Classic Mattar Paneer

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Mattar Paneer

One of my favorite Indian creations is mattar paneer, the classic paneer cheese and pea curry. I never fail to order the dish when dining out at Indian restaurants because I am fascinated by the multitude of variations and can rarely resist pleasurable mouthfuls of tender paneer and peas, cooked in an aromatically spiced tomato sauce. The following version of mattar paneer is adapted from Yamuna Devi's wonderful Lord Krishna's Cuisine.

The addition of fresh mint makes this an especially unique and appetizing version, and I highly recommend using fresh herbs instead of dried. But the best part of this recipe is frying cubes of paneer cheese until a golden brown chewy crust surrounds the creamy milky inside. Yum! Do take to cook the peas just to the point where they will pop in your mouth with every delectable bite.

This mattar paneer goes very nicely with cracked black pepper rice, any Indian flatbread and a vegetable dish for a satisfying vegetarian dinner.

Mattar PaneerClassic Mattar Paneer
Recipe by
Adapted from Lord Krishna's Cuisine: The Art of Indian Vegetarian Cooking
Cuisine: Indian
Published on April 26, 2007

Fragrant and creamy spiced paneer cheese with peas — an Indian classic

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  • 3 to 4 fresh green chilies, seeded and chopped
  • 1-inch piece fresh ginger, chopped
  • 5 tablespoons water
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander
  • 2 teaspoons turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
Other ingredients:
  • 4 tablespoons ghee or butter and oil
  • 12 oz (300 g) paneer cheese, cut into cubes
  • 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon black mustard seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 2 large tomatoes, diced
  • 2 cups plain yogurt
  • 2 cups fresh or defrosted frozen peas
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
  • 1/2 tablespoon garam masala
  • 2 tablespoons each of fresh chopped mint and parsley
  • Mince the green chilies and ginger in a blender or food processor. Add the water, coriander, turmeric, paprika and cayenne, and process until smooth. Transfer to a small bowl and set aside.

  • Heat 2 tablespoons of the ghee or butter and oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the paneer and fry for 5 to 10 minutes, stirring and turning frequently, until the cubes are browned on all sides. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside. Add the cumin seeds, mustard seeds and fennel seeds to the pan and stir until the mustard seeds being to splutter and pop. Immediately add the remaining 2 tablespoons of ghee or butter and oil and stir in the spice paste. Cook, stirring frequently, until the paste is dry and most of the water has evaporated. Add the tomatoes and cook, stirring often, for 10 to 20 minutes or until the tomatoes turn into a thick sauce.

  • Add the yogurt and fresh peas if using, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes or until the peas are nearly tender. Stir in the fried paneer cubes. If using defrosted frozen peas, add them now. Simmer gently over low heat for 5 minutes.

  • Remove from heat and stir in the salt, garam masala and fresh herbs. Serve hot.

Makes 4 to 6 servings

Mattar Paneer


Anonymous said...

Hello Lisa! Please may I ask how many does this quantity serve? A great site for vegetarians... thanks!

Lisa Turner said...


Thanks for stopping by. This dish would serve 4 - 6 people, depending on what else you are planning on serving with it. It's a good side dish. I highly recommend you try it! It's one of my very favourites.

Anonymous said...

I did make the Matar Paneer, Lisa! And it's definitely a different flavour with the mint. I also ground some cashewnuts along with the spice paste to get a thicker gravy. Thanks for sharing a nice recipe.