Methi matar malai is a winter special popular north Indian curry made with fresh green peas, cream and fenugreek leaves. Creamy, rich, tasty curry for butter naan, jeera rice or paratha.
Winter is the season for lush green produce here. When you see heaps and heaps of green peas and super fresh tender methi everywhere, you obviously crave methi matar malai 🙂
This is a north Indian, Punjabi curry that is made very widely during winters. Apart from using all the seasonal ingredients, this is a rich and hearty curry that warms you from inside, perfect for cold days 🙂
This winter, whip up a big pot with my easy recipe and enjoy with that naan, kulcha or even rice for a hearty, comforting meal. For more hearty curry recipes please check palak paneer, paneer butter masala, matar paneer recipes.
About This Recipe
Methi matar malai is a classic Punjabi curry also popular in all north Indian restaurant menus. Methi means fenugreek leaves, matar means green peas and malai means cream.
So this curry is made with these three main ingredients along with usual suspects of Indian curries like onion, ginger garlic, some whole spices and all.
It is amazing in this recipe how the humble ingredients come together as a rich, gourmet and exotic curry that is super creamy and flavorful.
The methi leaves have a very slight bitter taste and it beautifully complimented by green peas and cream in this curry.
Even though the methi leaves have a slight bitter tone, you will not feel the bitter taste in this curry, only the mellow flavor of the methi will be felt. If you want a pronounced bitter taste just like I do, feel free to double the quantity of methi leaves.
Do try this tasty and best methi matar malai recipe and enjoy. It is
easy and simple to make
creamy and rich
flavorful and delicious
winter special delicacy
wonderful with naan, jeera rice.
Ingredients You Will Need
You need very few simple ingredients to make methi matar malai curry and they are listed below. See notes for alternate ingredients and vegan options.
Green peas– Freshly shelled green peas are the preferred choice. While you can use frozen green peas, dried green peas cannot be used in this recipe. If you are using frozen peas, just add them as such, don’t thaw them to room temperature.
Fenugreek leaves– fresh fenugreek leaves known as methi leaves give this curry as very deep and nice flavor. Use tender fenugreek leaves that are less bitter if you prefer and you can easily double the amount of methi in this recipe.
Onions-The base of this curry is a mix of onions, green chilies and cashews. Onions lend a creamy sweet note to the curry.
Cashew nuts– Along with fresh cream, cashews gives a rich and creamy texture to this curry. See my notes for other options to make the curry richer and creamier.
Milk- adding some milk lends a very rich flavor and you can easily use water instead.
Ginger garlic– for flavor. Be generous with ginger garlic as we are not using any spice powder like turmeric powder or red chili powder or garam ma
Whole spices– few select whole spices like bay leaf, cloves are used for flavor. Adding the spices whole lend a mellow flavor rather than loads of heat. Instead of the whole ones you can add just 1/2 teaspoon garam masala powder too in this dish.
Malai or Fresh Cream– Fresh cream or malai is added finally in this curry to make this curry more rich and creamy.
How To Make Methi Matar Malai Recipe
Thoroughly clean a large bunch of fenugreek leaves first. See notes to learn how to clean methi thoroughly. Once cleaned you can chop them finely or if you are using tender leaves (barik methi) leave them as such.
Blanch shelled green peas with a pinch of sugar for 5 minutes in boiling water. Drain and set aside.
Take 1 roughly chopped onion, 15 cashews, 1 teaspoon cumin seeds, 2 green chillies, 1 inch peeled piece of ginger and 2 garlic cloves in a mixer jar. Grind everything to a smooth paste with some water. Instead of fresh ginger and garlic you can use 1 tablespoon ginger garlic paste while making methi mutter malai.
Making The Curry
Heat 2 tablespoons butter or oil in a pan. Add 1 bay leaf and 2 cloves, 1/2 inch cinnamon and 2 cardamoms. Saute well for few seconds.
Add the ground onion paste and saute well for 6-7 minutes in medium heat or until butter separates from the sides.
Add washed methi leaves and coat the masala well.
Add 1/2 cup milk , 1/2 cup water and mix well.
Cook for 10-12 minutes until the gravy starts to thicken.
Season with salt and sugar. Add the blanched green peas and mix well.
Add 1/2 cup fresh cream and mix thoroughly.
Simmer for 5 minutes. Add finely chopped cilantro leaves and mix well. Serve methi matar malai hot.
On Cleaning Methi Leaves
Fenugreek leaves or methi is one of the greens very prone to dirt and mud as it grows very near to the soil. It has to be cleaned thoroughly before using in recipes. Here is what you do.
