Chunki Matar: The Winter-Special Breakfast From UP
Image Credit: Chunki Matar

Just like each region is known have their own set of delicacies, each season also boasts of unique dishes. Depending on the seasonal produce and the climatic conditions of a particular area, certain crops grow during specific times of the year. To make the most of this harvest, locals usually prepare dishes using these items like the chunki matar of Uttar Pradesh.

For the unversed, chunki matar is a delicious mixture of freshly-harvested green shelled peas. Commonly found in several parts of north India, it is the UP households that make the most of the produce during winters by making is yummy mix of matar with spices. The peas are usually peeled and tossed in oodles of desi ghee after which a tadka of cumin and ginger is added to temper the dish. Also known as matar ki ghugni is some parts of the country, it is largely the tadka and the way of serving the dish that varies in different cultures. 

In the eastern side of UP, you will find a tempering of garlic and green chillies in mustard oil. Then as you move further, you find households that don’t eat garlic and ginger. In such cases, a tadka of hing and jeera is prepared and added to the chunki matar. In addition to the tadka, it is way the dish is served that varies in different parts of UP. 

The most loved combination is that of aloo tikki and chunki matar. Given the love for fried food in UP and Bihar, winter season makes it even more imperative to have hot and fried food during this time. The crispy fried potato cutlets are served with a generous helping of chunki matar. Other than this, some people also mix the tempered matar with chivda. The flattened rice is first fried and then tossed in chunki matar to give it an additional crunch and sweetness. 

Another popular duo is a hot buttered toast topped with chunki matar. This might sound unusual at first, but the way the buttered toast blends with the softness of the peas makes it totally worth a shot. While kachoris and pooris are definitely a hit breakfast item in several parts of Uttar Pradesh, it is chunki matar that is a quintessential winter dish that is best savoured during this season.