Khoya matar makhana is a special curry and we were introduced to this exotic sounding curry when we shifted to Banaras after my dad's transfer from Chandigarh. Somehow my mother never made this khoya matar makhana but she would often make a version of matar paneer that was close to the original khoya matar. In fact many Banaras families make their matar paneer with khoya in it because it gives them the pleasure of both.
Khoya matar makhana is a wonderfully rich and yet subtle flavoured curry. Very creamy in a different way and sweetish spicy, so much different from the usual Punjabi curries we had grown accustomed to. I am not very sure if this curry belongs to Banaras but that was the place we had it for the first time and till date I have never tasted it anywhere else.
That Banaras loves it's khoya and milk products so much I am pretty sure in my heart that khoya matar makhana evolved in Banaras, taking makhana from the neighboring state Bihar.
Yes the reason why I believe this curry belongs to Banaras is that the people of this city are obsessed with khoya, there is a whole market dedicated to khoya named khoya gali near chowk area, and that's not all, there is one kachori gali too and you know how famous is banarasi kachori ....
Like many other banaras special curries, khoya matar does not use any onion garlic and can be a fasting curry too during navratras. I will post a navratra version of this curry sometime.....
Coming back to the recipe, this curry is a creamy rich looking special kinda curry but surprisingly it is not high on fat like those those shahi sounding creamy buttery curries.
Yes, milk powder has very low fat content if you use skimmed milk powder and this khoya is made from that. Also as I have used paneer for this recipe that too has fat in it but overall this curry is lower on fat than the other creamy buttery paneer curries. Nevertheless, this curry is medium rich when fat level is considered although I find it topping the scale of deliciousness.
khoya 1 teacup loosely packed ( I used home made khoya )
green peas (I used frozen this time) 1 cup ( 2.5 cups when not using paneer )
paneer chopped into small cubes 1 cup ( optional as the original recipe is khoya matar makhana)
Use a cup and half of shallow fried makhana if not using paneer
raw tomato puree 1 cup freshly made with raw tomatoes (this is not part of the original recipe, do not use if making khoya matar makhana)
bay leaf 1 no.
salt to taste
ghee 1 tbsp
milk 1 cup (optional, I used water instead )
to be made into a paste...
ginger 1 inch piece
green cardamoms 2 nos.
black cardamom 1 no.
cinnamon 1 inch piece
cloves 4 nos.
cumin seeds 1 tsp
black pepper corns 1 tsp
red chilly powder 1-2 tsp
Make a paste of the ingredients listed for paste with little water..
Pour ghee in a kadai and add the fresh tomato puree if using, bay leaf, the masala paste and salt to taste.
Now heat the mixture over medium flame and stir to bhuno it a bit....ghee will be separated within a couple of minutes.
Now add the khoya in it. In the meantime I microwaved the peas for 2 minutes, they can be boiled on gas stove too.
Bhuno is the process of dry roasting such a mixture especially a masala paste, so bhuno again till the khoya masala mix bubbles a bit...
Add a cup of water or milk ( adding milk will result in a whiter curry but a bit more rich ) or water , the cooked peas and cubes paneer ...
and let it boil covered till the ghee floats on top...the whole cooking process takes less than 10 minutes...
Serve hot with naan or chapati. The curry is creamy in a different way and the granular texture of khoya makes a surprising gravy. A little sweet and a little spicy and it tastes very good with any plain roti, naan, rumali roti or kulcha.....
Enjoy this quick yet rich curry and think of the ghats of Banaras. Khoya matar makhana or khoya matar paneer both will become your favourite ways to indulge in Indian khana.