Matar Makhana Curry | Phool Makhana Curry

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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.

matar makhana curry served with a side of roti and vegetable salad.

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.

In North India evaporated milk is known as khoya and is used in making many sweets and delicacies like Gujiya. Another curry recipe where khoya is added is Kaju khoya.

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.

Step-by-Step Guide

How to make Matar Makhana Curry with Khoya

  1. 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.
steamed peas or matar

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.

makhana in a pan

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.

roasted makhana on kitchen paper napkins

4. Blitz 3 medium-sized chopped tomatoes, 3 to 4 garlic cloves and 1 inch ginger in a blender and prepare a smooth paste.

tomato puree made in a blender jar

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.

saute onions in ghee

6. Add the ground tomato-ginger-garlic paste.

add 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
add spice powders

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.

mixing spices with the masala

9. Add 1 cup of crumbled khoya (mawa or dried evaporated milk solids).

adding khoya or mawa

10. Stir and mix well.

mix the mixture with mawa

11. Continuously stir and saute till the khoya melts on low heat.

Continuously stir and saute till the khoya melts

12. Then add 1 cup of water. Simmer till the curry reaches the desired consistency which is neither thick nor thin.

add water to khoya matar makhana masala

13. Add the steamed or cooked peas and the roasted makhana to the gravy.

add matar and makhana

14. Also add salt as required and ½ teaspoon sugar. Simmer for 3 to 4 minutes on low heat.

add salt and sugar and simmer for 3 to 4 minutes

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.

add cream to khoya matar makhana curry

16. Stir and mix well. Switch off the heat.

cooked khoya matar makhana curry

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.

khoya matar makhana curry served with a side of roti and vegetable salad

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khoya matar makhana recipe, punjabi khoya matar makhana curry recipe

Matar Makhana Curry | Phool Makhana Curry

This Phool Makhana Curry is a rich and tasty Punjabi gravy dish made with green peas, fox nuts, khoya, onions, tomatoes, spices and herbs.
4.80 from 10 votes
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Cuisine North Indian, Punjabi
Course Main Course
Diet Vegetarian
Difficulty Level Moderate
Servings 4


  • 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.

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Welcome to Dassana's Veg Recipes. I share vegetarian recipes from India & around the World. Having been cooking for decades and with a professional background in cooking & baking, I help you to make your cooking journey easier with my tried and tested recipes showcased with step by step photos & plenty of tips & suggestions.

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  1. Wonderful recipes and moreover appreciate your attention to answer to each and every question with so much respect and passion. This shows how a nice person you are. Following you from past 3 years. All the very best to you!!5 stars

  2. I regularly try your recipes and this one is among my favorites…

    Today when I was trying this, I wondered if we can use sauted capsicum in place of peas for children who hate them… Would it taste equally good?

    1. without khoya, a major taste profile will be lost. so khoya is essential in this recipe.

  3. Hi Dassana, Can I use cashew nuts paste instead of Khoya and follow rest of the recipe? Deepti

    1. deepti, yes you can. in fact from the recipes i have tried so far substituting khoya, almond powder or almond paste works very well instead of khoya. if using cashew paste, then just make the paste or powder with 18 to 20 cashews. 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 to a paste or a fine powder.

  4. can the recipie be made 7-8 hrs before eating it? wouldn’t the makhanas become soggy? pls suggest.

  5. thanks for the recipe. looks delicious. Does the roasted makhana get soggy when put in gravy?? should be served immediately for it to avoid getting soggy?

    1. welcome sravanthi. it becomes moist and taste good. you will not feel the sogginess. you can serve later also.

  6. It’s a kind of royal recipe. Well very tasty. But only thing is that ghee floats a lot. Please suggest something4 stars

    1. its a rich recipe 🙂 what floats is ghee along with the fat from the khoya. you can reduce the ghee to 2 tbsp and dry roast the makhana. don’t use ghee while roasting makhana. even less khoya can be used.

