Chura Matar – A Recipe from Benaras

Chura Matar or Chooda Matar from Benaras

Happy New Year! One of my missions in 2016 is to eat healthier and the first step in this direction is to use fresh seasonal produce as much as possible. As I look around me, I see loads of winter vegetables and am eager to use many of them in the next few days.

One of the vegetables that I see piles of everywhere are fresh and tender peas. I can eat freshly shelled peas by themselves all the time and I do too. I was looking for ways to use this wonderful vegetable when I chanced upon Chura Matar (aka Chooda Matar). Once I read the recipe, I was quite eager to try it as it would make a welcome change from the Matar Poha that I make. I was quite curious as to how it would taste because it used milk for soaking the poha and then a Garam Masala to add spice. When I made it, I was quite pleased with the taste of Chura Matar as it was quite different  from the Matar Pohe and the level of spice was just right for the wintry days we are having.

I can see why this Chura Matar is so popular as a breakfast or snack in Benaras (aka Varanasi). This dish has quite the potential to become a regular breakfast item in my home. 🙂

How to Make Chura Matar

Chura Matar - A Recipe from Benaras
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
15 mins
Total Time
35 mins
 
Chura Matar is a popular breakfast dish from Benaras in Uttar Pradesh. It is a spicier version of Matar Poha and is a wonderful use of peas in a healthy breakfast.
Course: Breakfast, Snack
Cuisine: Banaras, Indian, Uttar Pradesh
Servings: 4
Author: Aruna
Ingredients
  • 1.5 Cups Thick Poha, Jada Poha
  • 1 Cup Peas
  • 1/2 Cup Milk
  • 1 tsp Grated Ginger
  • 3 or 4 Green Chillies
  • 1/4 cup Fresh Coriander
  • 3 or 4 tsp Lemon Juice
  • 2 tsp Cumin Seeds
  • 1/4 tsp Black Pepper Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Garam Masala
  • 1 tsp Sugar
  • 2 tbsp Ghee
  • Salt to Taste
Instructions
To Prepare the Poha
  1. Add about 1/2 tsp of salt to the milk.
  2. Mix well.
  3. Add the milk to 1.5 cups poha.
  4. Mix well so that the poha absorbs the milk.
  5. If the poha is still dry, sprinkle enough water till the poha is damp.
  6. Spread the poha in a plate and set aside for 10 minutes.
Other Preparations
  1. Chop the green chillies to fine pieces.
  2. Chop the coriander to fine pieces.
To Make Chura Matar
  1. Heat the ghee.
  2. Add cumin seeds and stir-fry till they start to change colour.
  3. Add green chillies and grated ginger, and stir-fry for a few seconds.
  4. Add the peas and stir-fry for a few seconds.
  5. Add the pepper powder, garam masala, sugar and some salt.
  6. Mix well.
  7. Add about 1/2 cup water.
  8. Cover and cook over low flame till the peas are cooked.
  9. Turn off the heat.
  10. Add the soaked poha, lemon juice, and chopped coriander.
  11. Mix well.
  12. Serve warm.
Recipe Notes

If the poha feels dry, sprinkle some milk instead of water.

Do use ghee in the tempering. It lends a unique flavour to the Chura Matar.

 

Chura Matar or Chooda Matar - Breakfast from Banaras or Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh

 

Matar ka Nimona – North Indian Style Pea Soup

Matar ka Nimona - Recipe from Banaras or Benaras in Uttar Pradesh

Winter means loads and loads of fresh Peas. I was planning to make Pea Soup when Matar Ka Nimona was suggested to me. I had eaten this wonderful soupy dish from Banaras (aka Varanasi or Kashi) many many years ago and had quite forgotten about it. So I jumped at the idea of making it. The next step was pestering Nikita Jhanglani (she of the Aani Basar fame) for some dried Mangauri to add to the Matar ka Nimona. 🙂

I surfed the internet for the recipe and found very many recipes and made a version that borrowed aspects of many of the recipes.

The result was a fresh and a mildly spiced dish that I had as a soup but is traditionally eaten with rice.

