Matar Paneer

by Asif Ali
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Matar paneer recipe – a popular Indian Curry dish made with green peas and Indian cottage cheese, is from the versatile Northern Indian cuisine that has many different (and delicious) variations. I’m sharing our family recipe of a flavorful and simple home-style mutter paneer.

  • ½ cup chopped onions
  • ¾ to 1 cup chopped tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon chopped ginger {sub with ¼ teaspoon of ground ginger (dry ginger powder)}
  • 1 teaspoon chopped garlic 
  • 10 to 12 cashews
  • 2 tablespoons coriander leaves (cilantro)
  • 1 teaspoon chopped green chilies or serrano peppers
  • 4 to 5 black peppercorns
  • 1 inch cinnamon (Use true cinnamon. For cassia cinnamon, use ½ inch of it)
  • 1 teaspoon of coriander seeds {sub with 1 teaspoon of ground coriander (coriander powder)}
  • 1 green cardamom – optional
  • 2 cloves
Top shot of ingredients to be ground for matar paneer in blender

Make Masala Paste

2. After that, you will grind the ingredients into a smooth paste. If needed add 2 to 3 tablespoons of water while grinding the masala paste. When the paste is creamy and blended to a fine consistency, set aside until later.

Frying Cumin

3. Next add 3 tablespoons oil in a 2-liter pressure cooker. Let the oil become hot. Reduce heat to medium-low heat. Add ½ teaspoon cumin seeds and fry until they splutter.

Add Masala Paste

4. Next, add in your ground masala paste, and mix well.

TIP: It is important to be careful while sautéing because the masala paste tends to splutter when added to the pressure cooker. If there is too much spluttering, then cover the cooker partly with a lid until the spluttering stops.

Add Ground Spices

6. After sautéing the masala paste, add in all of the dry spice powders, stir to combine well, and sauté for a minute. Be sure to include:

  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • ½ teaspoon kashmiri red chili powder or sweet paprika (sub with ¼ to ½ teaspoon of cayenne or red chilli powder)
  • ¼ to ½ teaspoon garam masala powder (replace with ¼ teaspoon of curry powder)

Add Green Peas

7. Next, add in 1 cup of rinsed green peas or matar.

Pressure Cook

10. It’s now time to pressure cook the green peas until they are fully cooked. Be sure to cover the cooker tightly, then cook for about 9 to 10 minutes or 2 to 3 whistles on medium to medium-high heat.

Make Matar Paneer

11. Finally, add the paneer cubes and mix well or simmer on low heat for some seconds or until the paneer cubes are fully cooked. Don’t overcook as the paneer will become dense and hard.

You can add more flavors, by including ½ teaspoon of crushed Kasuri methi (dried fenugreek leaves) at this step.

Garnish and Serve

12. Now that your master paneer is ready to eat, garnish with chopped coriander leaves and serve hot or warm.

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