Peas & More – A Few Fresh Pea Recipes with Spinach, Cottage Cheese and Spices
Posted Oct 04 2011 4:32am
A recent visit by a friend from a near by hill station, made me rich with piles of farm fresh mountain , yes these tender, young and juicy organic veggies are no less than a treasure. I could not control myself but to munch upon the crunchy carrots, cucumber and the lovely green pods filled with sweet little peas. One of my favorite snacks of all time I could spend hours together with a bucketful of fresh peas..press..open..pluck..plop..and repeat But alas, these veggies are a far cry in big cities, all I get here is lifeless, limp and tasteless vegetables.
Back at my hometown we get plenty of fresh peas during winter season to munch upon, mom used to plead me and my brother to leave some for making a curry. Peas paratha ( Flat breads ), peas in couscous, curry, soups and even in desserts, you name a recipe and it will have peas floating in it during the season in mom’s kitchen. I miss all that here.
Of late she has been preserving loads of fresh peas and green chickpeas (hara chana) for me to devour during my yearly vacation to my hometown. Unable to hide my excitement of getting these fresh peas I asked her what should I make, and out came these few recipes. The first one is a traditional recipe , quite unusual and a little bit cumbersome but the other two are easy to make and a healthy delights.
1. Peas & Wheat Delight
This is a traditional recipe from Rajasthan and is a very common preparation during festive season. The recipe is called ‘Kheej Ki Khichdi’ and requires a lot of patience and time to de husk the wholewheat to get those pearly white wheat called ‘Keej’. In most of the places of Rajasthan these de husked wheat is readily available in market.The recipe is generally made without onion and garlic, but I like this version more.
1 cup dehusked wheat kernel
1 cup fresh shelled sweet peas
1 small onion
2t sp. ginger-garlic paste
1 green chilly
1/2 tsp. cumin seeds
1/4 tsp. turmeric powder
1 tsp. lemon juice
Salt as desired
2 tbsp. vegetable oil
1 tbsp. shredded coriander leaves
A pinch of asafoetida powder
Method; Wash 1 cup of wholewheat with water. Peel and slice the onion. Make ginger garlic paste from 2 garlic pearls and a small ginger piece. Dice green chilly.
To make Kheej; Soak the wheat kernel in fresh water overnight. Drain the water and rub the soaked wheat on a thick rough cloth or a sack till the outer cover is removed and you are left with pearly white wheat (Hmm..not a good thing to do on Lite Bite). Boil the kernel in little water till it becomes soft.
I purchased ready-to-use de husked wheat from hometown during my recent visit and used the same here.
Heat oil in a wok and crackle cumin seeds, add diced onion, green chilly and ginger-garlic paste in it and fry it for 2 minutes at medium heat. Add the spices & salt in it and fry for another one minute.
Add the peas and the boiled wheat kernels in the wok and let it cook for about 2 minutes. Take off the flames and add coriander leaves and the lemon juice to the dish and serve hot with yogurt raita or any pickle.
Method; Clean and grind spinach leaves with water into a coarse paste. Crumble the cottage cheese. Peel and dice onion. Grind onion & tomato into paste.
Heat oil in a kadai/wok and crackle mustard seeds. Add onion, tomato, ginger-garlic paste and all the spices in it, fry it for about 5 minutes.
Pour the spinach paste in the above spice mix and let it cook for another 5 minutes. Add the crumbled cottage cheese and mix it well. Take off the flame and serve hot with Indian flat breads or plain rice.
This was the first time I tasted this dish of mom and I like her healthy take on spinach and cottage cheese in it. A versatile recipe it is, my son liked this Spinach & Cottage Cheese with Peas with yeast buns or Paav as we call here in India.
3. Pea & Potato Delight
The last but not the least is this easy peasy Peas & Potato recipe which is one of my favorites and is made almost every other day during winter season. Best relished when served hot with Cornmeal flat bread or Makki Ki Roti topped with dollop of home made butter…Hmm..heavenly delight!
Method; Peel and dice onion finely and cut potato into bite size chunks. It takes just 5 minutes to cook this recipe in a pressure cooker and about 15 minutes in a wok.
Heat water in a vessel and keep it aside.
Heat oil and crackle the mustard seeds in it. Add diced onion and fry for 1 minute till it becomes light pink n color. Add diced potato, all the spices and cook for about 5 minutes on high stirring it continuously.
Add the peas and hot water in the wok and let it boil for about 2 minutes. Take off the flame and garnish with coriander leaves. Serve hot with Indian flat breads or plain rice.
Posted all the three recipes I made with my fresh peas in the same post, hope these variations will be helpful to you.
A very useful tip I got from mom is to add hot water while making any curry, as it will hasten the cooking process and also keep the flavors of spices intact.