Peas are one of the ancient cultivated vegetables grown for their delicious, nutritious green seeds. Peas probably have originated in the sub-Himalayan plains of northwest India.
Sweet, delicious green peas, also popular as garden peas. Green peas, or “garden peas,” are the small, spherical seeds that come from pods produced by the Pisum sativum plant.
Today, this versatile legume is one of the major commercial crops grown all over the temperate, and semi-tropical regions. Botanically, pea plant is a herbaceous vine. It belongs to the family of Fabaceae, in the genus: Pisum. Scientific name: Pisum sativum. Some of the common names include English peas, spring peas, sweet peas, garden peas, pease,…etc.
Peas are green in color, soft to touch, can eaten raw and is sweet in taste. Snow peas or sugar snap peas are different species of peas. It is consumed all over the world and are a part of legume family. Green peas is called matar in hindi.
The health benefit of green peas are
Antioxidant and Anti-Inflammatory Benefits of Green Peas
Green peas contain antioxidants and anti-inflammatory nutrients which reduces the risk of inflammatory diseases, including heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and arthritis. It also reduces the risk of chronic diseases.
Green Peas’ Support for Blood Sugar Regulation
Peas have low glycemic index. It helps to regulate digestion, regulates blood sugar levels, maintains insulin levels, prevents inflammation, oxidative stress and reduces the risk of type-2 diabetes and chronic diseases.
Green Peas’ Heart Health Promotion
Green peas reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases. It contains omega-3 fat , folate, vitamin B1, B2,B3 and B6 That keeps homocysteine levels in check.
Green Peas’ Protection Against Cancer
Green peas reduces the risk of cancer as it contains coumestrol, antioxidants and anti-inflammatory phytonutrients that play a primary role in the cancer-preventive benefits of green peas.
Peas For Bones/Peas Good For Osteoporosis
Peas are good for bones. Peas are full of Vitamin K and Vitamin D, which help in absorbing calcium and helps to prevent osteoporosis and strengthens the bones. Vitamin K presents In peas helps the human body from the prevention of diseases like Arthritis and Alzheimer’s disease.
Peas Benefits For Immunity
Peas are good for our immune system. Peas contain the high amount of iron and Vitamin C and many other nutrients, which improves our immunity and making us capable of fighting against infections and diseases. Peas benefits also help in improving our digestion system which results in less stomach and digestive disorders. Peas are considered as best blood sugar regulation food.
Peas For Weight Loss
Peas are low in calories and contains dietary fiber which helps in weight loss.
Peas For Face
Peas contain antioxidants that prevents ageing, wrinkles, improves skin complexion and promotes skin health.
Peas Benefits For Mental Health
Peas benefits contain an important ingredient named as Folate, which has a positive impact on our mental health.
Peas For Eyesight
Peas contains flavonoids which prevents eye problems and maintains eye health.
Peas Benefits in Pregnancy
Peas are rich in iron and are very useful for pregnant or lactating women who often face the problem of lack of iron.
Peas can be eaten at any time of day. It goes well with every food item.
How to buy and store green peas
Buy green peas that are fresh, full, heavy in hands and brimming with seeds. Avoid those with wrinkled surface, or over-matured, yellow color seed-pods.
Store green peas in the refrigerator. It can be stored for 2-3 days.
Ways to use green peas
- Peas mix well with other complementing vegetables like potato, carrot, beets, onion,artichokes,…etc in the preparation of a wide variety of dishes.
- Peas can be added to soup as a flavorful side-dish.
- Green peas, known as mutter, are one of the common ingredients in winter season dishes in the Indian-subcontinent. Fresh peas added to a variety of mouth-watering recipes like Aloo-mutter, mutter-paneer, mutter-gajar…etc with added spices, garlic, coriander leaves, onions, and tomato.
- Add fresh peas to green salads.
- Healthy Sauté snap peas with shiitake mushrooms.
- Mix green peas with chicken, diced onions and almonds to make a delicious and colorful chicken salad.
- Fresh pea pods are a great food to pack in a lunch box.
