Paneer Curry with Peas Recipe
Paneer, a fresh, mild Indian cheese, stands in for the meat in this delicious vegetarian main course. Larger peas are sometimes starchy instead of sweet and crisp.
- 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
- 1 pound paneer or firm or extra-firm tofu, cut into 3/4- to 1-inch cubes
- 5 tablespoons usli ghee, divided
- 1 large onion, cut into 1- to 2-inch pieces
- 2 tablespoons minced peeled fresh ginger
- 2 teaspoons ground coriander
- 1 serrano chile, minced with seeds
- 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes with added purée
- 1 1/2 cups shelled fresh peas (from about 1 1/2 pounds peas in pods) or 1 1/2 cups frozen peas, thawed
- 1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- Paneer, a fresh cow’s milk or buffalo’s-milk cheese, and usli ghee (clarified butter; also called ghee) are sold at some natural foods stores and at Indian markets. If you can’t find paneer, then tofu, chicken, shrimp, or scallops would also work well in this recipe. Clarified butter or vegetable oil can be used in place of the ghee.
- Garam masala is a curry spice blend that’s available in the spice section of many supermarkets, at Indian markets, and from thespicehouse.com.
Place flour in medium bowl. Add paneer to bowl; toss to coat with flour. Heat 2 tablespoons ghee in heavy large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Shake excess flour from paneer; add to skillet and cook until browned in spots, turning occasionally, about 4 minutes. Transfer paneer to plate; set aside. Reserve skillet.
Place onion pieces in processor. Using on/off turns, process until finely chopped but not watery. Heat remaining 3 tablespoons ghee in reserved skillet over medium heat. Add cumin seeds and stir until aromatic, about 1 minute. Add chopped onion and cook until beginning to brown, stirring often, about 10 minutes. Add minced ginger, minced garlic, ground coriander, and minced serrano chile with seeds; stir 1 minute. Add crushed tomatoes with puree, 1/2 cup water, and turmeric; bring to simmer. Reduce heat to medium low; cover and simmer until mixture thickens slightly and flavors blend, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes.
Add shelled fresh peas and cooked paneer; gently fold to incorporate evenly. Cook mixture over medium-low heat until peas are tender and paneer is heated through, folding occasionally, about 5 minutes. Fold in garam masala and cilantro. Season curry to taste with salt and pepper. Serve with steamed basmati rice.
Nutritional ContentOne serving contains the following: Calories (kcal) 300.8 %Calories from Fat 47. 9 Fat (g) 16.0 Saturated Fat (g) 9.3 Cholesterol (mg) 30.0 Carbohydrates (g) 26.0 Dietary Fiber (g) 6.5 Total Sugars (g) 5.9 Net Carbs (g) 19.5 Protein (g) 15.6Reviews Section
Creamy Matar Paneer Curry (Step by Step Video Recipe)
This Creamy Matar Paneer Curry is the kind of recipe that will save the day when your paneer cravings strike! Its super quick, yummy and is gluten free! Nothing beats a creamy, comforting and luscious curry, isn’t it!?
Welcome to my second favorite way to eat paneer – creamy matar paneer curry. Because everyone needs an easy paneer recipe in their life and this one right here is everything that a good paneer curry should be – creamy, comforting, luscious.
Is it weird that I always have a block of paneer lying around in the fridge? Soft, delicious Homemade paneer for when I have the patience, but mostly store-bought because I’m a little lazy like that. But I can’t live without paneer and I think Denver’s as okay with it as he is with anything that’s vegetarian but not a vegetable. Which means he loves it, in his own weird vegetarian hating way.
I’m not a big fan of green peas or matar as we call it in Hindi but in this curry, I kinda need them. It’s just how the world works for me. When you want a quick and easy way to cook paneer, it’s always matar paneer aka cottage cheese and green peas curry. I’ve tried this with potatoes (aloo matar paneer) and mushrooms (mushroom matar paneer) and those two rank a close second and third position but my first love – this matar paneer.
Now I know everyones going to have their own secret way of making matar paneer and I’d love to know how you make yours (leave me a comment) but I prefer mine creamy and blended instead of super chunky with all the bits of onions and tomatoes separate. So I just use my hand blender to give it a quick whizz while it’s still in the pan. If you are the chunky matar paneer kinds, skip that step and you’ll be fine too.
And you know another thing that’s so great about this recipe? It’s naturally Gluten Free and you can totally make it vegan if you sub the paneer for tofu and the yogurt for coconut milk. I know there are a lot of you out there who are always looking for vegan alternatives and this one right here is a winner in that category!
And don’t forget a large batch of rotis and some rice while you are making this. Because I always eat extras when there’s creamy matar paneer curry on the table. Oops, no judging here, peeps!
You need very basic ingredients for this curry, which are probably already in your pantry!
Paneer: I use frozen paneer cubes. Before frying it, I let it defrost on the counter for 30 minutes or so. You may also use fresh cottage cheese cubes. I just find the frozen kind convenient.
