Monday, February 27, 2012

Mattar Paneer

Mattar Paneer is a popular Punjabi (northern state in India) dish. This is the version from Vahrehvah website. It is easy to make, rich, creamy and packed with flavor. Best to be served with naan, Jeera rice, some fresh vegetables and sweet lassi drink.

Mattar Paneer

Serves: 4
Preparation Time: 30 minutes
Cooking Time: 35 minutes

10 whole cashew nuts
1 onion – roughly chopped (about 2 cups)
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 tablespoon ginger – roughly chopped
1 tablespoon garlic – roughly chopped
2 medium tomatoes – roughly chopped (about 1 1/2 cup)
Whole spices – (2 bay leaves, 1 cinnamon stick, 3 cloves, 3 cardamom pods, 2 teaspoon cumin seeds)
2 green chilies – finely chopped (adjust to taste)
1 teaspoon cumin powder
1 teaspoon coriander powder
1/2 teaspoon red chili powder
1 tablespoon dried fenugreek leaves (optional)
1 cup green peas
10 ounces paneer (homemade or store bought) – cut into 1" cubes
1/4 cup cilantro – roughly chopped
1/4 cup heavy cream (optional)
1/2 teaspoon Garam Masala powder (optional)
2 tablespoon oil
Salt to taste

  1. Heat a pan or pot over medium high heat; add 1 tbsp of oil and sauté cashew nuts until they are slightly golden in color.
  2. Add onions, a pinch of salt and cook until onions are lightly brown, about 4 to 5 minutes.
  3. Add turmeric powder, ginger, garlic and cook for further minute.
  4. Add tomatoes and cook until tomatoes are soft, for about 4 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat, let it cool and blend it into a smooth paste and keep aside.
  5. Using the same pan or pot, heat the remaining 1 tbsp of oil over medium high heat and add whole spices. Fry for 30 seconds and add the above blended mixture.
  6. Add about 1 1/2 to 2 cups of water to thin out the gravy and add green chili, cumin powder, coriander powder, chili powder and salt to taste. Stir and bring the mixture to a boil and cook for 10 minutes on low heat uncovered.
  7. Add fenugreek leaves crushing between the palms while adding, mix well and cook for further 5 minutes partially covered.
  8. Add green peas and cook for another 5 minutes.
  9. Add paneer and simmer for two minutes. Make necessary adjustments to taste and thickness of the gravy by adding more water if needed.
  10. Garnish with chopped cilantro, cream, Garam Masala powder, stir gently and simmer for a minute more and serve hot with naan.
Note: If desired, paneer cubes can be deep fried until golden brown before adding into the gravy.

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