Regional winter delicacies using Green peas
The popular pea is the showstopper of many dishes across India during the cold season.
The versatility of this winter season vegetable – matar (grean peas) is well-known. From fried snacks and kebabs, to gravy dishes and parathas and pulaos, this humble and easy-to-cook vegetable is the real star featuring prominently in most homes in winter across India. The Godrej Food Trends Report 2020 indicated how the conversations around sustainability will drive the home kitchen to lead the way with a return to traditional practices of buying and sourcing local and seasonal ingredients. So, here’s looking at a few of the regional delicacies using matar.
Winters in Bengal is incomplete without having koraishutir kochuri (Bengali-style fried bread stuffed with peas) with aloor dom. In Bengali cuisine, finger foods like kochuri and chop are paired with afternoon and early evening tea. In koraishutir kochuri, peas are pureed using shil-nora (sil-batta), though today the use of electric mixers are common. The hing-infused paste is then slow cooked in a thick bottomed kadhai using ginger and saunf paste. Care should be taken to stir fry the paste until water evaporates and the mixture thickens. The mixture should not be too dry. It is then stuffed inside casings made of maida and deep- fried.
Matar chi usal
In most Maharashtrian households, peas are used in usal or poha. Matar chi usal is a flavourful Maharashtrian-style peas gravy cooked mostly in the winters. The steaming, juicy, spicy curry made with green peas is best served with roti or rice.
Tender peas available in winters is used to make an aromatic and delicious rice-based dish — matar bhaat. Simply add in vegetables of your choice — cauliflower, mushrooms, onions, capsicum and carrots. The difference between matar pulao and Gujarati style matar bhaat is that the latter is best served with a tangy kadhi on top. The piping hot bhaat goes also goes well with spicy lime pickle, papads and bhajyas.
The idea of preparing this soupy dish was to keep the body warm during the biting winters of the North. This flavourful homestyle green peas curry from Uttar Pradesh is made with minimal spices. Traditionally, it was made by sautéing onion-garlic masala in mustard oil, mixed with chunks of fried or boiled potatoes , peas and wadis. It is best eaten with rotis and steamed rice.
Do you know of any other matar dishes cooked in winter? Share with your comments below.