Posted by: A Part of the Solution | July 10, 2012

Aloo Matar

Well, I’d dug potatoes from the compost heap. We’d pulled the pea vines, and stripped them of their last, starchy peas. We dug the first onions from the sets planted in March. The garlic we planted last November is finally coming out of the ground. And the cilantro out front needed topping in the worst way. So I made Aloo Matar, curried potatoes and peas.

Aloo Matar is a classic Punjabi dish. Aloo Matar has a cheerful range of herbs and spices in it. I keep a nice spice selection, though I didn’t have to use a bunch of exotic ingredients–as we’re more than fifty miles to the nearest exotic ingredients store.

Aloo Matar cooks without lots of fuss on the stove-top. Aloo Matar is suitable for everyone from vegans to omnivores–it’s filling and full of protein alike. And Aloo Matar makes great, reheatable leftovers, so double the recipe for an awesome brown bag lunch.

Aloo Matar

2 TBSP coconut oil, peanut oil or butter

1 tsp cumin seeds

1 tsp turmeric

1inch grated fresh ginger

1 tsp salt–or to taste

1 medium onion, peeled and chopped

2 fat cloves of garlic, minced

1 tomato, seeded and chopped


1 1/2 TBSP tomato paste

1 TBSP lemon juice, fresh is preferred but not absolutely necessary

1/2 tsp asafoetida, hing or Vietnamese fish sauce

1/2 tsp red pepper flakes OR a fat pinch of ground cayenne or to taste

2 tsp ground coriander

12-15 oz, 2 medium to large, potatoes, cubed

1 cup water or lite coconut milk

1 cup green peas, frozen is OK

1 tsp garam masala, recipe to follow

1 small bunch cilantro, rinsed and minced

Heat the fat in a heavy bottomed 2 or 3 quart sauce pan with a lid. Add the cumin, turmeric, ginger salt and onion to the pan. Cook these over medium heat for five minutes. Add the garlic, tomato or tomato paste, lemon juice, asafoetida or fish sauce, pepper flakes and coriander. Lower the heat and cook covered for about 10 minutes.

Now add the potatoes and the water or coconut milk and cook for 15-20 minutes. Add the peas and cook the Aloo Matar for another 10 minutes. Turn off the heat and leave the Aloo Matar covered whilst you chop up the cilantro and then stir it in along with the garam masala.

Serve this over steamed rice, brown and/or basmati are best here. But Aloo Matar is also tasty over quinoa, and then even higher in protein.

Quick Garam Masala

1/4 tsp ground cumin

1/4 tsp ground fennel seed

1 fat pinch grated nutmeg

1 fat pinch cinnamon

1 fat pinch cardamom

1 pinch cloves

Heat all the spices in a dry cast iron pan, until toasted and fragrant–just a minute or so will do it. This is enough for one recipe of Aloo Matar.



  1. Yumma. And I have a jar of mango chutney that needs something to go with…

    • This was so good BUCK begged for some, and ate his all up.

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