Nimona. Hare Matar Ka Nimona. 

Nimona is essentially a spicy and soupy curry with seasonal vegetables and whole spices.

A weekly winter special at my husband’s house in Banaras; it is a regular preparation in many parts of the state of Uttar Pradesh once seasonal, tender sweet green peas arrive. 

I was introduced to Nimona after I married and went to Banaras. Come November-December, winter green peas aka Hara Matar are seen across farmers markets and those street carts across the city are piled with the sweetest green peas. Banaras is truly blessed with the best matar during the winter season. Matar Kachoris, Matar Parathas and Matar ka Nimona are among the most popular preparations. Fresh green garlic, again a winter seasonal produce, takes this dish to a whole new level.

Mandatory once a season here in the US as well; we now await colder days to enjoy a well made nimona along with hot ghee rice. On good days we get some good green garlic in the winter months here in New Jersey; otherwise we have some good frozen brands as well.

This recipe is adapted from my mother in law’s version which is absolutely delicious. She has been making it for nearly 55 years now and it is truly a good one. 

Nimona tastes delicious with either hot rotis or pooris and steamed basmati rice as well.

Matar Ka Nimona

Nimona is essentially a spicy and soupy curry with seasonal vegetables and whole spices.


  • 2 Cups fresh green peas (frozen peas are not recommended here but if you cannot find fresh peas, it is fine to use thawed previously frozen)
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 green chilies
  • 1 small piece ginger
  • 1 cup chopped fresh coriander leaves including stems
  • 1/2 cup chopped green garlic leaves
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/4 red chili powder
  • 1 tbsp coriander powder
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala powder
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 tbsp mustard oil
  • 1 tsp ghee
  • 2-3 cups water
  • salt to taste
  • optional – 1/2 cup dal badis/ vadis/ dried dal dumplings or 1/2 cup fried potatoes


  • Make a coarse paste (without any water) of 2 cups of fresh peas and keep aside. Please do not turn them into a pasty-paste. You can keep around 2-4 tbsp peas whole as well for that texture.
  • Separately make a coarse paste of 2 big garlic cloves, a small piece of ginger, 2 green chilies, a handful each of green garlic leaves (this is the real flavor here – it is however okay if you don’t get hold of this) and a cup of fresh coriander leaves.
  • 3.In a pan, heat about 2-3 tbsp mustard oil. Add 1 tsp cumin seeds and 1 bay leaf. Once they splutter, add the coarse green paste and let it cook on medium heat for about 5-7 minutes. Be careful to not burn. Add 1/4 tsp turmeric powder, 1 tbsp coriander powder and 1/4 tsp red chili powder and mix well.
  • 4.Now mix in the blended peas and stir this mixture for about 5 minutes. Add about 2-3 cups of water (as per desired consistency), salt to taste and let it come to a boil.
  • Optional – at this stage you may consider adding 1/2 cup fried dal badis/ fried cubed potatoes.
  • Cover and let the curry simmer for about 10 minutes.
  • Check the seasoning and consistency (it tends to thicken when you let it sit for long) and add 1/2 tsp good garam masala and 1 tsp ghee towards the end.
  • Mix well and serve hot with either steamed rice or hot chapatis.


1. Frozen peas are not recommended here but if you cannot find fresh peas, it is fine to use thawed previously frozen
2. Fried potatoes and/ or dal vadi/ badi are optional but recommended in this dish for that bite.

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