Matar ka Nimona, a fresh green pea and potato curry in a tomato onion spices gravy, in a round brass bowl on a light brown background.
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Matar ka Nimona – Curry of Fresh Green Peas pureed and cooked in Spices, Onions and Tomatoes

A classic recipe from Eastern Uttar Pradesh, Matar ka Nimona from green peas are a regular part of a winter meal in Awadhi cuisine. Fresh Green peas are pureed and cooked with spices and chunks of potato, in an onion tomato gravy
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time45 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Indian
Servings: 2 servings
Author: Sujata Shukla

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons sunflower oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon Fenugreek seeds (methi)
  • 4 - 5 Cloves
  • 1" cinnamon (Dalchini) piece
  • 6 - 8 Black peppercorns
  • 2 - 3 Big Black cardamom (Badi Elaychi)
  • 1/2 cup Onions sliced
  • ½ inch fresh ginger piece (minced)
  • 6 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1/2 cup tomato diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder (Haldi)
  • 1 teaspoon Coriander Powder (dhania)
  • 1 teaspoon red chilli powder
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala powder
  • 1 Bay leaf (Tej Patta)
  • 1 cup potato (cubed)
  • 3 cups fresh green peas
  • ¼ cup coriander leaves (Dhania/ Cilantro) minced
  • 2 cups water or less as may be required
  • to taste salt

Instructions

  • Peel, Chop /mince the onions, tomatoes, ginger, garlic and coriander leaves. The tomatoes may be cut into 1/2" pieces, so that their colour shows through the green nimona. Peel and dice the potatoes into 1" long cubes.
  • Puree the raw peas in the processor, using just a little water, till you get a thick but fluid paste. I added 1 tablespoon of water for each cup of peas.
  • Heat the oil in a thick bottomed pan or in the pressure cooker, if using. Add the methi (fenugreek) seeds in the hot oil, so that they burst. Add all the whole spices and sauté for 2 minutes on low flame
  • Add onions, sauté on low flame for 2-3 minutes till they begin to brown Next the ginger, again sauté for 30 seconds and then add garlic, sauté for 30 seconds. Add tomatoes, sauté for 1 -2  minutes or till the oil begins to separate from the tomatoes, at the sides.
  • Add Turmeric, coriander, chilli and garam masala powders. Sauté for one minute, on low flame, stirring the powders well into the onion tomato gravy. Add the potatoes, stir briskly for 2 minutes so that they are fried well.
  • Finally add the pureed peas, stirring briskly for 5 minutes. The flavours of the nimona are enhanced when the potatoes, masalas and peas are sauteed well.
  • Add coriander leaves and the whole Bay leaf, stir once. Pour enough water to cover the nimona, and then about a centimetre more, above the surface. Add salt, check the taste.
  • If making the nimona in a pan, bring it first to a boil, and then simmer for about 10 -15 minutes on low flame, checking that the peas are well cooked. Keep stirring frequently, add a little water if you find it is becoming dry. Ensure it does not 'catch' at the bottom of the pan. The consistency should be like a thick dal.
  • If using a Pressure cooker, cook till 1 whistle on high and then turn off the heat. Let the cooker release steam and open on its own so that nimona is well cooked.   It is best to move the cooker away from the hot gas ring once you turn it off, so that the nimona cooks without burning and catching at the bottom of the pan