Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Peas and potatoes curry (Aloo Matar masala)

Potatoes and peas are such a classic combination in curries, don't you think ? I feel like I have tasted myriad versions of this combination in different curries over the years, every family seems to have quite a few variations of this combination that they make regularly. I've even made quite a few variations of this combination myself, surprisingly only a couple of the variations I make have made it into this space. This first one that I feel like I posted ages ago, which has potatoes and peas with a slightly unconventional spice mix made of quinoa, flax and sesame seeds among other things. And this second curry with gravy,  which has a more classic and conventional combination of spices that works great with any kind of flat bread or rice variety.

Recently when I was glancing through a cook book by Nita Mehta, I noticed that she had made a stir fry variation of green peas curry using tandoori masala as one of the spices. This kind of intrigued me, tandoori masala in a curry. Hmmm........... :) Since the only way to know how this would taste is to try it, I did,  and liked it a lot. Tandoori masala gives this curry a very unique and interesting flavor. I baked the potatoes instead of frying/ shallow frying to cut some calories and made this curry with some gravy. This is a simple and quick curry to make and tastes great with both rotis/ phulkas or with plain rice or flavored rice. This time I made it to go with some mushroom pulao (will post the recipe for that too soon)  and the combination was pretty good :)

Peas potato curry- Aloo matar masala

Click here for a printable view of this recipe

Ingredients and Method to make peas curry
2 large onions cut fine
7 to 8 small potatoes cut into 1 inch cubes
3 medium tomatoes cut fine
4 cups frozen green peas 
2 Thai or Indian green chilies cut lengthwise (or to taste)
2 tbsp oil + a little extra to brush on the potatoes
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp finely grated ginger
1/2 tsp minced garlic
salt to taste
1/2 tsp garam masala (or to taste, can be substituted with any other curry powder )
(my recipe for homemade garam masala can be found here
1 tsp tandoori masala powder (available in most Indian grocery stores)

Pre heat oven to 425 deg F. Line a tray with parchment paper and keep aside. Place the cubed potatoes on the lined tray and brush with oil, place in oven and bake for 20 to 25 minutes until potatoes turn creamy golden.

Heat oil in a heavy bottomed pan. Add cumin seeds, when the seeds sizzle, add green chilies and stir a few times. Then add onions and saute until onions turn transparent. Add ginger and garlic and stir a few times. Then add tomatoes and cook until tomatoes turn soft and mushy.

Add garam masala and tandoori masala and stir a couple of times. Add green peas, salt to taste, water as required and allow the green peas to cook until soft.
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Add the baked potatoes, add water as needed to achieve required consistency and allow to simmer for a couple of mins for the flavors to mingle.

Remove from heat and serve hot with phulkas/ rotis/ parathas/ naan/ kulcha (Indian flat bread) or on a bed of plain steamed rice or any kind of flavored rice. (This time I served this curry with mushroom pulao )
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