Matar Paneer/Indian Cottage Cheese and Peas
This is my mom’s recipe and I love the way it tastes. Soft pieces of paneer with a sharp sauce made with onions and tomatoes. This is a family favorite and also a dish I cook when I invite someone over. The kasuri methi in the end adds tons of flavor and earthiness to the dish. I have used greek yogurt to add creaminess to the gravy but you can use cream by all means. Since I was short of time I did not grill the paneer pieces before I added them to the dish but if I have time, I marinate the paneer pieces in greek yogurt, salt, oil, lemon juice and garam masala and grill them in the oven for 15 minutes until it browns on the edges. This lifts the flavor of the dish.
Enjoy this dish with roti’s or jeera basmati rice.
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes
Serves: 4 people
400 gms of paneer. This can be store bought or home made.
Green peas – frozen, 1 cup
1 small onion, grated or made into a paste in a grinder
2 medium tomatoes – blended into a puree
½ inch ginger – chopped fine
3 cloves of garlic – chopped fine
2 tbsp Greek yogurt
1 tbsp Fresh coriander
2 tbsp Cooking oil
1 tsp Red chilli powder
½ tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp coriander powder
½ tsp garam masala
1 tsp kasuri methi, washed and crused by hand
Salt to taste
Heat oil in a heavy pan and add the onions once the oil is hot. Stir the onions until they turn translucent. Next add the ginger and garlic to the pan and stir for a minute until they soften. Now add blended tomatoes and keep the heat on medium. Stir the mixture frequently to avoid it sticking to the bottom. Cook until you see oil separate from the tomatoes.
Once the tomatoes are done, take off the pan from heat and add the yogurt. Mix the yogurt well with the onion-tomato paste and return the pan back to heat. Now add all the spice powders and salt, except garam masala. Add 1 cup of water to the pan and boil on medium heat for 5 minutes. Sprinkle garam masala.
Once the sauce comes together, add the paneer pieces and peas to the pan.
Check salt and adjust to taste. You can add water at this stage if you want the sauce to be thinner. Give it one boil and sprinkle in the crushed kasuri methi. Give it one quick stir on medium heat and turn off the heat.
Garnish with fresh coriander and serve hot!!