‘Nimona ’ is a north Indian dish, introduced to me by hubby N. In a nutshell, it is a side prepared by spicing up a paste of green peas. When N had made it for me some three years back, I was not very impressed and I simple forgot about it/ did not attempt to make it for years to come. However when my talented neighbor and friend R sent me across a piping hot version of her own, I was floored. She had very innovatively added spinach to the nimona and the combination of peas and spinach was a big hit. I and even baby A loved it and this became a frequent candidate for a side with rotis on weekday dinners. Here is a recipe, more as a keeper for myself – as I kept calling dear neighbor R to ask questions like – “did you say I need to boil the peas” or “did you add tomatoes too?”
fresh green spinach leaves / palak – 2 cups
fresh green peas / matar – 1.5 cups
onion / pyaj – 1 large (chopped small)
tomato / tamatar – 1 small (chopped small)
garlic / lehsun – 2 cloves (pounded)
cumin seeds / jeera – half tsp
turmeric – half tsp
oil – 2 tsp
salt – as per taste
garam masala – 1 tsp
red chili powder – half tsp (optional)
1. Boil the green peas in water till they turn tender. This can be done on the stove or microwave in 10-15 minutes. Discard the water, and mesh these in a food processor to obtain a rough paste. We don’t want a total mush, but a lot of texture remaining.
2. Blanch the spinach in the microwave or stove for 5 -7 minutes. Cool and puree. I used my hand blender for this.
3. Take a heavy bottomed kadhai and heat the oil.
4. When hot, add in the jeera and let it splutter.
5. Add the pounded garlic. This will flavor the oil. Let this cook for a minute, till the raw smell is gone.
6. Add the chopped onion and sauté till it begins to brown.
7. Add the chopped tomatoes and let these cook till done.
8. Now, add the spinach puree, the peas puree. Add half a cup of water ( I had saved the water in which I had boiled the peas).
9. Add salt and let this simmer for a while – 5 to 7 minutes. Since the peas and the spinach are boiled already, a lot of heavy duty cooking is not required here, only a mingling of all ingredients does the job.
10. Add the garam masala. The red chili powder is optional. This will balance out the sweetness of the peas.
11. Serve hot with rotis.