Monday 20 December 2021

Gajar Matar Recipe aka The Carrot Peas Indian Dish I Love

Curry is a bit of a misnomer in the Western world. From where I am from in Northern India, curry is a specific dish that is bright yellow in colour, almost neon yellow, made from sour milk and always eaten with rice. In North America, "Curry" is used as an all-encompassing term for savoury Indian entrees with some sort of sauce. Instead of the word "curry," In India, we use the word "Sabzi" as the generic name for savoury dishes that make up our main dish. My favourite Indian sabzi is a dry carrots and peas dish. 

Called "Gajar Matar" which literally translates to Carrot Peas, the traditional dish is vegan and gluten-free. The natural sweetness of the carrots and peas is the main highlight of the dish. To this day, I had never made an Indian sabzi. It has always felt like a daunting task to me! 

All my life, I have watched my mum and aunties make various Indian dishes from scratch at home. The base of every Indian dish is the "tarka" a mixture of onions, ginger and garlic which is then seasoned with various spices. So I already had a rough idea of how to make the dish and after a few google searches, I set out to make my gajar matar. 

I genuinely had zero expectations of it turning out good, but to my complete shock, it turned out fantastic! Delicious! So good that my father nearly got into an argument with my mom because he was convinced she was pulling his leg for saying I made the dish!

This recipe is going to be a bit of a hodgepodge because I made it to taste. The measurements are not accurate, but a quick google search will yield several results for recipes. 


1 small onion

4 cloves of garlic

1 knob of ginger

To Taste - turmeric, cumin seeds, garam masala, salt, red chilli powder, sugar




1. Peel and chop 5 or more medium sized carrots.

2. In a food processor, pulse the onion, garlic and ginger to a paste. 

3. Add some neutral oil to a big pan over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic and ginger mixture and slowly cook until light gold. Keep stirring it so it does not burn. 

4. Put in a spoon each of turmeric and cumin seeds. Cook the spices in the mixture until fragrant. You might need to add a few spoons of water so that the seasoning dissolves. 

5. Add in the chopped carrots. Do a good job of evenly coating the carrots with the spiced onion mixture. 

6. Cover and let it simmer on low. 

7. After a few minutes, season to taste with salt and chilli powder. Add in green peas. You want a ratio of 1/4 green peas to 3/4 carrots. 

8. Cover and simmer on low heat. Give it a good mix every so often to prevent sticking. 

9. Your Carrot Pea dish is done once the vegetables are tender! I threw in some fresh cilantro for colour and flavour. 

Traditionally, this type of dry dish is paired with an Indian flat bread. However, I strongly believe everything goes well with rice. 

Like I said earlier, the basis of every Indian dish is the Tarka - onion, ginger, garlic cooked down with spices. Now that I am comfortable with making the Tarka, I cannot wait to make other Indian dishes. 

Let me know in the comments below if you try making the Indian Carrots and Peas dish! 


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