Matar Paneer Recipe. If you’re a fan of Indian cuisine, then you’ve likely come across the delectable dish called Matar Paneer. This classic vegetarian recipe combines succulent green peas (matar) with soft cubes of paneer (Indian cottage cheese) in a rich and flavorful tomato-based gravy. Matar Paneer is not only a crowd-pleaser but also a versatile dish that can be enjoyed with naan, roti, or steamed rice. In this article, we will guide you through the step-by-step process of preparing this mouthwatering dish in the comfort of your own kitchen.
Before diving into the cooking process, let’s gather the ingredients required to make Matar Paneer:
- 250 grams of paneer (cottage cheese), cubed
- 1 cup of green peas (fresh or frozen)
- 2 medium-sized tomatoes, finely chopped
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 2 green chilies, slit lengthwise
- 2 tablespoons of oil or ghee (clarified butter)
- 1 teaspoon of cumin seeds
- 1 teaspoon of ginger-garlic paste
- 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric powder
- 1/2 teaspoon of red chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon of garam masala
- 1/2 teaspoon of coriander powder
- Salt to taste
- Fresh coriander leaves for garnishing
Preparing the Paneer
To begin, let’s prepare the paneer for our Matar Paneer dish:
- Take the paneer and cut it into small, bite-sized cubes.
- Heat a tablespoon of oil or ghee in a non-stick pan.
- Gently place the paneer cubes in the pan and shallow fry them until they turn golden brown on all sides.
- Once done, remove the paneer cubes from the pan and set them aside.
Making the Tomato Gravy
The tomato gravy forms the base of our Matar Paneer dish. Let’s learn how to make it:
- Heat another tablespoon of oil or ghee in a separate pan.
- Add cumin seeds to the hot oil and let them splutter.
- Next, add the finely chopped onions and green chilies to the pan and sauté until the onions turn translucent.
- Now, add ginger-garlic paste and sauté for another minute until the raw smell disappears.
- Add the finely chopped tomatoes to the pan and cook until they become soft and mushy.
- Once the tomatoes are cooked, allow the mixture to cool slightly.
- Transfer the mixture to a blender or food processor and blend it into a smooth paste.
Cooking the Peas
The next step involves cooking the green peas:
- Take the tomato gravy we prepared earlier and pour it back into the pan.
- Add turmeric powder, red chili powder, coriander powder, and salt to taste.
- Stir the spices into the gravy and let it simmer for a few minutes.
- Add the green peas to the pan and mix them well with the gravy.
- Cover the pan and cook the peas until they are tender. If using frozen peas, this should take about 5-7 minutes.
Combining the Ingredients
Now that the paneer and peas are cooked, it’s time to bring everything together:
- Add the fried paneer cubes to the pan with the cooked peas and gravy.
- Gently mix the ingredients, ensuring that the paneer and peas are well coated with the flavorful tomato gravy.
- Allow the Matar Paneer to simmer for a couple of minutes, allowing the flavors to meld together.
Seasoning and Garnishing
To enhance the taste and appearance of the dish, follow these steps:
- Sprinkle garam masala over the Matar Paneer and give it a gentle stir.
- Garnish the dish with freshly chopped coriander leaves, adding a vibrant touch of green.
Matar Paneer pairs well with various Indian breads and rice dishes. Here are a few serving suggestions:
- Serve it with hot and fluffy naan bread.
- Enjoy it alongside steamed basmati rice for a wholesome meal.
- Pair it with roti or chapati for a simple yet satisfying option.
Health Benefits of Matar Paneer
Matar Paneer not only tantalizes your taste buds but also offers several health benefits. Some of them include:
- Green peas are a good source of dietary fiber, promoting healthy digestion.
- Paneer is a rich source of protein, essential for muscle growth and repair.
- Tomatoes contain lycopene, a powerful antioxidant that helps protect against certain diseases.
Variations of Matar Paneer
While the traditional Matar Paneer recipe is delightful on its own, you can also experiment with a few variations:
- Matar Paneer with Cashews: Add a handful of cashew nuts to the tomato gravy while blending, giving the dish a creamy texture.
- Spicy Matar Paneer: Increase the amount of red chili powder or add finely chopped green chilies to make the dish spicier.
- Matar Paneer with Spinach: Include a handful of blanched and pureed spinach to the gravy, boosting its nutritional value.
Tips for Perfect Matar Paneer
To ensure your Matar Paneer turns out delicious every time, keep these tips in mind:
- Use fresh paneer for a soft and creamy texture.
- Adjust the spice levels according to your preference.
- For a richer flavor, you can add a teaspoon of kasuri methi (dried fenugreek leaves) during the cooking process.
Matar Paneer is a delightful vegetarian dish that brings together the flavors of peas and paneer in a luscious tomato-based gravy. With its vibrant colors and aromatic spices, it’s a favorite among Indian food lovers. By following the step-by-step instructions in this article, you can easily recreate this flavorful dish at home. Enjoy the creamy texture of paneer and the sweetness of green peas, all infused with the rich flavors of Indian spices. Add Matar Paneer to your culinary repertoire and delight your taste buds with this classic recipe.