Peas: I use frozen peas because again easy peasy! You may however, use fresh peas.
Tomatoes: I use fresh tomatoes in this recipe, however, you may use tomato paste as well if that’s what you have on hand.
Onions: I use red onion, as I do for most of my Pakistani and Indian recipes.
Ginger and garlic paste: make this easy ginger and garlic paste recipe, and use it in all your Indian and Pakistani recipes.
Spices: kashmiri lal mirch powder (it's not spicy, but lends a beautiful color to the recipe), turmeric powder, coriander powder, cumin powder, and salt. finish off the curry with a little bit of garam masala powder!
Fresh coriander: a must for all desi recipes!
- , for shallow frying
- 450g/1lb paneer, cut into bite-sized pieces
- 1 large onion, finely sliced
- 2 tsp cumin seeds
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- thumb-sized piece fresh root ginger, peeled and finely grated
- 1½ tsp crushed dried chillies or ½ chilli, finely chopped (and deseeded, optional)
- 1 small bunch fresh coriander, leaves and stalks separated, both finely chopped
- 1 black cardamom pod
- 4 green cardamom pods, crushed
- 2 cloves
- 1 star anise
- 1 tsp ground turmeric
- 1½ tsp garam masala
- 300g/10½oz passata
- 250g/9oz frozen peas
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
Heat 5mm/¼in oil in a sauté or deep frying pan over a high heat. To check the oil is hot enough, add a cube of paneer to the oil – it should sizzle if oil is hot enough. Once ready, add the paneer cubes and shallow fry in batches for 2–3 minutes, turning once until golden brown on each side. Using a slotted spoon, carefully remove the paneer and set aside to drain on kitchen paper.
Carefully tip out the oil and return the pan to the heat. Add a tablespoon of oil and fry the onion and cumin seeds over a medium heat for around 6–8 minutes until the onions are soft, stirring frequently. Add the garlic, ginger, chillies and coriander stalks and fry for a further minute.
Add the cardamom pods, cloves, star anise, turmeric and garam masala. Season well with salt and continue to cook for a couple of minutes, stirring until the spices are aromatic. Stir in the passata and simmer gently for 10 more minutes.
Add the paneer, mix well and simmer for a few minutes to allow the cheese to take on the flavours. Add a generous splash of water to loosen and then stir in the peas and coriander leaves. Season with salt and pepper and simmer for a further 2–3 minutes to cook the peas. Serve immediately.
- 500 grams Paneer (Homemade Cottage Cheese) , cut into cubes
- 2 Potatoes (Aloo) , boiled and diced
- 1/2 cup Green peas (Matar) , steamed
- 1 cup Homemade tomato puree
- 1/2 teaspoon Cumin seeds (Jeera)
- 2 Green Chillies , slit
- 1/2 teaspoon Coriander Powder (Dhania)
- 1/2 teaspoon Garam masala powder
- 1/2 teaspoon Turmeric powder (Haldi)
- 1/2 teaspoon Red Chilli powder
- 1 tablespoon Kasuri Methi (Dried Fenugreek Leaves)
- 2 tablespoon Fresh cream
- Salt , to taste
- Oil , for cooking To Grind
- 1 Onion , finely chopped
- 3 cloves Garlic
- 1 inch Ginger
- 1 cup Homemade tomato puree
14 oz Paneer (about 400 grams)
1 cup dry green peas use little more amount if using fresh or frozen peas
5 cups water may add little more if needed
¼ teaspoon salt adjust as needed
1 tablespoon sugar (optional)
1 large onion chopped finely
2 tablespoons ginger garlic paste
2 green chilies sliced lengthwise or whole
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
½ teaspoon red chili powder
1 tablespoon coriander powder
1 teaspoon garam masala powder
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1 large yellow onion, chopped
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger root
- 2 serrano peppers, minced, or to taste
- ¾ teaspoon red chile powder
- ¾ teaspoon ground cumin
- ¾ teaspoon ground coriander
- ¾ teaspoon garam masala
- ¾ teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1 (14.25 ounce) can tomato puree
- 1 tablespoon ketchup
- 8 ounces paneer, cubed
- 1 (16 ounce) package frozen peas, thawed
- whipping cream or half-and-half to taste
- chopped fresh cilantro, for garnish
Heat oil in a large pan over medium heat. Cook and stir until onion has softened and turned translucent, about 5 minutes. Reduce heat to low and continue cooking and stirring until onion is very tender and dark brown, about 20 minutes more. Stir in garlic and ginger, and continue cooking for 1 minute.
Reduce heat to low, stir in chopped serrano chiles, and cook for an additional minute. Sprinkle in the red chile powder, cumin, coriander, garam masala, and turmeric cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
Pour in tomato puree and ketchup thin with water to desired consistency. Stir in the paneer and peas cook to soften peas, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in cream, and increase heat to medium-high. Allow the curry to come to a rolling boil, and cook for 3 to 4 minutes. Garnish with cilantro.
