By Deepak Pachauri

Last Updated: June 26, 2021

Gluten-Free, Vegetarian

Matar paneer recipe – a popular Indian Curry dish made with green peas and Indian cottage cheese, is from the versatile Northern Indian cuisine that has many different (and delicious) variations. I’m sharing my recipe of a flavourful and simple home-style matar paneer.

Table of Contents

  1. About this recipe
  2. How to make Matar Paneer ( step by step photos)
  3. Expert Tips

About This Recipe

This simple homemade Matar paneer is a family recipe spiced to perfection and cooked with green peas (Matar or mutter in Hindi), and a paneer which is Indian cottage cheese.

Prep Time                       Cook Time                  Total Time

15 Mins                            15 Mins                        30 Mins

Cuisine: North Indian, Punjabi

Course: Main Course

It is a tasty Indian dish that I make often, as Matar paneer — also known as Mattar or mutter paneer — is one of the most popular dishes from Northern India.

I have been making this recipe for YEARS. I originally learned how to make it from my mother – a classic Punjabi recipe that was simple, easy, and absolutely fuss-free!

All of that being said, this family recipe is not a restaurant-style Matar paneer. It tastes absolutely delicious, but is much simpler and lends more of a homey, comforting feel.

Ingredients You Need

  • Paneer (Cottage Cheese): Paneer is a super soft, fresh, unaged Indian cottage cheese, usually made from dairy milk. You can use ricotta cheese if needed instead of paneer, but it’s important to note that ricotta cheese may be salted and paneer is not. Squeeze and drain any extra whey from ricotta before using.
  • Vegetables: You will need fresh or frozen green peas (Matar), a few medium-sized ripe red tomatoes, a medium or large onion, and some green chillies.
  • Cashews: Cashews act as a creamy thickener for the masala paste. However, if you do not have cashews on hand, you can substitute almonds.
  • Seasonings: You will need several seasonings and spices for this mutter paneer recipe, including cumin seeds, turmeric powder, red chilli powder, garam masala powder, salt, ginger, garlic, coriander leaves and seeds, black peppercorns, cardamom, cloves and cinnamon.

Step-by-Step guide

How to Make Matar Paneer

Gather Masala Paste Ingredients

1. First, you will take all of the masala paste ingredients and add them to a grinder or a blender. Make sure you include:

  • ½ cup chopped onions
  • ¾ to 1 cup chopped tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon chopped ginger {sub with ¼ teaspoon of ground ginger (dry ginger powder)}
  • 1 teaspoon chopped garlic 
  • 10 to 12 cashews
  • 2 tablespoons coriander leaves (cilantro)
  • 1 teaspoon chopped green chillies or serrano peppers
  • 4 to 5 black peppercorns
  • 1-inch cinnamon (Use true cinnamon. For cassia cinnamon, use ½ inch of it)
  • 1 teaspoon of coriander seeds {sub with 1 teaspoon of ground coriander (coriander powder)}
  • 1 green cardamom – optional
  • 2 cloves

Make Masala Paste

2. After that, you will grind the ingredients into a smooth paste. If needed add 2 to 3 tablespoons of water while grinding the masala paste. When the paste is creamy and blended to a fine consistency, set aside until later.

NOTE: There should be no small bits or pieces of cashews in the paste.

Make Matar paneer

  • First, heat the oil in a heavy pan or Kadhai. Fry the cumin seeds.
  • Add the masala paste and sauté stirring often until the oil releases from the sides.
  • Add the ground spice powders and mix well.
  • Add the green peas, salt and about 1.5 to 2 cups water. Mix again.
  • Close the pan or Kadhai with a lid and cook the green peas until they soften. If the curry becomes too thick or dries up while cooking, add some more water.
  • When the peas are cooked, add the paneer. Mix and switch off the heat. To add more flavours, at this step together with the paneer, you can add crushed Kasuri methi and Kitchen king masala to enhance the taste.
  • Garnish with coriander leaves and serve.

Serving Suggestions

  • Matar paneer goes well with Indian flatbreads like roti, paratha, naan. It also tastes nice with cumin rice and steamed basmati rice.
  • You can also eat it with puri (Indian fried bread). A side vegetable salad or raita pairs really well with the combination of Matar paneer and paratha.

Storage And Leftovers

  • If you have any leftovers refrigerate in an airtight container for 1 to 2 days. The curry will thicken after cooling and so while reheating, add a bit of water to loosen the consistency.

Expert Tips

  • Tomatoes: Add tomatoes that are ripe and sweet. If the tomatoes are sour, the curry will have a sour taste. To balance the sourness add some sugar or a bit of light cream.
  • Creamier Version: For a slightly creamier version, I add cashews, but these can be skipped. To give some citrus notes to the curry, I also add coriander leaves (cilantro). If you are not a fan of cilantro, omit them.
  • No onion no garlic version: In my recipe, you can skip both garlic and onions. To mimic their flavours, include a generous pinch of asafoetida (Hing) after adding cumin seeds and before adding the masala paste. Mix it well and then add the ground masala paste. Make sure not to burn the asafoetida while frying it in oil.
  • Scaling: You can make a small batch or a large batch by easily scaling the recipe.
  • Make-ahead: If you are pressed for time, grind/blend the masala paste and freeze it for a couple of days or refrigerate overnight, so that you can easily cook the Matar paneer gravy the next day.
  • Fats: For a richer version, you can make Matar paneer in ghee (clarified butter).
  • Vegan option: Replace paneer with tofu for a vegan Matar paneer.
  • Spiciness: To make the curry spicy, increase the number of green chillies and red chilli powder. 

If you made this recipe, please be sure to rate it in the recipe card below. Sign Up for my email newsletter or you can follow me on InstagramFacebook , or Twitter for more vegetarian inspirations.

12 Comments »

  1. Like your presentation – step by step… including every possible detail. This blog will be very useful for someone very new to cooking and has no clue and looks for every detail.
    Great work!

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