Paneer Matar recipe

Mallika Basu - Paneer Matar recipe

Posted 20th October 2006

Paneer, Indian cheese, is one of those wonderful ingredients that once you discover you wonder how you ever lived without. Making it from scratch is comparable to opening a massive box of shoes only to find flip flops inside it. Sorry boys – think big garage little skoda.

I’d rather focus my limited energy on making the dish. Besides paneer is readily available in Indian food shops and larger supermarkets.

This Paneer Matar recipe is tradional Punjabi fare. It’s so simple and effective. A real staple and great choice for a Diwali meal.

This recipe serves 4-5 hungry souls:

  • 2 medium white onions
  • 1.5 long stick of ginger
  • 3 fat garlic cloves
  • 3 chopped tomatoes, chopped into little bits
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 3 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder
  • ½ tsp turmeric powder
  • ½ tsp extra hot chilli powder
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 250gms paneer or Indian cheese, chopped into 2cmx1cm cubes
  • 3 tbsp sunflower oil
  • tsp kasoori methi, soaked in 1 tsp of hot water (optional)


Heat two tablespoons of oil in a large frying pan and saute the paneer pieces on either side on a medium heat until golden in colour in two opposite sides. Remove from the oil with a slotted spoon and set aside.

Finely chop the onions, and grate the ginger and garlic. Add the third tablespoon of oil to the pan the paneer was fried in. Heat the oil on high and fry the onion for 10 minutes stirring regularly until pale golden. Then add the ginger and garlic and saute for another five minutes until a deeper shade of brown.

Add the coriander, cumin, turmeric and chilli powders along with a few tablespoons of warm water. Cook this mixxture for five minutes, until the masalas lose their pungent smell. If the mixture starts sticking to the bottom of the pan, add a little water.

Then add the chopped tomatoes and keep frying. When the tomatoes disintegrate, lower the flame and let the mixture simmer. When the mixture in the pan starts oozing oil from the sides and through little holes, turn the heat up,  add the peas and half a cup of water. Drop in the paneer cubes, cover and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring from time to time.

When the oil from the masala and peas mixture floats to the top, add salt to your taste and the kasoori methi and water if using. Simmer for five minutes. You can add water if you want a curry or serve this as a moist sabzi. Enjoy this Paneer Matar recipe scooped into a roti.

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