21 March, 2009

Methi Matar Malai: Green & Cream Indulgence

Photobucket

Methi Matar Malai

How many of you agree that curry powder that is sold in supermarkets in colourful plastic/glass container is nothing but much hyped saw dust?
I am really pleased to see most of you nodding your head in agreement :)



Curry powder!!! Not that I want to sue these stores/super markets for selling something that is totally un-Indian but given a chance I am more than willing to blow their heads off! As if it was not enough to pass the vegetables or meat that float in thick red gravy of oil as Indian curries, many a times people are misguided when it comes to ingredients used in Indian cooking. And hear me loud and clear, please be kind to yourself and your taste buds and throw that awful yellow powder into nearest bin and get a packet of fresh Garam Masala (homemade is still better) and few basic spices used in Indian cooking. Once you cook with these spices and spice powders, you will not go near the aisle that displays this saw dust in little containers. Stock up your pantry with little cumin-coriander powder, turmeric powder, red chilli powder, garam masala and you are ready to cook one pot after another pot of delicious Indian curries.


While we are on the topic of cooking curries, how about keeping that bag of maida/all purpose flour away when you are making curry? I have seen many people use them to thicken the gravy. When we have much better options to try out why not use them instead of using bland, white flour? There are many better options to thicken the gravy like onion paste, fresh cream, yogurt, cashew/almond paste than chocking your palettes with maida. Use one of them or combination of two or three and you will be surprised see how creamy and delicious the curry tastes!


Today, I am determined to demonstrate that we needn’t use any curry powder (not even Garam Masala) or maida to get thick, creamy gravy. What we have today is Methi Matar Malai, a delicious blend of fresh fenugreek leaves (=methi) and sweet green peas (=matar) cooked in, what else, fresh cream (=malai). The ground paste of onions, green chilli and ginger along with whole spices forms the base for delicious gravy. The addition of fresh cream, cashews and ground green peas is what thickens the gravy. Yes, no curry powder nor maida. All we have is some fresh herbs and spices and fresh cream that sure to tickle your taste buds. If you are on diet or watching those calories, simply replace fresh cream with yogurt and you will have low fat version of this creamy curry. Looks can be deceptive! Yes, Methi Matar Malai may look like the recipe that needs you to slave in front of stove for hours after another, but in reality it is one of the simple and quick recipes that you can cook to impress your guests. And what more, you get to enjoy goodness of greens without overpowering taste of spice powder.

Photobucket
Green Peas and Fenugreek Leaves for Methi Matar Malai


Photobucket
Ground Paste of Fresh Herbs & Spices for Methi Matar Malai

Photobucket Print This Recipe
Methi-Matar Malai (Fresh Fenugreek leaves and sweet Green Peas cooked in creamy and mildly spiced gravy of Onion, Whole Spices and Fresh Cream)
Prep time: 5-10 mins
Cooking Time: 15-20 mins
Serves: 4-5
Recipe Level: Easy/Beginner to Medium
Spice Level: Medium
Serving Suggestion: With any Indian flat bread or flavoured/steam cooked rice

Ingredients:
1½ packed cups Fresh Fenugreek Leaves (Or use frozen)
1 cup Green Peas, fresh/frozen
1 large Potato, peeled, cut into ½ inch pieces and cooked
¼ - ½ cup Fresh Cream (I used low fat single cream. If using cashews ¼ cup is more than enough)
1 tsp Sugar (Optional but recommended, to mellow the bitter taste of fenugreek leaves)
¼ tsp Turmeric Powder
1 tsp Jeera/Cumin Seeds
1-2 tbsp Oil
Salt to taste

Grind to Smooth Paste:
1 medium Onion
3-4 Green Chillies (Adjust acc to taste)
½ inch Ginger, peeled
½ tsp Jeera/Cumin Seeds
1 inch Cinnamon Stick
3 Cloves
2 Green Cardamoms
4-6 Cashews
3-4 tbsp Green Peas, fresh/frozen (for creamy gravy)
Photobucket
Methi Matar Malai

Method:
Heat oil and add cumin seeds to it. When it sizzles and turns golden red, add ground paste and keep stirring till the raw smell of onions disappears. It takes usually 5-6 minutes for the paste to turn light golden brown and the paste should become little dry. Be patient, or else the gravy will taste bitter.
Once you have cooked the paste, add fenugreek leaves and cook until the leaves are wilted, about 2 mins. Add cooked potato cubes, green peas, sugar, turmeric powder, and salt to taste and cook for 2 minutes.
Now add fresh cream, ½ cup of water and mix well. Simmer the heat and bring the gravy to gentle boil. Add little water if you think the gravy is too thick for your taste. Cook for another 2 minutes.
Transfer Methi-Matar Malai to serving dish and drizzle little cream on top if desired and serve hot with any Indian bread or flavoured Rice and enjoy.


