(click to enlarge)
Potatoes & Peas
India - North - Alu Matar
| 2 main
||Very popular in northern India, this dish goes well with hot
chapatis or similar breads. Since I almost never have those on hand I
serve it with basmati rice, and it works fine that way as well. Note,
however, that whole wheat tortillas are pretty much indistinguishable
from commercial chapatis.
Green Peas (2)
Garam Masala (3)
Oil or ghee (4)
Chili powder (5)
PREP - (15 minutes)
RUN - (45 min)
- Peel POTATOES and cut into 3/4 inch cubes. Hold in cold
water until needed.
- Scald TOMATOES 1 minute in boiling water, quench in cold
water and peel. Chop very fine.
- Thaw PEAS if frozen, shell if fresh.
- Chop ONION fine. Crush Garlic and chop fine. Mix.
- Grind CORIANDER and mix all Spicing items.
- In a spacious coverable sauté pan, heat Oil and stir
in Onion mix. Fry stirring over moderate heat until the onions
are light golden.
- Stir in Spice mix until well incorporated, then
Tomatoes. Fry stirring, reducing heat as required, until
moisture is evaporated from the tomatoes and the oil starts to
- Drain Potatoes and stir them in until well incorporated with
the sauce. Add Water, cover and simmer for 10 minutes.
- Give it a stir. If using Fresh Peas stir them in now.
Continue to simmer covered for another 10 minutes or until the
potatoes are tender.
- If using Frozen Peas stir them in now and simmer another 2
minutes to heat through.
- Adjust liquid if needed, taste for Salt and stir in Chili
Powder. Serve garnished with chopped Cilantro. Chapatis or
similar breads are the traditional accompaniment.
- Potatoes: Medium potatoes like White
Rose produce good results in this dish, while boilers might be too hard.
Note the sharp edges on the potatoes. Acid in the tomatoes stiffens the
outside of the potatoes. For details see our
- Peas: In India these would be fresh
peas, but we presume frozen peas here on a cost/benefit basis. If you
do use fresh peas they go in earlier.
- Garam Masala This is the basic spice
mix of northern India. Here's the recipe for the version I use:
- Ghee / Oil: Ghee is thoroughly
clarified butter. While the AHA has pounded into the conciousness
of America that butter is a heart killer and you sould use trans fats
(marigerine) or polyunsaturated oils instead, the opposite is now
known to be true. If, however, you still want to avoid butter,
Über expert Julie Sahni approves of Pure Olive Oil (not virgin)
for Indian cooking.
- Chili Powder: Kashmir chili (fairly
mild) is a good choice for this northern dish, or Korean (a little
less) if you don't have Kashmir. For details, see our
- U.S. measure: t=teaspoon,
T=Tablespoon, c=cup, qt=quart, oz=ounce,
#=pound, cl=clove in=inch, ar=as required
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