|Matar Ka Nimona ~Indian State Uttar Pradesh|
Remember this song" Khaike Pan Banaraswala"
Where is Banaras? Yes in Uttar Pradesh! So let’s visit Uttar Pradesh today!
Uttar Pradesh, abbr. UP, is a state located in northern India. It was created on 1 April 1937 as the United Provinces, and was renamed Uttar Pradesh in 1950. Lucknow is the capital and Kanpur is the commercial capital and the largest city of Uttar Pradesh.
Uttar Pradesh was home to powerful empires of ancient and medieval India, including Magadha, Nanda, Mauryan, Sunga, Kushan, Gupta, Gurjara, Rashtrakuta, Pala and Mughal which many say was improved by the Nawabs of Awadh. The two major rivers of the state, the Ganga and Yamuna, join at Allahabad and then flow as the Ganga further east. The state has several historical, natural, and religious tourist destinations, such as the Taj Mahal, Varanasi, Piprahwa, Kaushambi, Kanpur, Ballia, Shravasti, Kushinagar, Lucknow, Chitrakoot, Jhansi, Allahabad, Budaun, Meerut and Mathura. It’s also the area of some of the oldest existing cities of Budaun and Varanasi.
With this as the background what will the food here be like? What are the cuisines here called?
Mughlai cuisine is a style of cooking developed in the Indian subcontinent by the imperial kitchens of the Mughal Empire. It represents the cooking styles used in North India especially Uttar Pradesh. The cuisine is strongly influenced by the Persian cuisine of Iran, and has in turn strongly similarities to the regional cuisines of Kashmir and the Punjab region. Mughlai cuisine the tastes vary from extremely mild to spicy, and is often associated with a distinctive aroma and the taste of ground and whole spices.
Awadhi cuisine is from the city of Lucknow the city of Nawabi Cuisines. The cooking is similar to those of Central Asia, the Middle East, and Northern India as well.
Awashi cuisine boasts of both vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes. Awadh has been greatly influenced by Mughal cooking techniques and also the cooking from of Persia, Kashmir, Punjab and Hyderabad.
The bawarchis and rakabdars of Awadh gave birth to the dum style of cooking or the art of cooking over a slow fire, which has become synonymous with Lucknow today. Their spread consisted of elaborate dishes like kebabs, kormas, biryani, kaliya, nahari-kulchas, zarda, sheermal, roomali rotis, and warqi parathas. The richness of Awadh cuisine lies not only in the variety of cuisine but also in the ingredients used like mutton, paneer, and rich spices including cardamom and saffron.
So what is the typical day-to-day traditional vegetarian meal of Uttar Pradesh, like any other North Indian thali, consists of roti (flatbread), chawal, dal, sabji, raita and papad. Many people still drink the traditional drink chaach with meals. On festive occasions, usually 'tava' (flat pan for roti) is considered inauspicious, and instead fried foods are consumed. A typical festive thali consists of Puri, Kachauri, sabji, pulav, papad, raita, salad and desserts (such as sewai or kheer).
Many communities have their own particular style of cuisines, such as the Jains, Kayasths and Muslims. Sweets occupy an important place in the Hindu diet and are eaten at social ceremonies. People make distinctive sweetmeats from milk products, including khurchan, peda, gulabjamun, petha, makkhan malai, and chamcham.
The chaat in Lucknow and Banarasi Paan is known across India for its flavour and ingredients.
Given this background what does one make for UP?
Vaishali to rescue….
Vaishali sent me mungodi with the suggestion that I make Matar ka Nimona. I searched her blog for the recipe but could find it. I find that strange maybe my search key were wrong. So I googled and landed on Banaras ka Khana, Another old friend who cooks amazing.
For me Nimona is a new word and my family was in for a surprise. The smell of the soup was amazing but I did not realise that the mungodi has salt in it. So we had a very salty gravy/soup. In the evening I tried to adjust the salt but once bitten….. No one was willing to try it out again.
So I made it again. This time I was very careful and added very little salt. Needless to say we loved it.
Nimona is curried soup thin gravy, spiced, delicately and made with a paste of fresh green peas and a few mung dumplings to bite into. The green peas are coarsely ground.
Generally the mung dumplings are made freshly for the nimona.
Tastes best with some rice or chapatti and a salad and we are fully satisfied.
Matar Ka Nimona
Indian State: Uttar Pradesh
Recipe Source: Banaras ka Khana
- 1 ½ cup green peas
- ½ inch piece of ginger
- 2 green chillies
- 1 tbsp Sambhar masala
- 2 tblspn water
- ½ tsp kanda lasun masala (optional)
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- ¼ tsp asafoetida
- 2 tblspn ghee
- 1/2 cup coriander leaves, chopped
- 15-20 mung vadi, deep fried
- Put the peas, ginger and green chillies in the chutney bowl of the mixer and pulse in a coarse paste. Do not add water.
- Add water to the sambhar masala and make a slurry.
- Heat the ghee in a pan and tip in the cumin seeds and the asafoetida powder. Wait till the cumin crackles.
- Lower the flame add the sambhar masala slurry. Pour in the peas paste immediately and stir fry.
- The peas paste becomes lumpy first and then starts getting crumbly and sticks to the base. Please remember to do this on low flame.
- Add the kanda lasun masala powder and mix well.
- Stir and cook for a minute before adding about 4 cups of water. Mix well and let it come to boil.
- Tip in the cut pieces of the fried mung vadi/dumplings, add salt to taste and simmer for about half an hour on very low heat.
- Serve hot when the vadi/dumplings becomes spongy and curry thickens to your liking. Serve sprinkled with coriander leaves.
- Serve with chapattis or rice.
|Matar Ka Nimona ~Indian State Uttar Pradesh|
- You might like to add some water if you want it thinner. The mungodis absorb a lot of water making the curry thicker.