Matar Kulcha is one of the most popular street foods from Delhi. Usually sold on carts in huge brass handis(pots), it is lip smacking vegetarian curry made with white dried peas and served with a flatbread(called bread kulcha). We used to call them ghanti vaale chole since the vendor came ringing a bell, handing them over in a dried leaf bowl (dona).
Safed or Sookhe matar are dried white peas and the same are used to make Mumbai street food ragda pattice. They are a dried version of the fresh green peas and gained popularity in dry parts of India as a way to preserve vegetables. A perfect meal for meatless days, the curry is not at all heavy and uses less amount of oil for cooking.
These dried matar are a great source of vegetarian protein and quite wholesome. They are very easily to make and just need a few steps. You need to start a little ahead and soak these overnight before boiling them next morning. The curry uses a fresh ground wet chutney paste and that is one the main flavor boost of the recipe. Pair with buttered kulcha (recipe here) or ladled over aloo tikkis or enjoy a warm bowl as it is garnished with onions, ginger, green chillies & chutney.
- Pressure Cooker, Cooking Pot, Blender
Boiling the Matar
- 1.5 cup matar (dried peas) soaked in enough cold water for 8 hours and drained
- 1 black cardamom
- 1 bay leaf
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon oil
For the Matar Curry
- 1 medium potato
- 2 tablespoon cooking oil
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- ¼ teaspoon hing
- 2 tablespoon finely chopped ginger
- 2 green chillies, slit adjust to taste
- ¼ teaspoon tumeric powder
- 1 teaspoon coriander powder
- ½ teaspoon roasted cumin powder
- 1 teaspoon chaat masala adjust to taste
- Salt to taste
For the wet chutney paste
- ½ bunch fresh cilantro leaves
- 1 tbsp tamarind paste
- 8-10 fresh mint leaves
- ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1-2 green chillies adjust to taste
- 1 inch fresh ginger
- ginger julinnes, chopped onions, tomatoes, cilantro etc
Boil the Matar
- In a pressure cooker, add everthing listed under "Boiling the Matar". Add 2-2.5 cups water and pressure cook on medium for 2-3 whistles until tender. These peas cook very fast so keep an eye. Let pressure release naturally. The peas should be soft when squeezed between your fingers.
Making the Matar
- Peel the potatoes and cut them into small chunks. Set aside.
- In a wet grinder- add everthing under "For the wet chutney paste" and make a fine paste. Add water if needed. Set aside.
- Heat oil in a heavy pottom pot until a bit smoky.
- Add the cumin seeds, hing, green chillies and ginger all at once and saute for a minute or so. Dont let burn.
- Add the potato chunks next, add a bit of salt and saute the potatoes in oil for a few minutes to brown their edges.
- Once the potatoes are slightly browned, immediately add the onions. Saute for a few minutes till the onions are transculent but dont brown them.
- Add all the powdwered spices - corinader, turmeric, roasted cumin powder and chaat masala next. Add 2-3 tablespoon of water and saute the spices with oil for a few minutes till you see little bubbles of oil seperating.
- Add the boiled peas next along with all the liquid. Check and adjust the salt. Coved the lid and let the peas cook with everrthing for about 20 minutes on low medium heat till the poatoes are tender.
- Once the poatoes have cooked, add the wet chutney paste, mix nicely, you can mash the peas a bit for a thicker consistency. Cover and let everything simmer for another 10 minutes.
- Serve warm with kulchas. You can add chopped onions, tomatoes, green chiilies and fresh lemon juice on top.