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Matar Paneer | Peas and Paneer Curry

This Matar Paneer Curry recipe from North India is a deliciously creamy side dish that pairs well with any rice and any flatbreads! Boiled green peas and soft paneer cubes are nestled in a creamy and spicy tomato-onion gravy and finished off with a sprinkle of garam masala. I have included step by step pics and detailed recipe to cater even a beginner chef. 

Matar Paneer | Peas and Paneer Curry

This is my first Paneer recipe on the blog. 😎 We never had paneer growing up! Yeah, shocking? It is not a homely dish for Malabari Moplahs and I never saw mom or her mom or my aunts make paneer. I have already talked about my paneer story in this paratha recipe. After I moved to UAE access to frozen paneer was just a walk away. But finding the best recipe was not that easy. I have tried Matar Paneer from several well-known bloggers and chefs including Kunal Kapoor, Ranveer Brar, Harpal Singh, etc. but the recipe that stuck to me was by Yaman Agarwal of CookingShooking YouTube channel. However, I must say I have not tried the new matar paneer recipe that Chef Ranveer Brar posted last week which looked way better than his first version. 

Do I make my own paneer? Everyone I know swears by homemade paneer and they also claim it to be an easy task. So yours truly took up the challenge to make homemade paneer when I had invited my friend (a vegetarian by choice) and her husband over for lunch. I must say it does make a world of difference! That day I thought I will never go back to frozen paneer, but honestly, I am not okay with the added chore for just two of us. So I have been using only frozen paneer! 😄

Matar Paneer | Peas and Paneer Curry

I ate more paneer in 2019 than in my whole life. Thanks to the Low carb High fat diet stint I had for 4 months. Paneer has almost the same nutrition profile as an egg but is so much easier to eat! I hope to add more paneer recipes here because I succeeded in bringing F on board with this goodness! 😎 

Should I soak paneer before cooking? 

It is a good practice to soak paneer before cooking.

What is Matar in Indian food?

Matar, mutter, matter, are all Hindi word for green peas. 

Can I eat raw paneer? 

Yes, of course! 

Ingredients for Matar Paneer recipe

  • fat: butter and oil. I used both so it helps in frying evenly but you may use all oil or ghee. 
  • whole cashews: acts as a thickener while adding flavour. You may use some toasted sesame seeds instead and skip frying them here. 
  • veggies: red onion, tomatoes, ginger and green chillies
  • whole spices: chilli flakes, cumin seeds
  • spice powders: red chilli powder, coriander powder, turmeric powder, cumin powder, fennel powder
  • herbs: Kasuri methi, coriander leaves
  • tomato paste: you may use ketchup if you do not have a paste. 
  • ginger-garlic paste
  • cream: any kind of fresh, whipping, heavy, labneh, yoghurt can be used. I have used whipping cream and labneh without any issues. Never tried yoghurt yet. 
  • green peas: I have always used frozen. If you plan to use the dried green peas, then please soak and cook them before you add to this curry. 
  • paneer cubes: I used frozen. Soaking them in water before you use.
  • garam masala: use my Pakistani/North Indian garam masala 
  • water
  • salt

How to make matar paneer recipe?

There is no right or wrong method or recipe for making any curry. Every family has their own which explains why even the prominent chefs have completely different matar paneer recipes. The bottom line would be your personal preference. Some like it thick and creamy and others like it thin and spicy. Some add cream others add yoghurt. So I have tried at least eight different recipes but this recipe has always been the favourite and so repeated it several times. So let me show me how I make mutter paneer! 

There are two parts to making this matar paneer recipe - prepare the curry paste and then prepare the curry. Both require cooking time and the paste requires to be cooled before you process it. If you plan to use dry green peas, then please keep in mind that you will have to soak them and cook them ahead. Keep the required amount of green peas cooked and ready to use. 

The first thing is to soak the frozen paneer cubes and frozen green peas so it is ready to use by the time the curry is up. Prepare the curry paste: Heat a wide and deep saucepan or kadai on medium to high flame and add the butter and oil and cook until butter is melted. Add in the cashew nuts and roast them until they turn a light golden shade.
Matar Paneer | Peas and Paneer Curry

Chop the onions in chunks as you will anyways make a paste of it. Add the roughly chopped onions and saute until golden with a dash of salt. 
Matar Paneer | Peas and Paneer Curry

Next, add the ginger-garlic paste and saute until the raw smell fades off. 
Matar Paneer | Peas and Paneer Curry

Again don't fret on chopping size of tomatoes. Just roughly chop them as we will eventually make a paste of this base. Add the roughly chopped tomatoes, chilli flakes and salt to taste.
Matar Paneer | Peas and Paneer Curry

Matar Paneer | Peas and Paneer Curry

Cook until the tomatoes breakdown and become mushy. Switch off the flame and let it cool completely. Blend the mixture to a smooth paste. 
Matar Paneer | Peas and Paneer Curry

Now, let's prepare the mutter paneer curry. If you want to pan roast the paneer then do that first here before you start the currying process. Heat more oil and butter in the same pan on medium flame. 
Add cumin seeds and let it sizzle. Make sure this time you dice the onions finely. Add the finely diced onions and saute until golden.

