As someone who loves a good meal, cooking one, came to me as a natural passion. I belong to a family where meal times consisted of not just food, but also noisy conversation centered around the events of the day and discussing the menu for the next. (ah yes, we are a greedy lot! )

For the most part of my life so far, my contribution in the kitchen was assisting mom and my duties were limited, to chopping veggies and laying the table. Then along came the great Indian wedding, and I was suddenly the queen of my very own kingdom. My curiosity about this magical world, coupled with an enthusiastic sous-chef (my husband, Vineet), led me to take on the challenge of preparing meals on a daily basis, and not succumbing to the convenience of hiring a cook.

This blog is a product of my experiments with food (not all are life threatening :D) for my fellow culinary enthusiasts - especially the newly weds and hungry bachelors and is dedicated to the women who've inspired me in the kitchen;
Aji (s),Ma and Nigella Lawson.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Matar Nimona - Food for the 'Benarasi' Soul

Sunday mornings are usually when I go stock up on Veggies and other groceries for the upcoming week. This past Sunday, I decided to sleep in, and therefore ended up skipping my weekly ritual , and I knew I'd have to invent meals from what I already had around the house, till I squeezed in a quick shopping trip in the middle of the week.
My husband is a big fan of a very simple Green-peas based preparation, called "Nimona", so when I realized that we were out of veggies on Wednesday, I pulled out the frozen peas stashed in the freezer (although this gravy tastes a 100 times better with fresh green peas!) and dinner was ready in exactly - 10 minutes!

1-1/2 cups Green peas (frozen, fresh are even better!)
1 medium Potato (peeled & cubed)
1 large Tomato (cut into big cubes)
1 or 2 Green chillies (depending on how much spice you like)
2 cloves Garlic- peeled
2 tbsp Oil
2 tsp Cumin seeds (jeera)
1 tsp Turmeric powder
1-1/2 tsp Garam Masala
Salt (as per taste)

1.)  In a mixer, roughly puree half the amount of Green peas, Tomato, Garlic & Green chillies till chunky.
2.)  Heat the oil in a pressure cooker. Sautee the Cumin seeds till fragrant. Add the turmeric powder and sautee the potato cubes till they are golden brown and slightly soft - not cooked through.
3.)  Add the Peas-tomato pureed mix and stir and open cook for a minute or so. Add the remaining green peas (non-pureed ones) and the Garam masala.
4.)  Close the lid of the pressure cooker and cook for upto 2 whistles (max!). Switch off heat.

Enjoy this Matar-nimona with Steamed rice. Sliced raw onions (with a pinch of salt and a squirt of lime juice) are an excellent accompaniment. This no-frills-no-fuss meal, is perfect for a weeknight, when your back home, don't feel like struggling with dinner (yes, it happens to the best of us!) but don't feel like eating out either. Everyone wins! :) Happy eating!

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