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. 🙂
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.
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.
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
Shinghada Atta – 1 Cup
Potato – 1 Small
Red Chilli Powder – 1/4 tsp
Sendha Namak or Rock Salt – To Taste
Oil for Deep Frying
Water for Kneading the Dough
Boil the potato.
Peel and mash the potato to a smooth paste consistency.
Mix together the potato, red chilli powder, sendha namak, and shinghada atta.
Add 1 tbsp oil and mix well.
Add water as required and knead into a firm dough.
Cover with a damp cloth and let rest for 15 minutes.
Divide the dough into 6 equal portions.
Roll each portion into a small puri about 2.5″ in diameter.
In a wok or kadhai, heat about 1 cup oil.
Fry each puri till it is golden brown.
Serve hot with aloo ki sabzi, paneer ki sabzi, or dahiwale arbi.
Ensure that the dough is firm or the puris will absorb a lot of oil.