Dhingri matar is a delicious Northern Indian curry, a combination of mushrooms and fresh green peas, simmered in a luscious, thick gravy.
Dhingri matar is something that is often made at a our home, as a side dish during those week nights when I really need something comforting. And this dish fits the bill perfectly. It requires minimal preparation time, it is comforting and unbelievably delicious.
Each time I make this curry, I tend to experiment with the spices and ingredients that go into making this side dish. This version of dhingri matar features an amalgamation of spices, a generous dose of full fat milk and a luxurious paste of cashew and poppy seeds. Needless to say we love this subtly spiced creamy curry.
ABOUT DHINGRI MATAR
“Dhingri Matar” is a classic dish from North India that beautifully blends the earthy flavors of “Dhingri”, which means mushrooms in Hindi, with the subtle sweetness of “Matar”, the Hindi term for green peas. This combination results in a rich and aromatic dish, loved for its creamy consistency. Mushrooms absorb the flavors of the spices and the gravy well, while the green peas add a contrasting texture and a touch of sweetness. The gravy is usually a blend of onions, tomatoes, ginger, garlic, and an assortment of spices. Some variations, like this recipe, boost its richness with the addition of a cashew-poppy seed paste, although others might use cream or yogurt. Dhingri Matar is usually paired with rotis, parathas, or jeera rice (cumin spiced rice).
Do not be intimidated by the long list of ingredients. Most of them are can be found in well stocked grocery stores. But this is a highly adaptable recipe, so you can change and replace the ingredients as per your tastes and availability.
I have used whole milk in this recipe. But you can go ahead and replace it with a few tablespoons of yogurt and cream. I highly recommend the use of Kasuri methi or dry fenugreek leaves. It lends a subtle bitter flavor and a wonderful aroma to the curry.
ABOUT KASURI METHI
Kasuri Methi (dried fenugreek leaves) has a unique flavor that’s slightly bitter but aromatic, which adds a distinct taste to Indian dishes. However, if you can’t find it, there are a few substitutes that can be used, although they won’t replicate the exact flavor:
Fresh Fenugreek Leaves: If you have access to fresh fenugreek (methi) leaves, they can be used as a substitute. However, fresh leaves have a milder flavor compared to the dried ones, so you might need to use more. For the given recipe, you can use a small handful of chopped fresh fenugreek leaves.
Celery Leaves: They won’t replicate the flavor of fenugreek, but they do add a nice aromatic touch to the dish. You can use a few chopped celery leaves as a replacement.
Watercress: While it doesn’t taste exactly like fenugreek, watercress can be used to provide a slightly peppery touch to the dish.
Spinach: This is more for the texture and the green color in the dish rather than the flavor. Spinach won’t provide the same taste as fenugreek, but if you’re looking for something to add some green to the dish, a small amount of chopped spinach can be used.
Mustard Greens: They can give a slightly bitter taste to the dish, reminiscent of fenugreek.
Fenugreek Seeds: In a pinch, you can use fenugreek seeds, but use them sparingly because they are more potent. You can grind them into a powder and use a pinch or two. However, the seeds will provide a different texture and a more intense flavor, so adjust according to taste.
Remember, while these substitutes can help in the absence of Kasuri Methi, the unique flavor of dried fenugreek leaves is hard to replicate entirely.
Step by Step Guide to Making Dhingri Matar – Creamy Indian Mushroom and Pea Curry
- Preparing the Cashew-Poppy Seed Paste:
- In a blender jar, combine chopped cashew nuts and dry roasted poppy seeds.
- Initially blend without using any water.
- Add a little water and blend again until you achieve a smooth paste. Set this paste aside.
Preparing the Main Dish:
- Heat oil in a thick-bottomed wok or pan.
- Add the cumin seeds. Once they start to sizzle and turn brown, add the finely chopped onion.
- Sauté the onions until they turn translucent.
- Stir in the ginger-garlic paste and the slit green chili. Continue to sauté until the raw smell of the paste fades.
- Add the peas to the wok and sauté for 2-3 minutes.
- Incorporate the sliced mushrooms and fry for an additional couple of minutes.
- Sprinkle in the salt, sugar, turmeric, red chili powder, and add the finely chopped tomato. Mix well.
- Cover and cook for about five minutes or until the vegetables are tender and cooked through.
- Stir in the prepared cashew-poppy seed paste, kasuri methi, and garam masala. Mix until everything is well combined.
- Pour in the milk and allow the mixture to simmer on low heat for 2-3 minutes, or until the mixture has thickened slightly.
- Transfer the Dhingri Matar to a serving dish.
- Garnish with freshly chopped coriander leaves.
- Serve hot with rotis, parathas, or Jeera rice.
Nandita was born, bred and spread in India, but right now lives in Tanzania where her quest for simple and exotic pleasures of food led to the creation of the blog Paaka-Shaale. She believes that food is not just a means to feed a body. But it is also meant to appeal the mind and satiate the soul.