Methi matar malai is a dish that combines tastes of bitterness and sweetness and comes out a winner. It is a great vegetable dish to have on a party menu when the other usual suspects are paneer or dal, etc. Methi is a very healthy leafy vegetable and should ideally be included in our regular diet. Methi matar malai is mildly bitter and sweet at the same time and is great to have with rotis or parathas.
Fenugreek / Methi leaves - 2.5 cups packed
Green Peas / Matar - 1 cup
Onion - 2 small
Tomato - 2 small
Cinnamon - 1 inch piece
Cloves - 4
Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
Black peppercorn - 2 to 3
Green Cardamom - 2
Milk - 1 cup
Cream - 3 to 4 tbsp
Oil - 2 tbsp
Sugar - a pinch
Salt to taste
Onion - 1/2
Cashew Nuts - 4 to 5
Ginger - 1 inch
Garlic - 4 to 5
Poppy seeds / Khus Khus - 2 tspGreen chilli - 2
Wash the fenugreek leaves thoroughly and put in a colander to drain out. I prefer to use the leaves just like this, but if you want to reduce the bitterness, mix in salt and keep for 10 to 15 minutes. Later squeeze out the water from the fenugreek leaves and use it. Most of the bitterness would have gone with the squeezed water. I do not salt it and squeeze it out because at home we do not mind the mild bitterness in this dish, especially sweetened with the addition of both milk and cream.
Chop the onion and tomato and keep aside.
Heat a pan and on low heat, lightly roast cinnamon, cloves, cumin seeds, black peppercorns and green cardamom seeds. Roast only for a few minutes till the aroma is released. Add these whole spices to the ingredients listed for grinding to a paste - onion, cashew nut, ginger, garlic, green chilli and khus khus. Grind this to a fine thick paste in a blender jar adding a little water.
In a vessel add the green peas and some water and let it boil till softened and keep aside.
Heat a deep pan and add the oil and let it become hot. Add the chopped onion and on medium heat saute till the onion turns translucent. Then add the ground paste and saute for about 5 minutes, stirring continuously. To this, add the chopped tomatoes and a few spoons of water and saute till the tomatoes start softening. Add the drained fenugreek leaves and salt and mix well, stir till the leaves start shrinking. Cover the pan with a lid and let it cook on low heat. After about 7 to 8 minutes add the boiled green peas and the milk and mix well. Again cover with the lid for about 5 minutes or till cooked. Remove the lid and mix again and check for seasonings and add salt if necessary. Add half the cream and mix it and take off the heat.
When ready to serve top the vegetable with the rest of the cream and serve.
My Methi Matar Malai goes to - North East West Indian Cooking hosted by Anu.