Matar Paneer Recipe

Yields: 4 servings

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 30-35 minutes

Ingredients:

For the sauce:

  • 2 tablespoons ghee or vegetable oil
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 1-inch piece of ginger, grated
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 large tomatoes, pureed (or 1 can diced tomatoes)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon red chili powder (adjust to preferred spice level)
  • ½ teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 cup water
  • Salt to taste

Other:

  • 1 cup frozen or fresh peas
  • 200-250 grams paneer, cut into cubes
  • 1 tablespoon kasuri methi (dried fenugreek leaves)
  • ¼ cup heavy cream/half-and-half
  • Fresh cilantro for garnish

Instructions

Prepare the Paneer:

  • Shallow-fry (optional): In a nonstick pan, heat a bit of oil and fry the paneer cubes until lightly golden. Drain on paper towels and set aside.
  • Alternatively: Soak the paneer cubes in hot water for 10-15 minutes to soften them.

Sauté the Aromatics:

  • Heat ghee or oil in a large pan or pot over medium heat. Add the cumin seeds (if using) and let them sizzle for a few seconds.
  • Add the chopped onions and cook until softened and lightly golden, about 5 minutes.
  • Add the ginger and garlic, cook for another minute until fragrant.

Make the Tomato Base:

  • Add pureed or diced tomatoes and cook for a few minutes until the mixture thickens and oil starts to separate.
  • Stir in the ground coriander, turmeric, red chili powder, and salt. Cook for a minute more.

Simmer the Sauce:

  • Add 1 cup of water and bring the sauce to a gentle simmer. Cook for around 5 minutes, or until slightly thickened.
  • Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.

Add Peas and Paneer:

  • Stir in the peas and paneer. Cover and simmer for 5-10 minutes, until the peas are tender.

Finishing Touches:

  • Crush the kasuri methi leaves between your palms and add to the pot. Stir in the garam masala.
  • Drizzle in the cream and gently stir to combine. Let it simmer for a minute more to create a creamy richness.
  • Turn off heat, garnish with fresh cilantro, and serve hot.

Tips:

  • Fresh vs. Frozen Peas: Fresh peas are ideal, but frozen work well too. If using frozen, thaw and rinse before adding.
  • Cream Alternatives: You can use light cream, coconut cream, or cashew cream for a dairy-free option.
  • For added richness, lightly toast the cashews before blending them into the tomato base.
  • Make it Your Own: Feel free to add a pinch of sugar to balance flavors, or a green chili for an extra kick.

Serving Suggestions: Enjoy Matar Paneer with basmati rice, naan, chapati, or paratha!

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