Punjabi Aloo Matar Ki Sabzi| Dhaba Style Potato And Green Peas Gravy

Sweet memories of tender, seasonal green peas


Green peas are one of my most favourite veggies to cook with, in the winters. Back when I was growing up in Ahmedabad, green peas used to be available only in the cold months of winter, when they would be at their most tender and sweetest best. I remember Appa coming home with cloth bags full of green peas from the local market – they would be super inexpensive too! Punjabi Aloo Matar Ki Sabzi, a delicious gravy made using potatoes and green peas, would definitely feature on the menu on most market days. It is this very recipe that I am about to share with all of you today.

Punjabi Aloo Matar Ki Sabzi

About the Punjabi Aloo Matar Ki Sabzi


Green peas and potatoes are a beloved combination all over India, and different states have their own way of using the duo in a sabzi. This version here is the Punjabi style, something you will commonly come across in dhabas. I have countless memories of sitting at the dhabas of Delhi, relishing this sabzi with a platter of naan and some buttermilk.

This Punjabi Aloo Matar Ki Sabzi has always been a favourite with all of us at home. Even today, winters feel incomplete to me if I do not make this sabzi at least once. I recently brought home the first green peas of the season from the Kadlekai Parishe, and had to cook this, of course. Served hot with straight-off-the-stove plain parathas, it made for a meal that was nothing short of heavenly, considering the ice box that Bangalore has become lately.

How I make the Punjabi Aloo Matar Ki Sabzi


I make the Aloo Matar Ki Sabzi in a pan, the way I have always seen Amma do, with some little changes of my own. It turns out beautifully, full of flavours and delectable. It is not a difficult dish to prepare at all – once the potatoes and green peas are pressure-cooked and ready, it takes bare minutes for the sabzi to come together. What’s more, it is a low-oil curry that can be cooked with just about 1/2 tablespoon oil!

In itself, this Punjabi Aloo Matar Ki Sabzi is a completely vegetarian and vegan preparation, suitable to those on a plant-based diet. There is no ginger, garlic or onion used in the dish too, which also makes it Sattvik and Jain. Skip the asafoetida used in the tempering, and this sabzi can easily be made gluten-free too. This is so because most commercial brands of asafoetida do contain some amount of wheat flour. However, if you are able to get your hands on gluten-free asafoetida, please do go ahead and use it.

Recipe for Punjabi Aloo Matar Ki Sabzi, my way


Ingredients (serves 4-5):

  • 1. 4 medium-sized potatoes
  • 2. 2 cups of shelled green peas
  • 3. 4 medium-sized tomatoes
  • 4. 1/2 tablespoon oil
  • 5. 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 6. 2 pinches of asafoetida
  • 7. Salt to taste
  • 8. 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 9. Red chilli powder to taste
  • 10. 3/4 tablespoon jaggery powder
  • 11. 1/2 tablespoon garam masala or to taste
  • 12. About 3/4 cups water
  • 13. 1 tablespoon finely chopped coriander
  • 14. 1/2 tablespoon kasoori methi
  • 15. Juice of 1/2 lemon or to taste

Method:

1. Wash the potatoes clean under running water, scrubbing clean any traces of dirt from them. Cut them into halves and place in a wide vessel. Add in just enough water to cover the potatoes fully. Pressure cook the potatoes on high flame for 4 whistles. Let the pressure release naturally.

2. Take the green peas in a wide vessel too. Add in a little water, about 2 tablespoons. Pressure cook on high flame for 2 whistles. Let the pressure release naturally.

3. Chop the tomatoes roughly. Puree in a mixer, and make a fine paste. Keep aside.

4. When the pressure has released fully from the cooker, get the cooked potatoes out. Allow to cool, and then peel them. Cut the cooked potatoes into large cubes. Keep aside.

5. Once the pressure from the cooker has completely gone down, get the cooked green peas out. Keep aside.

6. Heat the oil in a heavy-bottomed pan. Add in the cumin seeds, and allow them to stay in for a couple of seconds. Add in the asafoetida.

7. Now, add the tomato puree to the pan. Cook on medium flame, stirring intermittently, till the raw smell of theĀ  tomatoes goes away. This should take 3-4 minutes.

8. Add the cooked potato pieces and green peas to the pan, along with about 3/4 cups of water. Add salt and red chilli powder to taste, jaggery powder, turmeric powder and garam masala. Mix well.

9. Cook on medium flame for 3-4 minutes, stirring intermittently. Switch off gas when the gravy thickens and the sabzi reaches a consistency that is runny but not too watery.

10. Crush the kasoori methi roughly with your hands, and add to the pan. Add in the lemon juice and the finely chopped coriander. Mix well. Your Aloo Matar Ki Sabzi is now ready to serve. Serve it hot with rotis or parathas.

Tips & Tricks


1. I prefer using the more tart and flavourful country (Nati) tomatoes to make this sabzi, rather than the ‘farm’ variety.

2. You can add some ginger, garlic cloves and chopped onion to the tomatoes, grinding them all together to make the gravy. I prefer using only tomatoes, though.

3. Adjust the quantity of water you use, depending upon the consistency of the sabzi you prefer. I keep it runny – as it thickens on cooling – but not watery.

4. Chana masala can be used in place of garam masala, for a different-tasting sabzi.

5. Make sure the potatoes and green peas aren’t overcooked, but are done just right.

6. The jaggery powder is optional, but I would highly recommend using it. It doesn’t make the sabzi very sweet, but balances the tartness of the tomatoes beautifully and makes the flavour to the dish well-rounded.

7. The starch from the potatoes is enough to thicken the gravy. You don’t really need cashewnuts or fresh cream to do so, but you may add them if you prefer.

8. Make sure you crush the kasoori methi between your palms before adding it to the Aloo Matar Ki Sabzi. This helps in releasing its flavour.

9. Skip the lemon juice if the tartness of the tomatoes is enough.

10. The potatoes and green peas require different cooking times, so I cook them separately and then add them to the sabzi. I prefer making this Aloo Matar Ki Sabzi in a pan, rather than a pressure cooker.

11. I like my Aloo Matar Ki Sabzi to have more green peas than potatoes, and the above quantities work just perfectly for us. You may use more or less potatoes and/or green peas as per personal taste preferences.

12. For best results, use fresh green peas when they are in season. However, this Punjabi Aloo Matar Ki Sabzi can also be made using frozen peas.

13. You can add in some cinnamon, cloves, bay leaves and cardamom along with the cumin. I sometimes do that, but mostly skip these ingredients and keep the sabzi really simple.

Did you like the recipe? Do tell me, in your comments!

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