Notes:
For low fat version of this Methi Matar Malai, replace fresh cream with yogurt. You can also avoid using cashews or replace it with almonds to get thick gravy. Or simply add ¼ cup of ground green peas that will simply thicken the gravy. But please avoid adding maida which will simply ruin the taste.
You can also add ½ tsp of Garam Masala if needed. I prefer it without any overpowering taste of spice powder.
Addition of sugar is optional. I add it to gently mellow the bitter taste of fresh fenugreek leaves.


62 Spicy Trails :

Anuradha Khanna said... Best Blogger Tips [Reply to comment] Best Blogger Templates

Hi Sia,

I love your site and am so so inspired to improve the aesthetics of my blog! Will do it soon and write back to you. Need I say I'll try out the amazing recipes and tips on your site!

Bon apetit!

Aparna said... Best Blogger Tips [Reply to comment] Best Blogger Templates

I can see you are a very ardent fan of this particular dish. :)
Seriously, I didn't know maida was used to thicken Indian gravies. Traditionally we do use rice flour or besan depending on the dish, but maida.............
I never even knew that that yellow "sawdust" was supposed to a be an Indian seasoning till much later.:D

sunita said... Best Blogger Tips [Reply to comment] Best Blogger Templates

I'm nodding vigorously :-D

The methi malai looks delish :-)

Sum said... Best Blogger Tips [Reply to comment] Best Blogger Templates

Hey Sia!
Remember i had mentioned about having this dish at a restaurant, in one of my posts....
Well, i wanted the exact recipe of this one, and u've posted it! Nice pics as always :)

Mahimaa's kitchen said... Best Blogger Tips [Reply to comment] Best Blogger Templates

wow.. looks yummy sia. love the richness of this gravy. ur method is quite different... looks very good. i like the way u have kept flowers on the side for decoration.

Gita's Kitchen said... Best Blogger Tips [Reply to comment] Best Blogger Templates

Like you said there is nothing like a simple curry made with homemade podis...I sometimes to make methi mattar malai with whole milk, adding cream sounds and looks delicious...I should try out your recipe soon :)

Raaga said... Best Blogger Tips [Reply to comment] Best Blogger Templates

I love this :) I've made it several times :)

all set for the weekend?

Sucharitha said... Best Blogger Tips [Reply to comment] Best Blogger Templates

Nice MMM. But never heard of adding potatoes. As usual looks mouthwatering.

Pavani said... Best Blogger Tips [Reply to comment] Best Blogger Templates

I can literally taste the dish just by reading the ingredients and your write up. No garam masala or even garlic, thats my kind of a dish. But I tend to add both for my DH, but any dish where you taste all the ingredients without all the masalas and hype is my absolute favorite. Thanks for the delicious recipe.

Ben said... Best Blogger Tips [Reply to comment] Best Blogger Templates

That looks beautiful. What time is dinner? :)

Soma said... Best Blogger Tips [Reply to comment] Best Blogger Templates

I have never made methi malai matar. Ur picture makes me want to just dive in:-)
Soma(www.ecurry.com)

Happy cook said... Best Blogger Tips [Reply to comment] Best Blogger Templates

I too nodd with you for the curry powder from the stores.
Well that matar dish is indeed a real indulgence, but i hav enot trouble in indullging if something is so delicious looking, what is a inch ir more in your waist line anyway :-)
Mine not yours that is .

Asha said... Best Blogger Tips [Reply to comment] Best Blogger Templates

Oh yes! I remember this dish from Seema's blog (she has gone private now!), it was so gorgeous. Your's looks delicious and easy to make as well. I still have to sow some seeds to get the Methi, frozen ones have more hard stems than leaves! :)

I have been cleaning the fridge since y'day night, didn't have much time to surf but do it quickly in between cooking and cleaning when I get tired! I have about 5 knds if veggies sitting in there and trying to cook all of them and store for the 3 days!:D

Take care and have a great weekend. I have a book I am planning to read if I could get my housework done first.

