Matar Makhana Curry Recipe with step by step photos. This is a rich and tasty Punjabi curry made with green peas, fox nuts (phool makhana), khoya (dried evaporated milk solids or mawa), onions, tomatoes and spices. It makes for a filling and delicious lunch or dinner served with a side of roti or paratha or naan or steamed basmati rice.
Whenever, I would get Khoya or mawa from the sweet shops, I would end up adding it in the Kulfi, Burfi or Gulab Jamun. Twice, I added the khoya to make Mawa Cake. In the states of Maharashtra and Gujarat, evaporated dried milk solids are known as mawa.
This matar makhana curry is a pretty simple and straightforward Punjabi recipe. The way I make my everyday Punjabi gravy recipes and sabzis, minus the khoya and cream.
If you do not have makhana, then simply make the curry with peas and khoya. Instead of makhana you can also add paneer or Indian cottage cheese (check recipe notes for details). I also prepare another light and simple version of matar makhana sabzi, without the addition of khoya.
For the khoya or mawa, you can either make it at home or get it from outside. The main flavor and taste factor in this dish come from the khoya. The subtle sweetness and creaminess in the gravy is due to the khoya. The curry is mildly spiced with light sweet and tangy notes.
Makhana or fox nuts are always there in the kitchen. Usually, I roast them and keep them in an airtight box. These puffed makhanas make for a healthy snack that you can enjoy any time of the day.
Best to serve khoya matar makhana with tandoori roti, naan, kulcha or paratha or phulka. The curry also goes well with plain basmati rice or jeera rice. This is a rich and heavy curry. So good to make for small parties or during festive occasions.
How to make Matar Makhana Curry with Khoya
- First steam the green peas in a steamer or pressure cooker or a pan till they there completely cooked. The peas have to be cooked till tender as we are not going to cook the green peas later.
2. Heat 1 tablespoon ghee in a kadai or pan. Add 1 cup phool makhana (lotus seeds). Keep the heat to low to medium-low.
3. Saute makhana till they turn crisp and the color changes to light golden. Remove roasted makhana on a plate and keep aside.
Please note that the makhana will absorb all the ghee. You can also roast the makhana with less amount of ghee or no fat.
4. Blitz 3 medium-sized chopped tomatoes, 3 to 4 garlic cloves and 1 inch ginger in a blender and prepare a smooth paste.
5. Heat 2 tablespoons of ghee again in the same pan. Then add 1 medium-sized finely chopped onion. Saute the onions stirring often till light golden or golden on medium-low to medium heat.
6. Add the ground tomato-ginger-garlic paste.
7. Stir and add the following ground spices:
- ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1 teaspoon red chili powder
- 1.5 teaspoon coriander powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin powder
- 1 teaspoon garam masala powder
8. Stir and mix well. Saute stirring often till the fat leaves the sides of the mixture. The whole masala paste should reduce. The consistency should be like the photo below.
9. Add 1 cup of crumbled khoya (mawa or dried evaporated milk solids).
10. Stir and mix well.
11. Continuously stir and saute till the khoya melts on low heat.
12. Then add 1 cup of water. Simmer till the curry reaches the desired consistency which is neither thick nor thin.
13. Add the steamed or cooked peas and the roasted makhana to the gravy.
14. Also add salt as required and ½ teaspoon sugar. Simmer for 3 to 4 minutes on low heat.
15. When you see some fat floating on top, add 2 tablespoons of low-fat cream or cooking cream or 1 tablespoon of whipping cream.
16. Stir and mix well. Switch off the heat.
17. Garnish the phool makhana curry with coriander leaves. You can serve matar makhana curry hot or warm with roti or naan or kulcha or paratha or steamed basmati rice or cumin rice or saffron rice.
Don’t store any leftovers. Try to finish the dish on the same day.
More Tasty Matar recipes
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Matar Makhana Curry with Khoya
- 1 cup makhana (lotus seeds or fox nuts)
- 1 cup green peas – fresh or frozen
- 125 to 150 grams khoya or about ¾ to 1 cup grated or crumbled khoya (mawa)
- 1 medium onion – grated or finely chopped, or 60 grams onions
- 3 medium sized tomatoes or 180 grams tomatoes, or ¾ cup tomato puree
- 1 teaspoon Ginger Garlic Paste or 1 inch ginger + 3 to 4 garlic cloves crushed to a paste in a mortar pestle
- ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1 teaspoon kashmiri red chilli powder or deghi mirch or ½ teaspoon of any other variety of red chili powder
- 1.5 teaspoon Coriander Powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin powder
- 1 teaspoon Garam Masala or Punjabi garam masala
- 2 tablespoon light cream or law fat cream or 1 tablespoon whipping cream
- 1 cup water
- 1 tablespoon Ghee for sauteing the makhana
- 2 tablespoon Ghee for the gravy or curry
- ½ to 1 tablespoon chopped coriander leaves
- ½ teaspoon sugar or as required (optional)
- salt as required
- Firstly steam the peas in a steamer or pressure cooker or a pan till they there completely cooked.
- Finely chop the onions or grate/mince them.
- Add chopped tomatoes in a blender and make a puree.
- Alternatively, you can also blitz tomatoes, garlic and ginger in a blender till smooth.
Making matar makhana curry
- Heat 1 tablespoon ghee in a pan or kadai. Keep the heat to low to medium-low.
- Add makhana/lotus seeds and saute till crisp and the color changes to light golden. Remove and keep aside.
- Heat 2 tablespoons of ghee again in the same pan. Then add finely chopped onions. Saute the onions stirring often till light golden or golden on medium low to medium heat.
- Add ginger garlic paste. Saute for few seconds or till their raw aroma goes away. If adding ginger garlic paste, then add the tomato puree.
- Or alternatively, if you have ground the tomato-ginger-garlic together, then add it now.
- Stir and sprinkle the turmeric powder, red chilli powder, coriander powder, cumin powder, and garam masala powder.
- Stir and saute till the fat leaves the sides of the mixture. Check step no 8 photo above to see the consistency of the sauteed masala paste.
- Add crumbled or grated khoya (mawa) and continue to saute for 2 minutes or till the khoya melts, on a low heat.
- Then add water. Stir and allow the curry, till it reaches the desired consistency which is neither thick nor thin.
- Add the steamed or cooked peas/matar and the roasted makhana.
- Stir and simmer for 3 to 4 minutes on a low heat.
- When you see some fat floating on top, then add cream. Stir again and switch off the heat.
- Garnish with coriander leaves.
- Server khoya matar makhana curry hot or warm with roti or naan or kulcha or paratha or steamed basmati rice or jeera rice.
- I recommend finishing the dish on the same day and not keeping any leftovers.
- You can replace khoya with cashew powder or almond powder or almond paste. If using cashew paste, then with 18 to 20 cashews just make the paste or powder. If using almonds, then also use 18 to 20 almonds. For almonds, blanch them in hot water for 30 minutes. Then peel them and grind them to a paste or a fine powder.
- If you do not have makhana, then you can simply make the curry with peas and khoya or replace it with paneer (Indian cottage cheese).
- Add the paneer cubes before you add the cream. Once you add paneer cubes then simmer the gravy for 1 minute. Switch off the heat Then add the cream and mix.
- Add upto 200 to 250 grams paneer.