Living in Consciousness ~ Indi(r)a’s Food and Garden Weblog

Scrumptious Sabjis ~ Methi Matar Malai

Here is an easy meal idea that will taste like you spent hours in the kitchen, when in reality all you would need to do is pluck few leaves, open few packets and grind some masala paste. 10 minutes in front of the stove, the result would be a very comforting creamy curry that is appropriate for family meal or a gathering of friends.

Speaking of friends get-togethers, we were invited a potluck party yesterday and I prepared some sweets with homemade malai. I kept a small cup of malai to the side to prepare this scrumptious sabji today. Store bought evaporated milk or concentrated almond milk/rice milk also works for this recipe. Give it a try.

from Hindi to English – Methi (Fenugreek), Matar (Peas) and Malai (Cream)


Fresh fenugreek leaves (methi) – 1 cup
Fresh peas (matar) – 1 cup
Malai (cream) – half cup
(homemade or store-bought evaporated milk – unsweetened variety)
2 red potatoes – peeled and cubed to bite sized pieces
Salt and turmeric to taste or half teaspoon each
Peanut oil or ghee – one teaspoon

Masala paste: One small red onion or shallot, one inch size ginger, six green chillies, two cloves, one inch piece of cinnamon stick, one teaspoon cumin and quarter cup of fresh peas (peas are added to thicken the sauce) – Grind to smooth consistency by adding half cup of water in a blender.

Heat oil in a wide skillet.

Add and saute the masala paste for 5 minutes on medium heat until the paste starts to turn red.

Now add one after another, first potatoes, then fenugreek leaves and finally peas. Do a quick stir-fry until the leaves wilt.

Add malai (evaporated milk). Stir in salt and turmeric and about 1 cup of water. (I also added a half teaspoon of jaggery which helps to bring out the sweetness of peas. But this is optional.) Cover and cook for about 15 minutes on medium heat until potatoes and peas are cooked to tender and the sauce thickens. Serve warm. Tastes superb with chapatis or with naans.

My latest find is garlic naan from frozen section of Trader Joe’s. One packet is priced at 2 dollars and contains 4 good sized naans which are prepared in India and vacuum packed. We just have to heat them on stove-top or in oven. The flour, the layers, the garlic topping – very flavorful and quality stuff. Well, they are from India. Need I say more?

Methi Matar Malai with Garlic Naan
Methi Matar Malai with Garlic Naan ~ Our Meal Today

Recipe adapted from Vee’s Past, Present and Me

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Baby Potatoes,Menthi Kura(Fenugreek),Milk,Peas (Bataani) (Thursday February 15, 2007 at 2:31 pm- permalink)
Comments (40)

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40 comments for Scrumptious Sabjis ~ Methi Matar Malai »

  1. This sounds delicious! I’m rather new to Indian cooking. Is there a substitute for methi?

    Comment by Dee — February 15, 2007 @ 3:09 pm

  2. Oooh, Indira! That sounds wonderful. Zak’s favorite vegetable is peas, though I am only now learning to like them after a childhood of being forced to eat either overcooked peas or canned ones. Ick.

    This week, I improvised a pea curry using your dalia powder recipe, some curry leaves, onions, garlic, ginger, fresh chilies and mint.

    It was delicious! I will be making it again. And, in addition, I want to try this curry, too, because I think that Zak will adore it–peas and potatoes are a favorite for him.

    Thank you for being such an inspiration!

    Comment by Barbara — February 15, 2007 @ 3:10 pm

  3. I am already thinking of inviting myself over to seattle, just for a meal you cook!!!

    Comment by Deepika — February 15, 2007 @ 3:18 pm

  4. Hi Indira, I like knowing I could use evaporated milk for some of these rich dishes… makes it more tempting to try. Such lovely shades of green in your photos!

    I wonder whether TJ’s is selling naans similar to Tandoori Chef (affiliated with Deep Foods) brand which I find at (admittedly overpriced) Wild Oats here in Boston area. They are also frozen, come in packs of three. I don’t have your frame of reference, of course, to the real thing, but they’re quite delicious! Thanks to you and Vee for the easy recipe ๐Ÿ™‚

    Comment by Linda — February 15, 2007 @ 5:42 pm

  5. Neat – You make us so hap”pea” with your recipes and posts – thanks for mentioning my name on your award nomination post! A true hap”pea” moment…:-)


    Comment by desimom — February 15, 2007 @ 5:43 pm

  6. what a delicious dish. Mattar Maalai and Methi photo is simply beautiful.

    Comment by Mythreyee — February 15, 2007 @ 6:20 pm

  7. that’s so creamy and looks delicious. i was wondering if i could use something else in place of the fenugreek?

    Comment by jacob — February 15, 2007 @ 6:25 pm

  8. MMMMM, I just made it…. so good…. such a great recipe.

    Comment by Recipe — February 15, 2007 @ 6:28 pm

  9. That looks yummy!

    Comment by mika — February 15, 2007 @ 6:58 pm

  10. yummmmm!! Methi with Malai…wow! Never tried this ever before. You come up with such lip-smacking amd mouth-watering recipes,Indira!
    And also the combination of ingredients, everytime its new and innovative! Hats off to your creativity and keep it going. Congratulations one being nominated for the Indi Food Blog Award.

