Today I bring you another dish that is one of the most popular winter food in Uttar Pradesh. Matar Ka Nimona a soupy, spicy curry made with fresh seasonal peas and spices that can be enjoyed with rice, paranthas or pooris.Winters are the time in Northern part of India to enjoy fresh seasonal harvest of mustard greens, carrots, peas, cauliflowers. I remember during winters we enjoyed dishes made with these winter produce. That was time when everyone cooked as per the seasonal produce. Until few years back I don’t remember my mom cooking peas, carrots or any winter greens like mustard greens(Sarson Ka Saag), spinach(Palak Paneer) and fenugreek(Methi Parantha) during summers. These are the veggies that give warmth to body and are perfect for the winters. But nowadays everything is available all the year round so one can cook as per one’s own convenience and cravings too!! Like the Red carrots that are used for making Gajar Ka Halwa are available only during the winter months and people enjoy it to the fullest, fresh peas are also something that can be relished during this time. I remember I and my sis used to shell out peas from pods during our free time and didn’t mind munching a few in between. Mom’s Gajar aur Matar Ka Pulao(Carrot and Peas Pilaf), Matar Ki Kachori, Matar ki Ghughni, Matar Paneer or Aloo Matar were some of the dishes that we relished during winters. The frozen peas which we use nowadays can’t match the taste of the fresh produce.Matar Ka Nimona is one of the most popular dishes from the region (Uttar Pradesh), where I grew up. Along with the other winter delicacies, Matar Ka Nimona is something that is made in almost every household. I love this soupy,spicy curry, and even don’t need any rice or parantha to go with it.
An easy to cook no fuss dish that can be prepared in a just few minutes. The method of making Nimona varies from from region to region and everyone has their own way of making it. Some like to blend the peas in a puree and then cook it, some like to crush the peas. Some make it with tomatoes and others without tomatoes . I like to coarsely crush the peas and add tomatoes to the curry. Tomatoes add on the flavour of the dish. I cook the dish in mustard oil and top it with desi ghee while serving. For me desi ghee and mustard oil,bring out the authentic taste in some of the traditional Indian dishes. By now you must have known my love for these two in Indian cooking!! Coming back to Nimona recipe many add vadis (lentil nuggets) I skip it and some potatoes to it. You can make the Nimona in any of the ways you want as per your eratians and preferences. The dish is suitable for Vegans and skip asafoetida to make it Gluten-free.
Peas are one of the best sources of proteins for the vegetarians, low in calorie and have most of Vitamins and are rich sources of fibres. Though some people complain of bloating feeling after having peas, for that always add some hing/asafoetida or ginger and garlic in the recipe while making the dish as these helps in the quick digestion of the dish and makes you feel lighter after meals. Also, try having some warm lukewarm water around half an hour after the meals that aids in digestion too.
To make the best Nimona..
- It is preferable to use fresh peas, if these are not available make it with frozen, like I did.
- Add up some whole spices like bay leaves, cloves and peppercorns to enhance the flavour.
- Tomato puree can be added in place of fresh tomatoes.
- For satvik Nimona recipe(no-onion no-garlic dish) that can be had during fasting(if you can have peas when fasting)make it in desi ghee, skip asafoetida and onion and garlic in the recipe.
- If adding potatoes, don’t add too much of potatoes, it will then be Aloo Matar recipe. Add only 1 medium potato to give it some volume.
Let’s see how I make this soupy, spicy and simple peas dish.
Matar Ka Nimona
- 2 Cups Fresh Peas or use frozen
- 1 Potato small
- 1 Onion(medium sized)
- 2-3 Tomato(medium) pureed
- 2-3 Cloves Garlic
- 1" piece Ginger
- 1 Green Chilli optional
- 1 Bay Leaf/Tej Patta
- 3-4 Cloves/Laung
- 3-4 Peppercorns/Kali Mirch
- 1 Dry Red Chilli
- 1 Tsp Garam Masala
- 1/2 Tsp Red Chilli Powder
- 1 Tsp Desi Ghee optional
- 1 Tsp Coriander Powder
- 1/2 Tsp Cumin Powder
- 1 Tsp Cumin Seeds/Jeera
- 2 Tbsp Mustard/Sarson Oil or Olive Oil or use any flavourless oil
- Salt to taste
- Asafoetida/Hing optional
- Boil peas till these are soft. Coarsely grind the peas. Peel and cube potato. Finely chop onion and puree tomatoes. Coarsely grind green chilli, ginger and garlic in a mortar pestle.
- In a pan heat oil, add cubed potato and fry till it soft. Take out the potatoes and keep aside.
- Take out the peas , add 1 tsp of oil to the pan, add hing when the oil is hot, add bay leaf, cloves and peppercorns, add cumin seeds, when the seeds splutter,. Add ginger-garlic and green chilli paste and saute till the raw smell of garlic goes away.
- Add onions and fry till translucent. Add tomato puree and cook for 3-4 mins.
- Add the spices(coriander powder, red chilli powder, cumin powder). Mix in the masala, cook for few seconds,then add coarsely crushed peas and potatoes. Add water to adjust the consistency. Mash the potatoes and cook the curry for 4-5 minutes.
- Add a tsp of desi ghee and garnish with finely chopped fresh cilantro/coriander leaves and serve hot with the bread/ rice of your choice.
- You can grind the onions, ginger-garlic and green chillies .
- For gluten-free option, avoid adding hing.
- Vegans can skip Desi Ghee.
I am taking my traditional curry to my Foodie Monday Bloghop group. The theme this week is FoodMagBest #179foodmagbest where we have to cook the dish that will like to see on the cover page of any magazine. Initially I had some dessert or bake in my mind, as during my days as home Baker I always wanted some of my work/recipes that were most loved by my clients, to be featured in some newspaper or magazine. But then as a food blogger when I thought about the theme, I decided why not go with any of the traditional dish from my region, that’s what my FoodTrails is about. Staring from the roots.. So here I bring you the popular traditional Nimona recipe that my has been in both sides of my parent’s family since the the time of my great grandparents. Also this recipe was on my mind to do next as fresh peas are in season in most parts of the world. I am sure this soupy peas curry will catch the attention not only of Indians but also be loved by my International readers also. The ingredients are easily available and the dish can be adapted as per one’s taste and preferences too.
So make this traditional recipe before the fresh peas disappear from the markets. Even if you don’t get fresh peas enjoy the dish any time of the year using frozen peas then also it tastes great and is a great comforting dish. Make for your parties, it will be a nice addition to your menu. You can enjoy the dish with any flatbreads, rice(steamed/jeera) or even with dinner rolls.
Do try the dish and give your feedback on it. I will love to see the pics on any of my social media pages..FB or tag me on Instagram(#foodtrails25) whenever your try. You can also Pin the recipe for later use.
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