matar paneer recipe

Matar Paneer | Mutter Paneer Recipe

By Swasthi on November 3, 2022, Comments, Jump to Recipe

Matar Paneer recipe made in restaurant style. This Matar Paneer is a filling, delicious and hearty vegetarian Dinner with tons of North Indian flavors. It’s easy and perfect to make when you are in a mood to enjoy something restaurant style at home. Also known as Mutter Paneer, this is a rich, spicy, creamy and tasty paneer peas curry that your entire family will enjoy. Serve it over steamed basmati rice, any flavored rice, Butter Naan, roti or flatbreads of your choice.


matar paneer

About Matar Paneer

Matar Paneer is a popular North Indian dish of Indian cottage cheese aka Paneer and peas cooked in a spicy and flavorsome curry. Matar Paneer translates to peas paneer where ‘Matar’ is the Hindi word for ‘peas’ and ‘paneer’ for “Indian cheese”.

This classic dish is made in numerous ways across the country. Every Indian home and even every family may have a different recipe. For the same reason, matar paneer in every home and restaurant tastes different.

For this matar paneer recipe, to make the gravy, we first sauté the onions & tomatoes with some spices. Then cool down and blend this to a smooth paste. Later we spice it and simmer with water until a thick consistency is achieved. To this delicious curry base, green peas and paneer are added.

The process of sautéing brings out the subtle sweet flavor from onions and tomatoes. This step also enhances the depth of various tastes & flavors in the gravy. This sautéing part is what makes this matar paneer simply superb and unique.

Though this extra step consumes a bit of time it is totally worth the effort when you want to make something special like the restaurant kind. Sometimes when I am in a rush, I make it in a short cut way by simply blanching the onions and pureeing them with raw tomatoes.

I have shared that method too as method 2 below upon readers’ request. You can also make that in the Instant pot, for which I have included the instructions in the recipe card.

This recipe is roughly adapted from my Paneer Butter Masala which is a popular recipe on the blog. But this tastes completely different as there is no butter used & the process is slightly different. If you want you can also add a few tablespoons of yogurt when you blend the ingredients.

More Paneer Recipes
Kadai paneer
Paneer makhani
Paneer tikka masala

Matar Paneer made with paneer peas & spices

How To Make Matar Paneer (Stepwise Photos)

Preparation

1. Heat a pan and add 1 tbsp oil. When the oil turns hot, add

  • 1 to 2 green cardamoms (optional, skip if you don’t like)
  • 1 inch ginger (chopped)
  • 3 garlic cloves (chopped). Saute just for a minute.
saute ginger garlic in oil

2. Add 1 cup cubed onions. Saute them until they turn pink to light golden. The raw smell of the onions has to go away.

saute onions for matar paneer

3. Then add 1½ cup chopped tomatoes, ½ teaspoon salt and 12 whole cashew nuts.

tomatoes and salt to make matar paneer gravy

4. Saute for 2 to 3 mins. Cover the pan. Cook on a medium flame until the onions and tomatoes turn mushy. Turn off the stove.

cook ingredients covered

5. Cool this mixture completely.

cool the onion tomato masala for matar paneer

6. Transfer to a blender jar and add ¼ to ⅓ cup curd (yogurt). Using curd is optional, use it for a rich and tangy flavor. This matar paneer tastes great even without curd.

add yogurt and onion tomato masala to a grinder

7. Grind to a smooth puree without adding water. We don’t want any grits in the curry, so make sure this is smooth.

Make Gravy

8. 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.

9. Reduce the heat to low. Add ¼ teaspoon turmeric, ¾ to 1 teaspoon red chili powder, ¾ to 1 teaspoon garam masala and ½ to ¾ teaspoon coriander powder.

10. Mix well. If the pan is too hot , the spices will burn so do it on a low heat.

11. Pour the onion tomato puree. If your puree is not smooth, turn off the stove and then pass it through a strainer. Saute all of these until the mixture comes together & turns thick. This only takes 2 to 3 mins. Keep stirring often.

12. 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 use frozen peas which are ready to use, so I just rinse well and add. Pour 1 to 1¼ cups water to make a gravy.

If you are in India & using frozen peas, boil them in water separately in a small pot, for a few mins. Drain the peas and add here.

13. Mix well. Cover and cook until the gravy thickens. Taste the gravy and add more salt if needed. Crush 1 teaspoon kasuri methi and add.

11. Add 1 slit green chilli (optional) and 250 grams paneer. Mix gently and cover. Cook just for 1 to 2 mins. Adding green chilli at this stage gives a unique flavor but you may skip. Turn off the heat. Do not over cook.

12. Add chopped coriander leaves and 3 to 4 tablespoons cream. Mix well. Transfer to a serving bowl.

Serve matar paneer with basmati rice, naan, roti, phulka, jeera rice or ghee rice.

matar paneer

Here is a picture of the mutter paneer made in Instant pot.

