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Aloo Mutter

Aloo Mutter
Aloo Mutter (oops forgot the coriander leaves)

Aloo Mutter (often spelt aloo matar) is a common side dish but is also really good as a main dish with rice. I also mash up any left overs to make stuffed paratha.

Although originally a Punjabi dish, where it is quite famous, it can now be found all over India and Pakistan. There are many different recipes for this, ranging from quick and simple to more complex. This version is somewhere in the middle but if you read the notes and the options then you should get an idea of how to play about with this.

Basic Ingredients

3 Medium potatoes
1 cup of frozen peas
1 medium onion
1 large clove of garlic
inch (1cm) piece of root ginger
2 large plum tomatoes (or 200g tinned tomatoes)
Coriander leaves to garnish
Oil for frying

Chilli powder
1 teaspoon Garam Masala
teaspoon turmeric
Pinch of asafetida
teaspoon mustard seeds

Notes on Ingredients

Potatoes. You can adjust the ratio of potatoes to peas to suit your liking

Peas. Frozen peas are easiest but you can use fresh peas if you like. They do take a bit longer to cook.

Oil. Aloo mutter is best cooked in Mustard oil or Ghee but you can use a good vegetable oil.

Chilli. I use about ½ teaspoon in this quantity - as a side dish it is often a foil for a hotter main dish but you can adjust to suit your taste. Crushed dried chillies are also very good. I don't often use fresh chillies in this but you can if you wish.

Spices. You can vary these quite a lot. I often use whole cumin seeds as well as mustard seeds. You can use ground coriander, cloves cinnamon and cardamom in some combination, instead of (or even as well as) the garam masala. I have also seen amchoor in some recipes, this gives a nice citrus tang to the dish.

Basic Method

Roast and grind any whole spices you may be using
Peel potatoes and cut into cubes.
Peel the onion and finely slice
Peel and chop the garlic and ginger
Peel the tomatoes and core them if using fresh ones. (Or just open the tin)

Heat the oil and toss in the mustard seeds (and whole cumin seeds if you use them) and the asafetida.
Fry these till the seeds start to pop
Put in the onions garlic and ginger lower the heat a little and fry the onions until they are soft
Add the chilli powder or chillis and stir these in.
Add the garam masala and/or your own spices and fry for a couple of minutes
Put in the tomatoes and mash them into the onions - continue frying
Add the turmeric and stir in.
Now add the potatoes and cook on a low heat for about 15 minutes
Put in the frozen peas and cook for a further 10 minutes
Put in a serving dish and garnish with coriander leaves

Notes on Method

Potatoes. If you are in a hurry you can parboil the potatoes in a steamer or microwave before adding to the dish.
You may also need to add a little water from time to time to prevent sticking and burning

Peas. If you use fresh peas then put them in at the same time as the potatoes

Tomatoes. Again these will take slightly longer to cook than tinned ones, leave to fry for a bit before adding the turmeric


Other things I have seen in different versions of aloo mutter are curds, cream, Kashmiri red chilli (which are very red but not hot) and paneer (a sort of Indian cottage cheese)

You can eat aloo mutter as a supper snack of as a side dish or even with rice as a main meal.
The quantities here would do probably 4 people as a snack or side dish or 2 people as a main meal

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