I am not a huge fan of restaurant kind of Punjabi food. I usually try to avoid going to these so called 'Indian' restaurants as the gravies of all the dishes tastes the same. There is hardly any indication if the dish is vegan or not. The whole staff is so careless at times that if you ask them, they might just say malai kofta is vegan ;). On the other hand, homemade daal makhani, alu matar, chole, rajma tastes so yummy that I can just live on that. I hear so many people talk about 'restaurant taste' and I feel sorry for them because they associate good food with restaurant. I remember an incident from my childhood. We had gone to one of our acquaintance's home and lady of the house had made nice upama. My mom complimented and their college going kid immediately said 'but it doesn't taste good like hotelwala's'. My mom got very angry and said 'why don't you start living in hostel so that you can eat hotel food everyday?'I am not sure if that kid learned any lesson but I surely did.
'Methi Mutter Malai' is one thing I can eat any time of the day. I veganized it about 5 years ago and with few changes, still make it to this day. Extremely simple recipe you can make even on a busy weeknight.
Methi Mutter Malai
1 big bunch Methi (Fenugreek)
1 cup Green Peas
1 large Onion
1 large Tomato
1 tsp Garam Masala
Salt and Red Chili Powder - per taste
1/2 tsp sugar
2 tbsp Oil
1 tsp Cumin seeds
Turmeric and asafoetida - pinch each
Soak almonds and cashews for an hour minimum.
Pluck methi leaves, wash and then chop. set it aside.
If you are using frozen peas, please thaw them before use.
Grind onion to make smooth paste. Also puree tomato separately and set aside. Please do not use water while making these pastes.
Heat oil in a think bottom pan and add cumin seeds, asafoetida and turmeric. When cumin seeds start sizzling, add onion paste. Saute onion paste on a low flame until its fully cooked and onion smell is gone and oil starts to separate. It takes about 7-8 minutes minimum.
Now add tomato puree and cook for 3-4 minutes, add salt, red chili powder, garam masala and saute for couple of minutes.
Then add peas, cover and cook for couple of minutes.
Add chopped methi, mix it well. Cover the pan and let the methi and peas cook completely.
Meanwhile finely grind soaked nuts. Add the paste to cooked sabji and continue cooking for just a minute or too.
Serve warm with rotis/chapatis.
- Its important to cook onion paste thoroughly. Partially cooked onion paste smells terrible. It takes about 5-7 minutes to cook medium size onion.
- I have tried this with Maharashtrian Goda masala once when I ran out of garam masala, that tastes great as well.
- I once tried ginger garlic paste but its bit stronger for the delicate flavors of peas, nuts and methi.