When we were quite newly wed, & my husband never used to leave the office until after the last soul had left the work place, n the hidden residents (I am referring to the roaches n mosquitos) started appearing for their work. To show my annoyance I used to announce that I refuse to cook food if we reach home after a deadline of 8 p.m. Rajeev was more than happy to give into the command, than leave the office w/o satisfying himself……..let me come to the point……….o.k at such times we used to visit a small local restaurant called Delicacy & we took an instant liking to this wonderful dish having such a unique blend of flavors & it became our regular order for dinner. Just this one dish (the portions they served were very good) & a variety of breads to go with it. Rarely would we order something different. I was so bent on learning how to cook it, but didnt have the slightest idea how I could get hold of the recipe…..when one evening at a dinner at our boss’s home Mrs. Boss had the dish spread on the table, along with other dishes. I didnt waste a second to catch hold of her, n memorize the recipe then & there.
Here it goes for the benefit of all my friends. I am sure you will all enjoy it.
1 cup – peas
1/2 cup – fenugreek leaves (if you cant get hold of fresh fenugreen leaves, use about 3/4 tbsp
of kasuri methi)
1/2 cup – fresh cream
1/4 cup – fresh curd (pls ensure that it is not too sour)
1/2 cup – milk
1/2 tsp – garlic chopped finely
1/2 tsp – ginger grated
3/4 – big onions
1 – tomato
2/3 – cardamoms
2/3 – cloves
1/2 inch stick of cinnamon
1 tsp – garam masala powder
1 tsp – dhaniya powder
green chillies – according to taste
salt to taste
2 tsp – sugar
Add a little oil to a kadai & add the chopped ginger & garlic. Dont let them burn. Add finely chopped onions. Fry till pink in colour. Pls ensure that the onions dont burn.
Remove this from fire & let it cool a bit before making a smooth paste of this in the processor.
In the earlier kadai, add some more oil, add the khada masala (cardamom, cinnamon & cloves after crushing them a bit using the belan). When they start smelling good, add the onion paste & fry well, again ensure nothing is BURNT.
Make a smooth tomato paste & add to this onion paste. Fry both of them well till the raw smell fades off & oil starts floating on top. As always done, if you add a tsp of salt into the masala while frying it ensures quick cooking & the raw flavor gone.
When you are sure that the paste is well done, add the garam masala, salt, green chillies & corriander powder. Saute all this for about a minute.
Add the fenugreek leaves finely chopped or the kasuri methi at this stage. Let cook for about 2 minutes.
Add the cream, cook for about 2 minutes till the paste is thick, add the milk & stir till it evaporates, n the gravy gets thicker & will increase in volume, lastly add the curd (ensure that there are no lumps & if you beat it with the spoon it will form a creamy texture), let this also mix into the gravy & increase the volume of the gravy.
Now add a little water (just a wee bit, maybe about half a cup), let it come to a boil. Add the sugar.
Add the peas & cover the kadai with a lid & let it cook
After about 5-10 minutes open the lid & check if the peas are cooked.
Once cooked, if the gravy is too watery, let it dry up a bit. It should be a little thick gravy.
Serve hot with parathas or fulkas or even rice.
To add to the richness of the gravy, you can soak about 10-15 cashewnuts for about an hour & then add it into the processor while making a paste of the sauteed onions.
It is a yummy melt in your mouth curry. N I love it more each time I have it.