Mattar Paneer or Paneer and Peas in a popular indian curry that graces the menus of many an indian restaurant. This is a healthy and easy recipe that is flavourful, vibrant and spicy.Â
Indian vegetarian food (as you may have gathered) is a firm favourite of mine and I just love paneer. Indian veg food reminds me of our trip to India many many years ago. Although it was a short trip, it is one that we enjoyed thoroughly. I have so many fond memories of our trip abroad and at the moment that is a little heightened because my dads sister is here for a holiday. We only have one aunt from my dads side. When I see her, I see memories of India but I am also reminded of my grandparents love for her (both of my grandparents have sadly passed away now - Ikhlas).
I remember seeing freshly made paneer on the streets on India and wondering what it was. At the time, I had never tried paneer and didn't even know what it was. That soon changed. My first encounter with Paneer was at a restaurant and I haven't stopped making it since.
Mattar Paneer is a quick recipe to make. The kind of recipe that is perfect for a mid week meal. It starts with an onion base as most indian meal do and once the tomato is added, that is simmered with spices. The paneer is cooked separately so the edges are crips but the middle is moist. It is then re added back to the curry towards the end of cooking. I know that many restaurants add fresh cream to the curry at the end of cooking, but I don't. You can if you wish or for a vegan option, you can blend pre soaked cashews and add them for a touch of creaminess.
Why I love Paneer:
- It doesn't fall apart when you cook it. It is similar to Halloumi in that respect.
- It is mild but soaks up flavour really well.
- It cooks super quickly so is perfect for when you are in a rush.
- You can make your own Paneer at home with just a couple of ingredients.
Mattar Paneer is a favourite vegetarian meal in our home. It is perfect served with roti or rice.
- 4 tbsp Oil
- 400 g Paneer Cut into cubes (1 inch)
- 1 tsp Cumin Seeds
- 2 Onions diced
- 6 Garlic Cloves crushed
- 2 inch Ginger crushed
- 2 Green Chillies sliced finely
- 1 tsp Cumin Powder
- 1 tsp Coriander Powder
- 1 tsp Turmeric Powder
- ½ tsp Red Chilli Powder
- 400 g Plum Tomatoes blended
- 150 g Peas
- 400 ml Water
- 1 ½ tsp Garam Masala
- Salt to taste
Heat oil in a pan over a medium heat. Add the paneer cubes and fry for 3 minutes making sure that you turn them midway. Drain on kitchen paper and aset aside.
Heat oil in a pan over a medium heat. Add the cumin seeds. Once they sizzle, add onions and fry for 10 - 15 minutes until a dark golden brown.
Stir in the ginger, garlic and green chillies. Then fry for 2 - 3 minutes.
Add the cumin, coriander powder, turmeric and red chilli powder. Fry for a minute.
Pour in the tomatoes, cover pan and simmer on medium low for 10 - 15 minutes.
Add the peas and paneer to the pan. Cook for 5 minutes on low.
Add water, garam masala and salt and simmer for 10 minutes.
Soaking the paneer after cooking it, stops it from cooking immediately but also stops it from going hard.