Peas (almost always frozen) were a staple vegetable when I was growing. I’m still partial to peas as a vegetable and I always have a packet of frozen peas in the freezer, though I don’t dish them up for dinner quite as much as my mum used to. I particularly love peas and rice as a combination and one of my favorite comfort foods is Risi Bisi the slightly soupy pea and rice risotto.
I’ve had a busy couple of weeks, finishing up some work and obsessively watching the recent federal election. We are a household of political junkies so an eight week election campaign along with the nail biting possibility of a hung parliament was almost too delicious and addictive. As a result of all the poll watching I was often scratching around for something to cook come evening. Whenever I am absolutely stumped for what to make for dinner I generally fall back on dal and rice with some kind of vegetable side. This carrot and peas with fresh coriander comes together quickly and goes particularly well with a red lentil or mung dal, two pulses I almost always have in my pantry as a staple. It’s kind of like the Indian version of the carrot and pea medley that my mum used to serve with mashed potato and some kind of meat main.
This recipe comes from Heat in the Kitchen, a wonderful Indian focused vegetarian food blog. Warning: the original recipe makes quite a lot so I generally halve it when I’m making it for a family meal.
Carrots and peas with green coriander
Adapted from Heat in the Kitchen.
- 1 piece of ginger (about 3 cm long)
- 3-4 cloves garlic
- 700 grams (1 1/2 pounds) of young carrots
- 500 grams (1 pound) peas shelled fresh or frozen
- 6-8 fresh curry leaves (optional)
- 1/2 teaspoon tumeric
- 1 teaspoon black mustard seeds
- 5 fenugreek seeds
- 1 cup of coarsely chopped coriander (stems and leaves)
- 1 fresh hot green chilli, sliced
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon garam masala
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Place ginger, garlic in blender with 3 tablespoons of water and blend until smooth. You can also use a heavy mortar and pestle to make a paste.
- Peel carrots and slice into thin (3mm) rounds.
- Heat oil in saute pan or wok and heat. When oil is very hot throw in curry leaves (if using) then mustard seeds and fenugreek. When mustard seeds begin to pop, put in ginger and garlic paste. Be careful the paste will splatter a bit, saute for about 2 minutes, stirring frequently until paste begins to sizzle a little and smell fragrant.
- Add green coriander and chilli and cook for another couple of minutes. Add peas and carrots cook cook for another five minutes, stir frequently so the spice paste coats the vegetables.
- Add ground cumin, ground coriander and garam masala and mix through. Add three tablespoons warm water. Stir, cover and lower heat. Simmer for 30 minutes, stirring gently every 10 minutes.
- Transfer vegetables into a bowl to serve.