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Malai Methi Mattar Murgh Recipe
Malai Methi Mattar Murgh is a delicious Punjabi dish consisting of tender succulent chicken combined with fresh fenugreek leaves and green peas simmered gently in a delicately spiced cream based curry. One bite and you’re totally hooked, seriously – there is something very addictive about this dish. In Hindi: “malai” is cream, “methi” is fenugreek, “mattar” is green peas and "murgh" is chicken.
Many of you may be unfamiliar with fenugreek, but it is quite common in Indian cooking. Fenugreek is used as both an herb (fresh fenugreek leaves) and also as a spice (fenugreek seeds). The leaves have a wonderful and unique flavor. Known as “methi” in India, these small leaves have a very slight bitter flavor and a fragrant aroma. The seeds are used in the preparation of Indian pickles, spice mixtures (masalas) and curry pastes. Fenugreek seeds are also known to aid in the digestion process. Fresh fenugreek or methi leaves are available in most Indian grocery stores. They are also available in a dried form (known as Kasuri methi) and can also be found in the frozen section.
I have tried substituting fresh tender baby spinach leaves for this recipe and in all honesty, I preferred the fresh fenugreek leaves - they have a slight bitter taste that works well in this recipe.
MALAI METHI MATTAR MURGH (Creamy Chicken, Fenugreek Leaves & Green Peas Curry)
1 lb boneless/skinless chicken, cut into 1.5” pieces
1 large bunch of fresh fenugreek leaves (methi)
1 cup green peas (frozen are fine, thaw before use)
3-4 large shallots, finely minced (or 1 medium onion)
2 large garlic cloves, finely minced
1” piece of ginger, peeled & finely minced
1 tsp cumin seeds
4-5 dried red chilies, to taste
½ tsp turmeric (haldi)
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp ground coriander powder
¼ tsp cinnamon powder
salt & pepper, to taste
½ tsp tomato paste
½ cup light cream (or half and half)
pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
2 tbsp ghee or oil (vegetable or canola)
freshly chopped cilantro leaves for garnish
Remove all the fenugreek leaves from the stems, wash, drain well & finely chop. Set aside until needed.
In a large deep skillet or wok on medium high heat, add the oil. When hot, add the cumin seeds. After about 30 seconds or so, add the dried red chilies. Stir and add in the shallots, garlic & ginger. Sauté the shallots until they have softened & become translucent. Then add in the spices (turmeric, garam masala, ground coriander powder, cinnamon, salt & pepper) along with the tomato paste. Stir well and let cook for a few minutes before adding in the chicken pieces. Mix well to combine all of the ingredients, cover, reduce the heat to low and let cook for 5-6 minutes. Now add in the fenugreek leaves & keep stirring until the fenugreek leaves have completely wilted. Then add in the green peas & let cook for another 3-4 minutes. Finish the dish with the cream & the freshly grated nutmeg. Mix well to combine all of the ingredients & garnish with cilantro leaves. Serve with fresh chapatis & fragrant Basmati rice.
Feel free to make this dish using some fresh mushrooms or some browned paneer cubes in place of the chicken for a tasty vegetarian version.
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Content copyright © 2015 by Sadhana Ginde. All rights reserved.
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