There are many different ways to prepare aloo matar, the classic Indian dish with spiced potatoes (aloo) and peas (matter) in a thick sauce. Originating in the Punjab region of India, the dish is made throughout the country and has a few different versions; some recipes use a coconut base, and others simmer the potatoes in a tomato sauce. This version is a simple recipe that's easy to tweak and make your own.
Garam (hot) masala (a mixture of spices), a ubiquitous ingredient in Indian cuisine, is a blend of ground spices that can vary a bit from region to region. Garam masala may contain spices such as cinnamon, cumin, coriander, bay leaf, cloves, peppercorns, cardamom, and mace, and no recipe is more authentic than another. One commonality, though, is that the spices are toasted before being ground. Some recipes combine the mixture with a liquid to form a paste, while others add herbs to the blend. Here, garam masala is used to add delicious, fragrant spice to a simple but delicious dish of potatoes and peas.
This basic, easy recipe uses simple ingredients for a flavorful and tangy Indian food dish that is naturally both vegetarian and vegan. Serve with rice or naan bread for an easy vegetarian meal, or serve as a filling side dish for a meaty main like a shrimp masala or lamb curry.
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 onions (diced)
- 3 cloves garlic (minced)
- 1 teaspoon fresh ginger (minced or grated)
- 4 large potatoes (peeled and chopped)
- 1 1/2 cups peas (fresh or frozen, not thawed)
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1 1/2 teaspoons garam masala
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro (chopped)
- Salt and pepper (to taste)
Gather the ingredients.
In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat the oil. Add the onion, garlic, and ginger and saute for 3 to 5 minutes, or until the onions are soft and translucent.
Add the chopped potatoes, peas, and bay leaf and stir to combine. Add the water and stir. Cover and allow to cook at least 10 minutes, or until potatoes are almost softened when pierced with a fork or knife.
Add the garam masala and paprika and stir. Cover and cook another 8 to 10 minutes until the potatoes are tender and the mixture is fragrant.
Remove from the heat. Stir in the fresh cilantro and add salt and pepper to taste.
Serve and enjoy!
- You can add more or less spice to this dish to taste. To give it a kick, add a little diced or split whole hot chile like serrano to the mixture.
- For a version with a savory tomato-based sauce, add a diced tomato or two along with the potatoes and peas.