Oh peas!

Debarati Palit Singh
Wednesday, 10 January 2018

With the peas season here, you must be indulging in the green delicacy. We talk to city chefs to know a few interesting recipes that you may not have tried already.

One of the best things about winter food is matar or green peas. There are hundreds of recipes that can be prepared with peas. From Matar Kachori, to Malai Methi Matar, Chuda Matar, Matar Paneer Butter Masala — each and every dish is lip smacking. In fact during winter, matar is part of every alternative dish prepared in an Indian kitchen. Matar enhances the taste of a potato dish. Add to  Pulav and the rice tastes heavenly. If Mutton Kheema has matar in it, not only will it taste good, but the peas will add green colour to the dish. We find out from city chefs a few more interesting matar dishes that you can make at home this winter.

Green Peas Steak with Homemade Hot Pepper Sauce (Preparation time: 20 min)
For the patty 
 Fresh green peas..    . 250 gm
 White onion...     50 gm
 Green chilli...     2    
 Chilli flakes..    . ½ tbsp   
 Ginger...     5 gm   
 Refined oil.    .. 1 tbsp   
 Boiled grated potato...     3 tbsp   
 Seasoning as per taste   
 Breadcrumb..    . 20 gm   
 Parsley...     a few leaves   
 Cherry tomato...     2 

For the sauce 
 Tomato..    . 50 gm   
 Jalapeno..    . 10 gm   
 Pineapple...     20 gm   
 White vinegar...     1 tbsp   
 Chilli paste...     5 gm   
 Seasoning as per taste

Preparing the patty 
    Blanch the green peas and mash it in a mixing bawl.
    Add chopped onion, green chilli, ginger, chilli flakes, and grated potato.
    Now add breadcrumb to this mixture and salt as per taste, and make patties.
    Grill on a hot plate till the colour changes.
    Arrange the patties on a platter.
    Garnish with juliennes of cherry tomato and parsley.
Preparing the sauce 
    Grill all the ingredients which is mentioned for the sauce, and put them in a blender.
    Add vinegar and seasoning for taste.
    Now serve hot green peas steak with this sizzling sauce.
— Recipe by Gulshan Kumar, executive chef, The Orchid Hotel Pune

Matar Karanji (Preparation time: 30 min)

    Maida...     250 gm
    Green peas..    . 100 gm 
    Suji/ rava...     50 gm
    Cumin seeds..    . 2 gm
    Hing..    . 1 gm 
    Ginger-garlic paste...     1 gm  
    Garam Masala...     1 tsp
    Green chilli (chopped)..    . 1 
    Turmeric powder...     1 tsp
    Coriander powder..    . 1 tsp
    Freshly grated coconut...     25 gm
    Salt to taste
    Refined oil...     2 lt

For the karanji crust 
    Sieve maida (white flour) in a bowl and add fine suji /rava to it. 
    Add oil and mix well making sure there are no lumps in it, and add salt.
    Slowly, add chilled water and knead it into a soft even dough. 
    Rest the dough for around 30 min.

For the stuffing 
    In a pan heat 3 tsp of oil.
    Add the cumin seeds to crackle.
    Add hing, ginger-garlic paste and cook for some time.
    Further add turmeric powder, coriander powder, Garam Masala and mix well.
    Add the freshly grated coconut, green peas and salt. Mix and allow it to cook for a few minutes. 
    Transfer the mixture to a mixing bowl and mash lightly, and your matar and coconut stuffing is ready.

Preparing the karanji 
    Take the dough and divide it into small equal size balls.
    Take one of the balls and roll it in to thin roundels.
    Add the matar stuffing in the middle of the crust, apply a small amount of water at the end of the crust and fold it in a half-moon shape. Seal the ends with a fork.
    Heat oil in the pan for frying, fry karanji till crisp and golden brown.
    Serve hot with mint or tangy tomato ketchup.

— Recipe by Sarika Kamble, executive chef, The Crowne Plaza Hotel  

Matar Ke Shammi (Preparation time: 30 min)

    Spinach leaves, blanched.    .. 1 cup 
    Shelled, raw green peas (roughly pulsed in the mixer)..    . 1 cup
    Channa dal, boiled and ground to a paste...     1/2 cup
    Finely chopped ginger...     1 tsp
    Finely chopped green chilli...     1 tsp 
    Finely chopped fresh dhania (coriander leaves).    .. 1 tsp 
    Garam masala powder...     1/4 tsp 
    Yellow chilli powder...     1/4 tsp 
    Ghee, to pan fry...     4 tbsp
    Salt.    .. 1/2 tsp

    Grind the spinach to a paste.
    Heat ghee in a kadhai, add the peas, saute for a few minutes, add the spinach paste and fry. Then, add the channa dal paste, powder spices, ginger, and green chilies. Saute for a few minutes.
    Season to taste and add the dhania. Cook till the mixture is dry and thick. Turn off the heat and shape into kebabs.
    Heat a non-stick frying pan and add some ghee to it. Shallow fry the kebabs over medium heat until brown. Then place on kitchen paper to absorb any excess oil. Serve with green chutney.
     Chef’s note: You could also stuff the kebabs with roughly chopped pistachios or crumbled paneer.
— Recipe by Manu R Nair, corporate executive chef, Billionsmiles Hospitality Pvt Ltd, (Southindies, UpSouth & BonSouth) 

Preserving peas 
Nair further tells you how to preserve peas and keep them fresh and green even after two months of storage:

  Take peas which are soft and use only good quality ones to preserve.
  Wash the peas with water thoroughly twice and remove excess water.
  Keep water in a vessel to boil so that the peas can be easily immersed in it.  Once the water starts to boil, put 2 to 3 tbsp sugar in it. Now, add the green peas in boiling water and cook for 2 minutes. Put the peas in a strainer and remove excess water.
  Take very cold water in a second vessel and put the peas in cold water. This flash of cold water ensures that the green colour in peas is naturally preserved. After the peas cool down, remove excess water by putting the peas in the strainer. 
  Now as per your daily requirement, pack the green peas in zipper storage bags.
  Store them in the freezer for the next 2 to 3 months.

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