April 23, 2012

Matar Papdi/ Curried Sugar-snap Peas

Many many years ago, Mom had a really tough time getting my sister to eat green vegetables. Anything green on her plate would be deemed to be 'kaarela' (bitter melon), and remain untouched! The only green vegetable that didnt qualify as 'kaarela' was green peas. Needless to say, Mom incorporated peas in most dishes, hoping that some of it would end up in her stomach. Matar Papdi is a traditional Gujarati dish usually made during winter with very tender whole peas in a pod. This dish was one of her (and my) favourites, and still is. I find sugar snap peas to be the closest to those 'tender green peas in a pod' back home. Here it goes.
Serves: 2-4 persons
Preparation time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 20-25 minutes

1 pound Sugar snap peas.
Ajwain/ carom seeds
1 tbsp oil (any)
1/4 tsp hing/ asafoetida
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ajwain/ carom seeds
1 tsp haldi/ turmeric powder
1-2 green chillies (whole)
1/2 tsp red chilli powder
2 tsp dhania-jeera/ coriander-cumin powder
Salt to taste
Coriander/ cilantro leaves for garnish

  • Thoroughly rinse and pat dry sugas snap peas. 
  • Set a large non-stick fry pan to medium heat and add oil. Once the oil is hot, add ajwain/ carom seeds. Once the seeds turn golden brown & fragrant, add the hing, baking soda and green chillies.
  • Spiced up
  • Add sugar snap peas and toss gently. Add salt and turmeric to the sugar snap peas. Add 1/2 cup water. Reduce heat to medium low and cook, stirring occasionally.

Almost tender sugar snap peas
  • Gradually, the peas will become tender. Next, dhania-jeera powder and red chilli powder. Continue to cook till peas cooked thoroughly. Note: Over-cooking the pods will make them come apart.
    Matar Papdi
  • Garnish with coriander leaves (optional). Serve hot with rice & Gujarati kadhi or toor daal.
Served with rice and toor daal

P.S: Some mature snap pea pods may need to be "stringed" i.e. membranous string on the sides removed.

Bon Apetit!
Hetal from Houston

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