Aloo Mutter is the first dish that I ever made. My cooking journey began when I came across the recipe for Aloo Mutter in a Hawkins Pressure Cooker Recipe Book. I was all of 9 years old and couldn’t wait to try it. Since my mom was not a big fan of me entering the kitchen and messing it up (she loves to keep her kitchen spotlessly clean!), I enlisted the help of my older cousin to make this recipe whilst my mom was out to work. The dish came out really well and I tried it multiple times after that till my mom caught wind of it and asked me to focus on my studies and leave her kitchen alone :).
For those who are new to this dish, Aloo Mutter (or Matar) is made using a combination of potatoes (aloo) and peas (Mutter) cooked in an onion-tomato gravy. This awesome curry goes well with warm Rotis and is a staple in our house simply because it is so easy to make it and is a perfect meal for busy weeknights. There are plenty of different ways to make it, for instance – you could replace the mustard seeds with cumin seeds or you could make it in a pressure cooker by following pretty much the same procedure as below but instead of adding tomatoes at the end, you add them after the onions have turned soft and translucent. You will fry the tomatoes until they are mushy and then add the remaining ingredients including water and cover the lid with the vent on. Cook till the vent goes off once and switch off gas and set it aside. The cooking process in this case is done on Medium Heat.
I like the procedure that I have outlined below is because this way I can keep an eye on the potatoes and can cook them to my satisfaction. Also, note that I add tomatoes in the end unlike how we make most curries where we add tomatoes right after onions. This is because once you add tomatoes, the potatoes don’t cook properly. Unless you are adding potatoes that have already been cooked in a pressure cooker or elsewhere, I would strongly recommend adding potatoes before the tomatoes are added to the gravy.
One more thing, I wanted to point out which is I have listed a few ingredients in the recipe below as optional. While they definitely enhance the flavor, you could certainly do without it. For instance, an ingredient like jaggery – it gives a nice sweet and spicy tang to this dish along with the chilly powder but in all means feel free to skip the jaggery, if you don’t have it. I strongly believe you can still make great tasting food with just salt and chilly powder in most cases. However you make it, pat yourself on the back for making a home cooked meal today. One more step towards being and staying healthy!
- 3 tablespoons oil
- 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
- 1 sprig of curry leaves (optional)
- 1 medium sized onion, finely cut (~ 3/4 cup)
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
- 4 garlic gloves crushed
- 1 teaspoon of ginger, grated
- salt to taste
- 3 medium sized potatoes, cut into cubes (~ 2 cups)
- 1 teaspoon chilly powder
- 1 teaspoon coriander (dhania) powder (optional)
- 1/2 cumin (jeera) powder (optional)
- 1/2 cup peas
- 1 tablespoon jaggery, powdered (optional)
- 2 medium sized tomatoes, finely chopped (~ 1 cup)
- 1/2 cup coriander (cilantro / dhania) leaves, finely chopped for garnishing
- Water as needed
- Heat oil in a deep dish pan kept on medium heat. Once heated, add mustard seeds.When the mustard seeds starts spluttering, add onions, salt and turmeric powder and fry till the onions turn translucent and have softened.
- Add the crushed garlic and ginger and fry for 10 seconds or so and then add potatoes along with chilly, coriander and cumin powder. Add a cup of water and then stir the potatoes in the mixture. Cover and continue to cook for 12-15 minutes till the potatoes change color and have softened. (Note – As it cooks, check once to make sure there is enough water to cook the potatoes. Add additional water as needed to prevent the potatoes from sticking to the pan and burning. )
- Add the remaining ingredients – peas, tomatoes and jaggery (if using) and mix well. Cover and reduce the heat to medium low and continue to cook for 10 minutes till the tomatoes have softened and blended.
- Add the finely chopped coriander leaves and serve hot with Rotis.