Satvik Matar Ka Nimona/Banarasi Fresh Green Peas Curry without Onions or Garlic

 


Matar Ka Nimona, a satvik (no-onion, no garlic) fresh green peas curry, a local specialty of Banaras ( from the state of Uttar Pradesh in India). It is a winter specialty as fresh peas (matar) are available in plenty. This spicy curry made with crushed fresh green peas, cubes of potatoes and some simple spices pairs well with rotis, parathas, naan or even plain steamed rice.


For any vegetarian gourmet, Benares is one of the best places to explore delicious and delectable cuisine (bereft of onions or garlic). But the combination of spices lends so many flavors to the dishes; you will never miss the onion or the garlic!

My favorite pastime is to watch cooking shows and recently, I came across a new dish using fresh green peas called “Nimona” in an episode dedicated to food from Banaras and where all of the dishes were made without onions or garlic!

Banaras is situated on the banks of the holy river Ganges and most of the food there is totally vegetarian (no meat, chicken or eggs), Satvik (without onions or garlic) and with minimal spices to enhance spiritual enlightenment!

Some of my family veers a lot towards satvik food, so this green and delectable dish with crushed green peas as the main ingredient, potatoes and some spices, piqued my interest. I had a bag of freshly shelled green peas in my fridge, so it took me no time to try this out!

All you need to do is crush the green peas (you can pre-cook it slightly), sauté some cubed potatoes and then cook both in a mildly spiced seasoning with some cubed tomatoes and a bit of water to form a gravy. Dunk your flatbread like rotis, puris, chapattis, naan etc. in it or just enjoy a ladleful of this divine green peas curry over a mound of hot steaming Basmati rice!

Do not restrict this divine and super tasting dish just to winters; Matar Ka NImona can be enjoyed any time of the year using frozen peas too! So head on to the kitchen and do try out this no onion-no garlic mildly spiced Banarasi green peas curry today with a fresh batch of shelled green peas before they disappear from the market or if you have a bag of frozen peas, that works fine too!

If you love green peas, you must try out these delicious and simple dishes too:

Fresh Green Peas Upkari

Suji Matar Pancakes

Spicy Matar Poha

 


Step-by-step method to make Satvik Matar Ka Nimona:

Wash the fresh/frozen green shelled peas well and boil in plenty of water until just cooked.

Drain well and make a coarse paste in a small blender jar; I have made it very coarse with some peas left whole.

Wash potatoes well, peel and chop into small cubes.

Heat ghee in a large saucepan and once hot, add the potato cubes.

Saute or fry on medium high heat until crisp and light golden brown. Remove and keep aside.

In the same ghee, add the cloves, bay leaf, dry red chillis (cut into 2 or 3 pieces) and fry on medium low heat until they start to release an aroma; about a minute.

Stir in ginger and green chillies and fry again for a few seconds.

Add the turmeric powder, red chilli powder, hing and coriander powder and sauté again for a  few seconds on medium low. Before they start to burn, sprinkle a few tablespoons of water and mix well.

Tip in the chopped tomatoes and fry on medium heat until soft and slightly cooked.

Once the tomatoes are soft, stir in the crushed green peas and mix.

Add salt to taste and some water, maybe about ½ to 1 cup (depending upon how much gravy you want) and mix well.

Do a taste test and if needed, sprinkle some sugar to balance the acidity of the tomatoes and bring a balance in the flavors.

Close and simmer on medium low heat for about 3 to 5 minutes.

Once the flavors and spices have blended well, stir in the fried potatoes, give it a good mix and simmer again for 5 more minutes.

Remove from heat, garnish with finely chopped cilantro and serve hot with any paratha, roti or naan. I have served this with spinach paratha for a healthy twist.

 


Satvik Matar Ka Nimona/Banarasi Fresh Green Peas Curry without Onions or Garlic

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Serving Size: 4

Satvik Matar Ka Nimona/Banarasi Fresh Green Peas Curry without Onions or Garlic

Spicy no onion-no garlic green peas curry from Uttar Pradesh in India; a divine winter delight. Enjoy with rotis, parathas or even plain hot steamed rice!

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cups fresh/frozen shelled green peas
  • 1 medium-sized potato
  • 1 large sour tomato/vine-ripened tomato, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 dry red chillies (optional)
  • 1 green chilli/jalapeno, finely chopped
  • 1-inch ginger, grated or chopped fine
  • ¼ tsp hing/asafetida
  • ¼ tsp turmeric powder
  • ½ tsp red chilli powder
  • 1 ½ tbsp coriander powder
  • Salt to taste
  • ½ tsp sugar (optional or as needed)
  • 3 tablespoons ghee/clarified butter/any cooking oil
  • Coriander leaves/cilantro for garnishing

Instructions

  1. Wash the fresh/frozen green shelled peas well and boil in plenty of water until just cooked.
  2. Drain well and make a coarse paste in a small blender jar; I have made it very coarse with some peas left whole.
  3. Wash potatoes well, peel and chop into small cubes.
  4. Heat ghee in a large saucepan and once hot, add the potato cubes.
  5. Saute or fry on medium high heat until crisp and light golden brown. Remove and keep aside.
  6. In the same leftover ghee, add the cloves, bay leaf, dry red chillis (cut into 2 or 3 pieces) and fry on medium low heat until they start to release an aroma; about a minute.
  7. Stir in ginger and green chillies and fry again for a few seconds.
  8. Add the turmeric powder, red chilli powder, hing and coriander powder and sauté again for a few seconds on medium low. Before they start to burn, sprinkle a few tablespoons of water and mix well.
  9. Tip in the chopped tomatoes and fry on medium heat until soft and slightly cooked.
  10. Once the tomatoes are soft, stir in the crushed green peas and mix.
  11. Add salt to taste and some water, maybe about ½ to 1 cup (depending upon how much gravy you want) and mix well.
  12. Do a taste test and if needed, sprinkle some sugar to balance the acidity of the tomatoes and bring a balance in the flavors.
  13. Close and simmer on medium low heat for about 3 to 5 minutes.
  14. Once the flavors and spices have blended well, stir in the fried potatoes, give it a good mix and simmer again for 5 more minutes.
  15. Remove from heat, garnish with finely chopped cilantro and serve hot with any paratha, roti or naan. I have served this with spinach paratha for a healthy twist.
  16. Enjoy!!

Notes

Add jeera or cumin seeds for an additional flavor dimension.

Instead of potatoes, you can use paneer (Indian cottage cheese), cauliflower, tofu etc.

This dish tastes best with fresh shelled peas, but frozen will taste good too.

If you like onions and garlic, you can use them in the seasoning in the first few steps along with the spices.

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Check out these other Satvik dishes with no onions or garlic:

Creamy Malai Kofta Curry

Ragda Patties

Black-eyed Beans Curry

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