matar paneer or mutter paneer recipe with step by step photos – one popular paneer recipe amongst all the north indian paneer recipes. matar paneer is quite often made at home.
so here is a simple and easy recipe for matar paneer. this recipe is not restaurant style but a simple homemade dish. the kinds which make for a homely comforting meal.
i learnt to make mutter paneer first time at my in-laws’ place. this is a classic north indian punjabi recipe which we make. its simple, fuss free and easy.
for a slight creamier version, i add cashews. to give some citrus notes to the curry, i also add coriander leaves.
matar paneer goes well with parathas, naan and even steamed rice. at home i usually make parathas or rotis to go with matar paneer. a side veg or a raita also goes well with the combination of matar paneer and parathas. in the pic are parathas and mix veg salad with nuts served with the matar paneer. vegan can substitute tofu with paneer and still enjoy the deliciousness.
lets start step by step matar paneer recipe:
1. take ingredients for making the masala paste in a wet grinder – ½ cup chopped onions, ¾ cup chopped tomatoes, ½ inch ginger, (2-3) garlic, (1-2) green chilies, (10-12) chopped cashews, 2 tbsp coriander leaves, (4-5) black pepper, ½ inch cinnamon, 1 tsp coriander seeds & (2-3) cloves
2. grind all the ingredients to a smooth paste. no need to add water while grinding. there should be no small bits and pieces of cashews in the paste. keep the ground paste aside.
3. heat 2 to 2.5 tbsp oil or ghee. add ½ tsp cumin seeds.
4. add the ground masala paste. stir. take care while sauteing as the paste splutters. if there is too much spluttering, then cover partly with a lid till the spluttering stops.
5. saute for 10 to 12 minutes on a low to medium flame till the oil separates from the paste.
6. add all the dry spice powders – ¼ tsp turmeric powder, (¼ to ½) tsp red chili powder and (¼ to ½) tsp garam masala powder. stir.
7. add 1 cup rinsed peas or matar.
8. stir well.
9. then add (1 cup to 1.25 cups) water and salt. stir again.
10. pressure cook till the matar/peas are cooked. (check notes in recipe section on how to cook in a pan.)
11. when the pressure drops on its own, open the lid of the pressure cooker. if the curry appears thin, then simmer till it reaches the desired consistency. the consistency is medium and neither thick nor thin. if the gravy appears thick, then add some water and simmer. for a slight sweet taste, you can also add up to ½ tsp of sugar. add the paneer cubes (250 to 300 gms). simmer on a low flame for 1 to 2 minutes or till the paneer cubes are cooked. avoid over cooking as then the paneer would become dense and rubbery.
tip from reader abhishek: you can shallow or pan fry the paneer pieces and then add these to the curry.
matar paneer recipe details below:
- main ingredients:
- 250 to 300 gms paneer/cottage cheese
- 1 cup peas or matar - fresh or frozen
- 1 cup to 1.25 cups water, 250 to 275 ml water or add as required
- ½ tsp cumin seeds/jeera
- ¼ tsp turmeric powder/haldi
- ¼ to ½ tsp red chili powder/lal mirch powder
- ¼ to ½ tsp punjabi garam masala powder or regular garam masala powder
- 1 tbsp malai or cream (optional)
- ½ tsp sugar or add as required and optional (check notes)
- 2 to 2.5 tbsp oil or ghee
- a few coriander/dhania leaves for garnishing
- salt as required
- 3 medium sized ripe red tomatoes, roughly chopped, ¾ cup roughly chopped tomatoes
- 1 medium to large onion, roughly chopped, ½ cup roughly chopped onions
- 1 to 2 green chilies, chopped
- ½ inch ginger/adrak, chopped
- 2-3 garlic/lahsun, chopped
- 2 tbsp roughly chopped coriander, chopped
- 10 to 12 whole cashews/kaju, chopped
- 4 to 5 black peppercorns/sabut kali mirch
- 2 to 3 cloves/lavang
- ½ inch cinnamon/dal chini
- 1 tsp coriander seeds/sabut dhania
- blend all the ingredients mentioned under "masala paste" in a grinder or blender to a smooth paste. no need to add water while grinding. keep aside.
- heat oil or ghee. add ½ tsp cumin seeds. saute the cumin till they splutter.
- then add the ground masala paste. stir. take care while sauteing as the paste splutters. if there is too much spluttering, then cover partly with a lid till the spluttering stops.
- saute for 10-12 minutes or more on a low to medium flame till the oil separates from the paste.
- add all the dry spice powders - turmeric powder, red chili powder, garam masala powder. stir well.
- if adding cream or malai, you can add now. stir and saute for a minute.
- then add the peas or matar. stir again.
- add water and season with salt.
- cover the cooker tightly and pressure cook till the matar/peas are cooked. (check notes below on how to cook in a pan.)
- when the pressure drops on its own, open the lid of the pressure cooker.
- if the curry appears thin, then simmer till it reaches the desired consistency. the consistency is medium and neither thick nor thin.
- if the gravy appears thick, then add some water and simmer.
- add the paneer cubes. simmer for 1 to 2 minutes on a low flame or till the paneer cubes get cooked. for a slight sweet taste, you can also add sugar just before you add the paneer cubes.
- don't overcook as the paneer becomes dense and hard then.
- garnish matar paneer with coriander leaves.
- serve matar paneer with rotis, parathas, naan or rice.
2. if the tomatoes are sour, then sweeten the gravy by adding some sugar.