Season in which peas is available
Peas is available in the month of december until April
How to make Matar Chi Usal Recipe
2 cups Green peas (Matar), fresh preferably
2 Potatoes (Aloo)
4 cloves Garlic
1/2 inch Ginger
2 tablespoons Cooking oil
1 teaspoon Mustard seeds
1/4 teaspoon Asafoetida (hing)
1 sprig Curry leaves
1/4 teaspoon Turmeric powder (Haldi)
1 teaspoon Red chilli powder, preferably byadgi chilli powder
1 teaspoon Kashmiri red chilli powder
2 teaspoons Garam masala powder
1/4 cup Coriander (Dhania) Leaves
Salt, to taste
To begin making the Matar Chi Usal Recipe Recipe, keep all the ingredients ready.
In a heavy bottomed pan, heat oil on medium flame. Once its hot, add mustard seeds. As soon as they splutter, add the asafoetida.
Next, add the onions and saute. When the onions turn translucent, add the ginger garlic paste and mix well. Cook for 3-4 minutes.
When the onions are well cooked, add the turmeric powder, red chilli powder and saute. Cook For about a minute or two.
Now, add the drained cubed potatoes and mix. Add 1 cup of water to cover the potatoes and bring to a boil.
Cover and cook until the potatoes are half cooked. This will take about 10-12 minutes. Once the potatoes are half cooked, add green peas, chopped tomatoes and mix well.
Adjust the consistency of the gravy and cover and let the Matar Chi Usal cook.
Finally. add the garam masala and salt to taste.
Cover and cook until you get the desired thickness of the Matar Chi Usal gravy. Turn off the heat and garnish with chopped coriander leaves. Matar Chi Usal is ready to be served.
Serve Matar Chi Usal Recipe, along with Rotis and Carrot Cucumber Tomato Salad with Lemon and Coriander for a delectable weeknight dinner.
How to make Green Peas Curry
1 cup Green Peas
2 Onions, finely chopped
1 Tomato, finely chopped
A sprig of Curry Leaves
1/4 tsp Turmeric Powder
1/8 tsp Asafoetida
1/2 tsp Mustard
1 tbsp Oil
Salt as required
To roast & grind:
1 tbsp Coriander Seeds
3/4 tsp Cumin Seeds
1/2 tsp Black Pepper
2 Red Chilli
1 tbsp Roasted Gram Dal (Pottukadalai)
1/2 cup Grated Coconut
2 tsp Oil
1. Heat oil in a pan. Add coriander seeds, cumin seeds, black pepper, red chilli and roasted gram dal. Fry till the roasted gram dal turns light brown.
2. Add the grated coconut. Fry for just 10 seconds and switch off the flame.
3. Let this mixture cool down. Add some water and grind to a fine paste.
4. Heat oil in a pan. Add mustard and wait till it sputters.
5. Add the chopped onions and curry leaves. Sprinkle some salt and saute till they become pink.
6. Add asafoetida and mix well.
7. Now add the chopped tomatoes and saute till they become mushy.
8. Add the green peas and turmeric powder. Fry for 3 minutes.
9. Add 1 & 1/2 cups water and salt. Let this boil till the green peas is cooked.
10. Add the ground masala and mix well. If the coconut masala is thick, they form lumps when added to the boiling curry, as it contains coriander seeds and roasted chana dal. So mix some water with the masala before adding.
11. Switch off the flame when the curry starts boiling. South Indian style green peas curry is ready to be served! This goes well with rotis, steamed rice, dosa and idiyappam.
If you are using frozen peas, thaw the peas before using.
If you are using dried peas, soak them overnight and pressure cook before using.
Taste of the curry depends on how good you make the coconut masala. You may add any other spices of your choice while making the masala.
Excess use of peas can result in calcium loss from the body. It can cause gout by building up uric acid in the body. Eating too many peas can result in weight gain.
If you are suffering from any kind of diseases, then consult your doctor before consuming peas.
Fun facts about peas
- The Latin name for the pea is pisum sativum.
- The pea is thought to have originated from Middle Asia.
- The oldest pea was found in Thailand. It was 3000 years old!
- The Romans grew over 37 varieties of peas.
- Gregor Johann Mendel used peas in genetic research.
- The sweet tasting pea was first grown in the 18th century by Thomas Edward Knight.
- 35,000 hectares of peas are grown in the UK in a single year.
- Peas are best grown in late spring.
