Matar Makhana is a delicious rich curry filled with the goodness of foxnuts and green peas. Made in a thick sauce of onions, tomatoes, ginger, garlic and aromatic spices, this curry is perfect for celebrations or a weekday dinner. Vegetarian & Gluten-free!
I have recently been enjoying lots of Makhana. These are recommended to eat after delivery in India, as they are very nutritious. So I thought why not try to make a curry with them. My mom suggested this Matar Makhana as this is a popular curry in North India.
This curry can be called Matar Makhana, Phool makhana curry or Makhane ki sabzi. Matar is green peas and Makhana is foxnuts (also called puffed lotus seeds).
Usually, khoya or cashews are added to the Matar Makhana recipe to make it more rich. But, I have not added khoya to this recipe to keep it light. See the variations below if you want to add cashews or khoya.
What is Makhana or Foxnuts?
Makhana are puffed lotus seeds. They are a popular food to eat during fasting. They are filled with carbohydrates, fiber, iron, zinc, and many other nutrients.
Check here for details on how makhana is processed to the puffed seeds we enjoy. .
My mom often used to roast Makhana as a snack to satiate our between the meal hunger pangs. It tastes like popcorn but is much healthier.
Some ways to enjoy Makhana – Roasted Makhana, Makhana Curry, Makhana Kheer.
What are the health benefits of eating Makhana?
Makhana comes with many health benefits such as:
- Foxnuts have high protein content and that is why it is a recommended food during fasting.
- It contains anti-oxidants and helps in keeping the calories in check.
- They have high fiber content and aids in the digestive process.
- Having makhana also helps you detoxify.
How to make Matar Makhana in Instant Pot?
Start with gathering the ingredients. This curry uses basic ingredients, such as onions, tomatoes, ginger, garlic and spices, along with foxnuts and green peas.
We will make this curry in the instant pot as a one-pot recipe. It can also be made in a stovetop pressure cooker. I like to reduce the active time needed to make any dish, so you will find this recipe does not need any sautéing, expect for roasting the makhana.
- Set the instant pot on sauté mode and let it get hot. Add some ghee and roast the makhana well until they turn golden brown. Take them out and keep aside for later.
- Add some more ghee along with the spices, ginger, garlic, onion, tomato, and spices along with water in the instant pot and close the vent in a sealing position.
- Cook on high pressure and switch off the instant pot when it beeps. Let the pressure release naturally.
- Blend the contents using an immersion blender in the pot to a smooth paste. If using a regular blender, you might need to cool the mixture before blending.
- Add kasoori methi, cream and honey and stir them well till they blend with the sauce. To make this curry vegan, replace cream with coconut milk.
- Add green peas and the roasted makhana to the sauce along with the lime juice. I have used frozen peas in this recipe. If you are using fresh peas, then parboil them before adding to the instant pot. Give the curry a quick boil on saute mode. This will help the makhana to soften.
How to make Matar Makhana Curry in a Stovetop Pressure Cooker?
Follow the same steps as above when cooking in a stovetop pressure cooker. Pressure cook on a high flame for 2 whistles and then finish the process by switching to medium-low heat. Let the pressure release naturally. Then follow the steps as above.
Tips to make perfect Makhana Curry
- It is important to roast the Makhana well, before making the curry.
- Add makhana to the curry just before serving, as if the makhana are added before they can become soggy and shrink.
- I love to use homemade garam masala in curries, as it enhances the flavor of the curry.
- Increase or decrease the spice level by adjusting the amount of red chili powder. I love to add mild Kashmiri red chili powder which also adds to the wonderful color of this curry.
There are many other variations of this scrumptious and nutritious Matar Makhana sabzi.
Kaju Matar Makana
After roasting the makhana, take them out. Then roast cashews in ghee and keep them aside for later use. Then follow the recipe and add the cashews back in the end along with the peas and makhana.
Khoya Matar Makhana
After pressure cooking and blending the curry, add crumbled or grated khoya about 1/2 cup. Mix it well and give a quick boil. Then add peas and makhana and follow the recipe.
Hope you enjoy this Matar Makhana curry. I would love to hear how it turns out!
Matar Makhana Curry
- 2 tbsp Ghee or Oil divided
- 2 cup Makhana (Foxnuts)
- 1 tsp Cumin seeds (Jeera)
- 1 Onion medium, cut onto 1 inch pieces
- 2 Tomatoes large, cut into 1 inch pieces
- 1/2 tbsp Ginger
- 1/2 tbsp Garlic
- 1/4 cup Water
- 1 1/2 cups Green peas frozen, see notes if using fresh
- Dried Fenugreek leaves (Kasoori Methi)
- 1 tsp Honey optional
- 3 tbsp Cream use coconut milk for vegan
- Lime juice
- Cilantro to garnish
In Instant Pot:
- Start the instant pot in Saute mode and let it heat. Add 1 tbsp ghee, then add the makhana and roast them for 4-5 minutes until they are light golden in color. Turn off instant pot. Take out makahan in a bowl and set aside for later.
- Add remaining ghee, cumin seeds, onion, garlic, ginger, tomato, spices and water to the instant pot steel insert. Close lid with vent in sealing position.
- Set the instant pot to pressure cook on high pressure for 6 minutes. When the instnat pot beeps, wait for 10 minutes and then release the pressure manually.
- Blend the contents in the instant pot with an immersion blender or regular blender to a smooth paste. If using regular blender, you may need to cool the ingredients before blending. Get the contents back to the instant pot.
- Add the kasoori methi, cream and honey. Stir into the sauce.
- Add green peas and makhana. Stir and saute for 4-5 mintes. Stir in the lime juice.
- Garnish with cilantro and serve with roti, paratha or naan.
In stovetop pressure cooker:
- Follow the same steps as above in a stovetop pressure cooker. Pressure cook for 2 whistles on high flame, then reduce flame to medium-low and cook for 5 minutes. Let the pressure release naturally.
Note: Nutrition values are my best estimates. If you rely on them for your diet, use your preferred nutrition calculator.