Mattar Paneer - Quick and Easy Peas and Cheese
If you're familiar with Indian cuisine, you probably already know this dish. It's definitely well-loved and I was delighted to discover it's very quick and easy to make! Whether you're a vegetarian or looking for a new spin on this vegetable as a side dish, you can't go wrong with this one. It makes a meal all by itself and we enjoy it with fresh salad and roti bread. It would be yummy over mashed potatoes too!
Give it a try! If you don't have paneer available, you can substitute any simple cottage milk cheese. If you're feeling adventurous, you can make your own! I've added a short how-to after the recipe.
- 1/2 to 3/4 cup paneer, *see below
- 2 cups fresh sweet peas, shelled, (frozen may be substituted)
- 3 Tbsp ghee, for frying
- 2 onions, chopped
- 1" piece fresh ginger, minced
- 2 cloves fresh garlic, minced
- 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
- 1/4 tsp red chili powder
- 1-1/2 tsp coriander powder
- 1 tsp garam masala
- salt, to taste
- 1/2 cup water, (approximately)
- Heat the ghee in a small frying pan. While ghee is heating, cut paneer into small cubes. (Oil can be substituted for ghee.)
- When ghee is hot (medium flame) drop the paneer cubes in and fry on all sides until lightly browned. Remove the cheese from the ghee and place on paper towel to absorb excess oil.
- Add your onions, garlic and ginger to the heated ghee and fry until just before it begins to brown. Now add the coriander powder, turmeric, chili powder and salt. Stir into the onion mixture until it's well coated and let fry for another minute or so.
- Add peas and water to the mixture and stir. Heat to boiling, reduce head and cover. Cook until peas are tender, approximately 15 to 20 minutes depending on your peas.
- When peas are tender, add the paneer and garam masala and stir until everything is coated. You may need to add a bit more water at this stage. Let cook covered another 5 minutes. There should be a rich gravy remaining.
- Serve and eat! Enjoy!
- How to Make Your Own Paneer: Boil 4 cups of whole milk on high heat. Let cool and boil again. Once it is boiling, add the juice of one lemon (about 2 Tbsp). When the fat and liquid separates, strain off the liquid and discard. Tie the remaining solids up in a muslin bag and hang above a bowl for several hours so that as much of the liquid drains out as possible. Then place a weight on top of the cheese to press out the remaining liquid. This will give you a flat cake of paneer that can be kept refrigerated until you need to use it. It's tasty eaten with a light sprinkling of salt.