I could assert that this green pea curry smothered in a rich and spicy tomato herbed sauce is restaurant quality, but that would be an understatement and wouldn't be quite the truth either, as this dish is even better than any such preparation I have ever enjoyed outside of my home.
There is something to be said for the tranquility and solitude of your own kitchen, complete with your carefully chosen staples and fresh produce. Oftentimes, home cooks can deliver bliss to dining tables that matches the ability of trained chefs or perhaps even outshines it, complete with the ambiance that makes for a fine meal. Surely that must sound arrogant, although I don't mean it that way, but cooking for fewer table companions may yield finer results than most of the alternatives that are readily available and affordable.
Intimacy is priceless.
And cooking for yourself is sometimes equally rewarding.
There may perhaps be no substitute for working in an established kitchen with cooks and learning from them and sharing, but we can also learn from a distance and impart our small culinary footprint and nourish cherished fellow travelers wherever we may tread.
On to today's featured entrée — or side dish if you please — from my fragrant kitchen. Freshly shelled green peas are simmered in a vibrant spicy tomato gravy with fresh herbs and a hint of nuttiness from naked cashews. This classic dish has appeared on my table on numerous occasions and as with most of my favorite Indian classics, there is always yet another way to cook and spice it up. Exploring the spice and herb stash never loses it appeal.
Thanks to Denny for the inspiration. The recipe I present here is essentially my own, but I rather liked Denny's technique of incorporating tomatoes in both the masala paste and the curry component. They all come together in the end, but the texture differs with each step to complete the ultimate culinary curry experience.
Do take care not to overcook the peas. You want that pop-in-your-mouth quality from those green gems, not a contribution to a bowl of mush. The tomatoes provide the gravy and the peas ought not too. Texture is the key here. Serve with basmati rice or your favorite Indian savory flat breads for one fine meal.
|Green Peas Curry (Mattar Masala)|
|Recipe by Lisa Turner|
Published on September 4, 2013
Thick, spicy and fragrant curry of fresh, plump and tender garden peas simmered in a seasoned tomato sauce
More vegetable curries you are sure to enjoy from Lisa's Kitchen:
Mixed Vegetable Curry (Sabzi Bhaji)
Bengali-Style Potatoes in a Seasoned Yogurt-Pistachio Crust
Cauliflower and Pea Curry
On the top of the reading stack: Bong Mom's Cookbook: Tales from a Bengali Mother's Kitchen by Sandeepa Makherjee Datta
Audio Accompaniment: Aphelion