The winter season brings out the best of the green peas and is also the time to store them away. Its a tradition is most Indian homes when the freeze section of the Refrigerator is ready with seasonal veggies to last the year.
The best way to preserve fresh peas is by blanching and freezing them.
Peas are high in sugar content, so they have to be blanched before freezing to stop enzyme activity from turning sugars into starch and ruining their fresh sweet flavor. Blanching i.e. immersing the peas in boiling water for two minutes, then cooling them immediately in ice water — removes dirt and bacteria and also preserves the peas’ flavor and nutrition. If, however, you find yourself with little or no time to blanch, you can freeze fresh peas without blanching them first. You should use unblanched frozen peas within four to six weeks of freezing; they lose color, flavor and nutrition the longer they are stored.
How to ?
To begin with, shell the peas, wash well and let it drain in a colander. Get a vessel of water on the gas and allow it to boil. Have a vessel with ice cubes ready.
When the pot of water comes to a rolling boil, pour peas in. Let them blanch for 2-3 minutes. After 2-3 minutes have passed, remove the peas and put them in cold water to immediately stop the cooking process, and cool them enough for handling.
Pour the blanched and cooled peas into a freezer bag or container and seal them up. Now pop them into the freeze section of your refrigerator and they are ready to flavour your pav bhajis, matar pulao and paneer matar as long as you wish.