Sree said... Best Blogger Tips [Reply to comment] Best Blogger Templates

I agree with u, nothing can beat the fresh ground curry powder or garam masala, and methi matar malai looks yummy.

AnuSriram said... Best Blogger Tips [Reply to comment] Best Blogger Templates

Wow... That looks fabulous! Makes me drool here... So creamy! Nice tip about the spices we use...

SJ said... Best Blogger Tips [Reply to comment] Best Blogger Templates

Yea curry powder- didn't even know something like that existed till I came to the US. And I hate when people ask me how to make curry grrr..... I love your non-curry powder, non-garam masala methi matar malai.

A_and_N said... Best Blogger Tips [Reply to comment] Best Blogger Templates

Sia, I'm on a diet, dammit! So, I'm going to say your second pic? The one with the Methi leaves and the peas was the best. *runs away and bookmarks the recipe to make 6 months later*

Paru ... said... Best Blogger Tips [Reply to comment] Best Blogger Templates

I luv this dish Sia and urs looks absolutely ravishing :)..

Archy said... Best Blogger Tips [Reply to comment] Best Blogger Templates

Methi matar looks so gud, need to try this gravy !!

aquadaze said... Best Blogger Tips [Reply to comment] Best Blogger Templates

Awesome picture as always Sia....looks delicious. I make mine with kasuri methi as we don't always get fresh methi!

Cham said... Best Blogger Tips [Reply to comment] Best Blogger Templates

I don't know who invented the curry powder and even wondering who is buying those dusted bottles!
Thicken the sauce with AP flour? I always rely to fried onion paste to get more gravy or even thicken, or even cut down (coconut, cream, etc..)
MMM looks creamy and rich, something to try soon..

Lavi said... Best Blogger Tips [Reply to comment] Best Blogger Templates

Sia..This is so creamy and lovely!!
can u send me this and some more of ur delcious dishes for my RCI-Lucknow..

Food Fanatic said... Best Blogger Tips [Reply to comment] Best Blogger Templates

yum yummy yummy ur blog pics kicks ass big time
love the colors, Sia!

Madhumathi said... Best Blogger Tips [Reply to comment] Best Blogger Templates

Omg..this is a very rich gravy and i'm sure this is gonna taste YUMMM!
I love the idea of adding cream n cashew paste to thicken the gravy :)
I too hate the store bought curry powders!

Miri said... Best Blogger Tips [Reply to comment] Best Blogger Templates

I never would have imagined people using maida in curries except in restaurants who want to save a few bucks - but apparently there are! Need a few more Jamie Olivers to teach them healthier and tastier options!

The curry looks really nice and healthy.

Food Fanatic said... Best Blogger Tips [Reply to comment] Best Blogger Templates

oh how you feeling now? hope u r better.

jayasree said... Best Blogger Tips [Reply to comment] Best Blogger Templates

Methi Matar Malai looks creamy and fabulous. I avoid using any flour for thickening, since I feel it affects the taste. If at all needed, I use rice flour/besan.

notyet100 said... Best Blogger Tips [Reply to comment] Best Blogger Templates

yummy....never tried methi with matar,...subji looks so delicious,..

Ranjani said... Best Blogger Tips [Reply to comment] Best Blogger Templates

That looks great! creamy n dreamy:))

myspicykitchen said... Best Blogger Tips [Reply to comment] Best Blogger Templates

mmm... delicious... i am hungry...

Akal's Saappadu said... Best Blogger Tips [Reply to comment] Best Blogger Templates

methi mattar looks yummm!
willbe great with naans

Daily Meals said... Best Blogger Tips [Reply to comment] Best Blogger Templates

Methi matar malai looks awesome...

Trupti said... Best Blogger Tips [Reply to comment] Best Blogger Templates

Methi & matar what a combination Sia. Curry looks very delicious. Nice click. Bookmarked this recipe

Smitha said... Best Blogger Tips [Reply to comment] Best Blogger Templates

I keep flinging praises at every post of yours. But , I really can't help myself.Here I am doing it again. Love your blog and every post is a feast to the eyes:)

Sandeepa said... Best Blogger Tips [Reply to comment] Best Blogger Templates

That curry powder is nothing like "curry powder" I bought it to add to soups(non-Indian) that ask for it but that is it

This looks very fresh and flavorful

Simply Innocence said... Best Blogger Tips [Reply to comment] Best Blogger Templates

Ya, it's great if we make our own experimenting for making different curry powder. The same store-brought one is quiet boring. It would be great that I love to chat with u in the coffee cafe. Let my dream comes true.

