saucy peas

peas in spiced tomato cream sauce

Not the prettiest dish in the world, but extremely good. And easy!



The sauce, a mixture of tomato, cream, green chile, cilantro and spices, is straight from a Madhur Jaffrey recipe, but she wants you to serve it with prawns. We made it that way for a while, then hit on the idea of stirring in lightly cooked peas instead of shrimp. We’ve done it this way ever since.

swirling in the cream

First, your tomatoes. I often use one of those small cans of Hunt’s tomato sauce, but any tomato puree will do. Then measure in the garam masala, salt and ground cumin, and just a pinch of cayenne. I like to grate the chile and ginger on a microplane, but you could chop it by hand if you like little bursts of flavor. Add a handful of chopped cilantro and some lemon juice. Stir it all together. Then pour in some cream. Cook the peas lightly in boiling water, drain, and stir into the sauce. Eat over rice.

adding peas

Or, make the sauce, hold the peas, and serve it as a chilled soup. That would be pretty awesome. Leftovers of this, with or without rice, are rather good with scrambled eggs. Or just eaten straight for breakfast with a spoon.

Peas in Spiced Tomato-Cream Sauce

Adapted from Madhur Jaffrey’s Spice Kitchen: Fifty Recipes Introducing Indian Spices and Aromatic Seeds

  • 8 oz tomato puree or sauce
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 3/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • pinch cayenne (or more if you’re a heat fiend)
  • 1 green chile (serrano or jalapeño), chopped or grated
  • 1 tsp fresh ginger, chopped or grated
  • 3 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup cream
  • 1-2 cups frozen or fresh peas (depending on how saucy you want the final dish), lightly boiled and drained

Combine everything except the peas and stir well. When the peas are cooked (as much as you want – I like them still a bit firm), drain them and stir them into the sauce. Serve warm or room temperature.


2 thoughts on “saucy peas

  1. When I think of all of the recipes from Madhur Jaffrey’s Spice Kitchen that have entered our standard repertoire, I’m just amazed at how hard a book it is to find. It may only have 50 recipes in it, but it has to have the highest success rating of any cookbook we own.

  2. Yum yum yum. One of my all time favorite dishes. I think it was the first Indian dish I ever tried. No need to be pretty when you taste that good!

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