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Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Peas to Please: Saag Matar

Continuing with my Indian food obsession is the super tasty and healthy Saag Matar, which is a curry of greens, peas, and lots of amazing spices (saag=greens, matar=peas. fyi.). I adapted this recipe from a wonderful Indian cookbook called Cuisines of India by Smila Chandra. I love this cookbook! Creative yet traditional recipes, beautiful illustrations, clear and educational explanations of ingredients and interesting history of cuisines throughout different regions of India. Lots to love, except there are no pictures. So, if you're really into pictures in a cookbook, I'm warning you ahead of time...but try it anyway! It's wonderful!I served this chunky, spicy curry with brown basmati rice, whole wheat roti bread (I bought it pre-made at the Indian grocery store. I'm a cheater.), and a mango-gunda pickle. Gunda is an Indian berry that, when pickled, is reminiscent of a green olive, but sweeter. It has a pit, so be careful! Anyway, this curry is so great, it should please just about everyone....except for those crazy pea-haters, of course!

Saag Matar (Indian Greens and Peas) serves 6-8
adapted from Cuisines of India

1 bunch fresh greens, such as mustard greens or kale, chopped
1 bunch fresh spinach, chopped
2 Tbs vegetable oil
1 tsp cumin seed
1 large onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup diced tomatoes, canned or fresh if it's summer
1/2 tsp salt, to taste
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper, to taste
1 tsp garam masala, homemade or store-bought
2 cups frozen or fresh green peas--not canned!
1/2 cup water or vegetable broth

In a large wok or deep pan, heat oil over medium high heat. Add cumin seeds and cook 30-60 seconds, until they start to pop. Add the onion and garlic, and saute 3-5 minutes until lightly browned. Stir in the tomatoes and spices and cook for 3-5 minutes, to allow the tomatoes to cook down slightly. Stir in the greens, peas, and water and reduce to a simmer. Cover pan and let cook for 10-15 minutes, until the greens have cooked down and the sauce has thickened. Salt and pepper to taste, add more spice if you're so inclined...I know I am! Serve immediately with rice, roti and plenty of chutneys!

7 comments:

Cassie said...

mmmm this looks super good. my husband's favorite vegetable is peas and so I try and put them in all sorts of things and this looks perfect. yum!!

HayMarket8 said...

I think Indian food might be the best thing ever! :)

http://haymarket8.blogspot.com

Michelle said...

I'll have to try this...it sounds awesome!

Millie said...

this makes me wanna cook tomorrow...excellent.

Charles said...

Indian cuisine is fantastic, specially if you'er vegan... I visited this Bangalore not so long ago and I was astounded with quality of dishes.
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florafloraflora said...

This was super-delicious! I changed it a little bit: I used a bit more stock (1 cup) and held off on adding the peas, then covered the pot while the greens simmered. When they were totally wilted I puréed them, then returned them to the pot and added the peas. I was trying to replicate my favorite Tasty Bite meal and I think I got close. Whatever it is, it's a keeper. Thank you.

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