Instant pot mutter paneer

Matar Paneer – Easy Method 2

Instructions

1. Though I have skipped this step in the step by step pictures below, I don’t suggest skipping it because a lot of times raw onions taste bitter after blending and ruin the entire dish. Bring 2 cups of water to a boil & add the 1 cup cubed onions (100 grams). Boil for 2 to 3 mins. Drain the blanched onions.

2. Add blanched onions, 1½ cups tomatoes (340 grams), 1 to 2 small cardamoms, 1 green chili (optional) and 12 to 14 cashew nuts to a grinder jar. If you want you can also add ¼ cup yogurt at this stage and then blend.

3. Make a fine smooth puree. We don’t want any chunks of cashews in the puree. If you do not have a powerful blender, you may pass through a sieve and blend the coarse mixture again.

4. Optional step. Saute paneer in little oil and immerse them in warm water until used.

5. Heat 2 tablespoons oil or ghee in a pan. Add ½ teaspoon cumin seeds, 1 green cardamom, 2 cloves, 1 inch cinnamon & bay leaf. When the spices sizzle, add 1½ teaspoon ginger garlic paste.

6. Fry ginger garlic paste until the raw smell goes off.

7. Add the ground onion tomato puree & saute on a medium heat stirring often. You can partially cover the pan if it splatters a lot.

8. Saute until the masala cooks well and the raw smell disappears completely.

9. Add ¾ to 1 teaspoon chili powder, ¾ to 1 teaspoon garam masala, ½ to ¾ teaspoon coriander powder, 1 teaspoon sugar and ½ to ¾ salt. Sauté for 2 to 3 minutes.

10. Add1 cup peas and pour 1.5 cups water. If you are using frozen peas, you may add them later.

11. Mix well and cook until the gravy thickens and the peas soft cook. If using frozen tender peas, you can add them after the gravy cooks for a while as the frozen ones cook faster.

12. 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 crushed kasuri methi. Crush the kasuri methi in between your palms and then add.

13. Cook for just 1 to 2 minutes. If you fry the paneer at the earlier step, skip cooking again here. Using cream is optional. Pour cream to a small bowl, add little gravy and mix well. Stir this into the pan.

Switch off the stove and add finely coriander leaves. Serve matar paneer with roti or rice.

matar paneer mutter paneer

Ingredients & substitutes

Paneer: Paneer is Indian vegetarian non-melting cheese made by curdling milk. It is easily available in Indian stores in the frozen section. You can also make your own by following this homemade paneer recipe.

If you are a vegan then you can easily substitute it with extra firm tofu or Quorn. Just note that you will need to precook Quorn until tender and then add them along with green peas

Green peas: In India, fresh green peas are in season during the winters and most people use them as they are easily available. But mutter paneer can be made anytime of the year with frozen peas, like the way I did here.

Garam masala is the key spice blend in this recipe. The flavors of your matar paneer will depend highly rely on how aromatic your garam masala is. So do use a good garam masala.

Whole spices can be easily skipped but they slowly infuse the flavors when you simmer the gravy. The depth of flavors is not comparable when you skip them.

Kasuri methi are dried fenugreek leaves. They are easily available in the Indian stores selling North Indian groceries. You may skip them if you don’t find but they impart a unique aroma and there is no substitute to it.

Cashews are used for a creamy texture. They can be replaced with soaked and blanched almonds. Alternately you may use 3 tbsps of white poppy seeds. Soak the seeds for 2 hours in warm water and grind them separately in a small grinder to a thick creamy consistency. Pour it at the last step before adding paneer. Simmer until it thickens then add paneer.

Cream adds a milky flavor to the gravy and also makes the dish creamier. However you may just skip it and use 6 more whole cashews.

Variations

Matar paneer gravy can be made in many ways. Here are a few variations:

  • For the simplest version, saute fine chopped onions until deep golden, then ginger garlic and then add pureed tomatoes & cashews. Saute until thick and add spices. Pour water and make a thick gravy. Add matar and paneer to this.
  • To add yogurt & skip cream, you can follow my restaurant dum aloo recipe. Just skip the aloo and use matar and paneer instead with the amount of water mentioned in this post. I also have instant pot version in that post.
  • To make matar paneer without onions and garlic, you can follow my paneer makhani recipe.

FAQs

Do you need to soak paneer?

If using store bought paneer, it is always good to soak it in warm water for 15 to 20 mins. This softens the paneer and prevents it from turning rubbery.

Can I freeze matar paneer?

Yes you can freeze the matar paneer gravy without adding peas, paneer & cream. Cool the gravy immediately after cooking. Store it in air tight glass containers. Add both peas and paneer when you reheat it.

Is matar paneer healthy?

