Sunday, January 31, 2010

Hello mutter . . .

A favorite food my Nepali Bhutanese friends share with me is mutter. Mutter means peas. But these are not like peas you've ever eaten. One afternoon, Jasoda invited me into her kitchen to learn how she makes mutter. I thought I'd share Jasoda's recipe with you!

First, soak ordinary dried peas overnight in water in your refrigerator. Jasoda didn't measure anything, so I'm just estimating how much she used of each ingredient. About 2 cups of dried peas went into this batch of mutter. The next day, chop up a bunch of fresh cilantro (the green leaves in the background, below). Then slice a tomato into small chunks. Jasoda slices by holding the tomato in one hand and shaving off slivers with a very sharp knife.
Begin heating your pan. Jasoda uses a wok she brought from Nepal. Use medium high heat.
Chop five or six green onions. Then dice one very hot chile -- probably a jalapeno, though that's not what Jasoda called it -- into very small bits.
Add oil to your hot wok. Cover the bottom -- about a half-inch deep. I'm guessing 1/4 to 1/2 cup of oil.While your oil is heating, take your spices out of the cupboard. You're going to need whole mixed cumin and coriander (nearest dish, below) and cumin coriander powder. We bought these in an Asian market.You'll also need turmeric powder.Put about 2 teaspoons of whole cumin and coriander into your pan. Then add a tablespoon of cumin and coriander powder and a teaspoon of turmeric.When your spices are sizzling, add chopped green onion, chile and tomatoes.Next add your tomatoes.Give this mixture a good stir and let it sizzle for maybe 5 minutes (or less). Grin at your teacher, because she is amazed at your mutter-making skills. Jasoda makes mutter almost every day.When your spices, onion, chile, and tomatoes are nicely mingled, drain your peas and add them to the mix.Stir quickly as they fry.
Turn the heat down a little and cover. Five minutes later, lift the lid and add the fresh cilantro.Cover again, and let the dish cook for 10-15 minutes. When done, the peas will not be soft. They are nice and firm, with a consistency something like raw peanuts.Spoon out a little mutter for each person at the table. Eat up, feel that gentle burn on your tongue, and settle back with a satisfied smile.

I'll be giving you the recipe for taro and hot tea next time!

1 comment:

Carla Gade said...

That actually looks quite tasty!