Whenever we used to trouble her a lot, my grandmother would instruct me and my siblings to pick up fenugreek leaves or pea pods during winters.In India, concept of frozen vegetables was non-existent then.Unlike now, when almost all the vegetables are available all round the years, leafy greens,cauliflowers and pea pods were limited to winters.And though the pods tasted heavenly while we picked them, picking them was painful.Our Grandmother used to make us sit by her side and she kept a watch on how many we are eating and how many actually went into the bowl.My sister was a clever one, she used to say that she is tasting them to ensure that her granny gets the best & sweet peas to make her curries.
Sometimes, a moth was discovered inside few of the pods and our interest immediately shifted to it.My brother used to run at the very sight of it to bring a small bottle and let it inside.From the appearance of first moth till the picking of last pod, he prayed that each pod is infected.He liked filling up the bottle with moths and kept it beside his pillow in the night.You know how guys love all creepy things right from childhood.Yes he is still that weird! He was weird but clever.He played that trick coz he knew that me and my sister will not sleep on the bed and he can have it all to himself.We realized this after a long time.Childhood was so much fun.I feel that everything is so distant sometimes.
I have a sad news though.My grandmother is in the hospital for last one week now.A tumour has developed in her stomach which is blocking the urinary tract and is bleeding internally at intervals.Two days back she had some breathing problem and was shifted to ICU.When I called last, she was back to the room but the her conditions is still uncertain.She is 87 and braving it out.Doctors are skeptical about surgery because of old age.I pray to GOD in every breath that she recovers.AMEN.
These indian spiced peas recipe is our favorite winter evening or weekend breakfast item.Lightly spiced peas with lots of ginger and onions and a squirt of lemon go well with masala chai.These peas pair up great as a side dish to your steal dinner or on their own with rice and gravy.
“Masala” is Hindi for spices and “Chai” translated to Tea.So masala chai is a fragrant tea drink prepared by boiling black tea leaves with fresh ginger,ground spices and milk.In India,masala chai is a popular beverage on road side stalls and cafes.The speciality of this tea is that its milky, sweet and thick.I absolutely love it.The masala or spice mix is readily available in any Indian grocery stores but I make it at home.Below goes the recipes for both.
- 2 cups fresh/frozen peas
- 1/2 cup sliced onions
- 3 tbsp fresh ginger julians
- 2 green chillies. thinly cut
- 2 tsp cumin seeds
- 2 tsp red chilli powder
- 1 tsp garam masala
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- Salt to taste
- 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice [adjust to taste or substitute with dry mango powder [amchoor]]
How I did it:
- In a pan, heat up the oil on medium heat.
- Once heated, temper the oil with cumin seeds and wait for them to crackle.
- Add the sliced onions to the pan and let the onions saute till transculent.Dont brown them.
- Next, add the chopped green chilies and ginger julians and cook for 3-4 minutes.
- Add the peas, red chilli powder, cover the lid and let the peas steam till they are cooked but not mushy.
- Once tender, open the lid,add salt and garam masala and stir fry on high heat for 5-7 minutes.
- Remove from heat and add the fresh lime juice and serve warm with masala chai [recipe below]
- 1 tea bag per cup (or 1 tsp of black tea leaves/cup)
- 1 tsp grated ginger
- 1-2 fresh tulsi leaves [holy basil leaves if available] NOTE:Holy basil is totally different from Thai or Italian basil.
- 1 cup of water
- ½ cup of warm milk
- ¼ tsp chai masala powder [recipe below]
- sugar to taste
Masala/Spice Mix [Makes 1 cup masala]
- 1/4 cup cinnamon sticks, broken into small pieces
- 2 tbsp cloves
- 1/4 cups whole black peppercorns
- 1/4 cups green cardamom
- 2 green cardamom
- 1/4 cup mace, broken into small pieces
- 1/2 nutmeg, grated
How I did it
- Fine grind all the ingredients under the head “Masala/Spice Mix”.Store this spice mix in an air tight container in a dry place.This lasts for 2-3 years.
- To make the masala chai:In a saucepan, add the water along with ginger and tulsi leaves[if using] and let come to a boil.After 2-3 minutes, add tea bag or tea leaves. Let brew for 2-3 minutes.Next, add “masala” and milk and let it again come to a boil.Reduce the heat to a low simmer. Simmer for 5 minutes.Strain and serve with sugar (or sweetener).
Sending this to It’s a keeper Thursday