Yes! This homemade matar paneer is healthy if you eat in moderation. It has a good amount of protein from green peas and paneer. Also it is not excessively loaded with butter and cream, so healthy people can include it in their weekly diet.

Related Recipes

Recipe Card

matar paneer

Matar Paneer, How to Make Mutter Paneer

Matar paneer is a delicious dish made by cooking paneer & green peas in spicy onion tomato masala. This recipe will give you restaurant style creamy & rich matar paneer. It tastes amazing to serve with rice, naan or paratha. Stovetop and instant pot instructions included.
Pin Recipe Print Recipe

For best results follow the step-by-step photos above the recipe card

Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time35 minutes
Total Time45 minutes
Servings4
AuthorSwasthi
Diet : Gluten Free, Vegetarian

Ingredients (US cup = 240ml )

To saute & puree

  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 to 2 green cardamoms (optional, skip if you don't like)
  • 3 garlic (cloves )
  • 1 inch ginger chopped
  • 1 cup onions cubed (1 large or 2 medium)
  • cup tomatoes (2 large) chopped
  • 12 cashewnuts (or almonds, soaked for 2 hours and blanched)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ to ⅓ cup curd (yogurt, optional, refer notes)

For matar paneer gravy

  • 2 tablespoon oil or ghee
  • 1 inch cinnamon (dalchini) (optional)
  • 1 small bay leaf (optional)
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric
  • ¾ to 1 teaspoon Kashmiri red chili powder (adjust to taste)
  • ¾ to 1 teaspoon garam masala (adjust to taste)
  • ½ to ¾ teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 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 (optional)

Instructions

Preparation

  • 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 1 to 2 green cardamoms (optional), ginger & garlic. 
  • Fry for a minute. Next add 1 cup chopped onions & saute until they turn light golden. 
  • Put in 1½ cup tomatoes and ¼ teaspoon salt. 
  • Saute for 2 to 3 mins. Add 12 cashews. Cook covered until soft & mushy. 
  • Cool this completely. Add to a grinder along with curd/ yogurt (optional) and make a smooth puree.

How To Make Matar Paneer

  • Heat 2 tbsps oil in the same pan. Saute 1 inch cinnamon & 1 bay leaf for a minute. 
  • Lower the heat and add ¼ teaspoon turmeric, ¾ to 1 teaspoon chili powder, sugar (optional), ¾ to 1 teaspoon garam masala and ½ to ¾ teaspoon coriander powder. Mix well.
  • Pour the pureed onion tomato mixture. If your puree is not smooth, then pass it through a filter/sieve.
  • 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 (optional) & 250 grams cubed paneer. 
  • Cover and cook just for 2 mins. Sprinkle coriander leaves and cream. 
  • Stir well. Serve matar paneer with jeera rice, naan or paratha.

Instant Pot Matar Paneer

  • Make a fine paste of ginger garlic and keep aside. Bring 1 ½ cups water to a rolling boil and add the onions. Boil for 5 mins and remove them.
  • To a blender jar, add chopped tomatoes, boiled onions, cashews, cardamoms and yogurt (optional). Blend them to make a very smooth puree without adding water.
  • Press saute button on the instant pot and pour oil. Do not let the pot become too hot. Add bay leaf, cinnamon and ginger garlic (to a side into the oil). Saute for 30 seconds.
  • Pour the onion tomato puree. Add red chilli powder, turmeric powder, salt, sugar, coriander powder and garam masala.
  • Saute until the mixture turns slightly thicker and aromatic. Cover with an external lid to avoid splatters. This step takes about 5 minutes. Press cancel button.
  • Pour 1 cup water and deglaze the pot well. Secure the Instant pot with the lid and position the steam release valve to sealing.
  • Press pressure cook button (low) & set the timer to 5 mins. If you want to put your rice together, soak basmati rice for 30 mins and drain the water. Place the rice bowl over a trivet and pour hot water.
  • When the IP is done, wait for 6 to 7 minutes & then release the rest of the pressure manually.
  • Stir the gravy. Add green peas and cook for 2 minutes. (If you are using fresh peas, you will need to boil them separately and then add here.) To avoid splatters, cover the pot when you cook.
  • Taste test and add more salt if needed. If the curry is runny, cook it on saute mode for a few minutes.
  • Add kasuri methi, cream and paneer. Stir and Press cancel. Remove the steel insert carefully & cover the pot immediately. Let matar paneer rest for 10 minutes.

Notes

  1. You can substitute tofu for paneer.
  2. Yogurt adds a bit of richness and brings a slightly tangy flavor to the matar paneer. I have made this for many years without curd, it tastes as good even without the curd. But using very sour yogurt may impart a sour flavor and taste to the curry so use with caution.

Alternative quantities provided in the recipe card are for 1x only, original recipe.

