Served in a rich, thick gravy, this green peas curry is the ultimate Kerala-style recipe! Made with a blend of Indian spices, red tomatoes, onions, and coconut oil, this recipe is very simple to follow, yet authentic South Indian. Serve with chapattis, roti, naan, or simple jeera rice, this matar masala [or watana as they call it in the South], offers a complete, lip-smacking experience!
Green peas are not on the top of the most liked vegetables for most people, in fact, I know more people who don't like them, than those who do, and I am one of them.
However, there are three ways I enjoy them, with one being my Mom's Christmas peas, the second being mushy peas on a fish Friday [I've been living in London for quite a long time!], and the third and last one, being this green peas masala recipe.
This is not a restaurant-style green peas masala, as the gravy is very thick and full of flavor, however, it is a superb home-style curry, which is easy and quick to prepare, serve, and try over and over again.
Simply cook and blend the gravy, simmer the peas, and top with a tadka tempering, then finally, enjoy!
SERVING SUGGESTION: If you serve this as a side, try some Kerala Fish Curry to go with it!
Green Peas Curry Ingredients
- Green Peas: You will need them to be already cooked by the time you prepare the curry, so choose the ones with your favorite consistency. My favorite green peas for this specific peas masala are the canned ones, however, you can use frozen ones easily too. If you have more time or prefer them, you can use dry or fresh peas.
- Oil: You will need some vegetable oil for cooking the curry, and some coconut oil for the tempering [tadka] at the end.
- Onion, Ginger, Garlic, and Tomato: These are the fresh ingredients that create the rich and tasty gravy. Try using fresh ingredients if possible, rather than canned or paste.
- Red Chili Powder, Coriander Powder, Turmeric Powder, and Garam Masala: These are the simple ground Indian spices used in this recipe.
- Mustard Seeds, Curry Leaves, and Dry Red Chilies: Whole spices, used in the tempering. Curry leaves are especially popular in South Indian food.
- Cilantro [Fresh Coriander]: For garnishing.
How To Make Green Peas Curry?
- The first step is to choose which peas to use, (tinned, dry, frozen?), cook them, and set them aside.
- To start the curry, warm up some vegetable oil in a saucepan and brown the onions.
- Once the onions are brown add the tomatoes, ginger, and garlic and allow those to cook as well.
- Once the smell of the rawness of the garlic has gone, add the red chili powder and coriander powder and allow the spices to cook, until they separate from the oil.
- Once the spices have cooked, remove the curry base from the saucepan and blend it to make a sauce of it, then set aside.
- In the same pan, once empty, add the cooked peas, water, and turmeric and allow to simmer for 5 to 10 minutes.
- After the peas have been simmering for 5 to 10 minutes, add the blended mixture and simmer for a further 5 minutes, or until the wanted consistency is reached.
- Once the consistency of the curry is right how you like it, add the garam masala and mix well.
- While keeping the curry on a low flame, prepare the tadka on the side by popping some mustard seeds, curry leaves, and a dry red chili in some coconut oil.
- Add the tadka to the green peas curry and garnish with some freshly chopped coriander leaves. Mix well, serve and enjoy the green peas masala!
People Also Ask [FAQs]
It is important to check the cooking instruction on the package, however, most frozen peas are precooked, meaning they only require 3-4 minutes in boiling water to be ready to be eaten. Should this be the case, you can add them to the curry at the same point in the recipe, and simmer them for 3-4 additional minutes, adding extra water only if required.
What To Serve Green Peas Masala With?
This green peas masala is delicious with most types of Indian flatbreads, such as parathas [parottas], roti, naan, or simple chapattis.
If you prefer something extra special, this peas masala curry is delicious with tasty jeera rice or simple masala rice, with a nice crunchy poppadum on the side!
How To Store Green Peas Curry?
Green peas masala curry can be stored in the fridge in an airtight container for up to four days.
This matar masala can also be frozen in an airtight container, where it will store well for 4-6 weeks.
Before serving the curry again, ensure it has been reheated appropriately.
Tips & Tricks for Green Peas Masala Recipe
- Fresh Ingredients: While it may be easy to try to substitute fresh tomatoes, ginger, and garlic with canned or paste versions, I wouldn't recommend doing this for this peas masala recipe, as it will not taste the same.
- Spicy: South Indian food tends to be quite spicy, however, this recipe is about mid-way. Should you like your curry hot, you can definitely increase the amount of red chilli powder used, however, if you like it milder, you can also decrease it. Whether you increase or decrease the heat, do not change the amount of other spices used, as they are well-balanced.
- Thicker Gravy: While this gravy is already extremely rich, should you like it even creamier, you can add 4-5 cashew nuts to the pan once the onions are cooked, and then blend them with the curry base. The cashew paste will make the peas masala creamy without the use of cream!
- Loose Gravy: If, on the contrary, you prefer your curry more watery, simply add more water to it. Before serving, ensure you allow it to simmer for a few minutes and adjust the salt level to taste.
This Kerala-style peas curry is absolutely easy to prepare and tastes as good as the ones you would have in a South Indian home, but without leaving the comfort of your own home.
Get this ready and warm up some chapattis… welcome to your very own South Indian kitchen!
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Delicious Green Peas Curry Kerala Style
For the curry base
For the tadka
- 1 tablespoon Coconut Oil
- 1 teaspoon Mustard Seeds
- 15 Curry Leaves
- 1 Dry Red Chili
Prepare the curry base
- In a saucepot, warm up the sunflower oil and once warm add the thinly sliced onions and a bit of salt; mix well and cook until soft and golden on low to medium heat. This should take about 5-7 minutes.
- Once the onions are soft and golden, add the two chopped tomatoes, garlic, and ginger; mix well and put a lid on the pan, while bringing the flame to low.
- Allow the ginger and garlic to cook and the tomatoes to soften, which will take about 5 minutes, then add the red chili powder and coriander powder and mix well.
- Allow the spices to cook until they separate from the oil, then remove the curry base from the saucepot and blend with a bit of water, until the curry becomes smooth then set it aside.
Prepare the peas base
- In the same saucepot where the curry base was cooked, add the water, cooked peas, and turmeric powder, mix well and bring to a boil on a medium flame.
- Simmer the peas for about five minutes, then add the blended curry mixture and continue simmering until the desired curry consistency is reached. If you’re looking for a curry that is not too thick, nor too liquid, this should take about 5-7 minutes.
- Once the desired consistency is reached, add the garam masala and mix well. Reduce the flame to low and put the lid back on the pan, allowing the curry to simmer while you prepare the tadka.
Prepare the tadka and final steps
- In a small pot, warm up the coconut oil, and once warm add the mustard seeds. Coconut oil warms up quite quickly, so a high flame is not necessary as it may overheat.
- Once the mustard seeds have all popped (will take between 30 seconds and one minute in most cases) add the curry leaves and dry red chili (you can break it in half if wanted) and remove from the heat immediately.
- Mix well the curry leaves and red chili in the coconut oil for 15-30 seconds then add on top of the peas curry and mix well. Be careful not to get burnt with the splashback created by the coconut oil on the peas curry.
- Mix well the curry and tadka; add the chopped coriander leaves and mix well once more just before serving. Enjoy!
- Green peas masala curry can be stored in the fridge in an airtight container for up to four days.
- This matar masala can also be frozen in an airtight container, where it will store well for 3 months.
- Before serving the curry again, ensure it has been reheated appropriately.