Agra Peas

A delightful dish that captures the true flavor of northern India.

Vegetarian; can be made vegan. Hands-on time: 15 mins. Total time: 20 mins.

Contributed by Mike Lewis (March 2003).

I got this recipe from Ashy Macbean, a world-traveler, tireless recipe collector and long-standing vegetarian. Ashey came across it in Chennai, and went on to develop this recipe for it. It is a delightfully piquant dish that would make an excellent accompaniment to any Indian meal.

I have marked the methi leaves as optional because I know that not everyone likes their strong aniseed flavor, but to omit them is to rob the dish of its most distinctive element.

Ingredients

Method

Wash the spinach thoroughly. Put it in a large pan or wok, and add the peas. Cover tightly and steam on a medium heat for about ten minutes. The water adhering to the spinach will be enough to stop it from burning.

While the vegetables are cooking, mince the garlic and ginger, and grind the coriander seeds in a pestle and mortar. Heat the oil in a skillet, and fry the garlic and spices for about 30 seconds. Then add the peas and spinach, along with the salt and a couple of tablespoons of water. Turn down the heat and cook for a further five to ten minutes.

Grind the cashew nuts with the cilantro and methi. Stir in the cream to make a smooth paste. Add it to the spinach mixture, stir well, and serve.

Note on quantities and temperatures:
Quantities are given in American (cups), imperial (oz, fl oz) and metric (g, ml) units. Do not mix the units - use one or other system throughout the recipe.
See also How much does a cup weigh?
oz = ounces, fl oz = fluid ounces, g = grams, ml = milliliters, tsp = teaspoons, tbsp = tablespoons.
Oven temperatures are given in degrees F (Fahrenheit) and C (Celsius).
For fan-assisted ovens, reduce the temperature by 20F or 10C.