The tarka this time is of cumin and mustard seeds, but they provide only the background taste. It is the tomato-cream sauce, flavored with the aromatic garam masala, that provides for the main flavors in this dish.
Serves 5 to 6
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground garam masala
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon tomato paste
3/4 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons chopped green coriander (cilantro)
1 fresh long green hot chili or 1/3 jalapeño, finely chopped
4 cups shelled fresh peas or frozen, defrosted under warm water and drained
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon brown mustard seeds
Combine the sugar, ground cumin, garam masala, salt, cayenne pepper, and tomato paste. Slowly add 2 tablespoons water, mixing as you go. Add the cream slowly and mix. Put in the lemon juice, green coriander, and chili. Mix again and set aside.
If the peas are fresh, drop them into 4 cups of boiling water and cook until just barely done. Drain.
Heat the oil in the a large frying pan over medium-high heat. When hot, put in the cumin and mustard seeds. As soon as the mustard seeds begin to pop (this takes just a few seconds), add the peas. Stir and sauté for 30 seconds. Add the cream sauce. Cook over high heat for about 1 1/2 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened, stirring gently as you do so.