January 10, 2014

Matar Paneer Recipe - Mattar Paneer - How to Make Mutter Paneer Masala

Learn how to make Matar Paneer (also called Mattar Paneer or Mutter Paneer Masala), a popular vegetarian Indian side dish recipe with paneer and green peas in an onion-tomato-cashew gravy. Mattar Paneer is a fantastic side dish for roti and pulao, perfect for when you have guests.

matar paneer-mattar paneer-mutter paneer recipe

The first time I made a Paneer Peas Masala at home was many years ago, in our first home in Singapore. Cooking with paneer was new to me then and since TH loves it so much, I was experimenting with a recipe that came out wonderfully, in my novice opinion. Since then, I have made Mattar Paneer countless times, almost always when entertaining, and I felt I owed you guys an updated recipe with step by step pictures.

matar paneer-mattar paneer-mutter paneer recipe

Anything with paneer is a definite win in our home, especially if it's homemade paneer. I love experimenting with different paneer recipes but tend to default to tried and tested recipes - like this paneer butter masala, kadai paneer, or chilli paneer - when it comes to cooking for guests. This time around, I wanted to use up the frozen peas in the freezer and wanted something with a mild gravy for the kids in the group so ended up making this delicious Mattar Paneer. It went really well with rotis and the vegetable pulao that were part of the meal. Check notes to see how I prepare Matar Paneer for guests by splitting up the cooking process.

Check out all Paneer Recipes here.

MATAR PANEER RECIPE

Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes
Serves 4-6

INGREDIENTS:
2 cups of sliced onions
1 tsp of minced garlic
1 tsp of grated ginger
1 tsp of red chilli powder
2 tsp of coriander powder
1/2 tsp of cumin powder
1/2 tsp of turmeric powder
1.5 cups of chopped, ripe tomatoes
1/2 cup of cashew nuts, soaked in water for 30 mins
1 heaping tsp of canned tomato paste
3/4 cup of fresh or frozen shelled green peas
1.5 cups of cubed paneer
1 pinch of kasuri methi (dried fenugreek leaves)
1 tsp of garam masala (I use Kitchen King masala)
1 tbsp of cream
1/4 cup of chopped coriander leaves (cilantro), for garnish
2 tbsp of oil

INSTRUCTIONS:

1. Heat oil in a large pan and saute the onions onion the edges start turning brown.
matar paneer-mattar paneer-mutter paneer recipe

2. Add the ginger and garlic and saute again for a minute.
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3. Add the chilli powder, coriander powder, and cumin powder, along with the turmeric. Saute for 30 seconds until fragrant.
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4. Add tomatoes. Mix and cook until the tomatoes turn soggy and soft.
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5. Top off with the tomato paste and mix again well.

The tomato paste gives a nice depth to the dish and also gives the matar paneer some colour. You can omit if you want but I highly recommend adding some. You can transfer the remaining paste to an air tight container and keep in fridge for up to a week. Add to any tomato-based gravy, you won't regret it.
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6. Turn off flame and leave the above mixture to cool. Meanwhile, grind the soaked cashew nuts with some water. to a smooth paste. Set aside.
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7. Saute the paneer cubes in some oil until all sides are light golden brown. Drain and set aside.
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8. Once the tomato onion mixture is cool, grind to an almost-smooth paste.
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9. Return this to the stove in the same pan along with the cashew paste and peas.
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10. Add about 1.5 cups water and bring to a boil. Let it simmer for 5-6 mins or until the peas is cooked. You can add more water if the gravy is too thick.
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11. Add the kasuri methi, cream, required amount of salt, and garam masala. Mix well.
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12. Finally add the fried paneer and coriander leaves. Mix gently until the paneer is well covered in the gravy.
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Steaming hot Matar Paneer is ready!

Notes:
- The cream is optional but I like adding some for flavour. If you don't have any, don't go out and buy it just for this dish. You can also add a dash of milk for some flavour
- When I prepare Matar Paneer for guests, I make the gravy in advance the previous day (until step 8 above). I also leave soaked cashews in the fridge. On the day, just grind the cashew paste and proceed. Also fry the paneer on the day of serving so it stays spongy and fresh