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Methi matar malai in white bowl with black polka dots and a silver spoon.
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5 from 8 votes

Methi Matar Malai

Methi Matar Malai is a creamy Indian curry of green peas and fresh fenugreek leaves in a smooth, lush, perfectly spiced sauce. Recipe is vegan, gluten-free and soy-free and can be easily adapted to a nut-free diet. Eat it with roti, vegan whole wheat naan or jeera rice for an opulent but healthy dinner.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Curry
Cuisine: Indian
Diet: Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Keyword: Methi matar malai
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 162kcal

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil (divided)
  • 4 green cardamom pods (elaichi)
  • 5 cloves (laung)
  • 1-inch stick cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon coriander seeds (dhania dana)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds (jeera)
  • 1 bay leaf (tejpatta)
  • 1 small onion (chopped)
  • 2 green chili peppers (chopped. Use less or deseed if sensitive to heat)
  • 1 heaping tbsp ginger garlic paste
  • 1 medium tomato (diced. Or use ¾ cup canned, diced tomatoes with juice)
  • ½ cup raw cashews
  • 3 cups fenugreek leaves (methi. Approximately 1 bunch. Finely chopped.)
  • 2 cups frozen green peas
  • Salt to taste

Instructions

  • Heat a tablespoon of the oil in a saute pan or saucepan. Add the cardamom, cloves, cinnamon, bay leaf, coriander and cumin. Saute for 30 seconds to a minute until the coriander has turned a couple of shades darker and the spices are aromatic.
  • Add the chopped onion and saute until translucent. Don't let the onion brown. Add the chopped chili peppers and ginger garlic paste and saute for another minute.
  • Add the tomato and saute until tomatoes are pulpy. Add a cup of water to the pan to deglaze it and turn off the heat immediately.
  • Remove the onion tomato sauce to a blender, making sure you get any bits stuck to the bottom of the pan. Let it cool while you proceed with next steps, then add cashews and blend into a very smooth paste.
  • Wipe or rinse out the saucepan and heat the remaining tablespoon of oil.
  • Add the chopped methi leaves and saute for a couple of minutes. Add half a teaspoon of salt and mix. Cover the pan and let the fenugreek cook until it softens, about 10 minutes, over a medium-low flame. Stir frequently to ensure it doesn't stick. If it begins to stick, add a bit of water.
  • Once the methi is tender add the cashew-onion-tomato paste and the frozen green peas to the pan. Add half a cup to a cup more of water depending on how thick you want the sauce. Mix well and add more salt if needed. Turn off as soon as the sauce begins to boil.
  • Serve hot.

Notes

  • Methi matar malai is delicious with most Indian flatbreads. Try it with naan, roti or paratha.
  • You can also serve it with jeera rice or with plain cooked rice.
  • To make this recipe nut-free use ½ cup raw pumpkin seeds or watermelon seeds instead of the raw cashews.
  • You can replace the 3 cups of fresh fenugreek leaves with ½ cup dried fenugreek leaves. You can skip the sauteing time required for the fresh methi leaves and continue with the next step. If you have access to dandelion leaves, you can substitute finely chopped dandelion leaves for the methi for a very similar flavor and very similar health benefits. Dandelion leaves are easily available at most supermarkets but the best place to find them is likely in your own, unsprayed backyard.
Storage instructions
  • Refrigerate: You can store the methi matar malai in the fridge for up to three days after cooking.
  • Freeze: Freeze in an airtight container for up to three months.
  • Reheat: Thaw if frozen and reheat on the stove. Add a little more water if necessary.

Nutrition

Calories: 162kcal | Carbohydrates: 16g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Potassium: 218mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 411IU | Vitamin C: 18mg | Calcium: 32mg | Iron: 3mg