich and creamy, but once in a while, you can treat yourself, isn't it ?

                          

What goes into my version of Methi Matar Malai ? The Ingredients:

There are many variations to the Methi Matar Malai dish. Some add tomatoes also but then the color of the dish changes. Usually cashew nut paste is added to the gravy. But i always prefer almonds over cashews and hence replaced them in this recipe. You can used blanched almonds, i have soaked them overnight and peeled and made a paste. One more variation is that, i have cooked the gravy in milk instead of water and then added just 2 tbsp of heavy cream. Let's the ingredients one by one
  • Fenu greek leaves / methi leaves : Use fresh green fenu greek leaves for best results. Avoid using wilted, stale or yellow color leaves. The use of stale fenu greek leaves makes the curry bitter in taste.
  • Green peas / matar: Fresh or frozen green peas can be used in the recipe. I have used fresh green peas. The cooking time of frozen peas is less compared to the fresh ones.
  • Milk: I have cooked the curry in skimmed milk instead of water. It makes the curry rich and creamy.
  • Heavy cream: This recipe uses just 2 tablespoon of  heavy cream. I have used the regular homemade malai (cream) i get over the full cream milk. Make sure you use chilled cream that is first beaten to smooth or else the cream will split. You may skip it if you wish, but i would recommend using it as it adds a lovely creamy flavor to the dish.
  • Almonds: I have substituted the cashews with almonds in this recipe. You may use either. Almonds may be blanched and then peeled before making a paste. I have soaked the almonds overnight instead and used them to make the smooth paste which gives desired body to the curry by making the curry thick.
  • Onions: Red onion is used in this recipe. I would strongly recommend using it unless you are looking for a Jain recipe.
  • Green chilies and ginger: Ginger and green chilies are pulsed along with onion to obtain a paste which adds a lot of spicy flavor to the curry. You may adjust the levels of spices as per your taste and spice tolerance.
  • Whole Spices: whole spices like cumin seeds, cinnamon, cloves and black pepper are first roasted and then pound to make a spice powder which make the curry aromatic and flavorful. If you do not have the spicies handy, you may use garam masala instead. 
  • Oil: Use any neutral cooking oil. I have used sunflower oil.
  • Salt to taste
Dietary Tips:
  • Vegetarian side dish
  • Gluten-free 
  • Creamy gravy dish
  • North Indian curry
  • Winter delicacy
  • Kid friendly
Related Event: 
This is an old post that i had published in 2016 during my early blogging days. Today i have updated the post with new pics and written content, the recipe remain unchanged though. I have many such old posts where i feel the photography is dull or the recipe is not up to the mark ( at times we keep on changing our own recipes to make it a better version of it.) Such posts need to be updated. All thanks to my dear friend and a fellow blogger Renu, who came up with a Facebook gourmet group, Foodies_redoing old posts, wherein a group of passionate food bloggers can update their old posts with new photographs and written content fortnightly. This is my 27th entry into the event (22nd January 2021) The pic below is my old pic of methi matar malai.One can make out the difference between the old and the new pics. Meanwhile, do check out Renu's space for some delicious recipes from around the globe. I have bookmarked her Methi Matar Paneer a delectable curry without using cream to try out next.

                          

Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 20 minutes
Serves: 4

Ingredients: (Measurements 1 Cup = 250 ml)
  • 2 cup fresh Fenu greek leaves / methi
  • 1 cup fresh Green Peas / matar
  • 1 cup skimmed milk
  • 1 large onion roughly chopped
  • 2 green chilies
  • 1/2 inch ginger
  • 10-12 Almonds ( soaked overnight or blanched)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 2-3 black pepper corn
  • 2-3 cloves
  • 1 inch Cinnamon stick
  • 2 tablespoon oil
  • 2 tablespoon Heavy cream
Method:
  1. Take onion, ginger and green chilies in a grinder and make a paste. To this paste add the peeled almonds and grind to a smooth paste. Add little water if needed.


