Updated: Mar 27
Matar Paneer is probably one of the most common and frequently ordered paneer dishes of all. I actually never order this dish at a restaurant because it seems just so basic to me (and I don’t mean that in a bad way, it’s just that there’s more complex dishes I rather try while I’m out!) Additionally, when I say basic - it also means it’s easy to make!
I just randomly decided to make this the other night since I’ve been hoarding a block of paneer for a while and it was about to go bad and also had peas so why not. My husband loves Matar Paneer and he got excited when I suggested the idea of it so I decided to go through with it!
I did not think I’d be posting this recipe so forgive me as I did not take pictures of the cooking process. It’s a really easy recipe to follow though. I hope you all love it!
2 tbsp ghee, divided
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1 red onion, thinly sliced
2 tomatoes, roughly chopped
10 garlic cloves1 inch ginger
2-4 Thai green chilis (adjust to your spice level)
1-2 cups water
1 tbsp oil
1 tsp Kashmiri chili
1/2 tsp red chili powder/cayenne
1 tsp coriander powder
1/4 tsp turmeric
Salt to taste
14 oz. block of paneer, cut into bite-size cubes
1 cup peas
1/4 cup heavy cream or coconut cream
1/4 tsp garam masala
1 tbsp kasoori methi
Chopped cilantro, handful for garnish
1. Heat a large pot like a Dutch oven or similar on medium heat and add one tbsp ghee. Once the ghee is hot, add cumin seeds. When the cumin seeds start to sputter, add onions and sauté for 8-10 minutes, until golden brown. Then add garlic cloves, ginger, green chilis, and cashews. Sauté for 3-4 minutes then add tomatoes. Let the tomatoes cook down for another 3-4 minutes then add 1/2 cup water, cover and simmer on med-low heat for 4-5 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool. Once it’s room temperature, add to blender and purée into a gravy. Set aside.
2. Heat same pot again with the remaining 1 tbsp of ghee + 1 tbsp of oil. Once heated, add Kashmiri chili, red chili, coriander powder, and turmeric and sauté for 1-2 minutes, until masala has turned bright red. Then add blended gravy + salt and sauté until oil separates - it will thicken a bit. Once the oil separates, add water 1/4 cup at a time and stir, until you reach a consistency to your liking. If it seems too watery then you can just reduce it.
3. Next add peas and *paneer. Simmer for 4-5 minutes then add cream. Mix thoroughly then add garam masala and kasoori methi. Continue to simmer for another 7-8 minutes on low to let the flavors marry. You can add more water if needed if it has thickened too much or continue to reduce it if it’s too watery. I ended using about 2 cups water and reduced it.
You can make this ahead of time and it reheats just fine!
*If you prefer more of a firm-textured paneer then you can pan fry the cubes first in a little oil to crisp it up. I prefer my paneer soft in this dish so I just cube it and toss it right in.
Hope you guys enjoy this recipe and don't forget to tag @thecurriedcook when posting! Thanks again for following!