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Matar Paneer Easy Indian Cheese Curry

Matar paneer is an easy vegetarian curry made with marinated paneer served in a silky tomato-based spicy gravy and delicious with sweet peas.

It’s a pretty quick curry to make that takes a shade over half an hour to prepare and cook and it tastes fantastic.

Overhead matar paneer curry served in an iron kadai with fresh coriander.

Mutter Panneer

At its heart, matar paneer or mutter paneer is a cheese and pea curry. Now admittedly, that sounds “dodgy”… but it really is a gem!

I love the sweetness of peas in a curry, I use them in both my methi gosht curry and pretty classic keema matar recipes!

They offer little bursts of fresh sweet pea flavour that is simply delicious.

This recipe is originally from the north of India and also goes by the name as mutter paneer.

My version of matar paneer is coloured by the British Indian food that I adore. In fact, it shares a great deal in common with a chicken tikka masala.

Like that recipe, I add some flavour to the paneer with a simple marinade that is similar to my paneer tikka recipe. However, here I quickly sear the paneer in a pan rather than cooking it under a grill.

You could just heat the paneer in the sauce as I do with my palak paneer! This is a much more common way to cook this recipe.

Matar paneer curry served in an iron kadai with fresh coriander.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is paneer?

Paneer is an unaged cheese made from milk or cream, that has a fairly neutral flavour.

It is commonly available in supermarkets, but you can make it at home and it takes minutes. Although homemade paneer does need to be pressed before using in this matar paneer recipe.

I have a method for making homemade paneer in my aloo paneer recipe.

Do I have to fry the paneer before adding to the curry?

No, you can just add it to the sauce and allow it to simmer in the gravy, but doing so does ramp up the flavour!

Can I make this in advance?

Yes, and as with many generously spiced dishes it improves after spending a day or two in the fridge.

Gently reheat in a covered saucepan over a low-medium heat.

Can I freeze matar paneer?

Yes, but personally speaking I am not a huge fan of freezing this. I find that it has a negative impact on the texture of the paneer.

If you do freeze this let it defrost before gently reheating in a covered saucepan.

Close up matar paneer curry served in an iron kadai with fresh coriander.

Serving Suggestions.

As far as I am concerned a curry without bread is like Sunday lunch without gravy! Sure you can do it, but why?

For me, that means a naan bread sat alongside matar paneer, although being a Brummie it is pretty much naan bread with everything!

Being objective, the bulk of a naan is a little better with this very saucy matar panner than a roti.

I usually keep my chapati recipe for dry curries like aloo gobi.

If you are serving this as part of a multi-course meal then it goes wonderfully with Bombay potatoes or aloo methi (fenugreek potatoes).

Don’t forget the rice! Matar paneer is great sat alongside plainly boiled or steamed rice as well as a good pilau rice.

Matar paneer curry or mutter paneer served in an iron kadai.
Yield: 2 Servings

Matar Paneer Recipe

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes

When it comes to meat free food India is a hotbed of options, this matar paneer is my take on a real classic. Featuring an Indian unmatured cheese and sweet peas it is a stunning simple curry that tastes superb.

Ingredients

  • 275g (10oz) Paneer
  • 100g (1 Cup) Peas

For the Paneer Marinade:

  • 1 Tbsp Cooking Oil
  • 1 Tbsp Lemon Juice
  • 1 Tsp Coriander Powder
  • 1 Tsp Dried Fenugreek
  • ½ Tsp Turmeric Powder
  • ½ Tsp Kashmiri Chilli Powder
  • ½ Tsp Salt

For the Sauce:

  • 1 Tbsp Ghee
  • 12 Black Pepper Corns
  • 4 Cardamom Pods
  • ½ Tsp Fennel Seeds
  • ½ Tsp Cumin Seeds
  • 150g (1 Cup) Onion
  • 15g (Half Thumb Sized Piece) Ginger
  • 2 Green Chilli Peppers
  • 4 Garlic Cloves
  • 8 Curry Leaves
  • 1 Tsp Tomato Puree
  • 1 Tsp Garam Masala
  • 200g (Half of a 14oz tin) Tinned Plum Tomatoes
  • 250ml (1 Cup) Water
  • 1 Tsp Sugar
  • ½ Tsp Salt
  • 50ml (3 Tbsp + 1 Tsp) Double or Heavy Cream

Instructions

  1. Cut the Paneer into even-sized pieces, I like triangles but paneer cubes are more typical.
  2. Mix together the ingredients for the paneer marinade.
  3. Add the paneer and coat whilst we prepare our sauce.
  4. Peel and finely chop the garlic cloves and ginger.
  5. Cut the onion in half lengthways, peel it, then slice it into thin half-moon shapes.
  6. Cut the green chillies in half lengthways.
  7. Heat the ghee over a medium-high heat.
  8. When the ghee is hot add the green chillies, curry leaves and whole spices for the sauce and cook until they start to spit.
  9. Add in the sliced onion and cook stirring occasionally and cook for 5-6 minutes.
  10. Throw in the chopped garlic and ginger and cook for a further 1 minute, stirring continuously.
  11. Add the tomato puree and garam masala to the sauce and cook for 30 seconds stirring constantly.
  12. Pour in the tinned tomatoes, water and add the sugar and salt.
  13. Mash the tomatoes with a fork, then reduce to low-medium and simmer for 10 minutes.
  14. Now is a good time to defrost the peas if you are using frozen peas by running them under cold water for 5 minutes.
  15. Blend the sauce and wipe out the pan you cooked the sauce in with some kitchen paper and return it to a medium high heat.
  16. Remove the paneer from the marinade and add it to the pan and fry until nicely coloured on all sides. This should take 4-5 minutes.
  17. Pour over the sauce and add any remaining marinade, then stir to combine.
  18. Finally, add the peas and cook for a minute or 2 before serving.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

2

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 856Total Fat: 58gSaturated Fat: 29gTrans Fat: 2gUnsaturated Fat: 22gCholesterol: 140mgSodium: 2252mgCarbohydrates: 57gFiber: 12gSugar: 21gProtein: 36g

Calorific details are provided by a third-party application and are to be used as indicative figures only.

Did you make this recipe?

If you made this recipe, I'd love to see what you did and what I can do better, share a picture with me on Instagram and tag me @krumplibrian and tell me how it went!

Lisa

Wednesday 24th of November 2021

I'm not one to write reviews, however...... This was absolutely delicious, so thank you for such an easy, tasty recipe. I will definitely be making this again, and I'd recommend it to anyone.

Brian Jones

Monday 6th of December 2021

Glad you enjoyed it Lisa :)

Chris

Sunday 6th of October 2019

Hi, looks great, did you blend the sauce withe the whole spices or remove them before blending? Cheers Chris

Brian Jones

Monday 7th of October 2019

I always leave the whole spices in, if you feel that they have not broken down enough when blending just pass the sauce through a fine mesh sieve :)

Michelle

Saturday 3rd of August 2019

This curry sauce is insanely delicious. Love the paneer.

Brian Jones

Sunday 4th of August 2019

Thank you Michelle

Beth Neels

Friday 2nd of August 2019

I recently stumbled on paneer at a restaurant supply store and stumbled on your recipe, when I was researching ways to use it! This curry did not disappoint! It was easy and so flavorful! I love all the spices you incorporate! Will be making it again soon!

Brian Jones

Saturday 3rd of August 2019

Glad you enjoyed it, thanks for taking the time to let me know.

Julie

Friday 2nd of August 2019

This is such a great recipe! Love all the flavors in it.

Brian Jones

Saturday 3rd of August 2019

Thanks Julie

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