Paneer Mushroom Curry with Mixed Vegetables and Green Peas

Visit the Indian Food Glossary for information on the ingredients in this recipe
Paneer Mushroom Curry with Mixed Vegetables and Green Peas

Paneer cheese is a popular unripened cheese in India made with whole milk. It has a consistency that is somewhat like tofu, only softer and creamier and with a slight milky flavor. Although it does not have much flavor when eaten just as is, I never can resist nibbling on a few cubes while prepping it for a meal. Because of the mild flavor, it goes well with strong spicy dishes. The cheese is used in a variety of ways, and as it does not melt while cooking, it takes on the flavors of the dish it is cooked in beautifully. Often it is cut into cubes and fried to slightly brown before adding it. Sometimes paneer is even shredded and I've often tossed it into a dish without frying it ahead of time, as I did with this recipe. It features in vegetable dishes, soups, goes well with rice, can be made into fried savories, and even be served as a dessert.

Paneer cheese is not difficult to make at home and easily available at Indian grocery stores. It also freezes well, meaning you can stock up so you have it on hand when needed.

As much as I enjoy vegan meals, paneer cheese cannot be resisted. It is also a valuable source of protein, quite filling, and the texture is a delight to the palate. It is fairly rich, so I resist the temptation to serve it too often. In this case, the tender paneer features with mushrooms, vegetables and spices for a most flavorful meal that goes especially well over a bed of hot fresh cooked rice.

Note: You may use cooking cream in this recipe, but as it is an already rich dish, I used coconut milk instead for an extra special silky touch.

 Paneer Mushroom Curry with Mixed Vegetables and Green Peas Paneer Mushroom Curry with Mixed Vegetables and Green Peas
Recipe by
Cuisine: Indian
Published on March 21, 2018

Rich, creamy, spicy and fragrant tomato and coconut milk curry with mushrooms and pieces of paneer cheese

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Onion-tomato paste:
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon brown mustard seeds
  • 3 black cardamon pods, slightly crushed
  • 1 star anise
  • 3 whole cloves
  • 1 bay leaf or a handful of crushed dried curry leaves
  • 1 to 2 dried whole red chilies, to taste, broken into pieces
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 to 3 fresh red or green chilies, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated or minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed or minced
  • 2 medium tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon Kashmiri chili powder
  • 1/2 tablespoon ground coriander
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 6 raw cashews
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 10 to 12 button mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 medium green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 10 oz (300 g) paneer cheese, cut into cubes
  • 3 tablespoons methi (dried fenugreek) leaves, crumbled
  • 2 cups coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup frozen green peas
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt, or to taste
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro or parsley, chopped, for garnish (optional)
  • Prepare the onion-tomato paste first. Heat the coconut oil over medium heat in a non-stick skillet. When hot, toss in the cumin seeds, mustard seeds, cardamon pods, star anise, cloves, bay leaf or dried curry leaves and dried red chilies. Stir for 30 to 60 seconds or until the mustard seeds begin to splutter and pop. Add the onions and sauté for 3 to 4 minutes until translucent. Now add the fresh chilies, ginger and garlic, and stir for another minute or so. Stir in the tomatoes, spices, about a tablespoon of water and a few pinches of sea salt. Cook for another 5 minutes and then transfer to a blender along with the cashews. Process until smooth and set aside.

  • Heat the butter over medium-high heat in a large saucepan. When hot, stir in the mushrooms and cook for 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium and stir in the bell peppers, paneer cheese and methi leaves. Carefully mix and cook for another 5 minutes.

  • Stir in the onion-tomato paste, 1/2 cup water, coconut milk, green peas and sea salt to taste. Gently simmer for another 5 to 7 minutes and stir in the lemon juice. Remote from heat and taste for seasoning.

  • Serve over a bed of fresh cooked white rice and garnish with fresh chopped cilantro or parsley if desired.

Makes 5 to 6 servings

Paneer Mushroom Curry

More paneer recipes from Lisa's Kitchen to try:
Butter Paneer Masala (Cheese Cubes Smothered in a Spicy Tomato Gravy)
Curried Red Kidney Beans with Paneer (Paneer Rajma)
Mung Bean Paneer
Paneer and Spinach in a Spicy Tomato Sauce with Chickpeas (Paneer Palak)

On the top or the reading stack: Fuss-Free Vegan: 101 Everyday Comfort Food Favorites, Veganized

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