Memories of childhood brought back with Carrot and Peas cooked the Indian way (Gajar Matar ki sabzi)

We all love food that has memories associated with it. A story, an incident, something that reminds you of why you fell in love with it or why you hate it.

My Carrot and Pea sabzi is one such dish which has some very fond memories tied to it. When I was around 15 I had some problems with my eye and my vision started to blur. After a few checks up I was recommended prescription glasses which at that time were very expensive.

Those were the days when we couldn’t afford a lot of things and buying a pair of glasses were something that was almost like a dream. And it made my mother feel really guilty and inadequate like mothers feel in such situations.

Then someone mentioned how eating Carrots was good for the eye sight and luckily we had a garden where we grew Carrots. So my darling mother in her zeal to fix her daughter’s eyes started to make everything with Carrot in it. And this dish was something she made almost every day till I got sick of it and even the thought of Carrots would make me want to throw up.

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I found it in my lunch box, for dinner and sometimes she would force feed it to me in breakfast as well. It was pure torture. Finally we did manage to buy a pair of prescription glasses for me but by that time I had developed a distaste for this dish and absolutely hated it.

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However after I moved away from home I somehow started making this dish again as it was associated with my mothers love. So every time I miss her I make this especially because we get Carrots all year round in Perth but I don’t have my mom here 🙁  I guess it is my way of acknowledging the pains that my mother went through to give us everything we needed.  So on that sombre not I will allow you to read the recipe which is very easy and stress free to make.

Recipe (Cooking time 30 minutes, serves 4)

5 – 6 medium sized Carrots

1 cup Green peas

1 tsp freshly grated Ginger

1 tsp Asafoetida

1 tsp Dry mango powder

1 tsp Red Chilli powder

1 tsp Cumin powder

Salt to taste

1 tsp Cumin

1 tsp Vegetable Oil

1) Boil the carrots in salted water till half cooked. Drain the water and chop the Carrots into bite size pieces and keep aside.

2) Heat oil in a pan and add the Cumin seeds, Asafoetida and fresh ginger. Once the seeds start to splutter add the Carrots and mix well.

3) Add the Green peas, cover and cook on a medium flame for 7 – 10 minutes.

4) Add some more Salt to taste, Cumin powder and Red chilli powder and mix well. Turn off the heat and add the Dry mango powder.

Serve with hot rotis.

PS: Try and get Carrots which are not too sweet or you will not enjoy this dish at all.