    1. malai won’t give you the same taste as khoya. you can add malai. but add once the gravy is done. whip the malai in a small mixer or blender till smooth and then add. make sure you chill the malai before whipping.

  7. Hi dassana

    The recipe looks yummy. Can we use liquid evaporated milk in this recipe which i brought from departmental store

    1. you can use, but just make sure the evaporated milk is not sweet. you will have to reduce water if you use evaporated milk.

  8. Hi…dassana…the taste of the above recipe was too good …and its very different …I mean I never used makhana in such a way….thanks we loved ur site ….god bless u ….

    1. welcome sharvari. good to know this. thanks for sharing positive feedback and for your blessings.

  9. hi dassana…. I have tried most of ur dishes and they taste super yummy.. Thanks alot for making so many of us learn to cook tasty dishes.. U rock!!! God bless u3 stars

    1. welcome navya. thanks for sharing positive feedback on recipes and specially for your blessings.

  10. Hi Dassana..i hv tried a number of your recipes with great success ….must say very good work and very elegantly and simply put together…I want to try this curry for karvachauth..can u tell me why wud be a gud substitute for onion and garlic in this curry as we do not use it on karvachauth…thanks in advance 🙂

    1. just skip onion-garlic and add about 1/4 tsp of asafoetida powder(the light kinds). if using a stronger asafoetida, then just a pinch would be enough. apart from this, you can also sprinkle a bit of cardamom powder and kasuri methi from top.

  11. Its was super taste i just love it, tnx dassana amit for all this recipes. 🙂5 stars

  12. I tried your recipe and it was too good. I share your recipe on my facebook page for my friends.

  13. One of my favorite addition to curries is makhana, but sadly this is no where to be found here in Calicut, how I wished I was your neighbor 🙂 .

  14. Looks stunning. I’ve never had makhana before. How do all your gravies get such a beautiful colour? It looks exactly like restaurant food.

    1. thanks preeti. its the kashmiri red chili powder that gives such good color. usually for most north indian gravies, i add kashmiri red chili powder or deghi mirch.

  15. Very delicious looking Recipe, Dassana. Loved it! Will try it soon 🙂 At first, when you see the picture, you think this delicious recipe must be hard to prepare, it must have taken lots of efforts & preparation but with your detailed, simple, easy to understand & follow instructions & beautiful pictures make it all so easy & erases all the doubts & confusion. I love makhanas. We often have shallow fried Moongphali & Makhana with sprinkled salt & black pepper along with evening Tea. Makhana & Moongphali both take time to become Crisp, they are chewy at first & after a while becomes crisp. I taste them while frying to see whether they are crisp or not. I used to love Makhane ki Sabzi prepared by my Mom’s friend, my Maasi specially on Raksha Bandhan, we used to tie the Raakhi to our brothers, then had the delicious spread of feast prepared by Maasi, my most favorite was makhane ki Sabzi , it was super spicy with soft makhana creating a contrast of soft texture & spicy tingling taste buds. Thanks for the recipe & nostalgia.. 🙂 🙂5 stars

    1. welcome shazia. yes makhana are chewy and when roasted or fried become crunchy. the idea of makhana with peanuts is good. agree. the soft texture of the makhana is quite a contrast in gravies. i forgot to add all these pointers. when i get time, i will update the post. thanks dear.

  16. Looks delicious. What could be substituted for the lotus seeds? I looked online and only found a couple vendors and the prices were outrageous.

    1. savannagal, you can substitute lotus seeds with cottage cheese. check the recipe notes on how to add cottage cheese.

      1. Hi dassana…. I tried…n…. It was too good n its taste was amazing…. All the best wishes to ur site….I would love to see more n more different types of recipe….I love to follow ur site…4 stars

        1. thanks sharvari for sharing this positive feedback and for your best wishes. i will keep on adding different recipes.