  2. In a pan , dry roast the whole spices (cinnamon , cumin seeds, cloves and black pepper) on a low to medium flame until aromatic. Grind them to a powder on cooling and keep aside.


  3. Cook the green peas with water and salt either in an open pan or in a microwave. Drain and keep aside. Similarly clean and wash the Fenu greek leaves thoroughly , drain and chop it finely.


  4.  Heat up oil a pan on low to medium flame. Add the onion, almond paste to it and saute very well for 2-3 minutes. Cook until the paste leaves the sides of the pan.



  5. Now add 1 tsp of the freshly ground spice powder and mix well. To this add the finely chopped Fenu greek leaves. Next, stir in milk to this. 




  6. Add salt and cover cook the gravy for 2-3 minutes . Be cautious while adding salt as the green peas already have salt.



  7. Add the cooked green peas and cook for another 1 minute. Now add the chilled heavy cream. I have added the home made fresh heavy cream. Beat the cream to make it smooth , The cream has to be chilled , or else it will split in the gravy. 



 8. Mix well and cook for 1 more minute and put off the flame.



  9. Serve the Methi Matar Malai with naan ,chapati or paratha and enjoy with your loved ones !
          
               

Recipe Notes:
  • Use fresh green fenu greek leaves for best results. Avoid using wilted, stale or yellow color leaves. The use of stale fenu greek leaves makes the curry bitter in taste.
  • Fresh or frozen green peas can be used in this recipe.
  • This recipe uses just 2 tablespoon of  heavy cream. I have used the regular homemade malai (cream) i get over the full cream milk. Make sure you use chilled cream that is first beaten to smooth or else the cream will split.
  • I have substituted the cashews with almonds in this recipe. You may use either.
Would love to hear from you !

I hope you would love trying out this healthy and delicious Methi Matar Malai  using fresh Winter bounty. If you do so, feel free to share your feedback with use in the form of likes and comments in the section below this post.

All your suggestions are more than welcome. If you like my work, and feel that it is worth following, do hit the follow button on the top right corner of this blog. Your appreciation means a lot to me. It gives me the inspiration and motivation to keep doing my work and give my best each time.

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See you soon with yet another healthy and delicious creation from my Kitchen. Until then Stay safe and eat right !

Happy Cooking !
Happy Eating !

Regards 
Poonam Bachhav 

If you are looking for more recipes using Fenugreek or green peas, do check ou the following from this blog:


12 comments :

  1. Thanx poonam for sharing easy cook recipies ..just liking d way i post ur recipe with step by step process and pics ...keep going girl

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    1. Thank you so much Aradhana jain for waiting by my space to leave such a lovely feed back. I am glad you liked it :)

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  2. That was a good recipe that made a tasty meal. Thanks for sharing it Poonam!

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    1. Glad to know James Lownie that the recipe turned out well for you as well . Thanks for the feed back.

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  3. I've made this two times now, and i would say that i love this recipe! I would have to thank you for making this dish and sharing it with the internet!

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    1. Thank you so much for stopping by my space. I am glad you like it and thanks for the lovely feedback.

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  4. Must admit, I've not tried methi matar malai as yet. However, your delicious looking sabji is definitely urging me to try it before the fresh green peas disappear from the market.

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    1. Thank you. This curry is indeed flavorful and I am sure you will love it as much as we do. Do give it a try and share your feedback with us.

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  5. Lovely side dish with a few hot phulkas. I too prefer using almonds at times.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you Jayashree. Almonds add both nutrition and creamy texture to the curries.

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  6. Wow that onion almond paste looks amazing! Methi malai matar is my favorite now like you I was not keen on it. I loved the creamy texture this delicious gravy has. Next time I will try with almonds.

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  7. Love this Poonam, wish I could grab the bowl. I like that you have used fresh ground masala. I make it with whole Using ground will help those who do not like the masala pieces in between. I will try this next time when I cook

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