Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Nimona (Pea paste Curry )and Jeera Fried Rice

This is the season when peas are abundant in nature .Winters are marked with either eating oranges/santarey/komla lebu  or shelling peas during afternoons.It is one mundane task that has to be done during our childhood days, and my mother would often call us to help shelling peas with her, 3-4 kgs of peas at a stretch.Then we would compete also,who has shelled and how much.A healthy sibling rivalry would also become part then as we used to compete with each other .

Now with the pace of life , everything is instant and easy.You can easily get frozen peas in superstores.No more shelling peas means- no more healthy interactions with family members.
Well, I miss these small things in life now .However, this time I really liked shelling peas with my Sasumaa- (ma-in-law) and my little one (This is one of the better ways to engage your child and catch up with her day to-day happening), re-living my childhood days.
And ,I was quite surprised that it still gives me immense pleasure as it used to give when I was a child .

I would suggest you also, to do the same sometimes.Trust me small pleasures in life sometimes makes things so beautiful.

This pea paste curry is fondly eaten in eastern UP.They call it Nimona ,don’t know how it gets its name.
Anyways, people love eating with either rice or rotis .I somehow like it with muri in Bengali and Laiya in Hindi which is puffed rice in English.
It has that very tangling flavor of cumin and ginger .The spiciness adds to the flavor more.Its good as vegetarian meal also.for a pure vege version avoid onion and garlic while making the masala paste.

We had it for our dinner with rotis.
There were some left-over rice from the afternoon meal,so I fried the rice with grated carrots and added fresh shelled peas also, and our side dish was also ready .In a short span of time our dinner was ready to be served.

Here I will start with Nimona curry recipe .

Nimona /Pea paste curry
recipe requirements (serves4-5 people)

  • 1 full large bowl of peas or at least 3-4 cups of peas
  • Tomato 1 cut into small pieces
  • Potato 1 cut into cubes
  • 3-4 tbs of Ginger/Garlic /onion Paste (for a pure vege version avoid onion and garlic)
  • 2tbs of Cumin powder or freshly roasted and then grounded cumin seeds/jeera
  • 1 tbs of coriander powder or freshly roasted and then grounded coriander seeds/dhania
  • ½ tbs of red pepper powder 
  • 2-3 green chillies if you prefer some real spice 
  • salt as per taste or 1 tsp works fine
  • Sugar ½ tsp
  • 1 tsp of garam masala powder
  • For tempering
  • 1 tsp of cumin seeds
  • 3-7 whole black pepper 
  • 2-3 tej patta/bay leaf 
  • 2 dry red chillies
  • 2-3 tsp of fresh grated ginger
  • pinch of hing/asfoetida
  • 2-3 tbs of mustard oil/ cooking oil/ghee 

How to Proceed

  • Heat a kadai /heavy bottom pan ,add oil , fry potato pieces, Take out in a separate bowl ,temper with cumin seeds ,red chilly,tej patta,whole black pepper .Fry for ½ minutes at low .
  • Meanwhile prepare the pea paste by grinding it in mixer.Make a coarse pasta just pulse through for 1/2 mint to 1 mint.
  • Now fry the ginger/onion/garlic paste for 1 mint ,
  • Add salt first ,then all the dry ingredients like cumin powder,coriander powder, red pepper powder, turmeric/haldi and hing.
Alternately you can grind all the spices with the fresh green peas into a coarse paste.For that you need to make a paste of following ingredients
2 fat garlic, 1 large onion, 1/2 inch ginger root , 2 tsp of cumin powder, 3 tsp of coriander powder,1 tsp of  red pepper powder or 3-4 green chillies in case you like flavours of green chillies and last but not the least  salt .Then add this paste to the tempered hot oil.
  • TIP -Add little bit of water to make sure the paste doesn’t stick to the kadai.splash some water in between stiring.
  • Add cut tomato ,fry another 5-7 mints .Add the pea paste, fry for another 10-12  mints at med-  low stirring in between .Add fried potato,handful of whole peas.Look if this has turn out little dry and dark.
  • Add 1cup of water ,pressure cook the entire gravy ,one whistle and stop the flame .Let the pressure subside .Take out in a serving bowl .
  • You can slowly simmer it on stove top also instead of pressure cooking it .It will require further 10-15 mints of time to cook the pea paste properly.

Updated-on 14/01/11
If you wish you may add more water at the time of pressure cooking to have more of a dal type of texture , little runny.
As one of the reader suggested adding spicy urad wadis/or mungaris  also add lot of flavour.As I have spent my childhood days in eastern UP, so we had a very close circle of Upean friends also.

One of our neighboourhood auntyji used to make Nimona with spicy urad wadis,fried potato, used to be like a dal type texture with fried potatoes and spicy wadis and it was awesome and that taste still linger on my taste buds.

