The wonderful weather this weekend led us to go looking for patio furniture…one more time. Believe me, we have looked for furniture in so many places, it really isn’t funny anymore. Whether it is a couch for the living room or patio furniture, whether it be Raymour and Flanigan, Ashley or Jack’s Famous furniture :-), its been there done that for us. We have gone to each place more than once and no furniture store has been able to pass the “sleep on it” test yet. This test was invented by us to curb impulsive buying of expensive furniture, but has in fact led to NO buying of any furniture for us.
Any ideas on how to know the couch you saw is the perfect one for your house?
Hence, to drown my sorrows over not having bought any furniture again, I decided to make some chaat. As earlier documented, my love for North Indian chaat is very deeply ingrained in me. This weekend, rather than making my favorite chaat (dahi papdi chat), I decided to make my Mom’s favorite chaat, which was often even made for breakfast in our home when I was younger, matar ki chaat.
The matar or peas used in this dish don’t look much like the fresh green peas we often see in grocery stores. Yes, they are round, but they are definitely not green. Although you can get a green version too, I have only seen this chaat being made with the whitish yellow version. My Indian store called them White vatana, (and yours might too). I just got it on a whim, even though I wasn’t entirely certain they were the same as the matar I was looking for. Good guess on my part!
Here’s the recipe.
Matar Ki Chaat
- 2 cups dry yellow peas (known as white vatana, sookhi matar, etc.)
- 3 green chillies (Thai or the tiny Indian store variety J) minced
- 1 inch ginger, minced or 1 tsp ginger paste
- 1 tbsp chaat masala (easily available in Indian stores)
- 1 tsp roasted jeera (cumin) powder
- 1 tsp coriander powder
- ½ tsp red chilli powder
- ½ tsp black salt/ rock salt (kala namak)
- Salt to taste
- ½ tsp garam masala
- 1 tsp amchoor or dry mango powder (Use extra lemon juice if not using amchoor)
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 1 medium red onion, chopped fine
- 4 tbsp coriander/ cilantro chopped fine
- 1 additional lemon, cut into wedges to serve
- Tamarind-Date chutney (to serve)
- Coriander chutney (to serve)
I used bottles bought from the Indian store for the last two items.
1. Most recipes recommend soaking the peas overnight or atleast for 2 to 3 hours. But who has that kind of time and I wanted my chaat right then. So, I washed the peas and then soaked them in sufficient water which I then heated in my microwave for 2 minutes. One good stir and then I let the peas soak for about half an hour. Then I heated the water once more for about a minute.
2. Next, the peas went into the pressure cooker with about 4 cups of water. It’s essential to not use too much water as all of this water needs to be finally absorbed by the peas. After 6 whistles (Yes, the peas need to be very soft, almost mashed), I switched off the stove and let the cooker cool.
3. Once I could open the cooker, I put the pan onto the stove on medium heat and mixed in the ginger, chillies and all the dry masalas. The only thing to remember here is that my Mom always says the garam masala and the amchoor should not be added too early, but at the end of the cooking process in any dish.
4. Then I raised the heat in order to evaporate all extra water, while continuing to stir. Of course, this also helped to soften the peas which I would not have had to do if I had soaked them longer.
5. Finally I squeezed a lemon over it and garnished with the red onion and the cilantro.
My adorable matar ki chaat was ready to enjoy with tamarind and coriander chutneys with lemon wedges on the side. We ate it by itself as a snack, as well as with Gujarati Kadhi (another of my favorites) and steamed rice for dinner.