Aloo Matar is one of the most heartwarming and beloved Punjabi curries. I learned to make this spicy tomato-based potato pea curry from my mother-in-law, and now it’s a favorite recipe in my house. Serve with paratha, puri or roti for a meal that feels like a hug!
About this Aloo Matar
Aloo (meaning ‘potatoes’) and matar (also spelled mattar or mumble, meaning ‘pea’) join forces in this deliciously flavorful curry. When I need comfort food, this is the recipe I turn to.
Home cooking is not only easier and faster to prepare than restaurant-style recipes, it is also often more familiar. One of the things I love about this Aloo Matar sauce is how comfortable and comforting it is. When you’re feeling bad or you’ve had a rough day (or year), this recipe makes a great balm for your soul.
My family recipe for this popular Punjabi curry is also simple to prepare and requires very little cooking expertise. And when it comes to Indian recipes, its ingredient list is rather short, making it a perfect entry-level recipe for new cooks.
Also Read: Dal Dhokli
For grinding or mixing
▢ ½ cup chopped onions or 80 grams or 2 medium onions
▢ 1 cup tomatoes chopped or 150 grams or 2 medium to large tomatoes
▢ 1 teaspoon of chopped ginger or 1 inch of ginger
▢ 1 teaspoon of chopped garlic or 3 to 4 small to medium garlic
▢ 2 tablespoons of oil – any neutral oil
▢ ½ teaspoon of cumin seeds
▢ 1 to 2 tablespoons of fresh malai or 1 tablespoon of heavy cream or 1 tablespoon of almond or cashew powder (optional)
▢ 250 grams of potatoes or 3 medium or 2 large potatoes – peeled and diced
▢ 1 cup fresh or frozen green peas
▢ 1 generous pinch of asafoetida (hing) – optional
▢ ½ teaspoon red chili powder or cayenne pepper, add as needed
▢ ¼ teaspoon ground turmeric powder (ground turmeric)
▢ ½ teaspoon garam masala powder or as needed
▢ 1.5 cups of water or add as needed
▢ 2 tablespoons chopped coriander leaves (cilantro)
▢ salt as needed
- Take chopped onions, tomatoes, ginger and garlic in a bowl of grinder or blender.
- Without adding water, grind or mix to obtain a smooth paste.
- Keep this ground dough aside.
Make Aloo Matar
- Heat the oil in a pressure cooker or saucepan. Keep the fire to a minimum. First crack the cumin seeds.
- Then add the ground onion-tomato paste. Be careful because the paste splashes when you add it to the oil.
- Stir then add the malai (which is a thick layer of cream that forms on top of whole milk when it is boiled and then cooled). Replace it with almond powder or cashew powder or heavy cream. You can choose to skip the cream completely.
- Sauté the ground dough until the oil releases from the sides. The masala paste will also thicken, turn shiny, and come together.
- The mixture spits out initially. So cover part of it with a lid. Once the mixture stops spitting, remove the lid and sauté.
- Once the dough is well sautéed, add the asafoetida powder, red pepper powder and turmeric powder.
- Mix then add the peas and potatoes. Sauté for a minute. Add water and salt as needed.
- Mix well and cover the pan. Simmer until the potatoes and peas are cooked tender, about 20 to 30 minutes. You can change the consistency of the curry by adding less or more water.
- If using a pressure cooker on the stovetop, add 1 cup of water and cook under pressure for 7-8 minutes over medium heat until the potatoes and peas are cooked through.
- If you are doing in the Instant Pot, first fry the spices and sauté the onion and tomato paste. Then cook under pressure for 5 minutes on high power after adding the peas, potatoes, salt and water.
- Finally, sprinkle with garam masala powder and stir. Then add the chopped coriander leaves.
- Stir well and serve hot aloo matar with poori, chapati, naan, paratha or steamed rice.