Serves: 4-5 persons
Matar Paneer is a classic Indian dish which consists of green peas and Indian cottage cheese cooked in a onion-tomato based gravy with Indian spices. This curry is usually medium spicy, so kids love this a lot. You can substitute paneer with potato or tofu. It goes well with rice, naan or roti. The taste of subzi depends on the taste of gravy you prepare. The gravy can be made ahead of time. My mom used to make this gravy and store it in the freezer for almost a month. If you have this gravy ready you can make matar paneer anytime. I usually make this dish for parties for mainly two reasons. First- everyone loves paneer and second- it saves my time and I can spend time on making another dish. This is my mom's recipe and she used to teach this in her cooking classes. So many of her students still follow this recipe. Today, I am sharing her tips and the recipe with you all. Do give it a try and share your feedback.
For the Gravy:
- 1½ cup sliced onions
- ½ cup tomato puree
- ½ inch grated or chopped ginger
- 3-4 chopped garlic pods
- 5-6 whole cashews
- 3 teaspoon poppy seeds
- 3 tablespoon fresh grated coconut
- 1½ teaspoon ketchup
- ¼ cup Khoya or Mawa ( see notes below)
- 4 tablespoon oil
- ¼ teaspoon cumin seeds
- ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1 teaspoon garam masala
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon powder
- ½ teaspoon clove powder
- 2 teaspoon coriander powder
- 1 teaspoon kashmiri red chilli powder ( see notes below)
- ¼ teaspoon kasuri methi
- 2 tablespoon fresh cream
- Salt to taste
- Pinch of Sugar
For Matar Paneer:
- 1½ cup hot water
- 1 cup frozen or cooked peas
- 1 cup paneer cubes
- Heat 1 tab;espoon oil in a pan and add cumin seeds. Let them crackle and add sliced onion and chopped garlic. Fry everything till onions get cooked. Turn off the flame and let it cool down completely.
- In a another small pan, add poppy seeds and dry roast them on a low to medium heat. Do not turn on the heat to high or else the poppy seeds will get burned.
- In a grinder, add cooked onions,poppy seeds, fresh grated coconut, ginger, and cashews. Grind everything to a smooth mixture. You can add a tablespoon water if you wish to.
- Add 3 tablespoon oil in a pan and add pich of sugar and pinch of red chilli powder. Add the grinded gravy and cook everything on a low-medium heat for 1 minute. Add tomato puree and mix well. Cook everything till the gravy starts seperating oil .
- Add turmeric, red chilli powder, clove powder, cinnamon powder, coriander powder, and salt. Mix everything and again cook for a minute.
- Add cream, khoya,ketchup, and kasuri methi. Stir well. Turn off the heat and let the gravy cool down.
To make matar paneer:
- Add hot water to the gravy and start boiling. Add peas and cook for couple of minutes with the lid on. Add paneer cubes and mix everything gently.
- Serve hot with rice or naan, or roti.
Notes and tips:
- I always use khoya while making the gravy. You can substitute khoya by using milk mawa powder ( store brought). You can completely avoid using mawa too. Then, you may want to increase fresh cream and cashews. This depends on the sweetness of the gravy you want.
- Kashmiri red chilli powder can be easily found in Indian grocery shop. This chilli powder is good for the colour of your gravy and it is less spicy. If you dont have one, use regular chilli powder according to your spice level. 3.If you want to store the gravy, Let it cool down completely. Store it in a proper freezer airtight container. Store it in a freezer and not in the refrigerator.
- For defrosting,remove gravy from the freezer at least 6-7 hours before. Keep the container in a room temperature. (may be on the countertop) Once you defroast the gravy, do not put it back in the freezer. You have to use all the gravy.
- If you want to use red food colour , you can use it.