January 03, 2020

Choora Matar | Chooda Matar | Matar Poha - UP Special

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India is a land full of flavor and amazing cuisines varying from region to region. Just as they say a language's dialect changes every 100km , I feel the same holds good for our varied cuisines as well . The basic ingredients are common but the way they are used and treated in the individual recipes based on their regional influence is what makes the recipe stand apart .

This month I was paired with Priya Iyer for our Secret Cooking Challenge and she was very generous to give me Green Peas and Green Chilli as secret ingredients to dish out a recipe and I gave her potatoes and red chilli as her secret ingredients and friends do check out the yummy Aloo Rassedar that she dished out from the Uttar Pradesh special cuisine. 

Now, coming to today's recipe.. the ingredients are very common and a staple breakfast or tea time snack in most of the households all over india... do you think it is upma? NO NO...it is a most favorite item for many...the POHA a.k.a the flattened Rice Flakes.

Poha is made in different forms like Kanda Poha or Kanda Batata Poha which is famous in Maharashtra, Batata Poha of Gujarat , Gojju Avlakki  of Karnataka , Aval Kesari or Aval payasam (kheer) from Tamil Nadu .
More so , Poha is also offered as GopalKaala to lord Krishna in Vrindavan for Krishna Janmashtami as we all know how fond Krishna was of Poha along with his love for butter , ghee , milk etc.

While I was trying to explore the various recipes , I was somehow attracted to this recipe's name of Chooda Matar or Choora Matar as they call it in Banaras or Lucknow. When I went reading about it I was surprised to know that it is nothing but Poha made using peas but trust me it is no where similar to the usual Poha we make for breakfast.  This is a total No onion No garlic recipe and hence fell into my bucket perfectly and I did not have to tweak this recipe at all .

The ingredients that are used in the making of Choora Matar gives a very different taste and punch to the final product. I am sure , after reading so much most of you must be salivating now ...let us now go and look at the recipe. 

Preparation Time - 15 mins
Cooking Time - 10 mins
Complexity  - Easy
Serves - 2 to 3

 2 cups of thick poha (100 gms approx)
1/2 cup fresh peas or frozen peas 
2-3 green chillies chopped
Small piece of ginger finely chopped
1/2 tsp pepper powder
1/2 tsp garam masala powder
1/2 tsp jeera or cumin seeds
Asafoetida as needed 
Salt as needed 
2 tablespoon oil 
Fresh corriander chopped
Juice from 1/2 lemon
Few cashewnuts

  • Rinse the poha well in a colander multiple times and let it sit for 10 to 15 mins . This will soften the poha 
  • Incase of using fresh peas , par boil them with a little salt and keep aside .
  • In a kadai /pan , heat some oil and splutter the jeera , fry the green chilies and ginger. 
  • Add the asafoetida, pepper powder , garam masala and quickly stir it to avoid burning .
  • Now add the soaked poha, salt and mix it well until all the masalas get mixed with the poha .
  • Add the boiled peas , sprinkle some water , close the kadai with a lid and cook the poha for 3-4 mins .
  • Turn off the stove, open the lid and add in the lemon juice,fried cashews and fresh corriander and toss it well .
  • Serve hot with a cup  piping hot Ginger Cardamom Tea or Strong Filter Coffee .