The BEST, home-style Punjabi matar paneer recipe. Instructions included for restaurant style mutter paneer masala. It’s incredibly flavorful thanks to the vibrant, spicy onion-tomato gravy. And who can resist that soft, succulent paneer cubes with perfectly cooked, soft green peas? A must try recipe for paneer lover!
Paneer and peas curry is a popular North Indian recipe that you find in almost all restaurant menu. Many Punjabi households make it at home on a regular basis as well. Even though I am not Punjabi, I do make it once a month because green peas in any form are hubby’s favorite and paneer is mine.
This is one of the paneer curries that I prepare at home very often. Because this is HEALTHY and LIGHT recipe unlike other paneer curries e.g. paneer butter masala, shahi paneer, malai kofta. Meaning this is not a restaurant style version but it is the home-style recipe. Though I have added instructions below to make it creamy and restaurant style.
How to make Punjabi matar paneer recipe?
1) Heat the 2 teaspoons of oil in a pan on medium heat. Once hot add cumin seeds and let them sizzle.
2) Saute ginger, garlic and green chili for a minute.
3) Add onion and sprinkle some salt.
4) Cook till they become soft and translucent.
5) Mix in tomatoes.
6) Cook till they become little soft. Let it cool down a bit.
7) Meanwhile boil the green peas in microwave or pressure cooker. How I did: in microwave safe bowl, add peas, salt and 2 tablespoons of water. cover it and cook for 2-3 minutes or depends on your microwave. Here I have used frozen peas, so I microwaved it for few minutes. If you are using fresh peas then it takes little more time to cook.
8) Now onion-tomato mixture is cooled. Grind into a smooth puree.
9) Heat remaining 1 tablespoon of oil in the same pan. Once hot add prepared paste and saute.
10) Cook till all the moisture evaporates. If it is spluttering too much then partially cover the pan. Do stir in between. it starts to leave the sides of the pan and oil will ooze out.
11) Add turmeric powder, coriander powder, red chili powder and garam masala.
12) Mix well and saute for a minute.
13) Add a cup of water or more or less as per your liking gravy consistency.
14) Stir and let it come to a boil and simmer for 2-3 minutes.
15) Add boiled peas and cubed paneer.
16) Mix well and simmer for 3-4 minutes so peas and paneer absorb the flavors.
17) Finally sprinkle chopped cilantro.
18) Stir gently and Serve. If not serving right away then keep matar paneer covered till the time of serving.
How to make restaurant style mutter paneer masala?
Add 2 tablespoons of heavy cream at the end. Alternately you can add cashew nuts paste as a vegan option (also use tofu, instead of paneer).
For Sauté And Puree:
- 1 tablespoon Oil
- 1 teaspoon Cumin seeds
- 1 medium or 1 cup Red onion roughly chopped
- ½ inch Ginger chopped
- 2 cloves Garlic chopped
- 1 Green chili chopped
- 2 medium or 1 ½ cups Tomato roughly chopped
- 6 oz or 170 grams Paneer cut into cubes
- 1 cup Green Peas Cooked in microwave or boiled
- 1 tablespoon Oil
- ¼ teaspoon Turmeric powder
- 1 teaspoon Red chili powder
- 1 teaspoon Coriander powder
- Salt to taste
- ½ teaspoon Garam masala
- 1 teaspoon Kasoori methi (Dried fenugreek leaves) Crush before adding
- 1 cup Water
- 2 tablespoons Heavy whipping cream or fresh cream or malai
- Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a pan on medium heat. Once hot add cumin seeds and let them sizzle a bit.
- Then onion, ginger, garlic and green chili. Sprinkle a little salt to speed up the cooking process.
- Cook until onions become soft and light pink in color.
- Then add tomatoes and cook until they are softened. Let the mixture cool down slightly.
- Transfer it to the blender jar and make a smooth puree.
- Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil in the same pan. Once hot add prepared puree and let it simmer. If it is spluttering too much then you can partially cover the pan with a lid and continue cooking.
- Do stir every few minutes to make sure that it is not sticking to the bottom and sides of the pan. Cook until it becomes thick and most of the water is evaporated.
- Now add turmeric powder, red chili powder, coriander powder and remaining salt. Mix well and saute for a minute.
- Add water and let it simmer for 5 minutes.
- While the gravy is simmering, take green peas in a bowl with a couple of tablespoons of water and a sprinkle of salt. Microwave it for about 4 minutes.
- Now add the paneer and cooked peas. Mix and simmer for 2 minutes.
- Add garam masala and crushed kasoori methi. Mix well.
- Add heavy cream and mix. Let it come to a simmer and turn off the stove.
- Use ghee or butter instead of oil.
- Add 7-8 cashews along with tomatoes and grind into the puree.
- Increase the amount of heavy cream to total ¼ cup.