Methi Matar Malai – Fenugreek Green Peas Curry

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    Matar Methi Malai

    Methi (Fenugreek) is a popular winter vegetable in India. I remember those cold winter mornings in Delhi when we were served hot Methi parathas with butter for breakfast, so good it used to taste. But I have never seen these leaves at any of the grocery stores here, the only place you get methi leaves is the Indian store and that too they rarely look fresh. But because I do not have an option, I do buy them from the Indin store whenever I feel like eating aloo-methi (potato with fenugreek leaves), methi paratha (fenugreek leaves flatbread) or methi matar malai (fenugreek leaves & green peas curry).

    Methi leaves have a strong aroma and a slightly bitter taste but it tastes wonderful when mixed with flour as in parathas or with paneer, potatoes etc. Other then being flavorful these leaves have a lot of health benefits – they are known to reduce cholesterol and reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases. It is also very good for people suffering from Diabetes as it slows down the rate of sugar absorption into blood. In fact I have seen many diabetics in India eating methi seeds everyday [methi seeds are commonly used in Indian recipes for tempering].

     

    Methi Matar Malai Recipe

    These leaves have a slightly bitter taste and that’s why they pair beautifully with sweet green peas and fresh cream in methi matar malai. So basically this recipe has 3 main ingredients and hence the name.

    • Methi (Fenugreek leaves)
    • Matar (Green peas)
    • Malai  (Cream)

    This is a rich dish because it has a lot of cream, cashews so it’s perfect for special occasions or when you have some guests over for dinner. But if you are going crazy over all the cream in this recipe then you can definitely cut down on it, traditionally though it is supposed to be made like this – yes with lots of cream!

     

    Method

    Remove methi leaves from their stem, rinse thoroughly and chop them roughly. Set aside.

    Heat 1.5 teaspoon of oil in a pan on medium heat. Once hot add cumin seeds and wait till the seeds crackle. Then add green chilli, chopped ginger and garlic. You don’t need to fine chop the ginger and garlic as we are going to blend all this later on. Saute for a minute or two.

    Add the roughly chopped onion, broken cashews and poppy seeds (khus khus).

    Methi-Matar-Malai-Recipe-Step-1

    Saute for 2-3 minutes or till the onions are translucent and cashews softened.

    Remove pan from heat and let it cool down a bit. Transfer the entire mixture into a blender.

    Blend to a smooth paste. You may add a little water (1 tablespoon) if the mixture isn’t blending properly. Set aside.

    Methi-Matar-Malai-Recipe-Step-2

    In the same pan heat 1.5 more teaspoon of oil and once hot add the prepared paste. Saute for few minutes till the raw smell goes away.

    Add milk and water and give a good mix. You can add only water or milk at this point, I used a combination of two.

    Once it comes to a little boil, add the chopped methi leaves and mix.
    Methi-Matar-Malai-Recipe-Step-3Add the boiled green peas and mix.

    Cook for 2 minutes and then add the cream and mix. Cover and let it simmer on medium-low flame for 4-5 minutes.

    Sprinkle some garam masala on top and switch off the heat.

    Methi-Matar-Malai-Recipe-Step-4Garnish with chopped coriander leaves and serve hot methi matar malai with naan, roti or rice.

    Methi Matar Malai

    * The quantity of cream in this recipe can be adjusted to taste and preference. For a lower calorie version, use more milk and 1-2 tablespoon of cream.

    * For a vegan version, skip the milk and use cashew cream in place.

    * I used frozen peas and boil them for some time before using them in the recipe. You can use fresh green peas in place, just boil them till they are soft and then add to the dish.

    Methi Matar Malai

    Serves: 2-3

    Methi Matar Malai - Fenugreek leaves and green peas in a rich creamy curry.
    Ingredients
    • 1.5 cups methi (fenugreek) leaves, roughly chopped
    • ¾ cup green peas (frozen or fresh)
    • ½ cup heavy cream
    • ¼ cup milk
    • ½ cup water
    • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
    • 1 onion, medium
    • 1.5 tablespoons broken cashews
    • 1 green chili
    • ½ inch ginger
    • 2 garlic cloves, big
    • 2 cardamom pods
    • 1 teaspoon poppy seeds (khus khus)
    • 3 teaspoons oil or ghee
    • garam masala, to sprinkle
    • coriander leaves, to garnish
    Instructions
    1. Remove methi leaves from their stem, rinse thoroughly and chop them roughly. Set aside.
    2. Heat 1.5 teaspoon of oil in a pan on medium heat. Once hot add cumin seeds and wait till the seeds crackle. Sdd green chilli, chopped ginger and garlic. Saute for a minute or two.
    3. Add the roughly chopped onion, broken cashews and poppy seeds (khus khus).
    4. Saute for 2-3 minutes or till the onions are translucent and cashews softened.
    5. Remove pan from heat and let it cool down a bit. Transfer the entire mixture into a blender.
    6. Blend to a smooth paste. Set aside.
    7. In the same pan heat 1.5 more teaspoon of oil and once hot add the prepared paste. Saute for few minutes till the raw smell goes away.
    8. Add milk and water and give a good mix.
    9. Once it comes to a little boil, add the chopped methi leaves and mix.
    10. Add the boiled green peas and mix.
    11. Cook for 2 minutes and then add the cream and mix. Cover and let it simmer on medium-low flame for 4-5 minutes.
    12. Sprinkle some garam masala on top and switch off the heat.
    13. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves and serve hot methi matar malai with naan, roti or rice.

    Methi Matar Malai

    methi-matar-malai-collage

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