Methi Matar Malai is a popular Indian dish which is made in north India especially during winters when fresh methi (fenugreek) is in season!
This recipe combines methi, matar (green peas) and malai (cream) in a rich, sweet and seriously creamy curry!
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, it used to taste so good!
Since methi leaves were in abundance during winters, mom also made a lot of things with it like aloo methi and one of my absolute favorites was this Methi Matar Malai.
This recipe has 3 main components to it and hence the name!
- Methi (Fenugreek leaves)
- Matar (Green peas)
- Malai (Cream)
The methi leaves have a slightly bitter taste and so they pair beautifully with sweet green peas and fresh cream in this recipe.
I personally love that slight bitter of methi. Other than 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 (fenugreek seeds) everyday.
This is not your everyday curry. It’s definitely rich and creamy so mom would make this for special occasions or when we requested her to make something “special”.
The curry has a slight sweet taste as it uses lots of cream and milk. But the bitterness from methi balances the sweetness well. This recipes doesn’t really use powdered spices except some garam masala in the end.
The main flavor of this dish comes from the fresh methi and the cream and cashews.
This recipe uses quite a bit of ingredients to make a rich curry.
Fresh Methi leaves (fenugreek leaves): this recipe uses fresh methi and that’s what gives the dish it’s main flavor.
I would highly recommend not substituting the fresh leaves with dry.
Green peas: for this recipe, I used frozen green peas. I always like to soak frozen green peas in warm water for 10 minutes before using in the recipe.
You can most definitely use fresh green peas. They would just need more time to cook. You can also boil fresh peas before and then use in the recipe.
Cashews & poppy seeds: these two make the curry creamy and thick. I would suggest using both but if you can’t find or don’t have poppy seeds (khus khus), you can use cashews only.
You can also use almonds in place of cashews.
Ginger-Garlic-Chili: I love using fresh ginger, garlic and green chili in this recipe, they give a wonderful flavor to the curry.
You can adjust the amount of chilies in the recipe and add more if you want.
Cumin seeds & green cardamom: these are the 2 whole spices used in this recipe. They both give flavor to the curry.
Cream & milk: this curry has a slight sweet taste and it comes from the milk and cream in the recipe. They both also make this curry rich and creamy.
You can definitely cut down on the cream if you want.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I make this vegan?
For a vegan version, skip the milk and cream and replace it with coconut milk.
Can I use fresh green peas?
Yes, you can use fresh green peas in place, just boil them until they are soft and then add to the dish. Or you can add them directly to the dish, they will need more time than frozen peas to cook.
My methi is very bitter, what can I do to reduce bitterness?
Methi is supposed to have little bitter taste but if you feel it’s too much, try adding salt to methi leaves and leave them for 20 minute, then rinse and squeeze out all the salt. That should reduce the bitterness.
Can I use dried methi in place of fresh?
I would not really recommend for this recipe, it’s just for the same. Use fresh methi please.
Can I use frozen methi?
Yes, that should work fine.
This goes well with naan, roti or jeera rice.
1- Heat oil in a pan on medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add the cumin seeds and wait until they sizzle.
2- Add the green chilli, chopped ginger, garlic and green cardamom. Saute for a minute or two. You don’t need to fine chop the ginger and garlic as we are going to blend all this later on.
3- Then add the roughly chopped onion, cashews and poppy seeds (khus khus). Sauté for 2-3 minutes until the onions are soft and translucent.
4- Then remove the pan from heat and let it cool down a bit. Transfer the entire mixture to a blender.
5- Blend to a smooth paste.
6- To the same pan now add the remaining 1.5 teaspoon of oil. Once hot add the prepared paste to the pan and cook for few minutes until the raw smell goes completely.
7- Then add the milk and water and give it a good mix. Make sure there are no lumps.
8- Let the mixture come to a slight boil and then add the chopped methi and stir. Also, add the salt and mix.
