Matar paneer is a restaurant style creamy, delicious and rich peas paneer curry. Matar paneer is one of India’s most popular paneer dishes. In most Indian homes, it is made during winters when fresh peas are in season. However it can also be made with frozen peas anytime around the year.
I usually make matar paneer with raw onions, tomatoes and cashews blended together. It is a super quick recipe and is great to make when you are in a hurry.
I have shared that method at the end of the post as method 2 (upon readers request).
Today’s recipe takes some time since the onions and tomatoes are sauteed first and pureed. This is what makes the dish simply superb and unique.
This recipe is roughly adapted from my Paneer butter masala which is a popular recipe on the blog.
Preparation for matar paneer gravy
1. Heat a pan and add 1 tbsp oil. When the oil turns hot, add 2 green cardamoms, 1 inch ginger (chopped) and 3 garlic cloves (chopped). Saute just for a minute. I did forget to add the cardamoms here so added in the tempering later.
2. Add 1 cup chopped onions. Saute them until they turn pink to light golden. The raw smell of the onions has to go away.
3. Then add 1½ cup chopped tomatoes, ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon turmeric.
4. Saute for 2 to 3 mins. Cover the pan. Cook on a medium flame until the onions and tomatoes turn mushy. Add cashews and turn off the stove.
5. Cool this mixture completely. Transfer to a blender jar. Make a smooth puree without adding water.
How to make matar paneer recipe
6. Heat a pan with 2 tablespoons oil. Add 1 inch cinnamon and a small bay leaf. You can also skip them and just add half teaspoon cumin seeds. Fry them for a min.
7. Pour the onion tomato puree. If your puree is not smooth, then pass it through a strainer. Add ¾ to 1 teaspoon red chili powder, ¾ to 1 teaspoon garam masala and ½ to ¾ teaspoon coriander powder. You can also add the spice powders first to hot oil. If the pan is too hot , it burns them so I added later.
8. Saute all of these until the mixture comes together & turns thick. Keep stirring often.
9. Add ¾ cup boiled green peas or frozen peas. If using fresh peas, then you may need to boil them. Drain and use here. I used frozen peas, so just rinsed well and added. Pour 1 to 1¼ cups water to make a gravy.
10. Mix well. Cover and cook until the gravy thickens. Taste the gravy and add more salt if needed.
11. Add 1 slit green chilli, 250 grams paneer and 1 teaspoon kasuri methi. Mix gently and cover. Cook just for 2 to 3 mins. Adding green chilli at this stage gives a unique flavor.
12. Add chopped coriander leaves and 3 to 4 tablespoons cream. Mix well. Transfer to a serving bowl.
Ingredients (1 cup = 240ml )
To saute & puree
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 2 cardamoms (elaichi)
- 3 garlic (cloves )
- 1 inch ginger chopped
- 1 cup onions cubed (1 large or 2 medium)
- 1½ cup tomatoes (2 large) chopped
- ¼ teaspoon turmeric
- 10 cashewnuts
- ½ teaspoon salt
For matar paneer gravy
- 2 tablespoon oil or butter
- 1 inch cinnamon (dalchini) (optional)
- 1 small bay leaf (optional)
- ¾ to 1 teaspoon red chili powder (less spicy variety)
- ¾ to 1 teaspoon garam masala
- ½ to ¾ teaspoon coriander powder
- ¾ cup green peas (matar) (boiled or frozen)
- 1 to 1 ¼ cup water (use more if needed)
- 1 green chili deseeded & slit (optional)
- 250 grams paneer (indian cottage cheese)
- 1 teaspoon kasuri methi (dried fenugreek leaves)
- ¼ teaspoon salt as needed (about ¼ to ½ tsp)
- 2 tablespoon coriander leaves (cilantro)
- 3 to 4 tablespoon cream
How to make the recipe
Preparation for mutter paneer
- If using store bought paneer, soak it in a bowl of hot water for 20 mins. Drain the water and use. This step helps to keep the paneer soft.
- Pour 1 tbsp oil to a hot pan. When the oil turns hot, add 2 green cardamoms, ginger & garlic.
- Fry for a minute. Next add 1 cup chopped onions & saute until they turn light golden.
- Put in 1½ cup tomatoes, ¼ teaspoon turmeric and ¼ teaspoon salt.
- Saute for 2 to 3 mins. Cook covered until soft & mushy.
- Add 10 cashews. Cool this completely. Make a fine puree of this in a blender without water.
How to make matar paneer
- Heat 2 tbsps oil in the same pan. Saute 1 inch cinnamon & 1 bay leaf for a minute.
- Pour the pureed onion tomato mixture. If your puree is not smooth, then pass it through a filter/sieve.
- Add ¾ to 1 teaspoon chili powder, ¾ to 1 teaspoon garam masala and ½ to ¾ teaspoon coriander powder.
- Saute until the masala comes together and turns thick. Keep stirring to prevent burning.
- Next add ¾ cup green peas. Pour 1 to 1 ¼ cups water. If using fresh peas, boil them until tender in a pot, drain and use. If using frozen peas then you can rinse and use.
- Mix well to make a thick gravy. Add more water if needed.
- Mix and cook covered on a medium heat until the gravy thickens and traces of oil appear over the gravy.
- Crush 1 teaspoon kasuri methi in your palm & sprinkle all over. Mix well.
- Check salt and add more if needed. Add 1 slit green chilli & 250 grams cubed paneer.
- Cover and cook just for 2 mins. Sprinkle coriander leaves and cream.
Video of matar paneer recipe
NUTRITION (estimation only)
Alternative quantities provided in the recipe card are for 1x only, original recipe.
If you are new to cooking, follow my detailed step by step photo instructions for best results.
Matar paneer – method 2
Ingredients to follow from recipe card except for 1½ tsp ginger garlic paste to use below. Here are the instructions:
- Bring 2 cups of water to a boil & add the cubed onions.
- Boil for 2 to 3 mins. Drain the blanched onions.
- Make a fine paste of blanched onions, tomatoes, chili, and cashews.
- Optional step. Saute paneer in little oil and immerse them in hot water until used.
- Saute cumin, cardamom, cloves, cinnamon & bay leaf in oil for 1 to 2 minutes.
- Fry ginger garlic paste until the raw smell goes off.
- Add the ground paste & fry until it leaves the sides of the pan.
- Also the raw smell must disappear.
- Add chili powder, garam masala, coriander powder and salt. Sauté for 2 to 3 minutes.
- Add peas and 1.5 cups water. Cook until the gravy thickens.
- When the gravy turns thick, you will also see some oil on top of the gravy. There is not much oil used in the recipe so you can see very little oil on top.
- To the thick gravy, add paneer and kasuri methi.
- Cook for just 2 to 3 minutes.
- Using cream is optional. Pour cream to a bowl, add little gravy and mix well. Stir this in to the pan.
- Switch off the stove and add finely coriander leaves. Serve matar paneer with roti or rice.