I love methi malai matar! This is my go-to vegetarian dish to order when dining out Indian restaurants. There's something about this creamy, spicy, saucy dish with sweet green peas and methi. I thought it would be perfect to mix it up and so we have methi malai matar pasta!
What is Methi?
Methi is a healthy green. It has small clover shaped leaves. It is commonly used in Indian cuisine. And it is used as both a herb and a flavoring agent. Methi seeds or dried methi leaves are used as flavoring agents. While fresh methi leaves are used like an herb, similar to spinach it can be incorporated into dals and curries easily.
How to Reduce the Bitterness of Methi
When cooking with fresh methi leaves, it is important to understand that methi is known to have a bitter taste. For some, this is not a problem. For others, I know that it can be overwhelming. If you feel that methi is too bitter. I highly recommend this step to reduce the bitterness from fresh methi!
- Soak fresh methi leaves in warm water and salt for at least 1 hour before cooking.
- When you are ready to cook methi, squeeze the water from the leaves. This will help to draw out that bitterness before you add methi to your dish.
How do you make Methi Malai Matar?
So I know the most well known Indian dishes are tomato based. Methi malai matar is unique in that this recipe is made without tomatoes at all on this dish. Its actually made with:
- Methi - fresh fenugreek leaves. I do not recommend substituting with dried methi, methi seeds or dried kasuri methi. All of these are completely different. You can use frozen methi leaves if you are not able to find fresh.
- Green Peas - I like to use frozen peas, they are so easy to work with it!
- Cashews - this is the main flavor and texture of the curry. Cashews will give it a nice smooth texture and sweet, nutty flavor. I recommend soaking the cashews for a bit before cooking so they will blend nicely
- Green Chili Pepper
- White Poppy Seeds- also known as khus khus
- Heavy Cream
- Spices - Cumin, Cinnamon, Cloves, Peppercorns, Cardamom
I also like to add a little bit of sugar after tasting because that salt and sugar will really help to balance out all of the flavors in this dish!
The process of making methi malai matar is pretty simple 2 step process.
- Start by making the sauce, so saute the spices and aromatics: cumin, cinnamon, cloves, peppercorns, cardamom, onions, garlic, ginger, green chilli pepper. Add in the soaked cashews and white poppy seeds (khus khus). Now blend all of these until smooth. I remove cinnamon stick before blending.
- Return the sauce to the saute pan and add in the remaining ingredients: methi leaves, green peas, cream. Taste for seasoning. I usually keep it simple and add in salt, sugar and sprinkle of garam masala.
Can I make methi malai matar without cream?
Yes of course! Simply increase the quantity of cashews by ½ cup and water by 1 cup. This will give you additional creaminess!
Or you can also sub with coconut milk!
Methi Malai Matar Pasta!
Basically, this dish is just making a really creamy and delicious methi malai matar curry and then tossing in pasta instead of serving it with the typical rice or naan. It almost seems like a cheat, but this curry works so well in pasta! Its spicy, creamy and just full of veggies and flavor!
Methi Malai Pasta
- 1 tablespoon Oil
- ½ teaspoon Cardamom Elaichi
- 1 teaspoon Cumin seeds Jeera
- 3 Cloves
- ½ teaspoon Black Peppercorns
- 1 Cinnamon stick
- 1 Green Chili Pepper
- ½ inch Ginger grated or chopped
- 3 cloves Garlic grated or chopped
- 1 Onion chopped
- ½ cup Cashews soaked in water for at least 30 minutes
- 2 teaspoons White Poppy Seeds Khus khus
- 2 cups Methi Fenugreek leaves roughly chopped
- 1 cup Green peas frozen
- ½-1 cups Water
- ½ cup Heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon Salt
- 2 teaspoons Sugar optional
- 1 teaspoon Garam Masala optional
- ½-1 pound Pasta cooked according to package directions
- Prepare pasta according to package directions and set aside.
- In a large saute pan, heat oil. Add cardamon, cumin, peppercorn, cloves, and cinnamon and saute for 30 seconds. Add green chili pepper, ginger and garlic. and cook for another 30 seconds. Add onions and saute for 2-3 minutes. Add cashews and poppy seeds and saute for another minute. Turn off the heat and let it cool down a bit. Remove the cinnamon stick and transfer the mixture to a blender. Add about ½ cup of water to the blender and blend to a paste.
- Return paste to the the saute pan. Add in chopped methi leaves and green peas. Add in heavy cream and additional water to get a nice smooth consistency. Stir in salt, taste for sugar and garam masala. Add if needed.
- Cover and simmer the sauce for about 3 minutes. When ready to serve, add in cooked pasta, stir to coat the pasta with the sauce and serve immediately.