Green Peas in Bengali & Indian Cooking Explained

Peas or green peas, though popularly known as a vegetable, actually belong to the ‘Legume’ family. They are small and spherical. In India, green peas are a winter delight.

They are used to prepare a variety of dishes from savoury curries to deserts and many others in between. They have a wider use in making different and delicious curries.

Fresh and in-season peas taste slightly sweet. They are not only delicious but also healthy and nutritious. There are hundreds of Indian dishes that use peas.

In this blog, I will try to share the most popular peas’ recipes in Indian cuisines.

Cooking Green Peas

Uses of Green Peas in Bengali & Indian Cuisines

There is hardly any Bong who does not love to relish Koraishutir kochuri with aloo dum in winter. It is a wonderful combo that makes any chilly evening more exciting for the Bengali foodies.

Boiled peas are sautéed in the pan and mixed with salt, sugar and some common spices including garam masala, and sometimes asafoetida (it lends a decent aroma to the dish).

Aloor dum is usually made with natun choto aloo (baby potatoes). It is a spicy dish finished with garam masala and freshly chopped coriander leaves. It is also a great weekend special on the breakfast table in many Bong families.

Sabji paratha is one of my family’s secret recipes that I love to prepare in winter. It is prepared with wheat flour, refined flour, carrots, onions, cabbage, cauliflower, onion, ginger and a few spices.

Salt and sugar are also added for the balance in taste. It is a good recipe for filling breakfast and lunch as well.

Kids often don’t like to eat vegetables. Pack this paratha in your kids’ tiffin box; it’s a great way to feed them vegetables and they will love the taste.

You can also pack it for your hubby’s lunch or yourself as well. The dish, usually served with coriander chutney and/or tomato sauce. However, you can also serve it with any vegetable or meat curry.

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Cauliflower is another wonderful vegetable available in winter. Cauliflower curry is prepared in different ways. The bong style uses peas and potato cubes.

It is famously called as aloo phulkopi matar shutir tarkari. The dish goes well with both rice and roti.

It is also savoured with luchi for weekend-special breakfast. The dish is also a favourite in Punjab. However, they usually don’t use potatoes.

Aloo matar shutir tarkari is another delicious curry cooked in different states of India. Roti or luchi goes best with it.

The restaurant style aloo matar curry is a favourite with many frequent restaurant-goers as well as those who dine out once in a blue moon.

Aloo kumro tarkari is a simple, spicy, sumptuous curry. It is cooked dry or semi-dry with potato and pumpkin. In winter, another ‘P’ is added in the form of peas.

Some common spices such as turmeric powder, coriander powder and cumin powder make the dish divine to taste. You can relish it with roti, luchi or paratha. However, Bongs also serve it with steamed rice and dal.

South Indians add coconut, cashew, red chillies and poppy seeds to aloo kumro tarkari. These added ingredients bring a different taste and flavour to our most beloved and familiar recipe.

Matar paneer – who in India has not heard about it? Paneer cubes and green peas make a decent and delicious pair seasoned with a host of Indian spices and finished with cream for a royal relish.

Usually served with kachori, it is one of those dishes that the guests at any auspicious occasion await at the dining table.

Pea rice is a plain rice dish with green peas. Boiled peas are added to basmati rice and it is served hot with other veg or non-veg preparations.

Fried rice is a popular dish in Bengal. It is usually served at an auspicious occasion such as, marriage or rice ceremony.

Half-boiled  basmati rice is cooked with carrot slices, cauliflower florets, cabbage leaves, peas, raisins and cashew nuts in pure desi ghee. There are non-veg versions of the dish, which use eggs and chicken slices as well.

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Peas are also added to cabbage curry in winter when it is easily available and tastiest. Boiled peas are added to the curry.

It is a dried curry usually finished with garam masala and a few dollops of ghee. The dish goes best with roti or plain rice.

Have you ever realised navratan korma or navratna chicken? If not, you have certainly missed something.

This dish is prepared with meat and a variety of vegetables including peas. It tastes wonderful.

The ‘swap of swad’ between the meat and the vegetables gives it an amazing taste that lingers for a long time after you finish.

Is there anything that the Indians don’t use to make halwa? From rice to bread, papaya to peas, onion to pumpkin, everything seems to be a good candidate for cooking halwa.

Koraishutir halwa is a lip-smacking recipe that explores the goodness of peas. For the best taste, it is prepared in dollops of ghee on slow flame.

The halwa is flavoured with cardamom powder and finished with plenty of dry fruits such as, raisins, cashew nuts and pistachios.

Methi matar malai is a North Indian delicacy. Green pea is the maharani of the dish that also involves fenugreek leaves and cream. The rich, sumptuous recipe is a surefire winner with the foodies across all age groups.

Health-conscious folks are going vegan and falling for the gluten-free delicacies. Pea mushroom curry is one such dish loaded with nutritional benefits of both peas and mushroom. It also tastes sumptuous.

Peas are used in plenty to prepare hara bhara kebab. The healthy, savoury, full-of-flavours, pan-fried patties are cooked with spinach, potatoes and green peas. It is an easy-to-make dish and liked by both vegetarians and non-vegans alike.

Veg chilli milli! Isn’t the name unique and interesting? The North Indian recipe is equally sumptuous.

It is a spicy curry that makes a harmonious mix of vegetables such as carrot, peas, cabbage and green bell peppers.

However, you can add other vegetables of your choice. Cream is usually used to add richness. However, you can use cashew nuts to whip up a creamy texture.

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Matar ki nimana is a winter-special straight from the Uttar Pradesh kitchens. It is cooked with green peas, tomatoes, onion and spices. I also use small potato cubes to the dish.

What Are the Best Recipes of Green Peas?

As a Bong, I love koraishutir kochuri with aloo dum (made with baby potatoes). Nothing can match this traditional winter combination.

Aloo-kumro-koraishutir tarkari is another Bong special I cook frequently in winter. It tastes awesome with any Indian flatbread. However, I also eat it with steamed rice.

I have a soft corner for spicy dishes. So, it’s no wonder that I enjoy matar paneer. When I cook it at home, I usually don’t use cream.

But that does not make it any less good. I usually pair matar paneer with fried rice. Double delights on my dining table!

I have yet to taste matar shutir halwa. Hara bhara kebab is a delicious snack that I make very often for my kids and hubby.

This quick-to-cook dish is a great snack for my unexpected guests. And yes, I also love the taste of flavoursome navratan korma.

I am yet to try, taste and make many pea recipes. What about you?

Questions & Answers:

Is Green Peas Tasty?

Fresh, young green peas are slightly sweet to taste. It simply tastes wonderful and like a mushy vegetable. It is perfect to taste and wonderful and easy to cook. It tastes even better when it is sprouted.

How Do You Know When Peas is Cooked?

Green peas become soft when they are properly cooked. In fact, there is a slight colour change also.

What Goes Well with Peas?

Both roti and rice go well with peas. Some pea dishes are best relished with luchi and paratha.

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