This Creamy Matar Paneer Curry is the kind of recipe that will save the day when those random paneer cravings strike! Its super quick, yummy and is gluten free! All you need is a handful of pantry staples and 30 minutes to put this dish together, making it a perfect dinner option! Nothing beats a creamy, comforting and luscious curry, isn't it!?
Welcome to my second favorite way to eat paneer - creamy matar paneer curry. Because everyone needs an easy paneer recipe in their life and this one right here is everything that a good paneer curry should be - creamy, comforting, luscious.
Is it weird that I always have a block of paneer lying around in the fridge? Soft, delicious Homemade paneer for when I have the patience, but mostly store-bought because I'm a little lazy like that.
I'm not a big fan of green peas or matar as we call it in Hindi but in this curry, I kinda need them. It's just how the world works for me. When you want a quick and easy way to cook paneer, it's always matar paneer aka cottage cheese and green peas curry. I've tried this with potatoes (aloo matar paneer) and mushrooms (mushroom matar paneer) and those two rank a close second and third position but my first love - this matar paneer.
Here's Why You Need To Make This Curry ASAP
- Has a luscious, creamy gravy that’s surprisingly light and delicious
- A super quick and yummy dish that comes together in a jiffy
- Makes for the perfect weeknight dinner or as a quick meal for unexpected guests
- Can be put together with just pantry staples
- It is a perfect way to include green peas in your family’s diet
- Since it doesn’t have any cashews or cream, this dish is not just light, but healthier too
- It’s a 100% vegetarian and gluten-free recipe, which can easily be made vegan by replacing paneer with tofu and curd with coconut milk
Quick Walk Through: Matar Paneer
Ingredients you'll need to make Matar Paneer
- Paneer: About 100 grams, cut into small cubes. I have used homemade paneer for this recipe, but a store-bought one works perfectly well too. Make sure to buy malai paneer though, as that will give you softer and creamier results.
- Green peas: Since green peas are in season right now, I have used fresh, par-boiled green peas for this recipe. But you can easily use frozen peas too. Simply thaw frozen peas and then boil as usual.
- Veggies: Onions and tomatoes, finely chopped, added in a 1:2 ratio.
- Spices: All you need is a handful of basic Indian spices for this recipe for flavour and spice. I have used turmeric, red chilli powder, jeera, coriander powder, chopped green chillies and garam masala.
- Yogurt: Plain Greek yogurt or hung curd works best as they are both thick and not very sour, making it ideal to achieve that luscious, creamy texture. I wouldn’t recommend subbing this with normal curd as that may make the gravy too sour and/or watery.
- Ginger and garlic: Both finely chopped for flavour and aroma.
- Oil: Any vegetable oil or neutral-flavoured oil like canola, sunflower, peanut will work for this recipe.
- Kasuri methi: Added towards the end for a beautiful, smokey flavour and enhances the taste of the entire dish. A little bit goes a way.
- Coriander leaves: Finely chopped and used as a garnishing. Adds a dash of earthy freshness to the whole dish and helps bring everything together.
How To Make Creamy Matar Paneer Curry
Here's a step-by-step collage showing you how to make matar paneer at home:
I love making paneer at home whenever I can, because the result is always super soft and creamy paneer. Plus, I know exactly what’s going inside, which gives me so much peace of mind. And guess what? Making paneer at home is easier than you’d think. All you need is two ingredients, 15 minutes, and delicious, homemade paneer is ready! Here’s my easy homemade paneer recipe that I highly recommend you check out!
The main difference between kadai paneer and matar paneer is the spiciness of the gravy. Kadai paneer has a spicy gravy that's made with frying whole and ground spices, while matar paneer is creamier with a gravy that's made mainly with onions and tomatoes.
Absolutely! You can easily cook matar paneer ahead and store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator. But I would recommend consuming it within 2 days to make sure it retains the best flavor and texture.
However, a better to make matar paneer in advance is to make the base gravy and freeze it. On the day you're ready to serve, simply thaw on the counter and add paneer, matar, and serve. The gravy stays well in the refrigerator for up to 3 months.
Overcooked paneer usually turns hard and rubbery. So make sure to cook the paneer for no more than 3-4 minutes at the end and then turn off the gas. Additionally, sometimes store-bought paneer can become a little hard and rubbery after cooking. But you can easily prevent this by soaking the paneer in warm water for about 15 minutes to soften it.
