Matar Paneer (Matar = Green Peas and Paneer = Cottage Cheese) is one of the most popular dishes in North India. It is a sumptuous looking dish with an irresistible aroma, with Cottage cheese cubes and peas floating temptingly in a flavorful tomato-based gravy. Matar Paneer is usually made with cream & lots of oil, but instead I use curd and much lesser oil to meet my health-nut husband's exacting standards. This healthy variation still retains the same yumminess as the original cream-based recipe.
MATAR PANEER RECIPE (Green Peas & Cottage Cheese gravy)
1 cup Green peas (Matar); fresh or frozen
1 1/2 tbsp oil
1 tsp Cumin seeds
2 medium-sized Onions; finely chopped
3 medium-sized Tomatoes; pureed
1/2 tbsp Ginger paste
1/2 tbsp Garlic paste
1/4 tsp Turmeric powder
1/2 tsp Cayenne Pepper (Red chilli powder) or to taste; optional
2 tbsp Coriander powder
1/2 tsp Garam masala powder
1 tbsp Dried fenugreek leaves (Kasoori Methi); lightly roasted in a pan & ground to a fine powder
1-2 Serrano Green chillies or to taste; destemmed & finely chopped
2 tbsp plain Curd; smoothened
Salt to taste
2 tbsp fresh Cilantro (Coriander) leaves; finely chopped
2 cups Water
How to make Matar Paneer
- Dice cottage cheese into one inch cubes.
- Microwave the peas till they are tender.
- Heat oil in a pan on medium heat. Add cumin seeds. When the cumin seeds begin to change color, add the onions. Saute till the onions are light brown in color.
- Add ginger & garlic paste. Saute for 2 minutes.
- Add tomato puree. Saute till the oil starts to separate.
- Add coriander powder, turmeric powder, red chilli powder & salt. Saute for 2 minutes.
- Add water & mix. Cook till the water comes to a boil.
- Add green peas, curd, dried fenugreek leaves, green chillies. Mix. Reduce the heat & cook till the gravy thickens.
- Add cottage cheese, garam masala powder. Mix well.
- Adjust seasoning to your taste. Transfer it to a bowl. Garnish with cilantro leaves.
- Serve hot with roti, parathas or rice.
To add an extra zing to your Matar paneer, add 2 tbsp of Green Chutney instead of dried fenugreek leaves.