Matar paneer recipe

Matar paneer is a peas and cottage cheese recipe and is one of my personal favourites. This matar paneer recipe is easy to make has comparatively lesser ingredients and tastes absolutely delicious. You can enjoy matar paneer with rice or rotis, I personally enjoy eating matar paneer with rotis. This matar paneer recipe is very easy to make and can make it with readily available ingredients.

Matar paneer recipe is very popular and is also served as a side dish during weddings. This matar paneer recipe is commonly cooked during winters and is relished and enjoyed by almost everyone. It’s easy to make and is very filling. Matar paneer and rotis is a meal by itself, its filling and is absolutely delicious. The combination of cottage cheese and peas cooked in the blended gravy paste gives it a very distinct taste. This recipe serves at least 3 to 4 people.

Ingredients

  • Oil –                                   2 tbsp
  • Black cardamom – 1
  • Cumin seeds –                     1 tsp
  • Black peppercorns –           6 to 7
  • Cloves –                             3 to4
  • Chopped ginger –               1 tsp
  • Chopped garlic –                1 tsp
  • Onions –                            2 medium sized finely chopped
  • Turmeric –                        ½ tsp
  • Red chilli powder –            1 tsp
  • Cumin powder –                 ½ tsp
  • Coriander powder –           1 tsp
  • Garam masala powder –     1 tsp
  • Tomatoes –                       1 medium sized chopped
  • Cashews –                         6
  • Salt –                                 1 tsp
  • Water –                             2 cups
  • Peas –                                1 cup
  • Paneer –                            200gms
  • Butter –                            2 tbsp

Method

Masala preparation for matar paneer

In a kadhai or wok take two tablespoons of oil and let it heat up.

To it , Add 1 Black cardamom, one teaspoon cumin seeds, 6 to 7 black peppercorns and 3 to 4 cloves and let it splutter for 2 to 3 seconds.

Keep the flame on low . So that the whole spices do not burn, stir the spices in between, once they are properly roasted.

Then add finely chopped garlic ,and chopped ginger to the kadhai. And stir them till they become golden brown in color. Make sure to keep stirring. So that they don’t stick to the bottom of the pan , also do not burn them. Just keep stirring till the ginger and the garlic change to light brown in color. After the ginger and garlic slightly change color it’s time to add the rest of the ingredients.

To this add finely chopped onions. And cook them till they become brown in color. Cooking the onions well is key point in this recipe. If you only sauté till them till translucent it won’t give a nice taste and color to the dish. Hence cooking the onions well till they become brown is crucial to this recipe.

After the onions properly turn brown. You can add finely chopped tomatoes to them now cook the tomatoes nicely till, they become soft and mushy. To cook the tomatoes quickly you can add salt to them to fasten the cooking process.

You can also add the cashews at this stage so that even they get cooked properly and soften up. Add about five to six cashews and stir them well.

To this, add all the dry spice powders. Like one teaspoon red chilli powder, half teaspoon turmeric, one teaspoon coriander powder, one teaspoon garam masala powder, half teaspoon of cumin powder, and mix well. Now cover and cook this. For at least two to three minutes till the spices ,and the tomatoes ,start leaving the oil. Cook the spices properly

Open the lid and stir . If you find that the mixture is sticking to the bottom of the pan. Just add little bit of water, about two tablespoons to it, and stir it. Keep stirring the mixture it should become like a paste consistency

Cook the tomatoes properly till they become soft. Tomatoes should be completely soft, spices should be properly mixed with the spices and cooked

Once it becomes of paste like consistency. Add at least two cups full of water. And cook it till the water reduces, to at least half its quantity. You can put it on a high flame at this stage. Also at this stage the black cardamom would float in the water so remove it from the gravy.

When the water reduces to half which should take about three to four minutes . switch off the flame and let this mixture cool down completely.

Blending the masala for matar paneer

Cooling this mixture completely is crucial so that it becomes easier to blend and make it into a paste .

For cooling it faster I take a bigger plate and add cold water and ice to it . And then take the kadhai or vessel in which you are making the gravy and put it in this cold water plate , so that the gravy inside of the kadhai cools down quickly as you keep the kadhai in cold water .

Wait for 5 min or so or till the gravy has completely cooled down and now take all the mixture in a blending jar and make it into a fine paste . Remember to remove the bay leaf. Blending the black cardamom and bay leaf would give the gravy very bitter spicy taste, and also it wont blend properly into a smooth paste, to avoid that make sure remove only the black cardamom and bay leaf .

Blend the cooled down mixture into a fine and smooth paste .

Combining the gravy and paneer and peas

Now in the same kadhai add butter and let it heat up . Once the butter has melted add peas to it and sauté it well, the butter should get properly coated to the peas properly . you can sprinkle some salt to it and just sauté it for a minute or two and then add the blended paste to it and cook properly.

Add some water, and cook for 5 minutes. Let it boil and let the water reduce well. Then add chopped paneer to it.

Cut paneer in cubes before adding it to the gravy, and then let it cook together for 15 minutes.

Cover and cook till the peas and paneer soften up completely and the water gets reduced to half its size. The gravy should reach a thick consistency.

The curry should have a paste gravy like consistency. Cook it well till it achieves that consistency. Once the gravy reaches that thick consistency, the dish is done.

You can add roasted kasuri methi leaves. Or chopped coriander leaves , or cream to it for garnishing or serve it as is. It still tastes delicious.

This dish can be eaten with rotisEasiest everyday Roti recipe (Whole wheat flat bread), parathas and even rice Jeera rice recipe, Steamed rice recipe.