- 240g paneer (see below), cut into 2.5cm cubes
- 500ml sunflower oil, for deep frying, plus 4 tablespoons
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 onion, finely sliced
- 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 20g root ginger, peeled and finely chopped
- ¼ teaspoon ground turmeric
- ½ teaspoon Kashmiri chilli powder
- ½ teaspoon garam masala (see below)
- 4 tomatoes (about 300g), roughly chopped
- 1 teaspoon tomato puree
- 1 teaspoon caster sugar
- 250g fresh or frozen peas
- 2 tablespoons chopped coriander
- For the paneer:
- 2 litres whole milk, close to its sell-by date
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 1 teaspoon fine salt
- For the garam masala:
- Seeds from about 50g black cardamom pods (enough to provide 25g seeds)
- 25g cinnamon sticks, broken into pieces
- 25g whole black peppercorns
- 10g shahi jeera or 15g regular cumin seeds
- 2 large blades of mace
- 7g cloves (about 1 teaspoon)
- ¼ whole nutmeg
Matar Paneer Recipe – How to Make Restaurant Style Matar Paneer
For this recipe of matar paneer, I have used a gravy made of onion, tomatoes, ginger, garlic, chilies and cashews. Some people like a tomato only based gravy for matar paneer but I prefer using both here. The cashews give this dish a rich taste.
I also use a little yogurt in this matar paneer recipe to give the dish that slight tangy taste. Because peas are sweet, the tanginess really helps balance the flavors. If your tomatoes are too tart, you might consider adding a pinch of sugar to the dish. That is completely optional and it’s up to you to add it or not.
I finish off this matar paneer recipe with a garnish of fresh cilantro. If you want make it even more rich and creamier, you may add a tablespoon or two of cream into the dish once it’s done. I did not add any because I thought the dish was quite creamy already.
The dish tastes best when you use fresh paneer and fresh peas. You can obviously make paneer at home but if you don’t have the time, store bought works well too.
Here’s a tip to make store bought paneer soft and nice: add store bought paneer to a pan of warm water. Let it sit in warm water for around 20-30 minutes and then use in the recipe. It gets soft and the texture is so much better than if you use it straight away.
How to make?
Marinate the cheese:
- Make the marinade by mixing the Greek yogurt with ginger, garlic (or ginger garlic paste, if you happen to have any), and spices like garam masala, turmeric, chili powder, cumin, coriander, salt, and lemon juice.
- Cut the cheese into rather large cubes, about 3 cm/ 1.2 inches, add them to the marinade. Add some large cubes of green or red bell pepper and onions cut into larger chunks as well. Cut the onion into chunks, but make sure to separate the onion layers.
- Cover the bowl with cling film, place it in the fridge and leave to marinate for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
- You have several options. Traditionally, you will stick the cubes on skewers, that&rsquos the proper way, so to say.
- However, as you have to remove the cubes from the skewers before adding them to the masala sauce, I don&rsquot see the point in spending so much time with the &ldquoskewering&rdquo and &ldquounskewering&rdquo of the meat or paneer.
- I prefer to bake the cubes, this way I make sure I don&rsquot burn it (like I sometimes do under the preheated grill, if I don&rsquot pay enough attention). I place the cheese and vegetable cubes on a baking tray lined with aluminum foil. Most of the marinade will remain attached to the cubes, leave it there.
- Do use aluminum foil, it will make your life easier when cleaning the baking tray, the baked marinade sticking to the pan won&rsquot be easily removed without soaking and scrubbing.
- Bake in the preheated oven at 200 degrees Celsius/400 degrees Fahrenheit for about 20 minutes or until browned at the edges.
- If you want to use the grill, place the cubes on the baking tray lined with aluminum foil as well (baking paper would catch fire under the grill) and grill for about 15 minutes, checking often and turning the pieces on all sides in order to make sure nothing burns.
Cook in the pan:
- To cook the paneer tikka in the pan, pour a little oil into a non-stick pan and cook the cheese and vegetables, turning often on all sides, until nicely browned at the edges. Use tongs to flip the pieces.
I do recommend the oven method, it makes the least work.
How to make masala sauce?
- Heat 2 tablespoons ghee or 1 tablespoon vegetable oil and 1 tablespoon butter in a larger saucepan, large enough to hold the sauce and the cheese cubes as well.
- Roast the green cardamom, cinnamon stick and cumin seeds.
- Add 1 large chopped onion, ginger, and garlic and cook on low heat for about 5 minutes. Add the spices and cook them shortly.
- Add the tomatoes (canned are perfect), sugar, salt, and some water and simmer the sauce for about 15 minutes.
- You can puree the sauce to your liking at this point, I did blend it, but not perfectly so. The sauce is smoother, but you can still feel a few bits here and there. It is really up to you, how smooth you make it.
- Add the roasted paneer and vegetables to the sauce, stir very carefully to avoid breaking the cheese. Everything should be coated in sauce. Leave the pot on very low heat until the food is heated through, but don&rsquot let the sauce come to a boil again.