Indian supermarkets can look pretty intimidating to the uninitiated—packed full of odd fruits and weird brands. On my list of recommended things to buy would be fenugreek. It’s a bitter leaf with a strong taste that transforms into something discrete and magical when balanced with other flavors, like creamy cashews and sweet peas. You can spot it either by its heart-shaped (purslane-esque) leaves, or by its smell, which is somewhere between maple syrup and licorice.

NOTES: This recipe uses amchur (mango powder), also available from your local Indian shop. You will need a blender for this recipe.

Serves 4 as part of a main course

scant ½ cup unsalted cashews
¾ pound fresh fenugreek leaves
1¾-inch piece of ginger, peeled
2 Indian green chiles
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
6 medium ripe tomatoes, chopped
1 teaspoon garam masala
1 teaspoon mango powder (amchur)
1 teaspoon sugar
2/3 cup light cream
1½ cups frozen peas

Soak the cashews in 2/3 cup of boiled water for 10 minutes.

In the meantime, wash the fenugreek, cut off the stalks below where the leaves grow, and discard, as they are very tough when cooked. Finely chop the leaves and soak them in a large bowl of cold water with a big pinch of salt for 10 minutes. This will help to extract some of their bitterness.

Put the cashews, their soaking water, the ginger, and the green chiles into a blender and whizz into a smooth paste.

Put the butter into a lidded frying pan over medium heat and, when hot, add the tomatoes. Cook them for around 5 minutes, until they break down, stirring every couple of minutes. Then add the garam masala, mango powder, sugar, and 1¼ teaspoons of salt. Stir to mix, then grab a handful at a time of the fenugreek leaves, shake off the water, and add to the pan. Cover with a lid and cook for 6 to 8 minutes, until tender.

Add the cashew paste and cook for a couple of minutes, then add the cream and peas.

Cover the pan again and cook for a further 5 minutes. Check for seasoning, and serve with bread or rice.