A spice mix that puts veg at the centre of your plate

For two weeks in September 2021, as part of our residency programme, artist collective Popeye Collective came to Leeds. They met with, ate with and explored with folk all across the city to discover just exactly what the flavour of Leeds might be. This spice mix is just the beginning, and we thought you might like to try it.

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Leeds Mataar Masala

Our Leeds Mataar Masala is a Chaat Masala with mint. We added mint as we discovered that people in Leeds love mint sauce on their mushy peas, but it works well without. If you want to make your own Chaat masala at home it’s easy to do with the recipe below. You can find black salt and Amchoor (mango) powder in any good Indian food store – the rest is easily available to buy everywhere. Just put all the dry ingredients in a container and shake them up to mix.

3tsp mango powder
2tsp dried mint
1tsp ground coriander
1tsp ground cumin
3/4tsp ground black pepper
3/4tsp black salt
1/2tsp ground cinnamon
1/2tsp ground ginger

How to use

Mushy Pea Chaat

The Leeds Mataar Masala in this wrap, will transform a cheap can of Mushy Peas into a delicious indian inspired snack. It makes a Chaat which means ‘to lick’ in Hindi, so it’s no surprise then that this dish is so hard to put down.


1tsp Rapeseed oil
1 Shallot
1 Green finger chilli
2-3tsp Leeds Mataar Masala
1 tin (300g) Mushy Peas
1 tbs Hendersons Relish
1 tbs Plant based Yogurt
1cm Fresh Ginger
Handful fresh coriander
(Optional) handful of Sev (chickpea flour noodles)


Finely chop the shallot and put a small pan on a medium heat and add the oil. Throw in the Shallot and cook until turning translucent – stirring regularly. Add the chopped chilli and stir, then add 1 tsp of Leeds Mataar Masala and stir. Leave for 30 seconds then plop your Mushy Peas into the pan and stir to combine.

Heat through adding more Leeds Mataar Masala to taste (we tend to add a second teaspoon just to try and tone down the neon green of the peas!).

Whilst warming the peas prepare your garnish. Finely chop into batons (julienne) your fresh ginger and rip the coriander into small bits. 

Serve in a small bowl and sprinkle the remaining 1tsp of Leeds Mataar Masala on top. Drizzle over yogurt and Hendersons Relish and sprinkle with your ginger and coriander. Finish with Sev if you have them.

Enjoy Mushy Pea Chaat by itself or as a side with a simple Dal and rice. 

Don’t forget to lick the bowl.

Quick version:

If you are in a hurry and don’t have a store cupboard full of stuff – just heat up a tin of Mushy Peas with 1 tsp of Leeds Mataar Masala. Serve hot and sprinkle extraLeeds Mataar Masala on top.

Expert Version:

If you are up for it you can really go to town on your condiments and garnish. Try making your own chutneys, loosening Tamarind with warm water and adding date syrup works brilliantly, and you can make a fresh herb chutney to compliment by whizzing up coriander and mint and green chilli and yogurt.  Add more garnish to suit your taste – we like more green chilli.


Leeds Mataar Masala is wonderful sprinkled on top of fruit salad. So why not finish your meal with more Chaat! Try with fresh or tinned fruit salad.

Popeye Collective

Popeye Collective is Artist Freddie Yauner, Cultural Comms consultant Kiran Gill and Architect Eddie Blake. Popeye Collective creates conversations and works about food, as a catalyst for new culture inspired by plant-based food systems.

With Leeds Mataar Masala, Popeye Collective serve up their own take on traditional Northern staple: mushy peas.  The collective has created a recipe which weaves together multiple narratives to transform a can of mushy peas into a delicious culturally rich dish, you can make at home.

During their two week residency in Leeds they met farmers, chefs, market traders, locals young and old and this recipe for Mushy Pea Chaat guided conversations; charting personal histories, unpicking colonial pasts and how all of this can impact on our vision of culture, community, and ultimately, art.  And not forgetting how an extra portion of peas could sustain the planet for just a little while longer.

What is the flavour of Leeds? 

What is the first flavour you would associate with Leeds, if any, and why? 

We would love to hear from you for the next part of our project – drop us an email at: hello@popeyecollective.org