Simple Pea Saute (Vatana nu Shaak)


Simple Pea Saute (Vatana nu Shaak). Recipe by

This dish is a perfect example of how simple and wonderful Indian cooking can be. Last week I needed to come up with a shaak to eat with the gluten-free rotli I posted about, but our pantry was running low and we didn’t have many fresh veggies in the house. It was quite a busy week so I never had a chance to go to the store. I dug around my freezer and found this large bag of peas.

Traditionally in Gujarati cuisine, peas are combined with another vegetable like potatoes or cauliflower. But I didn’t have either at home. So I threw together a shaak with what I had available. It was a dish entirely about the peas. Even Steve, who doesn’t normally like peas, was happy to eat this simple shaak. The best part is, it took less than 10 minutes to put together but it was so flavorful.

Simple Pea Saute (Vatana nu Shaak)


  • 2 cups frozen peas
  • 1 small onion, thinly sliced pole to pole
  • 1 tsp carom seeds (cumin seeds or mustard seeds work too)
  • 1/2 tsp red chili powder (or to taste)
  • 1/4 tsp salt (or to taste)
  • 2 tsp oil


  1. Heat oil in a saute pan. When the oil begins to shimmer, add the carom, cumin or mustard seeds. Let cook for about 5 seconds.
  2. Add the onions and a pinch of salt. Cook until the onions soften and start to caramelize.
  3. Add the peas and a splash of water. Also add the chili powder and salt. Stir.
  4. Let cook for about 5 minutes until the peas are cooked through.
  5. Serve with your choice of flat bread.

Comments on "Simple Pea Saute (Vatana nu Shaak)"

  1. July 5, 2014

    I didn't see the recipe... :-(

    1. July 9, 2014
      Steve Thomas-Patel:

      Thank you for pointing this out! You should be able to see it now.

      1. September 15, 2014

        The flat bread was to watery. The portions are wrong. What kind of rice flour did you use? Maybe its the flour I used.

  2. March 2, 2015
    Janette walker:

    Love your blog.
    I have loads of spices that I regularly cook with however I have not heard of carom seeds. Is there another name for these (I live in scotland/UK). Always happy to find a new spice!

    1. March 2, 2015
      Puja Thomas-Patel:

      Hi Janette!
      Carom seeds are also known as ajwain (in Hindi). They look like little baby cumin seeds but taste a little like thyme. :)

  3. September 3, 2019

    I can use thyme?

Leave a reply