UP Style Matar Ka Nimona -No Onion No Garlic recipe
is a wonderful dish that celebrates the goodness of fresh green peas in their pods and represents the best of winter cooking. This hearty, nourishing curried winter stew is full of flavours and perhaps the best respite from the foggy, bone chilling winters of UP where it is originated.
Just like the koraishutir kochuri for Bengali, which is not a dish but an emotion, nimona though its shared cultural heritage is box of nostalgic memories and pride for people across the gangetic plains of India.
Having being brought up in parts of Bihar and M.P, winter specials like this matar ka nimona and hari matar ka saag was mandatory on our winter menu. Though my mom had never cooked these delicacies at home, because our neighbors from these states always made sure that we will get to devour these regional delicacies in winter and in return we treats them back with our winter special pithe-pulis.
Such cultural exchanges through food had certainly become a thing of dinosaur times, but if you are a 80-90’s kid, you can certainly relate to what I am saying.
Over the period of time, I had nimona in all its glory and in all possible variations from spicy soup, as a ghugni (which actually misrepresent the dish) to curried forms and in range of spices that is beyond my comprehension.
This is my version of nimona which I have roughly jotted down from a television show and had tweaked at places to suit our palate. This curried version had found many winners in the family over the spicy soupy ones.
How to make Matar Ka Nimona –
1. Fresh green peas are indispensable here. You can make this with frozen ones too but the delicious taste and flavour the fresh ones brings to the plate is so amazing.
2. You can use a coarse green peas paste for making nimona or you can use a half and half proportion of fresh green peas to mashed green peas. This way it adds body to the dish and suits perfectly as a curry dish that you can enjoy with roti or paratha.
3.Tomatoes are generally not added in nimona but I have added here because this makes the curry more delectable. Without tomatoes it will taste different but then how it is usually made.
4. I would always love to have matar ka nimona with deep fried urad or moong ki wadiyan floating on top. This kind of contrasting texture in a dish is something that I always crave for. But if you do not have that, you can always enjoy the nimona with crispy fried potato cubes on top.
Here I have added cubed boiled potatoes because this year I am on a mission to cook with less oil. Nonetheless we loved this version too.
5. You can enjoy this as a soupy curry or thick curry that pairs up so well with paratha.
UP style matar ka nimona or curried green peas is a winter delight and is made with fresh green peas.
- 2 cups Fresh green peas
- 1/4 cup Fresh green peas, boiled
- 2 Tomatoes, cut into cubes
- 2 Potatoes, boiled and cut into cubes
- 1 inch Ginger
- Corainder leaves and stalks (stems) - handful
- 2 Green chillies
- 1 tsp Cumin seeds
- Hing / asafoetida - a pinch
- 2 Bay leaves
- 2 Dry red chillies
- 1/4 tsp Turmeric powder
- 1/2 tsp Red chilli powder
- 1 tsp Cumin powder, roasted
- 1 tsp Corainder powder
- 1 tsp Fennel powder (saunf), roasted
- 1/4 tsp Black pepper powder, (kali mirch)
- 2 tbsp Mustard oil
- Salt and sugar to taste
Grind 2 cups of fresh green peas with 1 inch ginger piece, 2 green chillies and handful of coriander leaves (include stalks too) without water.
Make a very coarse paste. Just pulse them for few seconds to get a very coarse paste. ALternately you can mash them in a big mortar and pestle too.
Now heat 2 tablespoon mustrad oil in a pan and bring it to smoking point.
Temper the oil with cumin seeds, hing, bay leaves and red chillies. Lower the heat and tip in the pea-corainder paste.
Fry them on low heat till it is slightly browned and starts leaving the oil.
Add the cubed tomatoes, salt and sugar. cook them till tomatoes becomes mushy and is well incorporated with the green peas.
While doing this add the spices too - turmeric powder, red chilli powder, green coriander paste (you can use corainder powder too), roasted cumin powder, roasted fennel powder (saunf) and black pepper powder (kali mirch)
Add the boiled potatoes and mix them well. Add 2 cups hot water , boiled 1/4 cup green peas, cover and let it simmer on low for another 10 mins.
Adjust the thickness of the gravy as per your preferences. Check for the seasonings. Matar ka nimona is ready. Enjoy it with roti or paratha.
Want to try some unique recipes with fresh green peas?
Here is our family favourite – Bengali Koraishutir dhokar dalna or curried spicy green peas and lentil cakes.