Friday, November 7, 2008
The Versatile Peas
Greeen peas have to be the most versatile vegetable after potatoes. I eat them year round now that you can get them fresh not frozen. But late autumn and early winter is truly their season, when you get them at their freshest. Back at our home, you would notice peas pulao and matar paneer with increasing regularity around now. And by the time December rolls in, mom would be pairing peas with everything under the winter sun : carrots, cauliflower and if all else fails, potatoes to make aloo matar. This is our fail proof lunch : a tangy curry with two of the most favored vegetables that you can eat with either roti or rice.
And what's the best part about making anything with peas? You can eat them raw while you were shelling them, they are that fresh right now! So start by shelling peas and if you have some left to make the vegetable, read on.
Chop a large onion finely. Also chop a tomato into small cubes. Heat 2 tsp ghee in a pan, add onions and saute until lightly browned. Now add the tomato and saute for 2-3 minutes. Remove from the stove and let cool. Grind the sauteed onions and tomatoes to a fine paste to make your masala. Return to the pan with a tsp of ghee, saute for a minute then add 1/2 tsp turmeric, 1/2 tsp red chilli powder and roughly the same quantity of salt. Let cook until the raw turmeric smell goes away (a minute or so), then add a few tablespoons of water and stir to mix well. Simmer for a minute, then add 1/2 cup shelled peas and a potato cut into cubes. Add a cup of water, bring to a boil and simmer until the potatoes are cooked through.