Matar Paneer or curry made with cottage cheese and peas is a popular recipe across North India. For vegetarians not only is it a good and tasty source of protein, it also has a homely comfort food feeling about it. This is a mildly spiced curry which is made creamy by the addition of cashewnuts. It is light and tasty and works really well in lunchboxes. Here is my recipe of matar paneer:
- 250 gm. Paneer (fresh cottage cheese)
- 1 cup Peas (fresh or frozen)
- 2 onions finely chopped
- 5-6 cloves of garlic
- ½ inch piece ginger
- 2 green chillies
- 3 ripe tomatoes finely chopped
- 2 tbsp. cashews soaked for 30 minutes in warm water
- 1 tbsp. vegetable oil
- 1 tsp. cumin seeds
- 1 tsp. garam masala
- 1 tsp. coriander powder
- 1 tsp. chilli powder
- ½ tsp. turmeric powder
- 1 tsp. kasuri methi
- chopped coriander leaves to garnish
- Heat oil in a pan.
- Add cumin seeds and allow them to sputter for about a minute.
- Add chopped onions, ginger, garlic and green chillies.
- Saute for about 10 minutes till golden brown.
- Add tomatoes and turmeric powder and cook for another 6-8 minutes till everything turns mushy.
- Now cool this mix, add soaked cashews and blend to a smooth, creamy paste.
- Heat the pan and put this masala paste back in.
- Add some water and mix.
- Now add garam masala, coriander powder, chilli powder (optional) and crushed kasuri methi with salt. Taste and adjust seasoning.
- Heat for a couple of minutes and add peas. Thaw the peas if using frozen ones. Cook on medium heat till peas are cooked through. Takes about 5-7 minutes.
- Now add paneer cubes. Cook for a couple of minutes well till they are heated through.
- Don't cook them too much or they become hard and stringy.
- Taste and adjust for salt and spice.
- Take off the heat and garnish with chopped coriander leaves.
- Serve with rotis, parathas or rice.
I prefer to saute chopped onion, garlic, ginger and tomatoes and then make a paste instead of making a paste of raw ingredients and then sauteing it. There is a difference in taste in both the methods and I prefer the former.
You can add cream to make the curry richer if you like.
Do tag #rachnacooks if you make this and share pictures. I would love to know if you tried out this easy recipe.
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