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”
Just delicious!! Everyone loved it! Thanks Manali 😇
An i add yogurt instead of cream?
hmm you can try but honestly methi matar malai needs some creaminess so increase the cashews a little and add milk in place of cream.
I made the recipe but unfortunately I found it a waste of time as the methi had its own distinct bitter taste. My children didnt eat it.
well methi definitely has a distinct taste and you have to love it to love this dish. Thanks for trying!
To mute slightly the bitterness of methi, boil methi in water for a minute by adding little salt and then drain the water. And add methi by chopping it to the dish.
Hi Manali! This recipe is just so amazing! My hubby and kids loved it. Thanks to you that I got the steps very easily and clearly. It’s really well explained.
glad to hear Seema!
Can you substitute the peas? I dont like peas but i want to make this.
skip, just methi is pretty tasty too. you can try with paneer like this recipe, skip peas: https://www.cookwithmanali.com/methi-malai-paneer/
Have used your blog tonsail through the 1st and 2nd wave of the pandemic… My wife and daughter also love yoyr recipies.
You are a star…
Thanks Saurabh, glad to hear that!
Can we make this dish a night ahead? Or does it lose flavour in the refrigerator
you can make it ahead, it will get quite thick so re-heat by adding some water
Can we use frozen methi? If so how much
I love anything malai, while my husband likes peas curries, so this was a great compromise. Love the flavor and being married to a South Indian I enjoy recipes with methi as it feels like a holiday 😉 Thank you for sharing!
Can we replace cashews with anything??
Do the almonds need to be peeled or just with skin is okay?
if using almonds, you should peel them first. Soak in hot water for 15 minutes, then peel the skin and then use