I was thrilled to come across sugarsnap peas in Namdhari’s, a while ago. I had only ever read about this variety of peas before, mostly in connection with dishes like pasta, salad and Oriental-style stir-fries. Keen to try them out, I picked up a few packets of these sugarsnap peas – and this stir-fry with Indian spices is what happened in the kitchen with them.
I’m not sure what the Indian names for sugarsnap peas are. For the uninitiated, I’ll say that these are smallish, flat pods with minimal or no peas inside. It is the pods that are meant to be eaten, after discarding the strings attached to them. The pods taste sugary sweet – hence the name – and are so tender that they are cooked within seconds.
Sugarsnap peas aren’t exactly easy to find in India. A few large departmental stores stock them, as specialty produce stores like Namdhari’s and Godrej Nature’s Basket do sometimes. Nutritionally, sugarsnap peas rank a bit higher than the regular Indian green peas. They are good sources of iron, fibre, Vitamins C and K, as well as potassium. They are best consumed raw or briefly cooked, such as in a stir-fry.
I wanted to use the sugarsnap peas in making something very Indian, and that is how this stir-fry came about. It was a delight to cook, this stir-fry – it came together within minutes! It tasted simply lovely – sweet and spicy and slightly tangy – and made for a gorgeous, different-from-the-usual accompaniment to the phulkas I served them with. It is an entirely plant-based, vegan dish that can be made gluten-free if you only skip the asafoetida that has been used here.
This stir-fry is reminiscent of the Matar Ke Chilke Ki Sabzi that is quite a popular winter dish in North-Western India. The very tender pods of Indian green peas are used to make this sabzi, in the peak of winter, when they are in season. This stir-fry of mine, too, can be cooked with in-season tender green pea skins, in case you are unable to find sugarsnap peas.
Now, without further ado, here’s presenting to you the recipe for my Sugarsnap Peas stir-fry, Indian style.
Ingredients (serves 2-3):
- About 400 grams sugarsnap peas
- 2 teaspoons oil
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 2 pinches of asafoetida
- Salt to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
- Red chilli powder to taste
- 1/2 tablespoon of jaggery powder or to taste
- 1 teaspoon chana masala or to taste
- 1 teaspoon amchoor powder or to taste
- 2 tablespoons fresh grated coconut
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh coriander
1. Remove the tops from the sugarsnap peas, as well as the strings. Chop each pea pod into half, and keep them ready.
2. Heat the oil in a pan. Add in the cumin seeds and the asafoetida. Allow them to stay in for a couple of seconds. Mix well, and turn the flame down to medium.
3. Add in salt to taste, red chilli powder, turmeric powder, jaggery powder, chana masala and amchoor powder. Mix well.
4. Cook on medium flame, uncovered, for a minute or two or until all the ingredients are well incorporated together. Switch off gas.
5. Mix in the fresh grated coconut and finely chopped fresh coriander. Serve with rotis or rice.
Did you like this recipe? Do tell me, in your comments!
I’m sharing this post with My Legume Love Affair (MLLA) #128. This is a monthly event that celebrates legumes, started by Lisa of Lisa’s Kitchen and Susan of The Well-Seasoned Cook. Every month, the participants share a recipe each using any one type of legume. This month, MLLA is being hosted by Renu of Cook With Renu.