Top Tips To Make The Best Creamy Matar Paneer
- Avoid overcooking the paneer as it will become hard and chewy. Just a few minutes at the end should be enough.
- To make sure that the yogurt does not split while cooking, start with whisking it until it is smooth and has no lumps. Then gradually add the onion tomato mixture, one tablespoon at a time and mix it properly. After about 3-4 tablespoons, transfer this mixture to the pan to prevent it from curdling.
- Lightly rub kasuri methi in between in your palms before adding it to the pan to enhance the beautiful smokey flavour.
- Allow the onion, tomato and spices mixture to cool down completely before adding it to the mixture to avoid accidents.
- If you are in a rush, and want to make this dish even faster, you can use a hand blender to make the gravy directly in the pan. Although this may not give you the smoothest gravy, there will be no change in the taste.
Now I know everyones going to have their own secret way of making matar paneer and I'd love to know how you make yours (leave me a comment) but I prefer mine creamy and blended instead of super chunky with all the bits of onions and tomatoes separate. So I just use my hand blender to give it a quick whizz while it's still in the pan. If you are the chunky matar paneer kinds, skip that step and you'll be fine too.
And you know another thing that's so great about this recipe? It's naturally Gluten Free and you can totally make it vegan if you sub the paneer for tofu and the yogurt for coconut milk. I know there are a lot of you out there who are always looking for vegan alternatives and this one right here is a winner in that category!
That’s it! Who would have thought making delectable matar paneer would ever be this quick and easy! This dish is creamy, slightly tangy and fresh flavours are truly mouthwatering, and will even make non-paneer or matar fans fall in love! I serve my matar paneer with either hot rotis or plain rice. But this dish is super versatile and tastes amazing with naan, kulcha or even jeera rice.
Watch This Creamy Matar Paneer Curry Recipe Video
Creamy Matar Paneer Curry
- 3 Tablespoons Oil Vegetable Or Canola
- 2 Onion Finely Chopped
- 2 Teaspoons Ginger
- 1 Tablespoon Garlic
- 2 Green Chillies Chopped
- 4 Tomatoes Finely Chopped
- 1 Teaspoon Jeera Or Cumin Seeds
- 1 Teaspoon Red Chilli Powder
- 1 Tablespoon Coriander Powder
- ½ Teaspoon Turmeric Powder
- ¼ Cup Greek Yogurt Or Hung Curd
- ½ Cup Water
- 1 Teaspoon Salt I used 1 ½ Teaspoon
- 1 Teaspoon Roasted Kasuri Methi Optional
- 1 Teaspoon Garam Masala Powder
- 250 Grams Paneer Or Indian Cottage Cheese Cut Into 1 Inch Pieces
- ¾ Cup Par Boiled Green Peas Or Frozen Matar Thawed And Boiled
- Salt To Taste
- 1 Tablespoon Coriander Leaves chopped
- Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a pan and add onion, ginger, garlic, green chilli and saute for a 5-6 minutes till the onions are translucent.
- Add tomatoes and mix. Cover and cook for 5-7 minutes till the tomatoes are cooked through.
- Allow this to cool and transfer to a mixer. Puree this mixture into a smooth paste. Add 1-2 tablespoons of water if required.
- Heat a tablespoon of oil in the pan add cumin seeds. Once they start to splutter add red chilli powder, turmeric powder and coriander powder along with 2 tablespoons of water.
- Cook for 30 seconds and add the blended paste. Mix to combine and cook this for 7-8 minutes or till the oil starts to separate. Turn off the flame.
- Whisk yogurt in a bowl, and add the onion tomato mixture one tablespoon at a time to the bowl, mixing well after each time. After 3-4 tablespoons, transfer the yogurt mixture into the pan. This method helps avoid the yogurt curdling.
- Add ½ - 1 cup water and salt and bring this to a simmer. (I used ¾ cup of water)
- Switch the flame back on and add peas. Mix and simmer for 5 minutes.
- Add garam masala, kasuri methi and paneer. Mix and simmer for 3 more minutes. Top with chopped coriander and serve hot.
- Always combine some of the onion tomato mixture with whisked yogurt before adding it to the pan. This method helps avoid the yogurt curdling.
- Paneer: If you'd like to try and make paneer at home, you can check out this recipe. If you are using store bought paneer, submerge the packet in hot water for 10 minutes before using. This will soften the paneer.
- Garam Masala: I use homemade garam masala, but you can substitute it with any store bought garam masala. Please note that garam masala is different from curry powder