Punjabi Peas and Carrots

A book in a bag. A bag that is designed to look like a traditional rice bag, with the same design on the jacket cover. Cute? You Bet!

And there is a beautiful welcome on the inside cover. How could I not feel welcomed after this?

After a weekend of over-indulgence, read way too much rich food (fried breakfasts – notice the plural), alcohol a plenty, and general partying I’m in need of simple home-cooked comfort food.

Part of our bounty from meeting up to celebrate my brother’s birthday was a packet of pre-made Naan Breads. He lives in Manchester and has access to great Indian food stores that sell high quality goods. And the breads are no exception. Soft, flaky, tasty. Bliss for a woman who needs great food but can’t face making her own breads today.

On goes the Dal Makhani, a dark, rich and warming dal , so we need a dry dish and I’ve chosen this simple dry vegetable dish. Fresh tasting and full of flavour and colour.

We are gradually eating our way through the vegetables I grew, picked, cleaned, blanched and froze. Every time I fetch a carton of veggies from the freezer it’s a reminder of summer days of bounty, heat, growth, light, warmth and WOW taste.

Gajar Matar – Peas and Carrots from the Punjab

Original recipe from Pushpent Pant’s India Cookbook

Ingredients ~

  • 2 tbls vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 onion, peeled and chopped
  • 2 green chillies, de-seeded and chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic, peeled nad chopped
  • 1 cm (1/2 inch) piece of ginger, peeled and chopped
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp chilli powder
  • 1 tomato chopped
  • 250g (9 oz) peas
  • 125g (4 oz) carrots, cut into dice

Method ~

  • Heat the oil in a large frying pan, add the cumin seeds and fry until they start to splutter
  • Add the onions and fry until golden brown
  • Add the chillies, garlic and ginger and fry for 2 minutes
  • Add the coriander, cumin and spices and cook for 2 minutes
  • Sprinkle into the pan 3 tbls of water, continue to cook for another 2 minutes
  • Add the tomato and cook for a further 2 minutes
  • Add the peas and carrots, reduce the heat to low, cover and cook for about 5 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.

Gardening Notes ~

The peas are all heritage climbing peas, which were very successful for me this year. Telephone, Carruther’s Purple, Robinson’s Purple, Champion of England, Simpson’s Special, Magnum Bonum and Salmon Flowered. I hope I can recreate the success.

The carrots are a mixture of Mokum, Touchon and Royal Chantenay. Grown in boxes of compost and sand. Their sweetness shines through, even with the blanching and freezing.



  • Isn’t it nice that our gardens can provide memories. I just used some of my basic tomato sauce from the freezer. I can’t believe that we waited so long for vine ripe tomatoes and now the garden is prepared for winter. I know you must be enjoying your harvest.

    • Hi Karen, it is a real bonus to be eating homegrown food this time of year, and as you say the memories that go with the gardening will sustain me till me Spring when I can get going again. And I had the same long drawn out tomato no-show here! Next year WILL BE different again!

  • Love the pictures! I used to keep rice bags when I worked in restaurants, they make great tote bags (if they’re big enough) or beach bags in the summer! Lol

    I wish my other half liked Indian food — I might try cooking this up and freezing the leftovers, since it’d just be me eating!

    • Thanks Gwen, and what a great idea for bags. But sob, sob about your OH. Is it the flavours, the oil or the idea he doesn’t like? My OH is veggie so I do a similar thing with cooking the odd meal for myself and freezing 🙂

  • Sounds like you had a great weekend!
    Love the spices in this…warm and interesting. Alas, my freezer is pea-less this winter, but I do still have carrots in the ground!

    • Shame about the peas, this was my first year where I could say I had success with them (after many attempts). I’m crossing everything in the hope I have a repeat next year!

  • Food, drink, family. Sounds like a party to me! This looks like a great dish, made even more special by the home-grown vegetables. This recipe is going into my “to-do” recipe file. Thanks for sharing.

  • I’m so jealous of those that garden and can enjoy their bounty for months after! This sounds like a fabulous recipe and a great way to detox!!

  • I love that book in a bag so gorgeous. The carrots look fantastic and grown in containers. How great to have produce stored and be able to use now it’s cooler. We love big fried brekkies here, we don,t eat them often but when we do we call them champions breakfasts because they give you lots of energy and brain food for the day.

    • Hi, it’s gorgeous isn’t it! it was a bit of a surprise as I ordered the book online, and it came in it.
      We’re curretnly eating our way thru the freezer, lots of carrots, beans and peas – a taste of summer for grey days 🙂

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