    Comment by Deepu — February 15, 2007 @ 8:50 pm

  11. love that!will have to try it without the fenugreek, which is impossible to find in Spain, but Iรƒฦ’ร†โ€™รƒยขรขโ€šยฌร…ยกรƒฦ’รขโ‚ฌลกรƒโ€šร‚ยดm sure it will taste great, if less authentic.

    Comment by lobstersquad — February 16, 2007 @ 12:28 am

  12. Hi Indira-
    This looks quite tempting, as I am easily lured to green and cream combinations :-), and fresh methi leaves are among my favorites!
    I have never made malai from scratch before, but this recipe and the info link have convinced me to try this…I have heard of using a fan to blow on the surface of the milk to clot it faster…and you are so right about Indian food products- they are very high quality indeed, and I have no reservations about serving them alongside made-from-scratch dishes either.

    Comment by pelicano — February 16, 2007 @ 2:48 am

  13. UUMMMM!!!!! This is lip-smackingly delicious!!!! And very easy to make as well. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Congratulations on beong nominated. ๐Ÿ™‚ Do visit my blog sometimes. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Comment by Coffee — February 16, 2007 @ 2:56 am

  14. Hi Indira,

    Lovely looking recipe. I have methi at home so I am tempted to try.. I would like to use homemade malai but unfortunately I can collect very little when i boil milk… how do you manage to make and collect a big batch of malai (it is megadaa right?) at home? Please let me know.

    Comment by Latha — February 16, 2007 @ 5:31 am

  15. Indira,

    You prepared a yummy dish. I will make this recipe. My daughter Indu will love this.


    Comment by Sarada — February 16, 2007 @ 5:44 am

  16. I have been hearing so much about this dish lately…is this something new? I had never seen/heard of this until all the blogs were mentioning it….yours looks so good!
    I am hesitant to try this with frozen Methi though! I don’t get fresh Indian veggies here.
    Will give it a shot with frozen Methi and let you know.

    Comment by Trupti — February 16, 2007 @ 8:39 am

  17. Hi Indira,

    Happy shivarathri to u and your family. This curry looks good and can I use frozen peas for this recipe. I never liked any peas curry and the way u presented I like to give it a try. Recently,I made your Palakova and it came out very well. Thanks for the recipe and u have a very nice blog.


    Comment by laxmi — February 16, 2007 @ 10:19 am

  18. hi Indira,
    This recipe is so yummy,I make it without potatoes.This time I will try with potatoes.

    Comment by Radhi — February 16, 2007 @ 10:41 am

  19. Hi !
    The dish looks yummy.Could u tell me how to make home made malai ? We r using raw milk and i get a lot of ‘Paal aadai'(tamil ) ..i think that’s what is called cream in english.I usually get that in layers .How to get that incorporated in gravy ? Thanks in advance.

    Comment by Bharathy — February 16, 2007 @ 1:36 pm

  20. Indira, yummy recipe! Am going to try it tonight. Thanks also for the tip on the Trader Joe naan.

    Congratulations on your nomination!

    Comment by anjali — February 16, 2007 @ 1:42 pm

  21. Hi Indira, As usual a very tempting recipe… Can you share your recipe for making home made malai?

    Congratulations on the nomination!


    Comment by SUbha — February 16, 2007 @ 7:34 pm

  22. Hi Indira,
    I found this recipe fantastic, specially the Masala paste bit……since you have used peas in it.I have never used peas as in a paste. I must give it a try.
    Since we do not have fresh methi leaves in the neighbourhood market usually, I wonder if I could use frozen leaves instead of fresh ones.

    Comment by kutus — February 17, 2007 @ 3:47 am

  23. Methi has a unique bitter taste difficult to substitute, Dee. Or you can prepare it simply without methi.

    Barbara, peas with dalia powder sounds interesting. I am glad that you have been trying out different recipes and experimenting.
    I think Zak would like this curry.

    Deepika you are most welcome to a meal at our home. Come by anytime.:)

    Hi Linda, usually US companies purchase from the same source. Labels vary for different shops. Trader Joe’s are made in India. Ingredients are whole wheat flour, yogurt, garlic and water. That’s it. No preservatives or no such things are added.

    We must be from the same pod.:) Congratulations again Praba!

    Mythreyee, Mika and Deepu: Thanks.

    Jacob, Lobstersquad: Thanks. I guess you can prepare it without methi.

    Recipe: Already, wow! Glad to hear that you liked this recipe.

    Hi Pelicano: If you try this recipe, please let me know how you like it. Thanks.

    Coffee: Sorry, because of limited free time lately I haven’t been doing much blog surfing.

    Hi Latha: I just simmered the whole milk for about one hour and called the concentrated, thick creamy end result ‘malai’.

    Hi Sarada: I hope your daughter Indu likes it.

    Hi Trupti: I first saw this recipe at Vee’s food blog. Later many food bloggers blogged different versions.
    I think it’d turn out good with frozen methi also. But reduce the amount, perhaps half cup is enough in this recipe.