Matar Paneer | Peas and Paneer Curry

Reduce the flame to low and add all the spice powders and roast for 2 to 3 minutes.
Matar Paneer | Peas and Paneer Curry

Add in the finely chopped coriander leaves and saute them for a minute. Stir in the prepared curry paste, tomato paste and cream and increase the flame to medium.
Matar Paneer | Peas and Paneer Curry

Matar Paneer | Peas and Paneer Curry

Matar Paneer | Peas and Paneer Curry

As I use frozen green peas, I soak them in plain water to get rid of ice before adding to the curry. Add the green peas, ginger and green chilli along with some water. Add salt to taste and bring the curry to boil.
Matar Paneer | Peas and Paneer Curry


Matar Paneer | Peas and Paneer Curry


Matar Paneer | Peas and Paneer Curry

I use frozen paneer and so it needs to be soaked to thaw before you add to the pot. I also read that it is a good practice to soak paneer before adding to curry even if they are fresh and homemade. Stir in the paneer cubes and add more water if required. Adjust salt and spices. Bring to boil and let it cook for 2 minutes and switch off.
Matar Paneer | Peas and Paneer Curry

Sprinkle garam masala and serve this hot delicious creamy matar paneer with rice or parathas or rotis!
Matar Paneer | Peas and Paneer Curry

In this pic below, I have served with plain ajwain paratha. 
Matar Paneer | Peas and Paneer Curry

Matar Paneer Recipe | Peas and Paneer Curry Recipe

Prep Time: 25 mins (including cooling time)
Cook Time: 50 mins 
Servings : 3 to 4

INGREDIENTS

For the curry paste:
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon oil
5 to 8 whole cashews
2 medium-sized red onion, diced roughly
1 tablespoon ginger-garlic paste
3 large or 5 medium-sized tomatoes, chopped roughly
1 teaspoon chilli flakes 

For the mutter paneer curry:
1 tablespoon butter and oil 
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 small red onion, diced finely
1 teaspoon red chilli powder
2 teaspoon coriander powder
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 teaspoon cumin powder
1/2 teaspoon fennel powder
1/2 teaspoon dried fenugreek leaves aka kasoori methi, crushed
2 tablespoons chopped coriander leaves
2 teaspoon tomato paste (add one more spoon, if required)
all of the pureed curry paste
2 tablespoon cream 
1-inch ginger, finely chopped
2 to 3 green chillies, slit 
1/2 to 3/4 cup boiled green peas 
1/2 to 3/4 cup water
250gms paneer cubes
1/4 teaspoon garam masala 

METHOD

Soak the frozen paneer and frozen green peas before you start cooking so it ready to use. 
    Prepare the curry paste:
      1. Heat a wide and deep saucepan or kadai on medium to high flame and add the butter and oil and cook until butter is melted.
      2. Add in the cashew nuts and roast them until they turn a light golden shade.
      3. Add the roughly chopped onions and saute until golden with a dash of salt. 
      4. Add the ginger-garlic paste and saute until the raw smell fades off. 
      5. Add the roughly chopped tomatoes, chilli flakes and salt to taste.
      6. Cook until the tomatoes breakdown and become mushy. 
      7. Switch off the flame and let it cool completely. 
      8. Blend the mixture to a smooth paste. 
      Prepare matar paneer curry:
      1. Heat more oil and butter in the same pan on medium flame. 
      2. Add cumin seeds and let it sizzle.
      3. Add the finely diced onions and saute until golden.
      4. Reduce the flame to low and add all the spice powders and roast for 2 to 3 minutes.
      5. Add in the finely chopped coriander leaves and saute them for a minute.
      6. Stir in the prepared curry paste, tomato paste and cream and increase the flame to medium.
      7. Add the green peas, ginger and green chilli along with some water.
      8. Add salt to taste and bring the curry to boil.
      9. Stir in the paneer cubes (you may pan fry the paneer) and add more water if required.
      10. Bring to boil and let it cook for 2 minutes and switch off.
      11. Sprinkle garam masala and serve hot with rice or aloo parathas or rotis.
      Matar Paneer | Peas and Paneer Curry

      TRIED THIS RECIPE? 

      I would love to hear from you. If you have made this recipe then please do leave a comment below. If you like this recipe then please do share the recipe with your friends and family on Whatsapp, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. Please do follow me on Instagram and mention @butfirstchaai or tag #butfirstchai so that I can see your creations!

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