First of all remove the roots of the leaves using a sharop knife or if they are tied as a bunch you can use scissors and cut it off. Next soak the leaves in a large bowl of water for 10 minutes. You will see all the dirt accumulated at the bottom. Remove the leaves gently and soak in clean water again, add a big pinch of salt or few drops of vinegar. Set aside for 5 minutes.
Finally drain the water off and rinse methi in clear running water twice or thrice. Spread on a plate. Use as required in the recipe. You can do this is in a large batch, spread the cleaned leaves on a kitchen towel, let dry and store in airtight boxes. They keep well for a week.
Health benefits of methi
Fenugreek leaves are not only tasty but also loaded with health benefits. It is highly recommended to consume them especially during the season to reap the maximum benefits.
It reduces the cholesterol in blood, good for treating diabetes, prevents anemia, cures mouth ulcers. while this methi matar malai is a rich curry for special occasions, you can add a handful methi leaves in any dal, sambar or with vegetables for nutrition. I clean the leaves as mentioned above and add some in dals and sambar.
You can also try making these methi recipes – methi paratha, methi dal, aloo methi, methi chole, Kashmiri methi chaman recipes.
Vegan Variation Of Methi Matar Malai
If you wish to make this curry vegan just use
oil or vegan butter instead of butter
almond milk instead of dairy milk
any vegan cream instead of malai. You can simply add cashew paste too.
I have tried this curry with coconut milk and cream, though it tasted very good, the flavor of coconut was overpowering. In this curry we like the flavor of methi to shine.
On Cream– Malai or cream is an important ingredient in this curry. This is not your everyday curry, it is richer, creamy and definitely calorie laden. I make this only occasionally so I add a good amount of cream.
I have added low fat cream here (Amul blue) but you can go for heavy or even double cream. You can also simply collect the malai from the milk and add. If you wish you can skip cream altogether and increase milk by another 1/2 cup.
How to make this curry richer?
For a more rich and creamy methi malai matar curry along with cashew nuts you can add 2 teaspoons poppy seeds or melon seeds.
You can also use blanched almonds instead of cashews in this recipe.
Why is my methi very bitter and how can I reduce the bitterness?
If you are using very matured leaves they tend to be overly bitter. After cleaning the leaves, add a pinch of salt, mix and set aside for 5 minutes. Methi leaves would have let out some water, squeeze it discard the water. Rinse again and use in recipe, this should reduce the bitterness. You can also use tender or baby leaves. However there will be slight bitter taste in these leaves and it is very good to balance the creamy sweet taste of this methi matar malai curry.
Can I use frozen green peas for making methi matar malai recipe?
yes, just add them without thawing.
Can I use kasuri methi 0r dried fenugreek leaves?
I do not recommend it here but you can use frozen methi though.
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Restaurant Style Methi Matar Malai
1 CUP = 250 ml
For Onion Paste
- 2 onions large
- 15 cashew nuts 2
- 2 green chilies
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 inch ginger peeled
- 2 garlic cloves
For methi msatar malai curry
- 2 tablespoons butter or oil
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 cloves
- 2 green cardamoms
- 1/2 inch cinnamon stick
- 1.5 cups fenugreek leaves methi, tightly packed
- 1 cup green peas
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/2 cup fresh cream
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- 2 tablespoon coriander leaves cilantro leaves, chopped
- Thoroughly clean a large bunch of fenugreek leaves first. See notes to learn how to clean methi thoroughly. Once cleaned you can chop them finely or if you are using tender leaves (barik methi) leave them as such. Blanch shelled green peas with a pinch of sugar for 5 minutes in boiling water. Drain and set aside.
- Take 1 roughly chopped onion, 15 cashews, 1 teaspoon cumin seeds, 2 green chillies, 1 inch peeled piece of ginger and 2 garlic cloves in a mixer jar. Grind everything to a smooth paste with some water. Instead of fresh ginger and garlic you can use 1 tablespoon ginger garlic paste while making methi mutter malai.
Making The Curry
- Heat 2 tablespoons butter or oil in a pan. Add 1 bay leaf and 2 cloves, 1/2 inch cinnamon and 2 cardamoms. Saute well for few seconds.
- Add the ground onion paste and saute well for 6-7 minutes in medium heat or until butter separates from the sides.
- Add washed methi leaves and coat the masala well.
- Add 1/2 cup milk , 1/2 cup water and mix well.
- Cook for 10-12 minutes until the gravy starts to thicken.
- Season with salt. Add the blanched green peas and mix well.
- Add 1/2 cup fresh cream and mix thoroughly.
- Simmer for 5 minutes. Add finely chopped cilantro leaves and mix well. Serve methi matar malai hot.
- If you prefer you can use blanched almond instead of cashews.
- You can leave out milk and add 1 cup fresh cream instead.