For best results follow my detailed step-by-step photo instructions and tips above the recipe card.

Video

NUTRITION INFO (estimation only)

Nutrition Facts
Matar Paneer, How to Make Mutter Paneer
Amount Per Serving
Calories 371 Calories from Fat 252
% Daily Value*
Fat 28g43%
Saturated Fat 10g63%
Cholesterol 41mg14%
Sodium 764mg33%
Potassium 386mg11%
Carbohydrates 18g6%
Fiber 4g17%
Sugar 7g8%
Protein 12g24%
Vitamin A 515IU10%
Vitamin C 20.1mg24%
Calcium 351mg35%
Iron 1.9mg11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Tried this recipe?Mention @SwasthisRecipes or tag #swasthisrecipes!

© Swasthi’s Recipes

Matar Paneer Recipe first published in Sept 2015. Updated and Republished in November 2022.

Matar Paneer | Mutter Paneer Recipe

About Swasthi

I’m Swasthi Shreekanth, the recipe developer, food photographer & food writer behind Swasthi’s Recipes. My aim is to help you cook great Indian food with my time-tested recipes. After 2 decades of experience in practical Indian cooking I started this blog to help people cook better & more often at home. Whether you are a novice or an experienced cook I am sure Swasthi’s Recipes will assist you to enhance your cooking skills.

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5 stars
I made this today, and my daughter said it’s the best I ever made. Thanks so much for the recipe. I particularly like the how you incorporate the measurements into your recipe also. I don’t have to scroll up to see the measurements in recipe card .Thanks so much for the wonderful recipe

5 stars
This is so delicious, perfect balance of flavours!

5 stars
This dish is delicious, simple and full of flavor. Will surely make it again!

5 stars
The best that I have ever made, or in fact eaten restaurant versions included. I reduced the chillies by one, as I am making it for people who do not like it too hot. Really nice.

5 stars
This was so delicious. I added a little more chili powder and some cumin seeds along with the cardamom and it came out sooo delicious. I’ve tried so many Swasthi’s recipes and all of them have been so delicious. This blog is always my go-to for new recipes.

5 stars
This was delicious!! Thanks for the detailed and easy to follow instructions!!!

5 stars
I am going to try this for the first time today. 🙂 May I ask, I could not get fresh ginger. I have powdered ginger but am not sure how much to use. Thank you!

5 stars
Made this today. It tasted wonderful. Thanks for the recipe Swasthi

5 stars
Tried the receipe and it was delicious.. All my family members enjoyed it .

5 stars
Made this last night for my Indian boyfriend. Turned out great! I didn’t have cashews subbed it with half cup hea y cream. Delish!

5 stars
Great matar paneer recipe! Simple and the curry packs a lot of flavor. Ran out of tomatoes so replaced with canned tomatoes and because of that had to add more spices. I’ve also added some frozen chopped spinach before finishing. In the end it was delicious. Served it over rice. Will be making this again.

5 stars
Made this tonight and absolutely loved the result. I did substitute heavy cream in place of water at the end to add a bit of richness. Kids asked for seconds . Thank you for sharing.

5 stars
Hooray! I followed this recipe & the results were fabulous. Your matar paneer was the star of our dinner party. I made 3x and we had no leftovers. Everyone was delighted to go for seconds. The sauce tasted amazing even without bay leaf and cinnamon. Will be making this again. Thank you.

5 stars
Thanks for your very thorough and easy-to-follow recipes! I am learning so much from them! I have a couple questions about this one: if I am substituting extra firm tofu for the paneer, should I fry it before adding to the gravy or leave it raw? (I’m vegan so I’m not really sure what the texture of actual paneer is like). Also all the vegan yogurt substitutes I’ve found are sugary and flavored, so I was wondering if it would make sense to use vegan cream cheese instead for a similar creamy/tangy flavor?

5 stars
I’ve been following your recipes for few dishes and it turned out yummy. Having pictures as reference is very useful. Thank you.
Can I use this recipe for Gobi mutter also?

Hi, I tend to prefer my paneer a little dryer and less saucy, do you have any suggestions to vary your recipe to facilitate this?

5 stars
Ma’am I and my family loved ur recipes i have been trying do u have a app for ur recipes

Hey, great recipe! Explained in detail – Surefire as always!
Quick question – why add cashews after we sautee tomatoes? Can I add them before so the nuts get roasted/fried a little?

5 stars
Tried this recipe today and it turned out great. Tasted like the matar paneer in restaurants. Thanks for the step by step instructions ❤️

5 stars
Awesome!

5 stars
Hi there, i was wondering about the cardemom pods. The recipe doesn’t say to take them out. Do you leave them in when you blend the sauce? I’ve been thinking about this for days haha, please help!

Thank you so much Swasthi! 😀 Will make this soon! :-*