Aloo matar (or aaloo mutter, or aloo mutter, depending who you ask) is one of my all-time favorite Punjabi dishes. For starters, the name. Potatoes and peas sounds like potatoes and peas, but aloo matar sounds delicious and exotic and spicy and exciting, and it is. While being potatoes and peas! It’s also cheap and easy to make, incredibly filling AND super nutritious! It’s naturally vegan and each serving provides more than half your daily fiber requirements, let alone a boatload of iron, vitamin A, potassium and vitamin C. I always feel great on many levels after I eat this, and no wonder.
I usually make aloo matar for dinner, and by that I mean it is dinner. However, if I’m feeling festive and making a bit of an occasion of it, I love using it as a side dish because it’s delicious and low maintenance to make. Speaking of low maintenance, I have a dirty white girl secret I feel the need to share: tortillas make a (to me) serviceable substitute for chapatis. In fact, they go quite nicely with this recipe. They’re not as good as chapatis and I wouldn’t throw down tortillas to serve with an Indian meal in front of people, but if it’s just me and I’d rather get my munch on than take the time to make chapatis…just sayin’.
Aloo Matar (Potatoes and Peas)
1 1/2 Tbs olive oil
1 1/2 tsp garam masala
1/2 tsp curry powder
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp Mrs. Dash
dash red pepper flakes
1 medium onion, sliced
14.5 oz can diced salt free tomatoes
1 1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp ginger
6 medium white potatoes, chopped (I leave the skins on for maximum fiber and minerals)
1 cup water
3 1/2 cups frozen peas
1. Heat the olive oil on low in a large lidded saucepan or cooking pot. Add the spices and let them simmer in the oil for 3-5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the onion, turn the heat up to medium, put the lid on and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring vigorously from time to time. This lets the onions sweat and begin to caramelize.
2. Stir in the tomatoes, garlic powder and ginger, and let everything heat through for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Stir in the potatoes and water, put the lid on and cook for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the peas and continue to cook in the same way for another 15 minutes.
Give your aloo matar a taste sometime in the last 15 minutes of cooking, and see if it’s spicy enough for you. If it’s not, this is the time to make adjustments and add more garam masala, curry powder or red pepper flakes.
I like my aloo matar dry, like you see in the pictures. A lot of people prefer it very moist, sort of generating its own sauce. If you’d like yours more saucy, just stir in more water until it’s the right consistency for you.
The potatoes will be more than cooked at this point and ready to eat. If you can’t serve right away, set it aside and reheat whenever you’re ready. Everything might get a little smooshed together when you stir it up, but personally I like that effect.
And oh my, if you have the time and the yogurt (vegan yogurt works great too!), make some raita. You’ll be glad you did, and I will too.
Per serving, 612g: 324 calories (38 calories from fat); 4.2g fat (6%)(0.6g sat, 0g trans); 0mg cholesterol (0%); 136mg sodium (6%); 59.4g carbohydrates (20%); 13.5g fiber (54%); 11.3g protein; Vitamin A 70%; Calcium 10%; Vitamin C 138%; Iron 26%