Matar Paneer / Curried Peas with Paneer
Today, I will be sharing with you the recipe for Matar Paneer (Curried Peas and Paneer). This is a favourite for anyone who loves to order vegetarian dishes as a main at (or from) Indian restaurants but in my opinion, this is definitely one of the better recipes that you will try. It is also very popular in India as a street food. So let's get straight to it!
(serves 3 to 4 people)
2 tbsps sunflower oil (to make the initial gravy base)
1 tbsp sunflower oil (to use after the gravy has been made)
2 tbsps sunflower oil (to fry off the paneer)
1 tbsp cumin seeds
1 medium white onion (washed, peeled and diced)
1 heaped tsp fresh garlic (peeled, washed and grated)
1 heaped tsp fresh ginger (peeled, washed and grated)
400 g chopped tomatoes (I use tinned but you can use fresh)
1 heaped tsp salt
1 tsp green chillies (ground to a paste)
2 tsps cumin coriander powder (dhana-jeeru)
0.5 tsp turmeric powder
1 big mug of fresh or frozen green peas or petit pois peas (I prefer frozen petit pois peas)
225g paneer cubes (available to buy in most supermarkets these days or please refer to the link further down in the recipe on how to make fresh, homemade paneer)
0.5 mug water
1 level tsp garam masala
handful of chopped coriander (to garnish)
1. Heat 2 tbsps sunflower oil in a large saucepan on a medium heat.
2. Add in the cumin seeds and roast until they start to turn a lovely golden brown colour.
3. Add in the onions and cook until they are translucent in colour and soft.
4. Put in the grated/minced ginger and garlic and stir well until well combined for a couple minutes. Be careful not to allow the ginger and garlic to burn.
5. Add in the chopped tomatoes as well as the salt and stir well. Cover the saucepan and leave to simmer for about 5 minutes on a medium to low heat.
6. Add in the green chillies, mix well and cook for a further couple of minutes stirring well.
7. Take the saucepan off the heat and pour the mixture into a blender. Blend well until it is completely pureed.
8. In the same saucepan used to make the blended gravy, heat 1 tbsp sunflower oil on a medium heat and add in the blended gravy.
9. Add the cumin coriander powder (dhana-jeeru) and the turmeric powder and mix until well combined.
10. Let the gravy simmer on a low to medium heat for a further 2 minutes.
11. Add in the frozen petit pois peas and cook on a medium heat with the pan covered for 3 to 5 minutes or until the peas are cooked. (You can squash one between your fingers to see if it is soft and done.)
12. While the peas are cooking, in a separate frying pan, add 2 tbsps sunflower oil and heat until quite hot. Add in the paneer cubes and cook until the fresh paneer is golden brown on all sides. Be careful not to overcook as you don't want the paneer to become chewy.
NB: turn the peas in the gravy mixture to a low heat if roasting the paneer takes longer than 5 minutes.
(Click here for paneer recipe.)
13. Add the browned paneer into the peas and gravy base mixture and stir through until all the paneer are well coated.
14. Keeping the flame on a medium heat, add in the water and mix well. Close the lid of the saucepan and simmer on a medium to low heat for a further 3 minutes.
15. Add in the garam masala and the coriander and mix well. The matar paneer is now ready to serve!
This dish is delicious as a main meal or a side dish. It is very tasty eaten with chapati, tandoori roti, rice, poori or naan bread. :)
So there you have it! Delicious matar (peas) paneer! Let me know in the comments how yours turned out!
"Til next time ... enjoy!
Bon appetit! xx