Alu Matar-Potato & Peas Curry Without Onions (Onion Free)
Aloo Matar Rasedar, Bina Pyaz Ke
This is a popular vegetarian dish in North India, made without onions more often than not. Until not that long ago, most people in India, at least northern India, cooked everyday vegetable curries and bhajies without onion and garlic. Only ginger was added. India still has a significant number of people that do not eat onions and garlic, because they are considered Tamsik foods. Proportion of potatoes and peas are approximate guide only. You can make it without adding peas. Serves 4-6.
According to Ayurveda, Satvik foods are the fresh, healthy, non-stimulating foods, good for health. Rajasik foods are tasty, spicy, starchy, stimulating food, poor in nutrients, deficient in fibre. Tamasik are stale or preserved, not fresh foods, irritating foods, may result in unhealthy mind and body.
500 gm. potatoes (2 cups)
200 gm. or 1 cup frozen or shelled peas*
For the gravy:
3 tbsp. oil or ghee
1 1/2 tsp. cumin seeds
A large pinch of asafoetida powder (optional)
1/2 inch piece of ginger, peeled and grated (optional, but gives nicer flavour)
2 medium tomatoes, chopped or 150 gm. Tinned tomatoes,
1/2 tsp. turmeric powder
1 tsp. coriander powder
1/4 tsp. chilli powder or to taste
Salt to taste
1/2 tsp. Garam masala
*If using fresh peas, pre-boil them until just tender, but not overcooked
A handful of chopped coriander leaves.
Heat oil in a pan and add the cumin seeds, asafoetida powder.
When cumin seeds begin to splutter, add ginger and stir fry for 10 seconds.
Add tomatoes, turmeric, coriander powder, chilli powder, salt and stir-fry until fat separates or the mass begins to come off the pan.
Add potatoes and stir fry for a minute or two, until vegetables look well coated with the spice mix.
Add 2 cups of water, bring to a boil.
Add peas and simmer, for a few minutes, until peas are cooked.
Adjust seasoning and gravy thickness (add more water, if too thick).
Add garam masala and coriander leaves.