Updated again to include these pictures, nimona cooked according to whatever, vague memories of our neighbourhood auntyji's recipe..

and one more

Jeera Rice with Vegetables

So what we do is we would fry the left-over rice(refrigerated) with cumin seeds (jeera ) and add some vegatables and it’s a wonderful addition to our dinner .This fried rice complements the main course well .
Recipe Requirements

  • 2 cup of left-over rice
  • ½ cup grated carrots
  • 1 cup of peas
  • Salt as per taste
  • Cumin seeds for tempering
  • Black pepper seeds
  • Tej patta (bay leaf)
  • ½ tsp of red pepper powder
  • Refined Oil for frying the rice

How to proceed

  • Heat a kadai,add oil and temper with cumin seeds ,black pepper seeds ,tej patta ,salt ,add grated carrots and peas .
  • Fry for 2 mints and then add rice .TIP -refrigerated rice is always good for fried rice preparations .
  • Add salt, red pepper powder and here you are ready with the Fried rice .

Happy Cooking friends


  1. My mom and I also shelled peas together when younger and now whenever I visit India, we do it with an accompaning cup of tea.

    The rice looks colorful and tasty. Never had Nimona.

  2. i love Nimona.. instead of peas puree..i just mash it a little bit i also add potatoes.

    my husband thinks i invented this entire dish myself. now i can show him this post and let him know that there exsist one out there in the world.

  3. pea paste curry wowwww wonderfulllllllll jaya

  4. Wow!jeera fried rice...my favorite...Curry looks great too..yummy pics

  5. Hi Jaya, I've seen the name in a book on UP cooking but didn't realise it was a pea puree, thought it had something to do with potatoes. Your rice looks real pretty!

  6. Jaya, never heard of nimona. it sounds really wonderful and i am a pea lover. eating fresh peas from pods is my fav snack;) i treasure the days i spent peeling peas from pods with amma and my sis.

  7. nice dishes..jeera rice looks nice with the carrots added..and peas paste curry also looks very tasty..

  8. soumya,
    thanks , carrots also gives a nice color to fried rice ...

    u know u r like me a pea lover ,do try ...

    there always new things where u stay that u can pick ,my entire childhood is spent there ,that natural for me to inculcate UP cuisine ..Nimona ,the name sounds so strange to me also still but it taste great ...

    Dhivya,Sagari ..
    thanks for coming here and do try making it ....

    Let your husband admire your cooking and you also ,we wife always want their attention ,and what better way than cooking these Lovely meals LOL....

    peeling peas from pods ,that memory still remains fresh with me ...do try making it ..
    hugs and smiles

  9. Never peeled peas in India but I love greenpeas. Nimona is new to me, sounds great. I think dry and soaked peas must taste great with this dish than frozen. Great combo with Jeera rice!:)

  10. Never had peas like that. Jeera rice looks delicious and they look for fluffy

  11. It sounds and looks so delicious - Nimona a new one that!

    This is also one of the main reason why you get what I have to send you. I have something special coming your way. Chk my blog for details :)

  12. Wonderful nimona and colourful jeera rice...look yummy...

  13. Asha,
    hi ,ya dry ones specially the ones just deshelled will give good results...


    nimona is arelish during winters in eastern UP ..
    I am going to your place now ...

    thanks for coming here ,do try whenever u feel so ..

    hi ,I know its new to u but it taste great .
    hugs and smiles

  14. Hi, your jeera rice with vegetales sooo delicious and yummy. wonderful photo. Thank you for sharing.

  15. Hi, Thank you for publishing.
    I am very gr8 lover of NIMONA.
    "NIMONA" is a procedure for preserving green peas for summer use and also used for name of this dish in Eastern UP.

    15-20 years algo people are preserving green peas by breaking peas in small pices and then dry it in sun light.
    In summer they are using it for creating curry.

  16. You can find some more details here http://bimbim.in/post/2010/08/11/North-Indian-Recipes-in-Varanasi-Style.aspx

  17. thats the most wonderful recipe.. i m having it since my childhood days.. we also add fried aloo, gobhi and urad wadi which gives a delicious taste..

  18. Shalini,
    That sounds very similar like the one of our neighbourhood aunty's recipe ( where i have spent my growing up years)..with wadis, little runny and of course with fried potatoes :-D..amazing taste and flavour..thanks for coming..hugs and smiles

  19. suneeti said
    wow............................ ilove!!!!!!!!!!!! nimona i am going to cook it this weekend nd i'll be enjoying with ma frndsssssssssss yummmmmmmmmyyyyyyyyyyyyy@@@@@@@@@@@

  20. Hi,

    I am feeling nostalgic after reading your post, specially shelling peas. Thanks for sharing your experience. Nimona recipe is really great.


  21. Manish,
    hope Suneeti liked having Nimona..and thats so sweet of you to cook for your loved one..thanks for coming

    yeah, nostalgic!..we do get frozen green peas now easily, so there is no need of shelling the pods..but we do miss the healthy interactions surrounding this activity..sweet memories..thanks for coming by..

  22. Yummy that looks delicious, i like to try different Indian recipes and this is one of the must-try dishes! Thanks for sharing!


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