Sugar snap peas are a cross between garden peas and snow peas. They do not require shelling, which means, the whole pod is edible. I buy them regularly when they are in season, during the months of June and July. They are a delicious, crunchy addition to any stir-fry, salad or omelette. They can be bit pricey during off-seasons, but when they are cheap, I have blanched snap peas almost everyday. With only 45 calories per cup, there is no reason to stay away from them.
Why they are called sugar snap peas? I have no idea. Probably because they are sweet and pop when snapped. When buying sugar snap peas, select pods that are bright green, flat and tender. They have strings that must be removed before cooking. Pinch one end of the pod and pull the string toward the other end.
Clockwise from left: Sugar snap peas, strings removed and cut
After having endless salads and stir-fries, I decided its time to introduce spices to these tender peas. Since they are delicate, the spices used in this curry are also minimal. Going with my instinct, I paired these peas with cumin and nothing else. The marriage between this western vegetable and Indian spices was, indeed, gratifying. Now, every time I buy snap peas, I cannot help, but prepare this curry.A word of caution, do not cook these peas for a long time. When overcooked, they become mushy and the flavour is destroyed. Prepare this as you would do a stir-fry, but Indian style.IngredientsSugar snap peas – 2 cups, sliced on an angle
Onion – 1, sliced
Tomato – 2, chopped
Garlic – 2 cloves, finely chopped
Cumin seeds – 1 tsp
Cumin powder – 1½ tsp
Red chilli powder – 1 tsp
Oil – 1 tbspMethod
Heat oil in a wok. Splutter cumin seeds and sauté onion and garlic, until onions turn soft. Add chopped tomatoes and sauté till they are cooked. To this, add sugar snap peas, cumin powder, chilli powder and salt and cook for 3 minutes, stirring in between. Serve warm with roti.