There are many different ways to prepare aloo matar, the Indian recipe for spiced potatoes (aloo) and peas (matter) in a thick tomato 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 basic recipe uses a few simple spices for a flavorful and tangy Indian food dish that is naturally both vegetarian and vegan. Serve with rice and naan bread, if desired.
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 onions (diced)
- 3 cloves garlic (minced)
- 1 teaspoon fresh ginger (minced or grated)
- 1 bay leaf
- 4 large potatoes (peeled and chopped)
- 1 1/2 cups peas (fresh or frozen)
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1 1/2 teaspoons garam masala
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
- Salt and pepper to taste
In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat the oil and saute the onion, garlic, and ginger for 3 to 5 minutes, or until onions are soft.
Add the bay leaf, potatoes, and peas and stir to combine. Add the water. Cover and allow to cook at least 10 minutes, or until potatoes are almost softened.
Add the garam masala and paprika. Cover and cook another 8 to 10 minutes.
Remove from heat. Stir in the cilantro and add salt and pepper to taste.
More Vegetarian and Vegan Indian Recipes
If you are a vegan or a vegetarian and like Indian cuisine, then you are in luck. Many dishes originating from this country are naturally vegetarian and vegan (or can easily be made vegan). If you enjoyed this recipe and would like it with cauliflower instead of peas, give aloo gobi a try. Palak paneer is a spinach and cheese dish, but since paneer cheese's texture and taste is similar to tofu, substituting with the cubes of soy curd is a swap many wouldn't even notice. Another vegan Indian spinach-based dish is chana masala, spicy chickpeas with spinach. And if you are a fan of curries, there are plenty of vegetarian and vegan recipes to choose from, such as a simple cauliflower curry and coconut curried vegetables with coconut milk.
What is Garam Masala?
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.