Vicky Xavier. said... Best Blogger Tips [Reply to comment] Best Blogger Templates

Methi malai looks so delicious. Must try some time soon.

meeso said... Best Blogger Tips [Reply to comment] Best Blogger Templates

Oh yeah, curry powder is the most horrific thing you can do to food! I actually did a post on that a long while back when I ruined a dish using that garbage! Your recipe looks awesome, this is one of my favorite dishes... It was one of the first Indian dishes I learned to make for myself... took me forever to perfect my recipe... thank goodness, I didn't use curry powder!

Preety said... Best Blogger Tips [Reply to comment] Best Blogger Templates

methi, matar & malai..three of my fav things in one dish..which makes it super delicious

Sujatha said... Best Blogger Tips [Reply to comment] Best Blogger Templates

oh yeah, me too.. I hate those wierd smelling curry powders.. Methi malai mmatar looks creamy and rich.. I posted this in my blog too a while ago, but your recipe looks slightly different than mine.. Will have to try your way for a change..

Varsha Vipins said... Best Blogger Tips [Reply to comment] Best Blogger Templates

I never buy store masala's..Thanks to mom who taught me that..:)The curry looks gorgeous..pics are fab..I have abunch of Methi sitting in fridge..:)
Am down with my reader problem..duh..headache..u hav a great weekend..:)

Bharti said... Best Blogger Tips [Reply to comment] Best Blogger Templates

I agree that most of those curry powder mixtures are quite "nothing". And I've never heard of maida being used as a thickening agent in Indian food. Is it a London thing?
I've made methi matar malai once (Rashmi's recipe) and it was delicious. Will try yours the next time I make it.

Alka said... Best Blogger Tips [Reply to comment] Best Blogger Templates

Maida in curry...now who is making Indian curries so unhealthy??I don't even like to add cornflour in soups or even as binding agents in tikkis ,koftas etc(the bread crumbs are far better options)
Hmm never had methi matar,but heard of it so much,and now after seeing it here,u obviously know what i am feeling.....bingo ...will try this out soon(and i mean soooon)
Needless to say anything about tempting pics(my lexicon had been over exploited for nice words to describe ur pics).Amazing Greens here Sia :-)

Sharmila said... Best Blogger Tips [Reply to comment] Best Blogger Templates

Sia ... even my guests from abroad do comment on how different everything tastes here .. I think curry powder is too hyped and the saw dust type is accepted because of the bland taste of food preffered. So they never bother/get to know about the real spices.
Your methi matar malai looks absolutely heavenly. :-)

indosungod said... Best Blogger Tips [Reply to comment] Best Blogger Templates

There are a lot of people who hate curry having cooked with the saw dust! Methi matar malai looks luxurious alright.
Lovely.

Shivapriya said... Best Blogger Tips [Reply to comment] Best Blogger Templates

that's true, some brands are really horrible. The beauty of methi matar malai is no masala:). I will post my version soon.

Madhu's cooking gallery said... Best Blogger Tips [Reply to comment] Best Blogger Templates

This looks delish :) pic is stunning as usual! creamy and super rich curry!

Arch said... Best Blogger Tips [Reply to comment] Best Blogger Templates

Hey Sia, beautiful pics - cant even imagine maida being used to thicken curries !! I made something similar with corn instead of peas - will post it soon...love the pics on your blog !! feel ful just looking at it :)

Keerthana said... Best Blogger Tips [Reply to comment] Best Blogger Templates

yeah, i too have seen these curry powders! they are called curry pulver here, n sometimes 'Indish curry pulver'! they look yellow just like saw dust. how ridiculous!
I get mine from India, home made by mom:)
the methi matar looks delicious Sia! as usual great clicks.
matte nanna hesaru keerthana:))

Jaishree said... Best Blogger Tips [Reply to comment] Best Blogger Templates

Hi Sia,
I have never made methi malai matar. Your Methi Matar Malai looks creamy and fabulous and easy to make as well.Pics was so gorgeous! Btw my blog is not open properly on last week. So many mentioned.. Now it is ok. Do visit often sia. Thanks for your nice compliments in myviews:)

Ramya Bala said... Best Blogger Tips [Reply to comment] Best Blogger Templates

Beautiful click! and delicious gracy Sia

sriharivatsan said... Best Blogger Tips [Reply to comment] Best Blogger Templates

OMG, could not take my eyes from this...Just drooling!! Wonderful Sia..BTW how are you..Missed ur previous post as i was not well..Okras look absolutely gorgeous and inviting..Perfectly cooked ones....Thanks for the tips dear...

