Aloo Matar is one of the most comforting and beloved Punjabi curries around. I learned how to make this spicy tomato-based potato pea curry from my Mother-in-Law, and it is now a favorite recipe in our house. Serve with some puri, roti or paratha for a meal that feels like a hug!
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About This Aloo Matar
Aloo (meaning “potatoes”) and matar (also spelled mattar or mutter, meaning “peas”) join forces in this delightfully saucy curry. When I’m in need of comfort food, this is the recipe I turn to.
NOTE: Aloo matar can be made either in a gravy base or made dry like roasted veggies. If you are a fan of the dry version of peas and potatoes, then do check my savory and spiced Dry Aloo Matar Sabzi which tastes equally good.
Homestyle food is not only easier and quicker to make than restaurant-style recipes, but it is also often more familiar as well. One of the things I like about this Aloo Matar Gravy is how cozy and comforting it feels. When you’re feeling under the weather or have had a rough day (or year), this recipe is an excellent balm for your soul.
My family recipe for this popular Punjabi curry is also simple to make and requires very little kitchen expertise. And as far as Indian recipes are concerned, it has a rather short list of ingredients, making it a perfect entry-level recipe for new cooks.
While beautifully spiced and full of flavor, this aloo matar gravy is equally appealing to both picky children and “foodie” adults. The potatoes and peas become tender and almost creamy while cooking, making them a lovely foil to the tangy spiced tomato sauce.
And don’t forget about the bread! When served with puri (Indian fried bread), roti, paratha or naan, you’ll have an easy way to sop up all the spicy gravy goodness left at the bottom of the bowl. Honestly, is there anything more soothing than using fresh bread to clean your plate?
So if you are in need of a recipe that is quick and easy to make, free from any esoteric ingredients or fancy equipment, THIS is the dish for you. Make my Aloo Matar Gravy today and relish the contentment on your loved one’s faces as they enjoy every last bite.
How to make Aloo Matar
To help ease your cooking troubles, my step-by-step photos are here to guide you. If you follow them, you can make this simple, tasty homestyle aloo matar gravy recipe.
NOTE: I have cooked the gravy in a pan, but if you are short of time you can use a stove-top pressure cooker or Instant Pot instead. I have mentioned the details of cooking in a pressure cooker or Instant pot in the recipe card below.
1. Take ½ cup chopped onions, 1 cup chopped tomatoes, 1 teaspoon chopped ginger (chopped) and 1 teaspoon chopped garlic in a grinder or blender jar.
2. Without adding any water, grind or blend to a smooth paste.
Cooking the masala paste
3. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a thick-bottomed pot or pressure cooker. Add ½ teaspoon cumin seeds and cook until they crackle.
You can use any neutral flavored oil. For a richer taste you can also use ghee (clarified butter).
4. Now add the ground onion-tomato paste to the oil in the pan. Keep the heat to a low and also take care as the mixture splutters.
5. Stir well and then add 1 tablespoon malai (the thick layer of cream floating on top of boiled cooled whole milk).
If you don’t have malai, you can add 1 tablespoon of almond powder (almond meal) or 1 tablespoon of cashew powder or 1 tablespoon heavy cream. Or you can completely omit the cream.
6. TIP: The masala mixture splutters, so cover the pot or cooker partly with a lid.
7. Once the mixture stops spluttering, then remove the lid and sauté.
8. Stir often so that the masala does not get browned and stuck to the base of the pot.
9. Sauté the ground paste till the oil releases from the sides and the masala paste thickens. You will see that the paste becomes glossy and comes together in a kind of lump.
10. Then add a generous pinch of asafoetida (hing), ½ teaspoon red chili powder and ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder. Stir and mix the spice powders with the rest of the sautéed masala paste.
NOTE: If you are gluten-free, please check the label of your asafoetida. Many commercially available brands are processed with wheat products. If necessary, omit the asafoetida from the recipe.
Making aloo matar gravy
11. Add 1 cup green peas and 2 large potatoes (peeled and diced) to the masala paste.
12. Stir and sauté for a minute.
13. If cooking in a pot, add 1.5 cups of water.
If using a stovetop pressure cooker then add 1 cup water and pressure cook for 7 to 8 minutes on medium-heat until the potatoes and peas are cooked completely.
If using an Instant Pot first fry the spices and sauté the onion-tomato paste. Then pressure cook for 5 minutes on high after you add the peas, potatoes, salt and water.
14. Season with salt as required.
15. Stir well and cover the pot with the lid.
16. Simmer till the potatoes and peas are cooked tender. If necessary, you can add some more water.
If you are cooking in a pot on the stovetop, it will take about 20 to 30 minutes on a low to medium flame. The time will vary with the intensity of the heat and thickness and quality of the pot.
