Recipes: Methi Matar Pulao

During this lockdown when we can’t go out much, sometimes, you have pretty much nothing left in the fridge to cook with. Last week was one of those times. I was staring at a an empty fridge and still had to make lunch. So I decided to make this Methi Matar Pulao with what I actually had which was an onion, some frozen green peas and dried methi plus some spices. It actually was super delicious and GG even said that this could have been eaten on its own though I paired it with some onion boondi raita and some potato chips or crisps. Do try and let me know if you liked it!

Methi Matar Pulao

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup basmati rice, washed well and soaked for 20-30 mins
  • ½ cup frozen green peas
  • 1 onion, sliced finely
  • 2-3 tbsp dried fenugreek leaves or Kasuri Methi
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 4-5 cloves
  • 4-5 cardamom pods
  • 1 inch piece of cinnamon
  • 1 green chilli, chopped into 1 inch pices
  • 1 inch piece of ginger, peeled and sliced thinly
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 tbsp oil or ghee

Method:

  • After the basmati rice has been soaked for 20-30 mins, drain the water from the rice and keep aside.
  • Heat the ghee or oil in a pan and when the fat heats up, add the cumin seeds and let them pop.
  • After the cumin seeds pop, add the cloves, cardamom and cinnamon and stir for a few seconds.
  • Then add the green chilli and ginger and stir for a few seconds. After this add the onions and stir until the onions are translucent.
  • Now add the frozen peas and stir. Once the peas have been coated with the oil, take the dried fenugreek leaves in the palm of your hand and crush it lightly to release the oils. Sprinkle this dried leaves over the peas and stir.
  • Add the drained rice and salt and stir well.
  • If you are using a rice cooker, pour this into the rice cooker, add the appropriate amount of water and cook until done. I generally use slightly less than 1 cup of water for every cup of basmati rice, but you can play with this depending on your rice.
  • If you are cooking on the stovetop, add slightly less than the water needed and cook covered. If you feel you need more water, add towards the end when the rice is almost cooked so you can control how much water you add.
  • When the rice is cooked, let it rest for at least 10 minutes before you fluff it up with a fork. Serve hot with a raita.

Recipes: Shahi Aloo Matar

Another no onion, no garlic recipe, this time the classic aloo matar (potato and peas) curry reimagined without onions or garlic and made royal with the addition of some dry fruits and sesame seeds. It was super yummy and the addition of milk and yoghurt balanced the tartness of the tomatoes and also gives a slight sweetness to the recipe.

Shahi Aloo Matar

Ingredients:

  • 3 large potatoes, peeled and chopped into bite sized pieces
  • 1 cup frozen or fresh green peas
  • 3 large tomatoes, chopped roughly
  • 1/2 cup skimmed milk
  • 1/2 cup plain yoghurt
  • 6 cashew nuts
  • 6 almonds
  • 1 inch piece of cinnamon
  • 3-4 cardamom pods
  • 3-4 cloves
  • 1 inch piece of ginger, peeled
  • 1 tsp white sesame seeds
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1/8 tsp asafoetida powder
  • 1 tsp garam masala powder
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • Salt to taste
  • Coriander leaves to garnish

Method:

  • Peel and chop the potatoes into bite-sized pieces and keep aside.
  • Heat 1 tbsp oil in a pan and add 1 tsp cumin seeds and let them pop. Then add the fennel seeds. Next add the sesame seeds, cloves, cardamon, bay leaf and cinamon one at a time and stir for a few seconds before adding the next ingredient.
  • Next add the cashewnuts and almonds and stir till the nuts are slightly brown. Now add the chopped tomatoes and a pinch of salt and let the tomatoes cook and become mushy. Remove, let it cool completely and grind it to a smooth paste with the yoghurt.
  • Heat the balance oil and add the balance cumin seeds. When the seeds splutter, add the asafoetida and turmeric powder and stir for 2 seconds.
  • Then add the chopped potatoes and let them cook for about 5 mins, or until they are half cooked.
  • At this point, add the frozen peas and salt and let the potatoes and peas cook till they are around 75-80% cooked. Remove from the flame and keep aside.
  • In a new pan, add the ground paste and stir well. Add the dry spice powders – chilli powder, cumin powder, coriander powder and garam masala powder and cook covered till the oil leaves the sides of the pan and the raw smell disappears. This should take around 7-10 minutes.
  • Now add the cooked potaotes and peas to this paste and stir well. Add the milk and let it come to the consistency you need. You can also add some water or more milk if it is still thick. Simmer for about 10 minutes to allow the flavours to mix together. Check for seasoning and garnish with coriander leaves and serve hot.
  • This goes very well with any Indian flatbread or even a jeera rice or pulao.