Aloo Mattar (Potato and Pea Curry)

Visit the Indian Food Glossary for information on the ingredients in this recipe
Aloo Mattar

Aloo mattar is a classic Punjabi dish consisting of potatoes and green peas simmered in a spicy tomato gravy. Those are the central components of the dish, although spicing and preparation varies from cook to cook. This is my latest version of this dish that usually appears on most of the menus at the Indian restaurants I have dined at. I don't order it as much as I would like, as I am usually torn between it and mattar paneer. Although you can never get enough peas in my opinion, I usually end up just ordering one or the other and then choose other options from the menu.

Potato and Pea Curry

The fun part is both of those dishes are easy to prepare at home, so you don't have to wait until you dine out to enjoy them. In fact, with some basic knowledge of Indian cuisine and some staples on hand, you'll be cooking up even finer curries than those found at your local Indian restaurants. To complete the experience, consider serving the curry with homemade savory Indian flat breads, and a steaming hot bed of fresh cooked white rice.

I've served this warming vegetable dish with savory rice and urad dal pancakes (dosas) for a complete and satisfying meal.

Aloo Mattar

Notes: Adjust the water as necessary to achieve your desired consistency. I generally like my curries fairly thick, so I only used about 1 1/2 cups of water.

I chose not to use garlic or onion this time, but you may add some if you wish. Add to the pan after the seeds are done and stir and fry for a few minutes before you add the ground spices and other ingredients.

Aloo Mattar (Potato and Pea Curry)Aloo Mattar (Potato and Pea Curry)
Recipe by
Cuisine: Indian
Published on January 13, 2014

Classic Indian potato and pea curry simmered in a smoky, tangy and spicy tomato sauce

Preparation: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hour 15 to 20 minutes

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  • 4 medium potatoes (2 lbs or 900 g), scrubbed
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon brown mustard seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon kalonji (nigella or black onion) seeds (optional)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon amchoor powder (optional)
  • pinch of asafetida
  • 2 to 3 fresh green or red chilies, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1-inch piece fresh ginger, minced or grated
  • 1 large tomato, finely chopped
  • 1 large bunch fresh cilantro (about 3/4 cup), finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 cup fresh or frozen peas, defrosted
  • 1 1/2 to 2 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
  • 2 to 3 teaspoons dried fenugreek (methi) leaves, crumbled
  • 1/2 teaspoon garam masala
  • juice from 1 small lemon (2 tablespoons)
  • Preheat an oven to 425°F. Poke small holes in the potatoes with a fork. Roast for 40 minutes until the potatoes are just fork tender. (Alternately, you can boil the potatoes.) Set aside to cool. When cool, remove the skin and cut into bite-size pieces.

  • Heat the oil in a large heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium-high heat. When hot, toss in the cumin seeds, mustard seeds and kalonji seeds if using. Fry for 30 to 60 seconds until the mustard seeds turn grey and begin to splutter and pop. Add the coriander, turmeric, paprika, amchoor (if using), asafetida, chilies and ginger. Stir once or twice and then add the tomatoes and half of the cilantro. Simmer uncovered until the sauce has thickened, stirring occasionally — about 10 to 12 minutes.

  • Reduce the heat to medium-low and gently stir in the potato. Cook uncovered, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Stir in the peas and cook for another few minutes.

  • Pour in 1 1/2 cups of water and bring to a boil. Stir in the salt, reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for another 5 to 7 minutes, stirring on occasion, until the potatoes are nice and tender, but not falling apart. Add more water to achieve the desired consistency of the gravy.

  • Stir in the rest of the cilantro, the fenugreek leaves and garam masala. Simmer for another few minutes, then stir in the lemon juice.

  • Serve hot, garnished with some cilantro if desired, alongside Indian flat breads such as dosas or naan, and a bed of fresh cooked basmati rice.

Makes 4 to 6 servings

Aloo Matar

Other vegetable curries you are sure to enjoy from Lisa's Kitchen:
Mushroom Masala (Succulent Mushrooms with Tomatoes and Spices)
Paneer and Mixed Vegetables in a Creamy Gravy
Mushroom Curry Simmered in a Fenugreek Cream Sauce with Green Peas
Aloo Gobi (Curried Cauliflower and Potatoes)

On the top of the reading stack: Bartleby by Herman Melville

Audio Accompaniment: Thom Brennan - Mist (album)


Swathi said...

Delicious aloo mattar curry Lisa love it.

Joanne said...

Aloo mattar is definitely one of my favorite things to order when we go out for Indian food. Can't believe I've yet to attempt it at home!

Francesca said...

A reminder for me to make some Aloo Mattar. And I might have a look at the Gobi recipes too. This one looks like a tasty version.