Spicy, Creamy and Minty Mashed Peas

I have a daughter who attends college 650 miles away from home.  She loves her school and it is the perfect place for her. The only drawback is that the school is in a small college town in the Midwest and the food choices there are quite limited. Since she is so far away from home, she misses home cooked food most terribly.  So sometimes I have resorted to making her favorite foods and freezing them in single serving containers for her to take back with her.  I know this is not quite a solution to her dietary problem but it is an emotional comfort for her to know that she has some home-cooked food stashed away in her freezer. When she is under a lot of academic stress, she is able to get some comfort foods to cheer her up just a little bit.  This mashed peas dish is one such comfort food for her.  Yes, I know, peas are thought to be the most boring of vegetables but believe me, this is a great tasting side dish.  This time, I froze some boxes of mashed peas with a slice of my daughter’s favorite meat loaf (will put up that recipe another time) and some herbed orzo to go with it.


1.    One 16 oz bag of frozen petit peas (I got mine from Trader Joe’s) but if you can’t find frozen petit peas, use fresh very young soft lightly boiled peas.
2.    A couple of springs of fresh mint
3.    3 tablespoons of Labneh or plain Greek Yogurt (if you can’t find Labneh, substitute with some heavy cream and some plain yogurt)
4.    2 tablespoons of milk
5.    One teaspoon of red chili flakes
6.    Salt and pepper to taste
7.    2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil


1.    In a medium sized sauce pan, pour a tablespoon of olive oil and heat on low heat.

2.    When the oil is heated, add the frozen peas and cook on low heat for 8-10 minutes (stirring constantly).
3.    Add the salt, pepper and chili flakes to the peas and stir again.

4.    Add two tablespoons of milk and Lebneh and stir.
5.    Cook for another 2-3 minutes (until the creamy sauce is heated up) and then add thinly sliced fresh mint leaves to the peas and cook for another minute.  Do not overcook the peas or they will lose their appetizing bright green color.

6.    Using a handheld blender, give a rough grind to the peas and creamy sauce.  Do not mince the peas completely, just partially mash them.
7.    Pour the second spoon of olive oil over them and serve them while they are still hot as a side dish or as an appetizer – using the mashed peas as a dip served with chips or crackers.

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  1. Permalink Submitted by Sharon S. on Fri, 16/03/2012 - 03:54

    I did something like this when Libby was in college, except for her it was lasagna. She loved those tubs of home cooked food.

    It was great seeing S this evening. I’m so glad she came by. Ask her about the CSA I joined, she said you might be interested.

    This recipe looks delish, btw. I haven’t tried anything yet since we just moved and are settling in, so I’m pretty starved for real cooking!!

    • Permalink Submitted by Shabnam on Fri, 16/03/2012 - 14:44

      Hi Sharon! How are you? Yes, Simran came back thrilled after her evening at Peabody! She really misses all of you, so for her last night was a real treat. She did tell me about CSA and I think I will take the plunge soon. I had been looking for a food cooperative but all the ones I found in DC need me to go pick the stuff up and I just get lazy about those things. I am so happy that you like my blog – I am still tinkering with the design but I am happy that it has done quite well for a month-long effort on my part. I would really appreciate it if you could give the link to your friends and family – I am trying to increase the traffic on the site now. Hope you have an easy-settling process in your new house – Congratulations!!! XOXO

  2. Permalink Submitted by Sonya Kaushik on Fri, 16/03/2012 - 12:26

    Hi Shabnam – I reached your blog via the DPS website and really liked it. I don’t know if you remember me from school – I think we were in the same batch (1982) – I used to be Sonya Choudhry then. I do remember you (you look just the same) though I don’t think we knew each other – weren’t you in the Humanities section? Coincidentally, I am moving in May from India to not very far from you – Parsippany or thereabouts in New Jersey. One of my major concerns has been the prospect of cooking and running things without any house help – I am relieved to have found your blog with its simple and evidently delicious recipes, and I think it’s going to provide me with a lot of support! Thank you – and hope we run into each other some time!
    P.S. Your dogs are lovely – we are bringing across our Lab Jasper, who is also a couch potato : )

    • Permalink Submitted by Shabnam on Fri, 16/03/2012 - 14:46

      Hi Sonya – Good to hear from you 🙂 Thank you so much for your post on my blog – I am sending you an email and will continue the conversation there 🙂

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