Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Matar Paneer ( Indian curry with Peas and Cottage Cheese)

I just woke up this morning realizing that we are already into the first week of December, can you believe it? It seems like just yesterday when we rang in the new year and had the whole year ahead of us and already we are seeing the end of the year. Of course I feel that way most years, as if the time just flew away. But this year especially it just seemed to zoom by, almost as if each hour of each day consisted of just five minutes instead of the usual sixty. I feel like I could use at least a couple more months in this year to complete some of the things I planned to before the year comes to an end. Sigh ! talk about wishing for the impossible....

Anyway moving on, here is a classic dish from nothern India called matar paneer which is a curry made out of green peas and Indian cottage cheese. This very popular curry is served in most Indian restaurants around the world. This curry is always a sure winner when included in party menus and is reasonably simple and quick to make too. Usually the paneer (cottage cheese) is deep fried before being added to the curry but I shallow fry these to reduce the oil content and find that it does not impact the taste in any manner.

Matar Paneer 2

Click here for a printable view of this recipe

Ingredients and method to make Matar Paneer

3 medium tomatoes blanched and cut fine (see notes)
2 medium onions cut fine
1 12 oz (340gms) pkt paneer cut into cubes
3 cups green peas (either fresh or frozen) ( I used frozen thawed to room temperature)
6 tsp broken cashew pieces
3/4 cup plain yogurt (curds/dahi)
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
3/4 tsp chilli powder (or according to taste)
3/4 tsp cumin powder (jeera powder)
3/4 tsp garam masala
salt to taste
4 pinches of kasuri methi (optional but recommended)
2 tbsp oil + a little extra for shallow frying the paneer
water as required to cook and achieve required consistency

Powder cashew pieces in a spice grinder or blender until it turns to fine powder. Add the yogurt to the powdered cashews and give it another spin in the blender so that the yogurt and cashews blend together. Keep this mixture aside

Heat a flat pan/ tawa/ griddle, add a few tsp of oil to it and place the cubed pieces of paneer on it and heat on a medium heat turning frequently until the paneer is light brown on all sides. Continue this process until all the paneer cubes are evenly browned and keep aside.

Heat oil in a large heavy bottomed pan, add onions and saute until onions turn transparent.

Add tomatoes to it and continue to stir until the tomatoes turn soft and mushy.

Add all the spices and stir for about a minute.

Add green peas, salt to taste and a little water and let it cook until the green peas turn soft but not mushy.

Add paneer cubes, a little water and let it simmer together for a few minutes.

Add the yogurt + cashew mixture and let simmer for a few minutes.

Serve hot with naan, roti or rice.

Serves approximately 3

The process of blanching is to place tomatoes in a large bowl and fill it with hot water. Let soak for a few minutes usually about 5 minutes or so, remove the tomatoes from the hot water and place in cold water for a few minutes until the tomatoes are cool enough to touch. You would be able to see cracks on the skin of the tomato and you just need to peel the skin of the tomato.

26 comments :

Shama Nagarajan said...

lovely recipe..nice click

lata raja said...

Loved the recipe and the picture. The paneer looks soft and lovely. The masala seems wholesome and flavourful.

Happy cook said...

Beauttiful and so so yumm.

Pam said...

This looks really delicious.

Sharmilee! :) said...

Bookmarked, have always been wanting to try this, urs tempt me more!

Gita said...

I too feel the same way about the New Year...days seem to fly and before you know it the year is over...nice picture Usha :)

Curry Leaf said...

Time flies and before we could blink we are in Dec..Nice pic of mattar paneer.I make another version of it.will definitely try yours.

Laavanya said...

I love adding ground cashews to curry - makes them so rich & decadent.. have stopped doing it now though since my daughter is allergic.
Looks perfect.

Suma Gandlur said...

Simple and comforting!

Priya said...

Such a delectable dish, am drooling rite now here..

Silpa said...

nice click. love it...

Andhra Flavors said...

looks mouthwatering. nice click!

Sandhya Hariharan said...

Lovely..... Anytime game for Paneer..
Thanks for dropping by my blog .... You have lovely space.. I will b visitng often....

aquadaze said...

What a lovely click - just love matar paneer- I posted my recipe sometime back, very similar to yours except that I don't use yogurt. BTW, I don't fry my paneer at all - just a matter of getting used to the idea I think, doesn't make too much of a difference to the taste!

jayanthi said...

hi usha,
nice matar paneer recipe with cashew paste in it. will give a rich taste. By the way, you may avoid frying paneer totally. if at all you want the fried effect, then do so by all means, but after frying it, you may put it in hot water and remove it. This serves 2 purposes--- all the oil goes it into the water and secondly the paneer becomes softer. Try it!!

sowmya.s said...

yummy mutter paneer..nice header..

Chitra said...

Hi Usha,
The recipe sounds good but completely different from the one I make. Must try it out. Nice photo too.

A_and_N said...

Its been such a long time since I had a basic simple dish like this. And Paneer too. For all my love of Paneer, I don't eat it enough, I think.

Lovely lovely recipe.

Ms.Chitchat said...

Mutter paneer looks yummy. You have a wonderful space and loads of beautiful recipes. Am following you.

Chitchat
http://chitchatcrossroads.blogspot.com/

Anupama said...

The recipe is very good... the dish looks superb

Cham said...

Use of yoghurt is new- paneer a dish everyone will love! Delicious pic!

Devasena Hariharan said...

Good one! why do we need to blanch the tomatoes.

miss v said...

yum! i just made a dish with cauliflower and peas... but saucy and really satisfying. your recipes are always so inspiring.

Aruna Manikandan said...

Hi Usha,

First time here...
Love ur Muttar Panner looks very tempting..
Lovely click

with luv,
ArunaManikandan
http://ensamayalkuripugal.blogspot.com

DEESHA said...

this one is such a classic Indian dish

jayasri said...

wow, looks great, I love this.....

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