Growing up in my childhood, I remember anxiously waiting for winter to set in . “Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth, for the touch of a friendly hand and for a talk beside the fire; it is the time for home!”
Though winters in Mumbai are no where as cold as they are in Yorkshire, but that does not stop me from sharing the feeling that Edith Sitwell had for winters and which she had beautifully expressed in the words above.
Mumbai owing to its proximity to sea, is moderately hot with high level of humidity for most parts of year.Only during the December-January, evenings in Mumbai becomes balmy and air becomes cold and nippy.My yearning for winter was particularly for some appetizing starters, piquant gravies and mouth-watering desserts that Mom used to prepare in Winters.
Mom had gamut of winter-recipes in her repertoire that she used to pick and choose from based on our demands. She would prepare these with a great finesse and love and I would savour the smell and taste with great joy. Matar ka Nimona (Spicy Gravy prepared from Green Peas), Kachalu (Made using Potatoes), Matar ki Tahari (Rice,green peas and Lentil preparation), Urad Dal ki Khasta Kachori and not to forget Gajar Ka Halwa (Dessert prepared with Carrot). These are some of the recipes that Mom prepared for us every Winter season and that would satiate my yearnings. As I grew up I watched my Mom preparing these delicacies very closely and started assisting her in kitchen. In hindsight, I feel much better that I used to help my Mom back then, because when I moved out for my job and started staying alone, skills I learnt back then came to my help. Over the years, I have bettered my skills and I can claim to be doing justice to these preparations that I have learnt from my Mom.
So Folks, as winter sets in one more time, I will be sharing these traditional winter-recipes on this blog. I hope you would prepare them for your family. Do share your winter-centered memories with us in the comment section below.
Here Comes Matar ka Nimona!!
This recipe is very popular and specially prepared in almost all houses in Uttar Pradesh during winter season as the fresh crop of Matar is available that time.
“Nimona” means Matar’s gravy prepared in green masala ( using fresh coriander,green chilies,ginger and garlic).People call it as “Matar ki Tari” also. It is one of the delicacy in UP cuisine.
- 1 cup fresh green peas ( I usually prefer fresh than frozen peas/matar)
- 1 small sized potato cut into small and thin cubes
- 1 medium sized onion cut lengthwise
- 1 medium sized tomato finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon Jeera ( cumin seeds) for tempering
- Mustard oil for cooking ( Sunflower oil can be used if Mustard oil is not available)
- 2-3 cups hot water
- Fresh Coriander
- 3-4 Green Chilies( as per your love for spice you can adjust)
- 1 to 1.5 inches Ginger (Adarak)
- 7-8 Garlic cloves ( Lasun ki kaliyaan)
- Make a fine paste of green masala (mentioned above) in a grinder.If needed add little water just to make a smooth paste. Keep it aside.
- Make a coarse paste of Matar in a grinder. Make sure the paste should not be fine.Also do not make use of water for grinding Matar.
- Heat 2-3 spoons mustard oil in a Kadhai. Roast the Matar paste with cubed potato in this oil till entire mixture gets light brown color. Saute it continuously on a low flame to make sure it would not stick at Kadhai bottom. If needed add 1 spoon oil in between to avoid sticking.This procedure may take 8-10 minutes. Remove it in one plate.
- In another kadhai/pan, heat 2-3 spoons mustard oil. Add cumin seeds into hot oil.
- Once cumin seeds splutter then add onion which we have cut lengthwise. Saute till it gets transparent and tender. There is no need to make it brown.
- Add finely chopped tomato and saute it till it gets cooked completely. Add little salt to speed up the process of cooking tomato.
- Saute green masala paste ( prepared in first step) into onion-tomato mixture till its raw smell vanishes. It takes hardly 2-3 min.
- Now add the roasted Matar paste and potato and mix it well with above mixture.
- Add 2-3 cups hot water into above mixture as per your required consistency ( shouldn't be too thin or too thick)
- Add salt as per your taste and give a nice stir.
- Let Nimona get a nice boil over a low flame.
- After 7-8 min, you will see oil would start floating over the surface.This means your Nimona is ready!!
- I would like to give you a small suggestion here that keep a ladle into Nimona while boiling.It will prevent its oil to spill over.
- Switch off the flame and serve hot Nimona with Phulka or steamed rice.Enjoy with papad or salted fried chilies.
Matar ka Nimona is prepared using Fresh green peas. Though it can be prepared with packaged green peas, but I would prefer using fresh green peas because of its sweet taste. Green peas are grounded into a coarse paste, and then sauteed with potatoes in mustard oil to give them both a roasted flavor. Nimona is combined with green paste of chilies, coriander, ginger-garlic that imparts a spicy and mild sweet flavor to this gravy. Nimona is best served with Phulka or hot steamed rice.
Click here to watch recipe video