Recipe for Matar Paneer

Recipe for Matar Paneer

Matar Paneer (Peas and Cottage Cheese) is one of the tastiest dishes made with Paneer and is quite a popular dish in northern India.

Paneer consumption in India is said to have started in Punjab, but today, it is relished by people in almost all parts of India. The migration of people between states has also led to a food revolution in the country and introduced people to its rich food diversity. It is common now that dosa and idly are made in north Indian homes, while the south Indians try parathas and dal makhani. While the people from the east are trying the dhoklas and theplas from the west, the people from the west are trying the momos and thukpas!

In line with this massive change in eating habits because of increased access to different foods, paneer is one ingredient that has penetrated many households in India. Dishes made with paneer are a favorite amongst vegetarians as they are tasty and a great source of protein. Paneer is served during parties, functions, and family dinners. Many delicious dishes like Palak Paneer, Paneer Makhni, Paneer Kofta, and Butter Paneer are commonly made in restaurants, dhabas, and homes. People are continuing to innovate and create new delicacies every day. Such is the popularity of paneer that it has found its way into the Indian versions of Pasta, Pizzas, and Noodles.

When I moved to Germany 3 years back, I wasn’t sure that paneer would be available in this European country. But to my pleasant surprise, it is easily available even in the smallest Indian stores in my city. And, sometimes, when it is not available, I make it at home with fresh milk. The process is simple and doesn’t take much time.

Today, I am sharing with you a simple recipe for Matar Paneer. It is mostly made in the winter when peas are available in abundance. In this dish, Peas and Paneer are combined with a couple of Indian spices to make a delicious dish that can be paired with Roti, Paratha, or rice. In restaurants, a much richer version of this dish is made. However, what I am sharing with you today, is a simple recipe I make in my home. It is quick, easy, not overly rich, yet delicious and comforting.

So, let’s start.

Ingredients needed for making Matar Paneer:

  1. Paneer: 300 gm, cut into cubes
  2. Peas: 100 gm
  3. Ghee: 2 tablespoons
  4. Cumin Seeds: 1 teaspoon
  5. Onion: 1 big, roughly chopped
  6. Tomato: 1 big, roughly chopped
  7. Ginger: 1/2 tablespoon, finely chopped
  8. Garlic: 1/2 tablespoon, finely chopped
  9. Salt: 1 1/2 teaspoon
  10. Garam Masala: 1 teaspoon
  11. Kashmiri Red Chili Powder: 1 teaspoon
  12. Coriander Powder: 1 tablespoon
  13. Turmeric Powder: 1 teaspoon
  14. Kasuri Methi ( dry Fenugreek leaves): 1 tablespoon
  15. Cashews: 8-10
  16. Water: 1 cup

Method to make Matar Paneer:

  1. Heat 1 tablespoon of ghee in a pan. Add cumin seeds and let them crackle.

  2. Keep the heat to medium. Then add onion, cashews, ginger, and garlic and fry till the onions turn translucent.

  3. Then add tomatoes.

  4. Add turmeric powder, red chili powder, coriander powder, and salt.

  5. Cover with a lid, reduce the heat, and let it cook till the tomatoes turn mushy.

  6. Take it out and let it cool. Once cooled, grind it into a fine paste. Add 1/2 -3/4 cup water while grinding.
  7. In the same pan, take 1 tablespoon of ghee. Heat it. Then add Paneer and fry for 2-3 minutes.

  8. Then add the ground paste. Mix. Then add peas.

  9. Cover with a lid and cook for about 5 minutes on low to medium heat.

  10. In the end, crush some Kasuri Methi and sprinkle it on the gravy. Also, add garam masala.

  11. Mix everything together. Cook for a minute or two more and then remove from heat. Serve with rice, roti, or paratha.

Some notes for my readers:

  1. I used frozen peas in this recipe. If you are using fresh peas, boil them separately and then add them at step 8.
  2. You can use homemade Paneer or shop-bought one. If you are buying ready-made paneer, always check the expiry date. If the paneer is not fresh, it will taste sour, and that would affect the taste of the gravy. Fresh paneer should taste milky.
  3. To make the dish richer, add a bit of extra ghee while cooking (2 extra tablespoons should be enough). Also, you can garnish with fresh cream in the end. You can even garnish the dish with fried nuts like cashews and almonds. That adds another texture and tastes great too.

Check out other recipes from my kitchen here.

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