Fascinating Benefits Of The Humble Pea & 5 Delicious Recipes

Like in the pod, these round and shiny green peas find their way into any recipe.
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With the commencement of winter, vegetable markets are loaded with sacks of fresh green peas. Shelling green peas while soaking some warm sunlight is a common and nostalgic sight in North Indian homes. These sweet peas have been an integral part of our diet since generations. They taste good even when had raw and also easily blend in with other ingredients making them a favourite in most kitchens. 

The easiest and most relished dish made using fresh green peas is matar pulao followed by matar gajar ki subzi. They are a good source of plant-based proteins and should be included in the diet by vegetarians. Green peas are also loaded with Vitamins A, B, C and K. Green peas should be cooked only for few minutes to preserve their bright colour and nutrients.   

Though green peas are consumed in abundance in winter, we still crave for them during the rest of the year. So, it is worth making the most of the last of the crop by storing shelled peas in the freezer. These come in very handy throughout the year.  

Matar ki Kachori 

Ingredients: 

1 cup wheat flour 

½ cup maida 

Salt  

1 tablespoon oil plus more for frying 

For the filling: 

1 tablespoon oil 

¼ teaspoon cumin seeds 

1 cup fresh green peas, coarsely crushed 

1 teaspoon ginger-green chilli paste 

1 teaspoon coriander powder 

1 teaspoon garam masala 

¼ teaspoon amchur powder 

¼ cup grated coconut 

2 tablespoons chopped coriander leaves 

Salt  

peas
green peas
matar
matar ki kachori
green peas kachori
Image | Shutterstock

Method: 

  1. To make the dough, in a mixing bowl, combine wheat flour, maida, salt to taste and oil. Add water in parts to knead a smooth soft dough. Cover the dough with a cloth and keep it aside. 
  2. To make the filling, heat oil in a pan over medium heat. Add cumin seeds and when they begin to crackle, add the green peas and sauté over medium heat for 5 minutes while stirring occasionally. 
  3. Add the ginger-green chilli paste, coriander powder, garam masala and salt to taste. Mix well and take the pan off the heat. 
  4. Add amchur powder, coconut and coriander leaves. Keep aside. 
  5. To make the kachoris, take medium sized portions from the dough and roll them into 5-inch discs. Place 2 tablespoons of the filling in the centre and then pleat and join the edges. 
  6. Heat oil in a frying pan over medium heat and gently slide the kachoris into the hot oil. Deep fry over medium heat until evenly cooked on all sides and golden. 
  7. Serve kachoris warm with green chutney. 

Nimona 

Ingredients: 

2 cups green peas 

4 green chillies 

1-inch fresh ginger, chopped 

3 tablespoons oil 

1 potato, diced 

2 tablespoons oil 

½ teaspoon asafoetida 

1 teaspoon cumin seeds 

1 tomato, chopped 

2 teaspoon coriander powder 

1 teaspoon garam masala  

Salt 

peas
green peas
nimona
peas recipe
Image | Shutterstock

Method: 

  1. Grind the green peas, chillies and ginger to make a coarse paste. 
  2. Heat the oil in a pan and fry the potatoes until they turn brown. Remove and keep aside. 
  3. To the oil remaining in the pan, add asafoetida (hing) and cumin seeds. When the seeds begin to crackle, add tomato and coriander powder. Cook for another 2–3 minutes. 
  4. Add the green pea paste and cook, stirring, for 2 or 3 minutes. Add the fried potatoes, salt to taste and half a cup of water. Cook for another 7 or 8 minutes. 
  5. Take the pan off the heat and sprinkle garam masala over the nimona. Serve hot with roti or rice. 

Matar pulao 

Ingredients: 

2 tablespoons oil 

½ teaspoon black peppercorns 

1 inch-cinnamon 

1 black cardamom pod 

1 tablespoon ginger juliennes 

½ cup fresh green peas  

1 cup rice, soaked for 1 hour 

Salt 

peas
green peas
matar pulao
pulao
peas recipe
Image | Shutterstock

Method: 

  1. Heat oil in a pan over medium heat. Add peppercorns, cinnamon and black cardamom. 
  2. When the spices begin to crackle, add ginger and sauté for a few seconds until aromatic. 
  3. Add matar and rice and sauté for a minute. Add 2 cups of water and salt to taste. Cook the rice stirring occasionally, until rice is 50% cooked. 
  4. Cover the pan and place it on a griddle over low heat. Cook until rice and peas are cooked. Fluff the pulao with a fork. Serve hot with kadhi.  

Methi malai matar 

Ingredients: 

2 cups chopped methi leaves 

2 tablespoons oil 

¼ teaspoon cumin seeds 

1 tablespoon ginger-green chilli paste 

2 tablespoons cashew-poppy seeds paste 

¼ teaspoon cardamom powder 

1 tablespoon garam masala 

1 cup boiled green peas 

1 cup milk 

½ tablespoon sugar 

2 tablespoons fresh cream 

Salt  

peas
green peas
methi matar malai
peas recipe
Image | Shutterstock

Method: 

  1. Wash the methi leaves and sprinkle little salt over them. After 10-15 minutes, squeeze the methi leaves gently and discard the excess water. 
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a pan over medium heat. Add the cumin seeds and when they begin to crackle, add the chilli ginger paste and methi leaves. Sauté for 1-2 minutes over low heat. Transfer to a bowl and keep aside. 
  3. Add the remaining oil to the pan and add the cashew-poppy paste. Add a tablespoon of water and cook over low heat for 2 minutes. 
  4. Add cardamom powder and garam masala and mix well. 
  5. Add green peas, methi, mils, sugar, fresh cream and salt to taste. Give the mixture a good stir and let it cook over low heat for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. 
  6. Serve methi malai matar warm with rotis. 

Matar ka halwa 

Ingredients: 

1 cup khoya 

1 cup green peas 

¼ cup ghee 

1 cup sugar 

¼ teaspoon cardamom powder 

1 tablespoon chopped almonds 

1 tablespoon chopped cashew nuts 

Method: 

  1. Crumble the khoya and roast it in a nonstick pan over low heat until it changes colour and becomes aromatic. Transfer it to a bowl and let it cool. 
  2. Blend the green peas to a coarse paste adding water if required. Keep aside. 
  3. Heat ghee in a non-stick pan over medium heat. Add the green peas paste to it and cook over medium heat until all the moisture evaporates and the green peas start changing colour. Cook for another few minutes till ghee starts separating from the mixture. 
  4. Add sugar and ½ cup of water to the mixture and stir well. Continue cooking over medium heat, stirring continuously until the halwa becomes thick. 
  5. Add khoya and cardamom powder to the halwa. Mix well and cook over low heat for 2 more minutes. 
  6. Take the pan off the heat and transfer the halwa to a bowl. Garnish with chopped almonds and cashew nuts. Serve warm or refrigerated. 

Dr. Deepali Kampani is a digital content specialist who weaves health and food through her pen. 

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