Matar paneer recipe – a popular Indian Curry dish made with green peas and Indian cottage cheese, is from the versatile Northern Indian cuisine.
One of the most popular and perhaps one of the simple and tasty north Indian paneer gravy-based curry recipes. It is a tasty Indian dish I often make as matar paneer – also known as matter or mutter paneer.
Fresh cheese called paneer is created from either cow’s milk or buffalo milk. It has a smooth texture and a moderate flavor. Paneer frequently appears in curries and gravies and serves as a protein in many Indian dishes.
Basically, it is prepared with the combination of paneer and green peas as its hero ingredient in a tomato and onion gravy base. It tastes absolutely delicious, but is much simpler and lends more of a homey, comforting feel.
I find it very effective and also healthy and hence I generally use it for most of my north Indian curries. Do try this way and let me know if you liked this Dhaba-style matar paneer.
- 3/4 cup (1/2-inch cubed) Paneer (cottage cheese)
- 1 cup fresh or frozen Green Peas (matar)
Masala Paste Ingredients
- 1 medium Onion, finely chopped
- 2 medium Tomatoes, roughly chopped
- 2-3 cloves of Garlic
- 1/2 inch piece of Ginger, chopped
- 2 chili (sliced)
- 5-6 Cashew Nuts, soaked in hot water for 20-30 minutes
- ½ inch cinnamon
- 3 pods cardamom
- 2 cloves
- 2 tbsp oil
- 1 tsp cumin
- ½ tsp turmeric
- 1 tsp chili powder
- ½ tsp coriander powder
- ½ tsp cumin powder
- 1/2 teaspoon Garam Masala Powder
- 3 cup water or as needed
- Salt to taste
Gather Masala Paste Ingredients
- First, you will take all of the masala paste ingredients and add them to a grinder or a blender. Make sure you include: onions, tomatoes, ginger, garlic, soaked cashews, chilies, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves
- After that, you will grind the ingredients into a smooth paste. If needed add 2 to 3 tablespoons of water while grinding the masala paste. When the paste is creamy and blended to a fine consistency, set aside until later.
- Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a pan/Kadai over medium flame.
- Add 1 teaspoon of cumin seeds and fry until they splutter.
- Next, add in your ground masala paste, and mix well.
- Sauté it until the oil starts to separate or it turns translucent. It will take around 5-7 minutes.
- Keeping the flame on low, add ½ tsp turmeric, 1 tsp chili powder, ½ tsp coriander powder, ½ tsp cumin powder, and ½ tsp garam masala and salt to taste.
- Saute until the spices turn aromatic.
- Next, add in 1 cup of rinsed green peas or matar.
- Mix properly and cook for 2-3 minutes.
- Add about 2 to 3 cups water or as needed. Cover the pan with its lid. Simmer on medium-low to medium heat until the peas have softened.
- Add paneer cubes and cook for 2-3 minutes. We have added plain paneer cubes but you can add shallow fried paneer to enhance the flavor
- Turn off the flame and transfer the prepared curry to a serving bowl. The Matar paneer is ready.
It is one of the classic Indian recipes which can be paired with almost any Indian flat-breads like phulka roti, tandoori roti, paneer kulcha, butter naan, etc. for simple meal.
However, make it a more scrumptious meal by adding tomato basil salad and gulab jamun in the menu.
Also, Serve with piping hot steamed basmati rice or jeera rice. Have some roasted papad and kachumber salad on the side for some crunch and fresh element.
Tips to make the best Matar Paneer
- This recipe of mutter paneer masala uses plain paneer cubes to reduce the calories of the dish. If you are not calorie conscious, you can shallow fry paneer cubes to improve the taste and texture or deep fry them to enhance the flavor of paneer.
- Curry prepared with this recipe will have thick gravy. If you like to have diluted gravy, then add 1/4 cup more water along with green peas.
- You can always increase or decrease the quantity of green peas and paneer to get the desired texture.
- For a slightly creamier version, I add cashews, but these can be skipped.
- In my recipe you can skip both garlic and onions. To mimic their flavors, include a generous pinch of asafoetida (hing) after adding cumin seeds and before adding the masala paste.
- If you are pressed for time, grind/blend the masala paste and freeze it for a couple of days or refrigerate overnight, so that you can easily cook the matar paneer gravy the next day.
- I always make mutter paneer in oil. For a richer version, you can make it in ghee (clarified butter).