Matar Paneer

July 22, 2007 | 42 Comments

Peas with Indian Cottage Cheese.

This is a rich, lip-smacking sauce.

If you use a combination of veggies in this dish, it would go by the restaurant name of Veg Makhanwala or Veg Makhani (Vegetables in a Butter Sauce).

These peas are from our veggie garden, and the paneer is homemade.

You can leave the paneer as it is, broil it, or lightly fry it. Ours is broiled.

How to make paneer
How to broil paneer

If using fresh peas, we like to cook them for no more than five minutes. Frozen peas are already pre-cooked. If using frozen, we like to thaw them for a minute in the microwave, and add them at the end.

The kashmiri chilli powder (paprika is a good substitute) lends a bright colour to the dish.

TIP #1: Replace the peas with baby corn or green peppers, proceed with the recipe. Put one cup of this gravy (make sure it is very thick) on a 12-inch round of pizza dough. Bake at 475 F for 12 minutes or so. It makes a very tasty pizza.

TIP #2: For the authentic “restaurant taste” and texture, get paneer from the freezer shelf of a store, preferably past the expiry date, then deep fry it, cook the peas until they are grey, and garnish with grease.

MATAR PANEER (Peas with Indian Cottage Cheese)

2 cups cubed cottage cheese (we broiled them, but it’s not necessary)
1 cup green peas
1.5 cups chopped onions
1 tsp chopped ginger
3 cloves chopped garlic
2 tbsps. chopped cashew pieces
one 14.5 oz can of diced tomatoes or 3-4 fresh tomatoes
1 tsp kasuri methi (dried fenugreek leaves)
1 tsp Kashmiri chilli powder (or paprika)
1/4 to 1/2 tsp regular chilli (cayenne) powder
1 tsp cumin powder
1/2 tsp garam masala powder
1/2 tsp tandoori masala powder (optional)
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 cup low-fat evaporated milk
**or Half and Half, or a combo of milk and cream
1 tsp honey or sugar
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp oil

cilantro, paneer cubes and cooked peas to garnish

1. Boil 1 cup of the onions. We do this in the microwave by adding 1 tsp water and covering the onions. Cook on high for four minutes. Add the 1/2 cup raw onions, ginger, garlic and cashews and grind to a smooth paste without adding water.

2. If using diced tomatoes from a can, puree it. If using fresh tomatoes, dunk them for a minute in boiling water, skin, chop and blend. We need about 1.75 cups.

3. Heat the oil and butter in a deep pan. Add the onion puree, a pinch of salt and kasuri methi. Fry it on a medium flame until the paste turns light brown and starts drying out a bit (7 minutes or so).

4. Add the Kashmiri and regular chilli powders, turmeric and tomato puree. Cook for five minutes on medium.

5. Add the peas. (If using frozen peas, microwave on HIGH for a minute, just to thaw and add them at the very end)

6. Add the cumin, garam masala and tandoori masala powders. Add salt to taste and cook until the mixture becomes a little thicker than the consistency you desire in the final dish.

7. Add the evaporated milk and honey. Stir, taste for salt and seasonings, then add the paneer cubes (save a few for garnish).

8. Heat it through, turn off the flame.

9. Keep it covered for 15 minutes for the flavours to blend together.

We had it with Pudina (Mint) Naans.

Matar Paneer is our fifth entry for the Regional Cuisine of India – Punjab event hosted by lovely Richa at As Dear As Salt. The event is the brainchild of Lakshmi at Veggie Cuisine.

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  1. roopa says:

    wow the bowl of mattar panneer is mouth watering! its nearing lunch time for me and you have posted such a drooling picture!

  2. sra says:

    Tip 1 is so true!

    now it’s tip 2. i switched them. :-D – b.

  3. Coffee says:

    LOL!! you are out to ruin peoples hotel business!! ;) I am drooling at the pic there!

  4. musical says:

    Ah! that tip#2, my comic relief of the day :-D

    Love the first pic, gorgeous. and how true, home grown matar and home made paneer take this comboa notch higher :)

  5. Srivalli says:

    hhaha…the restaurant one is cool…(I didn’t want to take the risk of you changing the number again…LOL…)…in btw the dish and curry looks excellent….as always…


  6. Anjali says:

    The splash of green in the matar picture is like the ad guys do it. Just Lovely. I had made Nan and matar paneer last thursday. The tips hahaha~~~

  7. Raaga says:

    Can’t wait to lay my hands on this!! I experimented with this one a while ago :-)

  8. Jyothsna says:

    1. First pic is great!
    2. Tip # 2 is hilarious!! :) ))
    3. Mattar paneer with grease floating on it is a total put-off! I make mattar paneer regularly, so I skip the honey/sugar, milk/cream/evaporated milk, cashews :) I’m wondering how you’ve masked all that grease on your dish!!;)

  9. Jyothsna says:

    Restaurant Punjabi food is too rich and greasy and has too much of masala – home cooked Punjabi food is well, nice and homely!

  10. Suganya says:

    As much as tip 2 is funny, it is so true :( ..Love the green specks on the golden gravy :)

  11. Latha says:

    I love Tip 2. how delicious… haaa haaa. ‘Dead’ paneer, i’m COMING:))

  12. Nirmala says:

    And bee, make the Naan to go with this and I am right there…

  13. Hey bee everything is ok on food blog desam, my posts have been coming all along, why were you saying that???

    that muttar paneer splutter looks yummylicious, looks like a yummy home version… tip 2 was hillarious!!

  14. Dee says:

    I love the pics and i am still in splits reading the tip # 2

  15. Meeta says:

    Oh yes! I am loving this. I made a batch of paneer and have frozen it in portions. Looks like I will be making this soon. Yummy!

