Methi Matar Malai (Fenugreek and Green Peas in a creamy sauce)

Fenugreek leaves means ‘Methi’ in Hindi and Marathi language. ‘Matar’ is nothing but green peas, and ‘Malai’ is a fresh cream. ‘Methi Matar Malai’ is a rich and creamy North Indian curry prepared in a white sauce. The curry offers complementing flavors ranging from sweet to salty and spicy to slightly bitter (comes from fenugreek leaves). The bitterness is perfectly balanced with cashews, sugar, and fresh cream. I enjoy the curry’s smooth and creamy texture and prefer to pair it with whole wheat roti or paratha.

INGREDIENTS

  • 6 cups of fresh fenugreek leaves.
  • 1 cup of frozen green peas.
    (I prefer Premium or Vadilal brands for frozen peas. They are available in a frozen section of Indian grocery stores.)
  • 1 cup of fresh cream.
  • 2 green chilies.
  • 3 large cloves of garlic.
  • 1 inch of peeled ginger.
  • 1 tsp of white poppy seeds.
  • 1 US medium-sized yellow onion.
  • 2 tsp of garam masala.
    (I used Everest brand’s garam masala. You can use any garam masala of your choice or make it at home.)
  • 8 to 9 raw cashews.
    (Soak it in hot water for 30 mins)
  • 2 tsp organic Indian crystal sugar.
  • 1 tsp of oil.
  • 1 tbsp of ghee (clarified butter)
  • Salt as per your taste.

RECIPE

  • Heat oil in a wok (kadhai). Add green chilies, garlic, and ginger once the oil is hot.
  • Sauté them for a minute. Next, add chopped onion and sauté till onions are translucent.
  • Turn off the heat, pour the mixture into a bowl, and let it cool down.
  • Meanwhile, heat a small pan, dry roast poppy seeds, and add them to the mixture’s bowl.
  • In the same pan, add a teaspoon of oil. Add chopped fenugreek leaves, sprinkle some salt, and sauté for a couple of minutes.
  • Next, add soaked cashews and the mixture into a blender. Blend it to a fine paste.
  • Heat ghee in a wok. Once the ghee melts, add garam masala and pour the blended paste into it.
  • Add a cup of frozen green peas, salt, sugar, and mix well.
  • Let it cook for a few minutes, keep string till the mixture is boiling.
  • Next, add some water, add sautéd fenugreek leaves in the wok and stir them well.
  • Cover the wok and let it simmer for 7 to 8 minutes on a medium to low flame. Keep string in-between.
  • Pour cream in the end and let it boil for a minute or two. Turn off the stove and pour the curry into a serving pot.
  • Garnish the aromatic curry and serve it with wheat roti or paratha.
Eastern India style Begun Poda paired with Methi Matar Malai is a blissful combination.

Fenugreek leaves need to be plucked from the bunch and should be washed properly. I prefer to let leaves dry for a couple of hours before using it. I like to use fresh raw cream or Indian malai for the recipe. You can substitute it with a heavy whipping cream too. Some people also add tomato(es) in the method, but that’s not my preference.

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