Matar Paneer is an easy, tomato based Indian cottage cheese curry that is full of flavor and pairs well with roti, naan, steamed rice or jeera rice too.
This recipe is one of the first curries I ever learned how to make. Paneer or Indian cottage cheese is not a typical ingredient used in most Goan / Mangalorean households, but it’s one that’s widely used throughout north India. If you haven’t tried it yet, you really should. It’s one of the tastiest things I have eaten. Right from the first time my mother made this curry for us, I was hooked. I think this is one of the main reasons I actually wanted to know how it was made.
To really enjoy your paneer, you need to source some good quality paneer. In India, most dairy shops have some great, fresh paneer and it’s quite easy to find. Outside India, you will have to try a couple of brands out to find something you really like. I’ve found that the brands in my local supermarkets just don’t cut it. The paneer is rubbery and chewy and is not that flavorful. Now that goes against everything that good paneer is supposed to be. So after a lot of trial, I found some great quality paneer at my local Indian grocery store. This paneer is locally made and ticks all the boxes for me, when it comes to taste and texture.
This curry is a tomato based curry. Ideally, use fresh tomatoes if they are in season. If not, you can always use some passata, canned tomatoes or tomato puree. You can serve this curry up either with some roti or naan and it even goes really well with rice. Plain steamed rice is fine, but I serve it up with a beautiful Jeera Rice that is perfect for curries like this one.
Let’s have a look at the recipe, shall we?
Matar Paneer – Curried Indian cottage cheeseCourse: MainCuisine: IndianDifficulty: Easy
Matar Paneer is an easy, tomato based, Indian cottage cheese curry that is full of flavor and pairs well with roti, naan, steamed rice or jeera rice too.
5 cloves of garlic
1/2 inch ginger
2 tomatoes /
1 tbsp oil + 1-2 tbsp oil to fry the potatoes and paneer
1/3 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp Kashmiri chilli powder
1 tsp garam masala powder
2 medium sized potatoes, cubed
250g Paneer, cubed
1/2 cup green peas
Salt, to taste
2 tbsp fresh coriander, chopped
- Grind the onion, chillies, ginger and garlic to a fine paste. Do not use any water to grind it down. Set this aside.
- Grind the fresh tomatoes to a puree separately and set aside in another bowl. If you’re using passata, you can ignore this step.
- Heat 1 tbsp oil in a pan and lightly fry the paneer pieces till they get a little golden brown. Don’t cook for too long or it will result in the paneer getting chewy. Using a slotted spoon to drain off excess oil, take the paneer out of the pan and set aside.
- Add a little oil if needed and fry the potato cubes till they are almost done. Set aside to use later.
- Add a little oil as needed to give yourself about 1 tbsp of oil in the pan. Add the ground onion and saute this till the onion changes color. This should take approx. 3-4 minutes and this gives the ginger and garlic a chance to cook off too.
- Now add the tumeric, chilly powder and 1/4 tsp of garam masala powder and stir well to incorporate. Let the spices cook off for about 30 seconds.
- Add the tomato puree to the pan and let this cook off for a couple of minutes or till your gravy base / masala looks nice and fried. Add a little water as required to achieve the consistency of gravy you’re looking for. I recommend adding the water in a couple of stages to make sure you have the right consistency. Bring to a boil. Once it starts boiling, cover the pan, lower the heat to a simmer and cook off for about 5-7 minutes, checking the water level and stirring it through at the halfway mark.
- Add the green peas and the fried potato cubes and let it continue to cook till the vegetables have cooked off.
- At the very end, add the paneer and let it warm through. I usually let it cook for just a minute or two at this point.
- Stir in the garam masala powder.
- Take the curry off the heat and finish off with a sprinkling of the fresh, chopped coriander.
- Serve hot.