If you love peas, do also try the recipe for Chura Matar.

How to Make Matar ka Nimona

Matar ka Nimona - North Indian Style Pea Soup
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
Total Time
25 mins
 
Matar ka Nimona is a soupy dish made with fresh peas. It can include other vegetables such as potatoes and cauliflower but I made a version that uses just peas and has fried Mangodi or Mangauris.
Course: Sides, Soup
Cuisine: Benaras, Indian, Uttar Pradesh
Servings: 4 Cups
Author: Aruna Panangipally
Ingredients
  • 1.5 Cups Fresh Peas
  • 2 Green Chillies
  • 1.5 tsp Grated Ginger
  • 3 Cloves
  • 1" Piece Cinnamon
  • 1 tsp Cumin Seeds
  • 2 Bay Leaves
  • 2 tbsp Ghee
  • Salt to Taste
Optional
  • Mangauri or Mangodi - 16 to 20 small ones
  • Oil to fry the Mangauri
Instructions
Method to Make Matar ka Nimona
  1. In a kadhai, heat enough oil to fry the mangauris.
  2. Fry the mangauris till golden brown and set aside on a kitchen tissue to drain excess oil.
  3. Grind the peas, green chillies, and ginger without any water to a coarse paste.
  4. In a kadhai, heat the ghee.
  5. Add the cumin seeds, cloves and cinnamon and bay leaves.
  6. Stir-fry till the cumin seeds start to change colour.
  7. Add the green peas paste.
  8. Stir-fry till the raw smell of the peas paste disappears.
  9. Add 2 to 2.5 cups of water and salt.
  10. Mix well and simmer the Matar ka Nimona till it thickens a bit.
  11. Turn off the heat.
  12. Add the fried Mangauri and mix well.
  13. Serve hot with rice.
Recipe Notes

You could add a dash of turmeric. I did not add any.

Matar ka Nimona is best made with fresh peas or fresh green chana.

Matar ka Nimona - Recipe from Banaras or Benaras in Uttar Pradesh - Indian Style Green Peas Stew or Soup

Kanda Koora (Yam Mash Curry or Senai Masiyal)

Kanda Koora or Yam Mashed Curry or Senai Masiyal
Kanda Koora or Yam Mashed Curry or Senai Masiyal

Kanda, as elephant yam is known in Andhra Pradesh,  is very popular in our home. We make it in a variety of ways; as yam fry or Kanda Vepudu, with mustard paste or Kanda Ava Pettina Koora, or then with Malabar spinach as Kanda Bachali Koora.

 This version of kanda koora is just seasoned with some lemon juice and tastes great with curd rice.

Whichever way you make it, the most important thing about kanda (known as Suran in Hindi) is that it is well-cooked. Under-cooked yam tends to cause allergies and itchy reactions.

Ingredients

  1. Kanda, Suran, Senai, or Yam – 1/2 kg
  2. Minapappu, Udad Dal or Husked Black Gram – 1 tbsp
  3. Senaga Pappu, Chana Dal, or Husked Bengal Gram – 1 tbsp
  4. Avalu, Rai, or Mustard Seeds – 1 tsp
  5. Red Chillies – 3 or 4
  6. Lemon Juice – 3 tbsp
  7. Oil – 1 tsp
  8. Turmeric – 1/4 tsp
  9. Curry Leaves – A Few
  10. Salt to Taste

Method

  1. Clean, peel and chop yam into largish pieces.
  2. Put the pieces in a vessel and add enough water to cover the pieces.
  3. Pressure cook the yam for about 4 whistles or till the yam is soft enough to be completely mashed.
  4. Drain the water from the yam. Save some of the water.
  5. Mash the boiled yam to a smooth paste.
  6. Add salt and mix well.
  7. In a kadai/wok, heat the oil.
  8. Add the mustard seeds.
  9. When the mustard seeds splutter, add the udad dal and chanal dal.
  10. Fry till the dals turn golden brown.
  11. Split the red chillies, turmeric, and curry leaves to the oil.
  12. Fry for a minute.
  13. Add the mashed yam to the oil.
  14. Mix well. Add some of the water retained earlier, if required.
  15. Turn off the heat and add the lemon juice.
  16. Mix well.
  17. Serve hot with steamed rice or curd rice.

