Matar Usal (Maharashtrian pea curry) Recipe

Matar Usal (Maharashtrian pea curry) Recipe

This curry is a delicious reward for a small amount of effort. Though you can make it very quickly, the depth of flavors never fail to amaze me.

Serves: 2-3

Prep time: 10 minutes


  • 16 oz. frozen (or fresh shelled) peas (left out to thaw)
  • turmeric
  • black mustard seeds
  • kari patta (curry leaves)
  • 1/2 ginger
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 4 green finger chilis
  • salt
  • sugar
  • 1/2 lime
  • fresh shredded coconut (not the dried kind you use for baking or putting on ice cream, you can find it frozen in indian stores)
  • coriander/cilantro leaves for garnish


  1. Heat canola oil over medium heat for two minutes.
  2. Finely chop the ginger, garlic, and chilies.
  3. Add a 1/2 teaspoon each of mustard and turmeric and 3-4 curry leaves to the oil.
  4. Fry the spices until the mustard seeds start to pop, then add the chopped ginger, garlic, and chilies.
  5. Mix while the ingredients fry.
  6. When the mixture is very aromatic, but the garlic has not yet started to get too dark and brown, add the peas.
  7. Continue cooking for three or four minutes until the peas are ready. They should be bright green and not at all dry or beginning to pucker.
  8. Turn off the heat and add a 1/2 teaspoon each of salt and sugar, the juice from the lime, and 3 tablespoons fresh grated coconut.
  9. Mix and garnish with the cilantro leaves (if desired).
  10. Serve hot and enjoy!

Looking for other great bhajis (Marathi vegetable curries)? When cooking for a big group, I serve often serve this with Ghevda (green beans), Palakchi bhaji (spinach), or Flower chi bhaji (cauliflower) and Toor dal (yellow lentils) for protein.

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