17. Lastly sprinkle in ½ teaspoon garam masala powder. Stir again.
17. Then add 2 tablespoons chopped coriander leaves (cilantro).
18. Stir well and serve Aloo Matar gravy hot from the pan, preferably with Indian breads like poori, roti, paratha, naan or serve with steamed rice or cumin rice.
Aloo Mutter FAQs
I prefer to use fresh peas over frozen ones in any dish where matar is one of the main ingredients. If you do not have fresh green peas, then you can use frozen ones. Here I used fresh peas which I had previously shelled and frozen.
I generally buy two kilograms of fresh peas and then pod them. After all the green peas are collected, I store them in the freezer in an air tight box. Afterwards you can use these frozen peas to make a variety of green peas recipes.
The thickness of your gravy is a result of how much water you add to the dish. If you prefer a thicker gravy, add less water. Alternately, you can allow it to simmer with the lid off to evaporate away some more water.
The recipe as written is not very spicy; rather, I’d describe it as a spiced gravy. It should be mild enough for children. If you’d prefer a spicier curry, you can adjust the amount of dry red chili powder that you add. You can also add a green chili to the tomato-onion paste when you grind it.
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Aloo Matar | Aloo Mutter
For grinding or blending
- ½ cup chopped onions or 80 grams or 2 medium-sized onion
- 1 cup chopped tomatoes or 150 grams or 2 medium to large tomatoes
- 1 teaspoon chopped ginger or 1 inch ginger
- 1 teaspoon chopped garlic or 3 to 4 small to medium garlic
- 2 tablespoons oil – any neutral oil
- ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 to 2 tablespoons fresh malai or 1 tablespoon heavy cream or 1 tablespoon almond or cashew powder (optional)
- 250 grams potatoes or 3 medium or 2 large potatoes – peeled and diced
- 1 cup green peas – fresh or frozen
- 1 generous pinch asafoetida (hing) – optional
- ½ teaspoon red chili powder or cayenne pepper, add as required
- ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder (ground turmeric)
- ½ teaspoon Garam Masala Powder or as required
- 1.5 cups water or add as required
- 2 tablespoon chopped coriander leaves (cilantro)
- salt as required
- Take chopped onions, tomatoes, ginger and garlic in a grinder or blender jar.
- Without adding any water, grind or blend to a smooth paste.
- Keep this ground paste aside.
Making aloo matar
- Heat oil in a pot or pressure cooker. Keep the heat to a low. First crackle the cumin seeds.
- Then add the ground onion-tomato paste. Be careful as the paste splutters when you add it to the oil.
- Stir and then add the malai (which is a thick layer of cream that is formed on the top of whole milk when it is boiled and later cooled). Swap it with almond powder or cashew powder or heavy cream. You can choose to skip cream altogether.
- Saute the ground paste till the oil releases from the sides. The masala paste will also thicken, become glossy and will come together.
- The mixture splutters initially. So do cover partly with a lid. Once the mixture stops spluttering, then remove the lid and saute.
- Once the paste has been sauteed well then add the asafoetida powder, red chilli powder and turmeric powder.
- Stir and then add the peas and potatoes. Saute for a minute. Add water and salt as required.
- Stir well and cover the pot. Simmer till the potatoes and peas are cooked tender for about 20 to 30 minutes. You can alter the consistency of the curry by adding less or more water.
- If using a stove-top pressure cooker add 1 cup water and pressure cook for 7 to 8 minutes on medium-heat until the potatoes & peas are cooked completely.
- If making in the Instant Pot first fry the spices and sauté the onion-tomato paste. Then pressure cook for 5 minutes on high after you add the peas, potatoes, salt and water.
- Lastly sprinkle garam masala powder and stir.
- Then add chopped coriander leaves.
- Stir well and serve aloo matar hot with poori, chapati, naan, paratha or steamed rice.
- To make the almond or cashew powder, simply grind about 8 to 10 almonds or cashews in a small dry grinder or coffee grinder.
- Make sure to use tomatoes that are ripe, red with a sweet taste. Don’t use overly tangy tomatoes as this can make the gravy highly sour to taste. If this happens then balance the sour taste by adding a bit of sugar and 1 to 2 tablespoons heavy cream.
- Though I prefer to use fresh peas in the recipe, feel free to use frozen green peas.
- You can also use baby potatoes or new potatoes to make this curry.
- To make it more healthy and hearty you can opt to add vegetables like cauliflower, carrots, french beans, sweet corn and capsicum (bell pepper).
- For an added boost of protein consider adding some pan-fried tofu or paneer (Indian cottage cheese) once the gravy is cooked.
- The recipe can be scaled to make a small batch or a big batch.
Nutrition Info Approximate values
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This Aloo Matar recipe post from the blog archives (first published in December 2013) has been updated and republished on 29 June 2021.