This dish is a common unfailing tried and tasted in every Paneer loving family. Kids, husband want something special when nothing much is available make “Matar Paneer”, guests coming – make “Matar Paneer”, got bored of usual dal roti – make “Matar Paneer”. Mommy teaching daughter cooking, among the first’s – make “Matar Paneer”. So your see the list of “let’s make Matar Paneer” is un-exhaustible. Every household has different version consisting of these two humble ingredients- Matar / Peas and Paneer/ Cottage cheese. Mine is the version that does not contain Onion or Garlic.
Preparation time- 5 min
Cooking time- 15 min
Paneer / Cottage Cheese – 250 gm
Peas / matar- 250 gm / 1 cup
Ginger- ½ inch
Green chili- 2
Vegetable oil- ½ tsp
Ghee (clarified butter) / butter- 1 tbsp
Green cardamom- 1 pod
Turmeric powder- ½ tsp
Garam masala – ½ tsp
Coriander powder- 1 tsp
Kashmiri lal mirch / kashmiri or deggi mirch powder – ½ tsp
Grind ginger, tomato and green chili to a smooth paste. Keep aside. If using fresh green peas then wash them and soften them slightly by boiling them in a pan of hot water with salt for 3-4 minutes. If using frozen peas defrost them and add them to a pan of salted hot water. Cover and keep aside. Meanwhile in a pan add oil, and then add butter or ghee. When hot enough add bay leaf, cardamom pod and sugar. Stir and then add turmeric powder, coriander powder, stir so as to avoid burning of the spices. Add the pureed mixture of ginger and tomato slowly as you are adding liquid directly to hot oil/ butter. Saute for 2-3 minutes till the oil separates, and then add drained green peas. Add salt ,cover the pan with lid and cook for 5- 10 minutes. Cut paneer into small cubes ( at this stage if you prefer fired paneer then deep fry it ghee/ oil for 1 minutes, this makes them crispier) and add to the cooked matar gravy. Cook it uncovered for 2-3 minutes, remove from flame and add cream if desired. Garnish with coriander and serve with chapatti, Parantha, poori , Pulav as per your wish.