Who does not like rich and creamy Matar paneer, right? Onions and spices sauteed until brown along with fresh juicy tomatoes and then blended well to a creamy paste and cooked with fresh peas and paneer a.k.a cottage cheese is one of its kind. It is a very popular dish from the North Indian region made its way into the culinary world. The dried fenugreek leaves adds a little magic to this dish and makes it aromatic and flavorful and takes into a different level. We have been having bountiful plum tomatoes and I made good use of them by using it Matar paneer, Tomato soup, Tomato rasam etc., The freshness from the tomatoes made a whole lot of difference to this recipe.
Below is my version of Matar Paneer.
1 tbsp oil
1 large onion finely chopped(about 3 cups)
Whole spices such as 2 cloves, 1 cardamom, 1 tsp fennel seeds, 1/2 tsp poppy seeds, 1" cinnamon stick
1 tbsp ginger-garlic paste
3 to 4 medium size ripe tomatoes finely chopped
1 tsp kasuri methi(dried fenugreek leaves)
2 tsp cashew pieces
2 tsp ghee/butter
1 cup boiled peas
1 cup paneer pieces
1 tsp red chilli powder
1/2 tsp garam masala powder(optional)
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
A pinch of sugar(optional)
2 tsp cream/malai
salt to taste
1. Heat oil in a pan and add the whole spices, chopped onions, ginger garlic paste and fry until golden. (add little salt to speed up this process).
2. Meanwhile, heat a griddle and apply a tsp of oil and place the paneer pieces and fry on both the sides till golden. You can deep fry them too, but i prefer this way.
3. Add the chopped tomatoes and fry until they are cooked till soft and melted completely. Add all the powders and fry for a minute or two. Let it cool for sometime and then add this into a blender along with cashew pieces and blend to a smooth paste adding little water.
4. Heat the same pan and, add some ghee or butter and pour the paste and fry on a medium flame. Add about a cup of water to bring it to desired consistency. Let it come to a boil.
5. Add the boiled peas, mix and let it cook for 4 to 5 minutes.
6. Now add the Paneer pieces, salt and combine everything well together and let it simmer on a low flame for 6 to 10 minutes.
7. Add cream, kasuri methi and mix well and adjust the spice and salt and switch off the heat and let it stand for sometime before serving.
Garnish with coriander leaves and serve hot with naan/roti and sliced onions.