Tips

  • This koora is like a thick paste and not solid, so add water appropriately.
  • Always serve this koora hot. When cold, it has a starchy taste because of the yam.

If you like yam or this recipe, you may also enjoy:

Alu Shimla Mirch ki Sabzi | Potato Capsicum Curry

Alu Shimla Mirch ki Sabzi | Potato Capsicum Curry
Alu Shimla Mirch ki Sabzi | Potato Capsicum Curry

Alu Shimla Mirch ki Sabzi is one of those comfort foods that can be found in many a North Indian home. It is a very simple to make and can elevate a simple roti to a new level.

We also make a Besan Wali Shimla Mirch ki Sabzi at home.

How to Make Alu Shimla Mirch ki Sabzi | Potato Capsicum Curry

Serves: 4

Time: 30 Minutes

Ingredients

  1. Capsicum or Shimla Mirch – 4 Large
  2. Potato – 2 Large
  3. Turmeric – 1/4 tsp
  4. Chilli Powder – 1 tsp
  5. Kitchen King Masala or Garam Masala – 1 tsp
  6. Mustard Seeds – 1 tsp
  7. Oil – 2 tbsp
  8. Salt to Taste

Method

  1. Deseed the Capsicum and cut into 1/2″ pieces.
  2. Peel and cut the potatoes into 1/2″ cubes.
  3. In a wok or kadhai, heat the oil.
  4. Add the mustard seeds and wait till they splutter.
  5. Add the potato pieces and stir-fry for 5 minutes.
  6. Add the capsicum pieces and stir-fry for 5 minutes.
  7. Cover and cook over low-medium heat till the potato and capsicum are done. Stir occasionally.
  8. When the potato and capsicum are cooked, add turmeric powder and stir-fry for 2 minutes till the raw smell of turmeric is lost.
  9. Add the chilli powder, Kitchen King/Garam Masala, and salt.
  10. Mix well.
  11. Serve Alu Shimla Mirch ki Bhaji | Potato Capsicum Curry warm with phulkas or rotis.

Tips

  • If you use Garam Masala, add 1/4 tsp Amchur powder.
  • You can also use a 1 tsp Coriander Powder + 1/2 tsp Amchur powder instead of Kitchen King/Garam Masala.

Shinghare ki Puri (Deep Fried Flat Bread with Water Chestnut Flour)

Shingare ki Puri
Shingare ki Puri

My sister-in-law, Bhavna, fasts all 9 days of Navaratri. She eats only once a day and that too food that does not involve any grain (dhaan). And she does not like Sabudana, so stuff like Sabudana Khichadi or Sabudana Wada are out.

What she prefers is roti or puri made with Rajgira Atta (Amaranth Flour) or Shinghada Atta (Water Chestnut Flour). This is the recipe for Shinghade ki Puri (or Shingare ki Puri).

Makes: 6 Small Puris

Ingredients

  1. Shinghada Atta – 1 Cup
  2. Potato – 1 Small
  3. Red Chilli Powder – 1/4 tsp
  4. Sendha Namak or Rock Salt – To Taste
  5. Oil for Deep Frying
  6. Water for Kneading the Dough

Method

  1. Boil the potato.
  2. Peel and mash the potato to a smooth paste consistency.
  3. Mix together the potato, red chilli powder, sendha namak, and shinghada atta.
  4. Add 1 tbsp oil and mix well.
  5. Add water as required and knead into a firm dough.
  6. Cover with a damp cloth and let rest for 15 minutes.
  7. Divide the dough into 6 equal portions.
  8. Roll each portion into a small puri about 2.5″ in diameter.
  9. In a wok or kadhai, heat about 1 cup oil.
  10. Fry each puri till it is golden brown.
  11. Serve hot with aloo ki sabzi, paneer ki sabzi, or dahiwale arbi.

Tips

  • Ensure that the dough is firm or the puris will absorb a lot of oil.