  16. Cinnamon says:

    Delicious recipe… The pic is very much tempting and inviting..
    Tip#2 is hilarious :)

  17. kunika says:

    adding honey …….nice tip ‘ll try it soon

  18. sia says:

    WHAT??? u too had naan and matar panner for weekend? i got fresh peas from market and couldn’t resist making matar panner and naan :D followed ur recipe closely to see if we cooked them in a same way ;)
    oh i liked tip #1. indian pizza… mmm… yeah, i am loving the idea :)

  19. Asha says:

    HeHe!! Great tips!!I don’t even bother to grill or fry,add fresh paneer just like that.
    Love love the Matar Paneer,thought of making that too but decided “few” Punjabi recipes are enough!;D

  20. richa says:

    hey, u gotta’ give a tip at a time, put 2 together & it gets hard to decide bet’n them :)
    was wondering what delicacy u wud come up with, for the homemade paneer! this sure looks lip smacking good :)
    thanks for this beauty of a dish :)

  21. archana says:

    The matar paneer is looking very delicious and loved the presentation. Tip 2 is too funny :)

  22. Jyothi says:

    Hi, the matar paneer looks awesome and beautiful pic. Very soon I will try this recipe. Great entry. Thanks for sharing.

  23. Laavanya says:

    I was waiting for the promised ‘mutter butter sputter ponir’ dish – and here it is. Looks good :)

  24. Latha says:

    Looks yumm Bee. The panner looks sooooo fresh and delectable!

  25. sharmi says:

    thats so good all organic and homemade. I made similarly for my thali, but called it a different name.

  26. Poonam says:

    Looks so yummy!! Loved your Tip #2!!

  27. Manasi says:

    Yumm!! awesome pix!
    LOL!!! on Tip 2 !!!1 :D

  28. Akay says:

    Been a reader of your blog ever since its inception. Great site! A quick question – What milk do you use to make paneer – full fat, 2%. 1%? We normally use 1% milk in our household, I tried making paneer once using this milk and it was a flop. Not sure, if it was due to some error in process or simply because there was not enough fat in the milk to curdle and become paneer. Any ideas?

    we’ve made it with 2% and 4% (always organic). both work fine. if you don’t eat paneer often, and it’s an occasional treat (like in our home), get 4% organic milk. in our home too, it’s 1% milk, except for paneer. full fat milk yields creamier, less crumbly paneer. if you go with 2%, use vinegar to curdle the milk. it yields softer paneer. – b.

  29. Anonymous says:

    Hi Bee….My day is not complete without checking your awesome site…you two have some energy!!
    I have a Q: I am allergic to cashews. How can I get the gravy consistency without using it in this recipe?
    Thanks! Rev

    use almonds instead. if you are allergic to nuts in general, drop it, or use milk powder. – b.

  30. seema says:

    Oh boy, That bowl of matar panner is so very perfect for the rainy day like this. Loved your version a lot and using it as topping on pizza is a wonderful idea as well. I am bookmarking it.

  31. Padma says:

    The picture itself looks mouthwatering and I like panner muttar masala…I always order this when we go to a veg restaurant…thanks for sharing and nice way of explanation with quick and easy tips…have to bookmark this!

  32. MALLUGIRL says:

    u hit the restaurant taste on the nail! the picture is really nice, as always!:)what taste does the honey add?

    the honey just mellows down the masalas a bit, and rounds off the flavours. you can’t really taste it. – bee

  33. Shri says:

    That is the most delicious looking matar paneer I have ever seen. I love ur blog. What fantastic pictures.

  34. [...] Matar Paneer, Risi e Bisi and Pea (pod) and Mint Soup with three varieties of Peas [...]

  35. Gini says:

    We made this today with homemade paneer. It tastes great. Thanks for the recipe.

    glad you liked it, gini. – b.

  36. Shoba says:

    Thanks jai & bee for this wonderful blog, i am a lurker here but happened to comment today, I made this dish for a party of 40 people last week following each & every step & measures, cameout very good, all loved this( I am not a good cook at all hardly ever i get appreciated)

  37. Sonu says:

    Hello Jai n Bee,
    What a gr8 pix of Matar-Paneer…! ur blog sounds very useful and informative too. ur many recipes have been bookmarked…!
    Thanks a bunch guys.

  38. nags says:

    submitted this for zlamushka’s taste and create :)

  39. Archana says:

    I had some leftover tofu and boy am I glad I stumbled across this recipe. I substituted tofu for paneer and cut down on the cashews/butter/cream quite a bit – yet, this dish came out tasting wonderful.

    Thank you for the awesome recipe!

  40. Anonymous says:

    what do u do with boiled onions??

  41. KG says:

    Tips are useful. I love mutter paneer because paneer is my most favourite. Infact I enjoy all of the paneer dishes. Mutter paneer is 3rd in the list :)

  42. [...] On the menue you will find a separate section for vegetarian entrées. The main courses are usually a mix of vegetables, lentils, Indian cheese (and sometimes even fruit like bananas) arranged with either a currysauce or a cream sauce. The mild dishes often contain cheese, almonds, nuts and raisins. Whereas the spicy ones come with a zesty sauce. My favorites among the neutrally seasoned meals are the Bengan Curry (with eggplant and green peas)  and the Matar Paneer (with green peas and Indian cheese). The best mild dish is the Shahi Paneer, which is made of Indian Cheese, almonds, nuts and raisins in tomato-curry sauce. These main courses come with rice and a side salad. Indian bread sides are also surprisingly delicous and I can only recommend you to try the batura (a puffy bread) and the famous garlic naan. Garlic Naan Batura [...]

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