A simple Indian stir-fry made with winters carrots and green peas. This gajar matar sabzi was a staple in my house growing up.
Serve it with simple roti and dal for a satisfying meal.
We would eat a lot of gajar matar sabzi during winters. Another favorite was aloo gajar matar where potatoes were also added in addition to the carrot and peas.
There was a lot of fresh winter red carrots and sweet green peas during winters in Delhi and that’s the reason and it was made often during those cold months. In fact mom never made it outside of those months, we ate so seasonal then.
This year I was lucky to find the winter red carrots here and so I had to make the gajar matar, after making gajar halwa of course! I still couldn’t find the sweet peas and had to do with frozen peas but the red carrots more than made up for everything!
What I like most about this sabzi is that it is so simple. This is exactly how it was made in my house- without onions and tomatoes and just with very basic spices.
I am pretty sure my mom’s version was even simpler than this. The reason it was kept so simple was to make sure that the flavors of the fresh vegetables shine through.
Especially the carrots and peas are so sweet during winters, so you want to taste them and enjoy their flavors.
This Gajar Matar Sabzi
✔is made with simple ingredients.
✔doesn’t use much spices.
✔doesn’t use onion or tomatoes.
✔is vegan and can be easily made gluten-free.
I love this sabzi with warm rotis and a side of dal, that’s how I remember eating it on those cold December days after coming back from school.
Everyday Indian food is like this- it is very simple. The restaurants here in the US paint quite a different picture of Indian food. This sabzi is a prime example of the food that I grew up eating in my home everyday.
It was mostly vegan and never had many ingredients or cream or butter. It was just very basic!
The carrots that I used here cooked very quickly. The reason was that they were very fresh and seasonal so they cooked in like 6-7 minutes. It may take more time to cook if the carrots are not this soft and fresh to begin with.
Carrots: one of the main ingredient for this stir-fry is carrots of course. The red winter carrots work best here.
You can make this sabzi with orange carrots too but they are not as sweet as red carrots and lack flavor. So, if you can use red carrots here.
Green Peas: this is the other main ingredient for this dish. In India, we always fresh green peas for this dish, however I could not find them here and hence used frozen peas.
If green peas are available in your area, do use them.
Garlic-Ginger: I like flavoring this stir-fry with garlic and ginger. The recipe doesn’t use onions or tomatoes so the ginger and garlic impart it a lot of flavor.
Spices and seasoning: only few spices like cumin seeds, hing (asafoetida), turmeric and coriander powder are used in this recipe.
You can use some red chili powder and garam masala for extra spice and flavor if you like. I like to keep it simple.
I love cooking this dish in mustard oil since that adds its own flavor to the dish, however you can use any oil of choice. And of course a good garnish with cilantro is must!
If you prefer some tang, you can also squeeze some lemon juice in the end.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is the recipe gluten-free?
No, it is not since since I have used hing which contains wheat. To make it gluten-free, either skip the hing or use wheat-free hing.
Can we add onions and tomatoes?
Yes you may. Cook the onions first and then add the tomatoes and cook them and then add the spices and vegetables.
Can we add garam masala?
Yes, you can sprinkle some on top in the end.
Do we have to use mustard oil?
No, you can use any oil. I just prefer mustard oil in such recipes because of its flavor.
1- Heat mustard oil on medium-high heat in a pan until it’s really hot (this is important to get rid of the raw smell of mustard oil).
Then lower the heat and add cumin seeds and hing, let the cumin seeds sizzle and then add green chili, chopped garlic and ginger and cook for 1 minute.
2- Add the diced carrots and peas (frozen peas which were soaked in warm water for 10 minutes and then drained) and stir well.
3- Add the turmeric powder, coriander powder, salt, along with 2 tablespoons water and mix well.
4- Cover and cook until the veggies are cooked through on medium heat, it took 6 to 7 minutes here since carrots were super fresh. It might take more time depending on the variety and freshness of carrots.
You might also need to add more water as needed.
Add cilantro, you can also sprinkle garam masala. Serve gajar matar sabzi with warm roti!
This post has been updated from the recipe archives, first published in September 2013.
Gajar Matar Sabzi
- 1 tablespoon mustard oil 15 ml, or use any oil of choice
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1/4 teaspoon hing asafoetida
- 1 green chili chopped, or to taste
- 2 garlic cloves finely chopped
- 1/2 inch ginger finely chopped
- 7-8 medium carrots 430 grams, diced into 1/2 inch or smaller, use red carrots if possible
- 1 cup green peas 135 grams, I used frozen peas, soaked in warm water for 10 minutes
- 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1/2 teaspoon coriander powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt or to taste
- 2 tablespoons water or as needed
- 1-2 tablespoons cilantro chopped
- Heat mustard oil on medium-high heat in a pan until it's really hot (this is important to get rid of the raw smell of mustard oil).Then lower the heat and add cumin seeds and hing, let the cumin seeds sizzle and then add green chili, chopped garlic and ginger and cook for 1 minute.
- Add the diced carrots and peas (frozen peas which were soaked in warm water for 10 minutes and then drained) and stir well.
- Add the turmeric powder, coriander powder, salt, along with 2 tablespoons water and mix well.
- Cover and cook until the veggies are cooked through on medium heat, it took 6 to 7 minutes here since carrots were super fresh. It might take more time depending on the variety and freshness of carrots. You might also need to add more water as needed while cooking. Add cilantro, you can also sprinkle garam masala. Serve gajar matar sabzi with warm roti!
- Carrots were super fresh and in season and so they cooked through very quickly. Might take more time depending on the variety of carrots.
- You can add onions and tomatoes to this recipe, I prefer to keep it simple like this.
- For tang, squeeze in some fresh lemon juice in the end.
- Skip hing or use gluten-free hing to make this recipe gluten-free.