Butter Matar

For me, peas are always on the grocery list, right after tomatoes, onion and potatoes. At any given time, I have at least 2 packets in the freezer. However, while trying to come up with a menu, it is the last thing that comes to mind. It is constantly neglected and, as is true for all things that are as taken for granted as the peas are, their presence is sorely missed in its absence. Making the heart grow fonder and all that. When I say neglected, I don’t mean that it is just left freezing in the icebox, not at all. It makes it’s appearance in all sorts of dishes. A dash here, a dash there, a whole lot elsewhere. However, it is more of “I think some peas would be good in that” than “I want to eat peas tonight” thing. And it is quite unfair.

Unfair because fresh tender peas, with its sweetness, is an amazing star in its own right. It doesn’t take much to coax it to come into its own. A dollop of butter helps, but then what wouldn’t taste good with some butter in/on it?

Which is why I say, second to potatoes, the most under-valued vegetable has to be peas (Matar/Watana/Watano). Think about it. When was the last time your inventory didn’t have the requisite packet of frozen peas in them or when was the last time you used that packet? Can’t really have been that long, if you cook Indian on a regular basis. And yet, quite like the potato, it is never given it’s due. Of course, the potato stopped getting any sympathy from me the day it decided to forge an alliance with a certain someone whose name rhymes with Aloo. Don’t get me wrong. In these times of brand development and media-franchising, I understand potato’s need for some PR-giri. “Jab tak rahega samose mein aloo, tab tak rahega Bihar mein Laloo” is the wrong way to get it, though. The right way would be to hire Amitabh Bachchan as your Brand ambassador. If I were the Peas’ PR, I would have Amitabh Bachchan saying,
“Matar mein hai dum, kyunki calories in mein hai kam!”.

Pssst, hot news today, Maya Pips Mulayam.

Meanwhile, back to the erstwhile peas, enjoy with soft rotis or Dal-Chaawal while I sit back and congratulate myself for not falling to the obvious Butter-Mutter-Matar wordplay trap.
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Matar Butter

Grind, using a blender or a mortar/pestle adding water as needed

Garlic, 2 cloves
Ginger, 1″ piece
Green Chillies, 4-5
Cilantro/Coriander leaves, from 4-5 sprigs

In a skillet/kadhai, heat

Butter, 1 tbsp

Add,

Jeera/Cumin Seeds, 4-5

When they change color, add

Garlic-Ginger-Green-chillies-cilantro paste from above
Peas, 1 cup defrosted, if using frozen or cooked till soft, if using fresh
Salt to taste, keeping in mind salt from the butter

Mix and cook on a low flame till it all comes together, and peas turn fragrant with the paste about 3-4 minutes. Finish with

1 tbsp butter

Yum!

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