Matar Paneer Curry
Green Peas and cottage cheese cooked in tomato onion gravy- tasty, quick and protein-rich
Fresh cottage cheese/ Paneer: 200 gm
Frozen Green Peas: 200 gm
Medium Yellow or Red Onion (finely chopped): 2
Green chilies (chopped): 1
Tomato (medium): 3
Ginger: 2 inch (grated)
Garlic: 4-5 pods (minced)
Cumin Seeds: 1 tsp
Turmeric powder: ¼ tsp
Red Chili Powder: 2 tsp
Coriander Powder: 1 tsp
Garam Masala Powder: 2 tsp
Sugar: 1 tsp
Aromatic Masala: 1 tsp
Bay Leaf: 1
Clarified butter: 2-3 tbsp
Water: 2 cups
Cilantro leaves for garnish
Salt to taste
Aromatic Masala (Roast and grind):
Green Cardamom: 4-5 pods
Cumin Seeds: 1/ 2tsp
Cinnamom Stick: ½ inch
Fennel Seeds: ½ tsp
1) Cut cottage cheese into 1-inch thick bite-sized pieces. Keep it aside.
2) Blanch the tomatoes, de-skin it and puree it
3) Dry roast green cardamom, cumin seeds, cinnamon stick and fennel seeds separately. Combine them. Grind to a fine powder using a mortar and pestle.
4) Heat clarified butter in a sauce pan. Add cumin seeds, bayleaf and let it sizzle for 30 sec. Add chopped onion and stir fry till translucent.
5) Add ginger and garlic. Fry till golden brown.
6) Add turmeric powder, red chili powder, coriander powder, salt and sugar. Fry till aromatic (approx 3-4 min).
7) Add pureed tomato and fry till oil separates. Add green chili. Fry for 1 min. Add water, bring it to boil and add green peas.
8) Cover, simmer and cook for 5-7 min. Add Paneer, simmer for 5 min. Add Garam Masala and aromatic powder. Cook for 3-4 min.
9) Remove from heat
Don’t overcook the paneer and green peas. Paneer should be cooked just enough to absorb the flavors without breaking apart. Paneer may turn chewy if overcooked.
1) You may lightly shallow fry the paneer/cottage cheese pieces till light golden brown before adding it to the recipe. This prevents paneer from breaking apart while cooking. This method works if the paneer is cut into larger cubes. Smaller pieces tend to brown faster making the paneer chewy. The trick is not to overcook it.
2) Add 1-2 tbsp of fresh cream or cashewnut paste for richer creamier gravy. Or Add ½ of milk to the recipe after step 7.
1) Substitute Clarified butter with vegetable oil
2) Substitute frozen green peas with fresh green peas (requires more cooking time)
Garnish with chopped fresh coriander leaves and fresh cream. Serve hot with roti, rice or naan.