Thursday, 6 March 2014

Matar Ghugni (Green Peas Curry)

It has been almost a week since I had anything Indian and I must admit that though I was enjoying my pastas and pizzas, once I tasted the ghugni, I realized how much I missed it. Now with my husband returning today from his tour, I am back to my regular desi cuisine. One more thing that I have realized in the past one week is that unless something goes out of your sight, you do not give it its due regard. Just as the Indian cuisine, I also missed my husband a lot and felt the importance of his presence around me. Although the only thing we do when he is around is fight, but that's all part of love. Distances does make the heart grow fonder!! Now until his next tour (which will be pretty soon though), I want to make the most of this time.

1 cup dried green peas
2 medium onions, chopped
1 inch piece ginger, chopped
2-3 green chillies
3-4 pods garlic, chopped
3 tbsp tomato puree
1 tsp coriander powder
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp chilli powder
1/2 tsp garam masala powder
1 inch piece cinnamon
3 tbsp fried onions (1 medium onion thinly sliced and fried; this is optional. You can skip adding this ingredient, though it renders a richness to the gravy)
1 tsp freshly roasted cumin powder
Freshly cut onions and coriander leaves for onions
1 tbsp tamarind paste/chutney (tamarind paste gives a lovely sweet and tangy flavor to the gravy; it can be replaced by 1 tbsp lemon juice and a dash of sugar)
Salt to taste
1 tbsp refined oil

Wash and soak the green peas overnight or at least for 5-6 hours. Drain the soaked water, wash, and pressure cook the peas for 3-4 whistles. Remove from heat and cool. The peas should be just cooked and not mushy. However, the time for pressure cooking the peas may vary. I had to cook them for 6-7 whistles since my peas had been on the shelf for quite some time now.
Meanwhile, make a paste with the onions, ginger, garlic, and green chillies. In a pan, heat the oil and add the cinnamon stick. Now add the onion paste and fry till it turns slightly pink in color. Add the tomato puree and fry for another 3-5 minutes till mixed well. Now add the dry spices and the fried onions along with salt and fry till oil separates. With the help of a strainer, add the cooked peas while reserving the liquid. Mix well with the masala base. Now add the reserved liquid as per requirement and stir. Put in 1 tbsp tamarind paste/chutney and mix. Cover and cook the peas for another 3-5 minutes on medium flame. Check the seasoning and remove from heat. Garnish with freshly chopped onions and coriander and roasted cumin powder. Serve hot with roti/paratha.


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