9- Now, add the frozen green peas (which were soaked in warm water for 10 minutes) and mix. Cook for 2 minutes.
10- Then add the cream and mix.
11- Cover the pan and let it simmer on medium-low flame for 4 to 5 minutes.
12- Finally remove the lid and sprinkle some garam masala on top and switch off the heat.
Serve methi matar malai with naan, roti or rice!
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This post has been updated from the recipe archives, first published in August 2014.
Methi Matar Malai
- 3 teaspoons oil or ghee divided
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 green chili chopped
- 1/2 inch ginger chopped
- 2-3 large garlic cloves chopped
- 2 green cardamom pods
- 1 medium onion chopped
- 1.5 tablespoons broken cashews
- 1 teaspoon poppy seeds khus khus
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1/2 cup water
- 1.5 cups chopped methi fenugreek leaves
- salt to taste, around 1/2 teaspoon
- 3/4 cup green peas frozen, which were soaked in warm water for 10 minutes before
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- garam masala to sprinkle
- Heat oil in a pan on medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add the cumin seeds and wait until they sizzle. Add the green chilli, chopped ginger, garlic and green cardamom. Saute for a minute or two. You don't need to fine chop the ginger and garlic as we are going to blend all this later on.
- Then add the roughly chopped onion, cashews and poppy seeds (khus khus). Sauté for 2-3 minutes until the onions are soft and translucent.
- Then remove the pan from heat and let it cool down a bit. Transfer the entire mixture to a blender and blend to a smooth paste.
- To the same pan now add the remaining 1.5 teaspoon of oil. Once hot add the prepared paste to the pan and cook for few minutes until the raw smell goes completely.
- Then add the milk and water and give it a good mix. Make sure there are no lumps.
- Let the mixture come to a slight boil and then add the chopped methi and stir. Also, add the salt and mix.
- Now, add the frozen green peas (which were soaked in warm water for 10 minutes) and mix. Cook for 2 minutes.
- Then add the cream and mix.
- Cover the pan and let it simmer on medium-low flame for 4 to 5 minutes. Finally remove the lid and sprinkle some garam masala on top and switch off the heat.
- Serve methi matar malai with naan, roti or rice!
- Use coconut milk in place of milk and cream to make this recipe vegan.
- I highly recommend using fresh methi here. Do not substitute it with dried fenugreek leaves, the taste is not same.
82 thoughts on “Methi Matar Malai”
How important is it to have khus khus? Is there a substitute for that? I would like to try the recipe but I am missing that ingredient. Thanks,
Tried this recipe. Tastes fantastic. Thanks for the recipe. I am from the south who likes to try north Indian recipes a lot. But when I see the recipes most of them look the same but the names are different. However, your blog gives a more authentic version of it. Can you post the recipe the recipe for paneer lababdar.
The paste wasn’t blending – we had to add water. Did you add anything when doing?
I didn’t, a powerful blender should do it without water. But no harm if you had to a little water to blend.
Got it! Which blender did you use? We tried big and small ones (including a Blendtec) and it wasn’t quite working with this quantity. Thanks!
twister jar (that you can buy separately with blendtec) , you can twist the lid making it easy to blend everything like nut butters etc. too. You can see me use it in the video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mO8aBfBBZio
I made this today and as like all your recipes , this too came out excellent !! Thank you so much !!
glad to know 🙂
Thanks Manali, for sharing such a wonderfully delicious recipe. It tastes awesome!
I am glad to know
I can’t find fresh methi, can I used dried Methi?
for this recipe no, I would not recommend
Could this be made using frozen blanched methi?
Can I use half and half cream here?
What is the size of cup? I have seen different size cups in market. Is it same for all methi, matar, cream etc
US standard size cup, 1cup= 8 oz/240 ml
I love your recipes. I tried this one and it has turned out so tasty and creamy❤ I’ve been very frugal on the cream though for health reasons but wow! still so good.
Today I tried this recipe it is so easy to make and turned out to be very delicious
glad to know!