Methi Matar Malai recipe
A rich delectable curry made with fresh fenugreek leaves and green peas in cream based gravy.
If you like green peas here is a delicious creamy gravy with goodness of fresh fenugreek leaves or vice versa 🙂 . It is a popular North Indian curry served in Indian restaurants, made during winters when fresh peas and fenugreek leaves are available. You can make it all the year round if you fresh methi leaves are available.
A dish with rich texture rich in flavors. Though it has cream it is not at all greasy or heavy on stomach. My kids love to have it not at all get the bitter taste of methi/fenugreek leaves.
The main ingredients of this curry as the name suggests are.. Methi/Fresh Fenugreek leaves, Green Peas/English Sweet Peas/Matar and Cream/Malai.
Green Peas are one the excellent source of proteins especially for the vegetarians and vegans. Though these days as frozen peas are available in abundance, we can use green peas all around the year. But few years back when frozen food were not so popular we got to relish these during the winter months. Mom used a lot of fresh peas in making different Pulao like Mixed Vegetable Pulao, Aloo Matar, Mix. Vegetable Curry. North Indian dishes Aloo Matar ki Tehri a rice preparation and Matar ka Nimona a peas based simple curry are one of the few dishes that taste best when made with fresh green peas.
Fresh Methi leaves are available in abundance in India during winter months . And it is the best time to relish these iron rich leafy greens. People use it for making snacks like Khasta Methi Mathri),use it in breads like Methi Parantha, Methi Thepla, Bajra Methi Poori, Makkai Methi aur Mooli ka Parantha or in veggies like Sarson ka Saag, Gajar Aloo Methi ki Subzi or simple Aloo Methi.
Methi Matar Malai is a gluten-free dish and can be made Vegan friendly too.
Substitutes For Vegan/Nut-free version of Methi Matar Malai
Use Tofu in place of paneer or you can skip paneer. If you like mushroom you can add it to the curry.
Use any plant based cream like Cashew cream.
Or, substitute 1/4 cup of Cashew nuts in place of cream.
In place of cashew nuts you can use blanched almonds.
If allergic to nuts you can use1/2 cup mix of melon seeds and poppy seeds.
Can we make this curry with dried Methi leaves/Kasuri Methi
Yes Kasuri Methi/dried methi leaves can also be used in curry incase fresh leaves are not available. But the quantity of dried leaves used will be less as compared to fresh. The flavor of the dish will also be a little different.
How to make Creamy Methi Matar Malai
Since the name of the curry has Malai(Cream) in it, the curry has to have cream in it. I have used dairy cream. This curry tastes best with fresh peas but if not available then use frozen ones.
For creamy gravy I have used cashew nuts, melon seeds. You can add poppy seeds also or can use blanched almonds in it.
Cleaning fenugreek leaves and using it in curry
Fenugreek leaves are considered to be very bitter and so many people don’t like to eat it. Using simple trick here you can take out the bitterness of the leaves. The curry doesn’t taste bitter at all.
To use fenugreek leaves in curry, firstly clean the leaves, take out from the stem and then wash in water serval times.
Finely chop the leaves and then sprinkle about 1/2 tsp of salt and keep aside for 10-15 minutes. Meanwhile prepare the rest of ingredients.
Soak cashew nuts and melon seeds in warm water for about 5-10 minutes. Finely chop onions.
In a pan or kadhai, heat oil add bay leaf , cloves, black peppercorns, black cardamom and cumin seeds.
Once the seeds crackle, add chopped onions, garlic, ginger, green chili. In place of green chili you can use dried whole red chili too. Adjust the amount of red chili powder in curry as per your heat tolerance.
Sauté till onion start to turn light pink or translucent. Add cashew nuts and melon seeds and cook for a minute.
Switch off the flame, cool the onion mix a bit and tale out bay leaf then grind to a fine paste.
In the same pan(clean the base with a paper napkin, so that base doesn’t burn) add the onion nut paste.
Add spice powders like coriander powder, garam masala , red chili powder. Cook for a minutes
Then add fenugreek leaves mix well, add a tsp of sugar/coconut sugar or jaggery. This further cuts of the bitterness of fenugreek leaves.
Meanwhile, squeeze water from methi add to masala and mix. Then, add water to adjust the consistency. Finally add cream.
Methi Matar Malai
- 1 Cup Matar/Green Peas
- 1 Cup Fresh Fenugreek Leaves Finely chopped
- 1/2 Cup Cream
- 1/2 Cup Chopped Onions
- 3-4 Garlic (3-4 Garlic cloves + small Ginger +Green Chili)
- Ginger small 1" piece
- 1-2 Green Chilies as required
Nuts and Spices
- 5-6 Cashew nuts
- 1 tbsp Melon seeds optional or poppy seeds
- 1 tsp Cumin Seeds/Jeera
- 1-2 tsp Coriander Powder
- 1 tsp Garam Masala Powder
- 1 Bay Leaf
- 4-5 Cloves
- 4-5 Black Peppercorns
- 1 Black Cardamom
- 1-2 tsp Sugar/Coconut Sugar
- Salt to taste
- 2 tbsp Oil
- Clean fenugreek leaves and wash nicely in running water till all dirt goes down.
- Finely chop leaves and sprinkle 1/2 tsp of salt and keep aside.
- In a heavy bottomed pan or kadhai, heat oil on medium flame.
- Add whole spices and cumin seeds. Once seeds crackle, add chopped onions, ginger, garlic and green chili.
- Sauté till onion start to turn light pink or translucent. Add cashew nuts and melon seeds and cook for a minute.
- Switch off the flame, cool the onion mix a bit and take out bay leaf then grind to a fine paste.
- In the same pan(clean the base with a paper napkin, so that base doesn't burn) add the onion nut paste.
- Add spice powders like coriander powder, garam masala , red chili powder. Cook for a minutes.
- Then add fenugreek leaves mix well, add a tsp of sugar/coconut sugar or jaggery.
- Meanwhile, squeeze water from methi add to masala and mix.
- Then, add water to adjust the consistency. Finally add cream.
- Add cubed paneer pieces. You can lightly sauté cubes in light oil in a pan.
- Serve hot with chapatis/rice or any other bread of choice,
Serve hot with bread of your choice. This also goes well with Jeera rice. Make it for your special occasions, get togethers or just like that for weekend lunch. It is a good meal option for kids too and kids won’t even get the bitter taste of Methi in this curry.
Do make this simple and delicious curry, rich in nutrients so good for everyone. I am sure you and your loved ones will love as much as we love this curry.Do give me your feedback whenever you make it.
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