    Hi Laxmi: Happy Sivarathi!
    I prepared this curry with frozen peas (petite peas). I too don’t like and rarely prepare plain pea curries. But because of potato and methi addition, it turned out good.
    Palakova yum:)

    Hi Radhi: Yes, try it with potatoes also.

    Hi Bharathy and Subha: I just simmered the whole milk for about an hour. I was making a sweet with it. Didn’t follow traditional method of malai preparation.

    Thanks Anjali.

    Hi Kutus: Thanks.
    I guess frozen methi can be used in this recipe but just reduce the amount to half or quarter cup. Otherwise the curry may turn to too bitter.

    Comment by Indira — February 17, 2007 @ 10:59 am

  24. Hi Indira,
    Not sure if it’s right place to bring this to your attention. My title,Mishmash!, in your food blogger’s list is appeared in the same line with Mom’s Kitchen, Andhra recipes. I Would appreciate if you could separate the two, since its two different titles from two different bloggers.


    Comment by Mishmash! — February 19, 2007 @ 6:38 am

  25. I made this over the weekend to pair with chappathis. to sub for malai, ground up freshly toasted almonds with whole milk…
    Tasted heavenly – everyone at home loved it – thanks for sharing the recipe and for the lovely presentation ๐Ÿ™‚

    Comment by @ — February 19, 2007 @ 11:34 am

  26. hi
    i will be trying this vege…
    can you tell me how to make garlic naan pls.

    Indira replies:
    Hi Mahek, these are storebought garlic naans. I rarely prepare naans at home but I did blog about naan recipe before. You can find it here. Just add the garlic topping instead of walnuts and raisins. Hope this helps.

    Comment by mahek — February 19, 2007 @ 12:00 pm

  27. Indira,
    Methi-Malai-Matar was delicious, I used evaporated milk, instead of malai, tasted great, also had it with your new find “Garlic Naan” from Trader Joe, it was definately a great combo…Thanks for sharing. Aruna.

    Comment by Aruna — February 20, 2007 @ 4:32 am

  28. OH! I love methi matar malai with hot and fresh naan. My mom also makes it and I just…. love it… Yours is looking perfect and the pics are breath-taking. A job well done!

    Comment by Nidhi — February 20, 2007 @ 11:34 am

  29. To the cooking guru,
    I love the receipes and was browsing throught them over the weekend..
    I was wondering if u can suggest a receipe with minimal things to do.. with readymade stuff for a party of 25. I want to make some dish .. any suggestions??

    Comment by nita — February 20, 2007 @ 12:41 pm

  30. Indira, Loved your version of methi matar malai. I have a very different version in my blog as well but boy!! yours looks very yummy. Will try it sometime

    Comment by seema — February 20, 2007 @ 5:43 pm

  31. Indira,

    We had this for dinner and are still licking our fingers. It was awesome, even though our version is called Methi sour cream mattar. I loved the masala paste; the house smells like a restaurant.

    Comment by Terri — February 20, 2007 @ 9:31 pm

  32. Hi
    i just tried your methi malai and it was really superb.i had that nan from TJs too.thanks for this wonderful version.i was also thinking of adding extra firm tofu instead of potatoes,but do not know how it will taste.

    Comment by chitra — February 25, 2007 @ 11:34 am

  33. Hi ,
    I have made your wonderful recipe and it tastes great. Thank you for taking simple ingredients making the same everyday bhaji exotic. congratulations on your award .

    Comment by nina — February 26, 2007 @ 9:37 am

  34. I just made this dish with evaporated milk(no cream or malai). Came out superb.Ground cashew nuts made it even creamier. Thanks.

    Comment by alka — February 5, 2010 @ 6:09 pm

  35. Indira, I made it for yesterday’s dinner; paired with homemade garlic naan. Since I don’t find any fresh methi here so I used frozen one. Boy! it’s so delicious and lip-smacking good. Thanks for sharing such a simple and tasty recipe. I’m so glad that I found another dish which is going to be frequent in my kitchen now onwards. Many thanks again! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Hi Sonia,
    Happy to read that you tried and liked this recipe. Thanks for letting me know.

    Comment by Sonia — May 14, 2010 @ 9:11 pm

  36. Hi!
    I made this for lunch today & my kids loved it! Thank you so much for this receipe.

    Comment by Shaheen — July 10, 2010 @ 5:34 am

  37. hi indira,

    can i use frozen peas as fresh peas is very expensive?….. let me know.

    Comment by vani — January 24, 2011 @ 10:10 pm

  38. Excellent–I just made it and will again!

    Comment by Brad — February 27, 2011 @ 9:53 pm

  39. I made this dish with frozen peas and everyone at home liked it a lot. Thank you!

    Comment by sujatha — June 27, 2011 @ 11:43 pm

  40. Hey!

    Very well explained. Thanks a lot! One suggestion- please mentione how many people this dish serves. I got a little confused about the quantity of ingredients.

    All the best!

    Comment by priya — December 19, 2011 @ 11:43 pm

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