Easy and delicious matar paneer recipe is a popular Indian vegetarian recipe. It’s a cottage cheese and pea curry made in a tomato based masala. It’s a really delicious, easy and healthy recipe that’s perfect served with jeera rice or as a side dish with this daal.
I love anything that involves paneer (aka cottage cheese)…including these recipes: palak paneer and paneer manchurian. Cottage cheese is so versatile and perfect to add to vegetarian recipes. It’s a also a great source of protein and calcium. Healthy plus delicious, I'm all here for this recipe.
This Curry is:
Easy & Quick to Make
What You Need
You need very basic ingredients for this curry, which are probably already in your pantry!
Paneer: I use frozen paneer cubes. Before frying it, I let it defrost on the counter for 30 minutes or so. You may also use fresh cottage cheese cubes. I just find the frozen kind convenient.
Peas: I use frozen peas because again easy peasy! You may however, use fresh peas.
Tomatoes: I use fresh tomatoes in this recipe, however, you may use tomato paste as well if that’s what you have on hand.
Onions: I use red onion, as I do for most of my Pakistani and Indian recipes.
Spices: kashmiri lal mirch powder (it's not spicy, but lends a beautiful color to the recipe), turmeric powder, coriander powder, cumin powder, and salt...finish off the curry with a little bit of garam masala powder!
Fresh coriander: a must for all desi recipes!
How to Make It
(for full recipe ingredients and instructions, please scroll down to the recipe card)
Frying the Paneer:
Start by frying the cubes, until they’re golden brown from all sides. Frying is completely optional however, you may just add it as it is too, if that’s what you prefer. It’s healthier too of course.
Making the Masala:
We start with frying the onion along with ginger and garlic paste. Then add the spices, and cook a little more. Add the tomatoes, and basically cook until you have a tomato based masala ready.
Add the fried paneer.
Then add the frozen peas, and some sugar to balance the sourness of the tomatoes.
Cook until the peas are cooked through, and then garnish with freshly chopped coriander.
More Vegetarian Recipes
For the Paneer
- 1/4 cup oil for shallow frying
- 250 grams paneer cubes I used frozen paneer cubes, but fresh is fine too
For the Matar Paneer
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 1 medium onion finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon ginger garlic paste
- 1 teaspoon cumin powder zeera powder
- 1 teaspoon coriander powder dhania powder
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder haldi
- 1 teaspoon kashmiri lal mirch powder
- Salt to taste
- 2 large tomatoes chopped finely
- 1/4 teaspoon sugar
- 1/3 cup water
- 1/2 cup frozen peas add more if desired
- 1/2 teaspoon garam masala
- A handful of fresh coriander chopped
For the Paneer
- Start by heating the oil in a fry pan, and add the paneer cubes. If you’re using frozen paneer cubes then let them defrost before frying them.
- Fry the paneer cubes about 1-2 minutes per each side, until they are golden brown and crispy. Remove them with a slotted spoon and place on a kitchen paper lined plate. Set aside.
For the Matar Paneer
- In a medium sized pot, heat the oil and add the chopped onion. Fry until it’s a light golden brown.
- Add the ginger garlic paste and fry for about 45 seconds or so, while stirring continuously.
- Now add the spices and cook for a minute or so. Add some water, and cook for about 30 seconds.
- Now add the chopped tomatoes and cook for a few minutes on high heat. Add about 1/4 cup water, lower the heat, and cover the pot. Cook for about 10 minutes or so, until the tomatoes have softened and are cooked through.
- Cook on high flame, while stirring, for another 5 minutes or so until the oil separates from the curry.
- Add the fried paneer.
- Now add the sugar, water and frozen peas. Cook for a few more minutes until the peas are cooked through.
- Finish with garam masala and chopped coriander. Serve with white rice or naan.