Cooking with fresh peas during the season is always a pleasure.... The fresh smell while removing the peas from their pods is just too good and stays long in your mind. It also happens to be my kids favorite way of passing their time in the name of helping me with my chores. It is the only time when they fight and argue with each other over who gets a larger share of the pods to remove the peas. Combine the peas with their favorite paneer and they enjoy it a lot satiated with a scrumptious dinner or for lunch box at school.
Come winter, the market is flooded with the seasons arrivals of fresh peas, hyacinth beans, cauliflowers, sweet potatoes and you are spoiled for choices. It is so difficult to prefer and choose one over the other and many a times a combo works very perfectly. I make this into a mildly spiced version and it is perfect with rotis and also goes well with pulao or any variety rice.
- Fresh peas - 1+ 1/2 cups
- Paneer – 200 gms
- Onion – 2
- Tomatoes – 3
- Garlic – 5 pods
- Ginger – 1 inch piece
- Cashew nuts – 10-12
- Coriander powder – 2 tsp
- Red Chilli powder – 1 tsp
- Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp
- Garam Masala powder – 1 tsp
- Kasuri methi – 2 pinch
- Coriander leaves – 3 tbsp
- Salt – to taste
- Oil – 2 tbsp
Cube the paneer. Heat a tsp of oil in a kadai and sauté the paneer cubes till light golden brown. Place the cubes in a cup of warm water to keep the paneer cubes soft. Cut the onion into chunks. In the same kadai add 2 tsp of oil, add the onion chunks and saute till they change color. Add the garlic and ginger piece and saute for a min. Add the cashew nuts to the kadai and switch off the stove. Mix well so that the cashew gets cooked in the heat itself.
When cool grind to a coarse paste adding very little water and keep it aside. Puree the tomatoes in the same blender. Heat the kadai with the remaining oil. Add the onion paste and cook till the raw smell disappears and the color changes to brown.
Add the pureed tomatoes, fresh peas, salt, less than 1/4 cup of water and cook closed for 5-7 min or till the peas are cooked. Add the coriander powder, red chilli powder, turmeric powder and mix well. If the mixture is too thick add little water. Cook for another 3 min with a closed lid till the raw smell of the spices go off and everything comes together.
Now add the paneer cubes, garam masala powder and kasuri methi. Mix well and cook for a 1-2 min. Garnish with coriander leaves and serve hot with rotis or pulaos. You can find a microwave version of this recipe here.
- You can also follow the same method and make it with Dry peas. Just make sure that you soak it for at least 3-4 hours prior to cooking.
- You can also use chopped tomatoes along with onion paste while cooking instead of pureeing it.