Sunday, May 11, 2014

Methi Matar Malai

I know the photo leaves something to be desired, but this dish was marvelous. Instead of heavy cream, you use a cream made out of soaked almond, which makes this dish way healthier but still quite rich. Because I only had dried fenugreek leaves, I substituted collard greens for the fresh fenugreek and added 1/4 c dried fenugreek leaves to still get that awesome aromatic flavor I raved about when I made this dal.

Methi Matar Malai
(from holy cow!)

1 big bunch spinach (or other mild green), chopped
¼ cup almonds soaked in ½ cup hot water for 30 minutes
1 tbsp vegetable oil, divided
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tbsp coriander seeds
2 green chillies, chopped
1 medium onion, sliced
4 cloves garlic, sliced
1-inch knob of ginger, julienned
2 cloves
1-inch piece of cinnamon
1 tsp peppercorns
1 large tomato, diced
½ tsp cayenne or paprika, if you prefer less heat
¼ tsp turmeric
2 tsp garam masala
1/4 dried fenugreek leaves
2 cups frozen green peas
salt to taste

  1. Soak the chopped greens in a big bowl of warm, salted water for 10 minutes, then drain and set aside.
  2. Blend the almonds with the soaking water into a smooth paste. Set aside.
  3. Heat half the oil and add the cumin seeds, coriander seeds, green chillies, onions, garlic, ginger, cloves, cinnamon, and peppercorns. Saute everything until the onions turn translucent and just start to brown.
  4. Add the tomatoes along with the cayenne and turmeric. Saute until the tomatoes are quite broken down and pulpy.
  5. Remove the mixture to a blender and cool if necessary before blending into a smooth paste. Add water or vegetable stock if needed.
  6. Heat the remaining oil in a saucepan and add the drained greens. Add a pinch of salt and saute until the methi starts to express water.
  7. Cover with a lid and let the methi cook on medium heat for another 10-15 minutes until tender. Add a tablespoon or two of water if necessary to prevent the methi from sticking to the pan.
  8. Add the tomato-onion paste, garam masala, fenugreek leaves, and the green peas and continue cooking on an open flame, stirring frequently, for another 5 minutes.
  9. Add the almond cream and mix well. Turn off the heat once the curry begins to simmer. Check salt and add more if needed.

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