Deepa Hari said... Best Blogger Tips [Reply to comment] Best Blogger Templates

Lovely combo...looks delicious....nice clicks.

Pavithra Kodical said... Best Blogger Tips [Reply to comment] Best Blogger Templates

This is a healthy treat Sia.Looks perfect and delicious.I will surely try these.How are you?

delhibelle said... Best Blogger Tips [Reply to comment] Best Blogger Templates

MMM is a family favourite, even my little one approves. Must try your way next, looks delicious.

Premyscakes said... Best Blogger Tips [Reply to comment] Best Blogger Templates

Thats a perfect dish. I love the way u have presented it, quite different.

Supriya Nair said... Best Blogger Tips [Reply to comment] Best Blogger Templates

Hi Sia, this one is so mouthwatering. Hats off for your amazing hard work dear. Great photos that make me wish "Hmm...only if I had that taste of it"...hope to try this recipe at my end. Cheers

Bharat Book Bureau said... Best Blogger Tips [Reply to comment] Best Blogger Templates

Hello,

Great Blog I will definitely bookmark your blog. I am also having a blog related to food http://foodmarketnews.blogspot.com/ which gives latest analysis and trends in Food industry in the present recession period. I would appreciate if you could kindly bookmark my blog too.

Rajesh &Shankari said... Best Blogger Tips [Reply to comment] Best Blogger Templates

Sia- The saga of curry powder. In every class, I repeat, there is no such thing as curry powder and in one of my TV demos, they asked me what do with the curry powder, I said trash it! :)

I agree with you completely that we dont need maida, corn starch to thicken our curries :)

Unknown said... Best Blogger Tips [Reply to comment] Best Blogger Templates

Made it for dinner yesterday and it came out amazing! Used almonds and the gravy was thick enough. Thanks for the delicious recipe!

Sia said... Best Blogger Tips [Reply to comment] Best Blogger Templates

@Unknown, you r welcome! and i'm glad you enjoyed it :)

Michael said... Best Blogger Tips [Reply to comment] Best Blogger Templates

I'm with you about "curry powder." I'm neither Indian nor was I born in India, but I may as well be with all my Indian habits and preferences. Anyway, a friend of mine makes "curry chicken" by mixing veggies and chicken together in a pot and adding "curry powder." Sigh. I've scolded her tens of times, and she still never gets it. As I explain it to people: a.) there's no such thing as "curry powder"; what you see in the store is a British invention; b.) it's not just the spices but also the cooking techniques and ingredient combinations.

As for the maida (AP flour), the technique of using AP flour comes from French cooking which uses flour toasted in fat/oil to make a "roux", which is a thickening agent. My preferred thickener is arrowroot powder (not grainy, holds up well to high heat and reheating). But, for Indian, I do the right thing and use only yogurt, nut powders, heavy cream, etc.

Post a Comment

Comment here

Namaste! I am Sia and welcome to Monsoon Spice, my virtual home. Thank you for all your comments, inputs and valuable feedbacks. I really appreciate the valuable time you spent browsing through my recipe repertoire.

I hope you have found what you are looking for today. Feel free to leave any questions or queries you have on the recipes posted here. If you have any recipe requests, please drop a line at Ask Sia page. I will try to respond to all your queries as soon as possible to best of my knowledge.

I welcome all your valuable inputs and constructive criticism as long as it is meant to help and improve the blog. I reserve the right to delete any comments that are rude, abusive, written with the intent to advertise, contain profanity or considered spam.

Please note that any comments with separate link back to your blog, website or blog events will not be published. Your blog/website is hyper-linked when you sign in to your account to leave the comment and hence leaving separate links in the comment is unnecessary. Thank you for understanding!

I hope that you will stop by again to read my ramblings, learn new recipes and share your ideas. Have a good look around and enjoy your time here. Thank you once again!

Blogging tips