- When peas begin to grow wild and unruly, gardeners use bamboo canes and netting to support the growth of the plant.
- Field peas are used in factories, for freezing.
- Dried peas are used to make mushy peas, which are infamous as a side dish alongside fish and chips.
- There are many types of tinned peas including processed, marrowfats and mushy.
- Peas can be eaten straight out of the pod.
- One serving of peas contains as much as Vitamin C as two large apples, more fibre than a slice of wholemeal bread, and more thiamine than a pint of whole meal.
- It is estimated that over 9000 peas are eaten per person, per year in Britain.
- 7175 peas were once eaten in a minute with chopsticks by Janet Harris of Sussex. This was a world record!
- The proper etiquette for eating peas is to squash them on the back of your fork.
- The first frozen peas were frozen in the 1920’s by Clarence Birdseye.
- In 1969, the first television commercial broadcast in colour was for Birds Eye frozen peas.
- The UK is the largest producer of peas for freezing.
- In 1989, there was a television programme about peas than lived in overgrown flower pots at the bottom of a garden. It was called The Poddington Peas.
- In 1990, The Rescuers Down Under featured a restaurant scene. During this, a pea dropped from a table. A talking insect took the pea and made his own pea soup for his “diners” aka mice.
- It is believed that peas that are boiled with onions, and spiced with cinnamon, is a powerful aphrodisiac.
- Pea (Pisum sativum) also called garden pea, herbaceous annual plant in the family Fabaceae, grown virtually worldwide for its edible seeds.
- It is one of the first plants cultivated by humans and remains an important food crop today.
- The pea is native to western Asia and North Africa. Wild peas can still be found in Afghanistan, Iran, and Ethiopia.
- The pea was present in Egypt and Georgia in the 5th millennium BC.
- In the early 3rd century BC Theophrastus mentions peas among the pulses that are sown late in the winter because of their tenderness.
- In the first century AD, Columella mentions them in De re rustica, when Roman legionaries still gathered wild peas from the sandy soils of Numidia and Judea to supplement their rations.
- In the Middle Ages, field peas are constantly mentioned, as they were the staple that kept famine at bay, as Charles the Good, count of Flanders, noted explicitly in 1124.
- In England, the distinction between field peas and garden peas dates from the early 17th century.
- European colonization introduced the crop to the New World and other regions throughout the globe.
- Thomas Jefferson grew more than 30 cultivars of peas on his estate.
- In the mid-1800s, peas in a monastery garden in Austria were famously used by the monk Gregor Mendel in his pioneering studies of the nature of heredity.
- They do not thrive in the summer heat of warmer temperate and lowland tropical climates, but do grow well in cooler, high altitude, tropical areas.
- The pea plant is a hardy leafy annual with hollow trailing or climbing stems that reach up to 1.8 meters (6 feet) in length.
- The stems feature terminal tendrils that facilitate climbing and bear compound leaves with three pairs of leaflets.
- The reddish purple, pink, or white flowers, growing two to three per stalk, are butterfly-shaped.
- The fruit is a pod that grows to 10 cm (4 inches) long, splitting in half when ripe. Inside the pod, 5 to 10 seeds are attached by short stalks. The seeds are green, yellow, white, or variegated.
- In modern times peas are usually boiled or steamed, which breaks down the cell walls and makes the taste sweeter and the nutrients more bioavailable.
- There are only 81 calories in 100 grams (3.5 ounces) of peas.
- Processed peas are mature peas which have been dried, soaked and then heat treated (processed) to prevent spoilage — in the same manner as pasteurizing. Cooked peas are sometimes sold dried and coated with wasabi, salt, or other spices.
- In Japan, China, Taiwan and some Southeast Asian countries, including Thailand, the Philippines and Malaysia, peas are roasted and salted, and eaten as snacks.
- In the UK, dried yellow or green split peas are used to make pease pudding (or “pease porridge”), a traditional dish.
- The term pea originates from the Latin word pisum, which is the latinisation of the Greek πίσον (pison), neuter of πίσος (pisos) “pea”. It was adopted into English as the noun pease (plural peasen), as in pease pudding.
- In 2005, a poll of 2,000 people revealed the pea to be Britain’s seventh favourite culinary vegetable.