Mattar Paneer (Dry paneer cheese curry with green peas)

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

You may have come across the popular Indian dish, Palek Paneer. For those who are less familiar, Paneer Cheese is delicious and relatively cheap. Ordering a frozen packet is just an online click away.

I have mentioned elsewhere that I have been inspired by some great recipes from the Dishoom Cookbook. One of them is Mattar Paneer, which I cooked recently for my niece, Rebecca Loy's birthday.

Mattar Paneer is a ubiquitous Indian dish cooked in many Indian homes, with each having their own version. The key is to start with a good *onion-tomato masala paste*. You need to be patient in caramelising the onion paste in oil till it is dark brown without burning it. And don't sting on the oil. As with all good curries, oil is needed to caramelise the onion paste and gives a good mouth feel to the curry. The principles behind a good curry is the same behind every cuisine, whether Indian, Chinese or Malay. Check this post for some tips on good curry making. I also have a slew of curry recipes here

Once a good paste is done, just add the perfect combination of paneer cheese cubes and green peas. It will go great with basmati rice or chapatis.


300 ml cooking oil
1 kg red onions, diced or blended
30g garlic
30g ginger
2 tsp salt
2 tsp chilli powder
600g chopped tomatoes
1/2 tsp garam masala 
1/2 tsp ground cumin 
150g frozen peas 
300g paneer, cut into 2cm cubes 
100ml double cream
  1. Heat up a wok or deep pot in low to medium fire. Then add the oil and when heated, add the diced or blended onion paste. 
  2. Slowly simmer, stirring frequently with the spatula. Add a bit of water if needed to prevent bottom burning. 
  3. Add the chilli powder, garlic and ginger paste. 
  4. Simmer till it is dark brown. It will take about 30 minutes or so. 
  5. Then add the chopped tomato and simmer for 10 minutes.  
  6. Add the salt, garam masala and ground cumin. 
  7. Add the green peas and simmer for 5 minutes.
  8. Add the paneer cheese cubes and gently stir for 10 minutes so as not to break up the cubes.
Garnish with coriander leaves and serve. 

You can always make your own variations and adjustment. You can use chilli paste or fresh chillies if you prefer. Do taste to adjust the saltiness if necessary. Garam Masala is easily available in any Indian grocery salt or you can also buy it online. 

You can hardly go wrong with this dish. Give this a try. 

The Mattar Paneer finished in a wok. 

You Might Also Like