Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Achaari Gajar Matar Sabzi (Pickled Carrots & Peas)


I set out one fine day with the mood to cook up some vegetables, and that is when I conjured this beautiful combination of carrots and peas with a hint of Achaar (Indian traditional pickle) for lunch.

The sweetness of carrots in this recipe is nicely blended with the taste of ginger and cumin. The hint of Achaar added right at the end of the recipe adds the tangy flavor that complements the carrots really well.
Personally, I have always loved sauteed carrots and how they go soft and velvety when ready so this was one of my favorites for sure. The dish itself is presented beautifully thanks to the red and green so you don't even have to garnish or worry about how it will look. This is very easy to do and also very quick; to make it even quicker buy pre-chopped vegetables so that all you have to do is add the spices and cook!

Ingredients:
- About 5 carrots of medium size (or equivalent pre-chopped carrots)
- 1 cup of green peas (I used frozen ones)
- 3 tbsp. Oil
- 1 tsp. Cumin
- 1 inch Ginger grated or 1 tsp. Ginger paste
- 1/2 tsp. Red Chilli Powder
- 1/4 tsp Garam Masala
- Green Chilies (optional)
- Salt (as needed)
- Water (as needed)
- Achaar (Pickle) about 1 tbsp or according to taste
- Cilantro leaves for garnish (optional)

Method:
Chop the carrots into small pieces if you're not using the pre-chopped ones and measure out your peas. Make sure you rinse your vegetables before cooking them

Heat the oil in a pan. Add Cumin and let it fry till it gives off its smell.
Add Ginger and wait for its raw smell to disappear, about a minute.

Add the carrots and the peas and fry them in the cumin and ginger for about a minute until they start giving off their own water. Add the spices at this stage: Red Chilli Powder & Garam Masala (and Green Chillies if you're using them). Saute for a couple minutes. Add Salt.

Add water. Begin with 1/2 cup of water and add more if needed so that they are completely dipped. Cover with a lid and allow to cook on low heat until soft and done. When you see the water has begun to fry, taste the carrots to check if they're done. If not, add a little more water and wait for them to completely cook.
Keep stirring from time to time to prevent the vegetables from browning. It took me about 15 to 20 minutes to cook these.

When the water has dried and the carrots are completely cooked, taste and check for salt. Adjust if needed. Lastly, add the Achaar (Pickle). I love the Carrot Pickle by National since forever and I had on hand so I decided to use this one. You can also use the Mixed Achaar by National or any other one.
After adding the Achaar, saute for about a minute and then taste it. Add more Achaar if you want to according to your taste.

Delicious Achaari Gaajar Matar Sabzi is ready! Serve hot with rice or chapaati (bread)! 
OPTIONAL: garnish with cilantro leaves. You can also add a bit of lemon juice if you want to. Personally I loved the way it tasted without the lemon juice so I served it just as it was.

Until next time,
Happy Cooking!

- S. Ali

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