Dhaba Style Matar Paneer Curry

4.55 from 11 votes

Made using fresh paneer and green peas, matar paneer is one of the most popular Indian curries. This creamy and spicy curry is made by simmering peas and paneer in an onion-tomato-based gravy. Make it for special occasions or everyday meals, it’s going to be a hit always (gluten-free, can be made vegan)

Matar paneer served in a bowl.
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About This Recipe

Matar Paneer also called mutter paneer or mattar paneer is a Punjabi style Indian curry that is made using soft paneer (Indian cottage cheese) and matar (green peas) in an onion-tomato based gravy.

Easy, simple, and delicious, matar paneer is the most popular North Indian paneer recipe that can be made in many styles. I am sharing my fav dhaba style mutter paneer sabji today along with a list of variations that you can do.

This recipe makes the best matar paneer and the best part is that you can adjust it according to your needs. Make it for everyday meals, dinner parties, or festive meals, it’s going to impress everyone.

This matar paneer gravy is,

  • Spicy, quick, and flavorful
  • Gluten-free
  • Comforting
  • Scrumptious
  • Easy to make
  • Just like the dhaba curries
  • Perfect for everyday meals

If you are looking to make more recipes from paneer, then do give these a try

Ingredients

Matar Paneer Ingredients.

Paneer – Well, I like to make paneer at home, as it is fresh and tastes amazing. But if you are short on time, you can just buy off from your local dairy or the packaged one from the nearby grocery store.

Check the freeze section or the dairy section of your grocery store to find paneer.

If using the store-bought one, you can put the paneer pieces in a bowl of warm water for 10 minutes, to make it a little soft. If using frozen paneer, make sure to thaw it before using it.

Green Peas – Fresh green peas are available in abundance during winters. But apart from winters, you can use the frozen ones in this matar paneer curry. Just thaw the frozen peas before using them.

Oil – I prefer to use vegetable oil to make this curry, but you can also opt for mustard oil or even ghee.

Onion Tomato Paste – For this curry, we will make tomato onion paste, which is cooked nicely and forms the base of this curry.

For this paste, we will need onions, fresh tomatoes, ginger, garlic, and green chilies. You can adjust the amount of green chilies according to your taste.

I have used fresh tomatoes but you can definitely use canned ones if they are easily available to you.

Spices – We will also need some basic spice powders such as coriander powder, turmeric powder, Kashmiri red chili powder, cumin powder, salt, and garam masala powder.

Use Kashmiri red chili powder, as it adds a nice red color to the curry without making it too spicy.

You can adjust the amount of spice powders, according to your taste.

Coriander Leaves – Finally, garnish this delicious and simple curry with some finely chopped coriander leaves.

How to make Matar Paneer?

Start by preparing the peas. If using frozen peas, wash them with water and drain the water. They are ready to use. If using fresh peas, steam them for 5-6 minutes until they are softened. I like to pressure cook them with little water for 1 whistle on high heat. Then remove the pressure manually and open the lid of the cooker. Drain and use. You can also cook them in a pan or a steamer.

Now make the masala paste. Add 1 cup roughly chopped onion, 1 cup roughly chopped tomato, 1-inch piece chopped ginger, 3-4 whole cloves of garlic, and 2 teaspoon chopped green chili in the small jar of a blender and blend to make a coarse paste. Do not make the paste too smooth. The slightly coarse paste gives a nice texture to the curry.

Onion, tomato, ginger, garlic and green chili added to a grinder.

Keep the ready paste aside.

Coarse paste made.

Wash the paneer slab and wipe it dry using a kitchen tissue. Cut the paneer slab into 1-inch cubes. Add ¼ cup vegetable oil in a grill pan (or normal pan) and shallow fry the paneer cubes on medium heat from all the sides until they turn golden brown in color. Keep flipping the cubes using a tong while frying.

Paneer cubes frying in oil.

Pour 1 cup water into a medium-size bowl and remove the fried paneer cubes into the bowl. This step will make the cubes soft. Keep aside.

Fried paneer cubes.

Heat 5 tablespoon vegetable oil in a medium size pan.

oil heating in a pan.

Once the oil is hot, add the onion and tomato paste that we made earlier and fry on medium-high heat until the masala turns golden brown. Keep stirring frequently while frying. It will take 8-10 minutes for this masala to fry properly.

Onion tomato paste added to the pan.

Add 2 teaspoon coriander powder, 1 teaspoon turmeric powder, 2 teaspoon Kashmiri red chili powder, ½ teaspoon cumin powder, and ½ teaspoon garam masala powder to the pan and fry for another 2-3 minutes. Splash a little water if the masala is getting too dry and is starting to burn.

Dry spices added to the pan.

Now take out the paneer cubes from the water and add them to the pan along with the peas. Add the water in which we soaked the paneer and salt to taste and mix everything well.

Paneer cubes and peas added to the pan.

Bring the curry to a boil. Cook on low heat for 2-3 minutes. Garnish with chopped coriander and serve hot with roti, paratha or rice.

Ready matar paneer.

Frequently Asked Questions

How to make it without onion and garlic?

To make No Onion No Garlic matar paneer, heat oil or ghee in a pan. Once the oil is hot, add hing (asafoetida) and cumin seeds and let them crackle for a few seconds.
Add ginger and tomato puree and cook for a minute.

Add coriander powder, turmeric powder, red chili powder, garam masala powder, and salt and cook for 2-3 minutes. Now add fried paneer and peas as mentioned below.

Add water and cook for 3-4 minutes. Mutter paneer without onion and garlic is ready.

To make Jain matar paneer, follow the recipe to make it without onion and garlic but also skip adding ginger in it. 

How to make it in restaurant style?

The mutter paneer gravy served at restaurants is generally creamy and mild as compared to the one served at dhaba, which is more robust and spicy.

To make it in the restaurant-style, add milk instead of water and add some cream or fresh malai, honey, and lime juice at the end of cooking. A little bit of Kasuri methi is a must to get that restaurant-style taste. You can also puree the masala to make creamy before adding paneer and peas to it.

Why should you soak the paneer in water after frying?

When we soak the paneer in water, the outer covering becomes soft and it makes the paneer soft and not chewy.

Variations

You can add some cream or milk to the curry to give it a rich taste. If adding cream, also add some lime juice and honey to balance out the flavors.

Add some khoya in the curry to make it even richer. I call it Shahi Matar Paneer.

You can make this mutter paneer recipe without onion and garlic.

Add some cashew nut or almond paste in the masala to give a different taste and richer feel.

You can also add some yogurt for a slightly different taste of the gravy.

Add boiled cubed potatoes to make aloo muter paneer.

Add sautéed mushroom to make mushroom matar paneer.

You can also cook it in a buttery makhani gravy just like paneer butter masala and add peas along with it.

Puree the cooked masala before adding the paneer and peas to it if you like your gravy creamy and not chunky.

To make it vegan, use cashew cream and tofu instead of paneer.

Add some roasted chickpea flour to the masala to make this gravy creamier.

Serving Suggestions

You can serve this matar paneer along with Indian bread such as roti, plain tawa paratha, lachha paratha, tandoori roti, khamiri roti, naan, missi roti, and garlic naan

Serve it with steamed rice, jeera rice, peas pulao, veg pulao, or any other lightly spiced pulao. 

Storage Suggestions

Dairy products do not freeze very well. Their texture change once reheated after freezing. So I suggest that if you want to freeze this curry, make the curry as mentioned below and do not add paneer to it.

You can freeze the curry and add paneer and green peas to it when ready to eat. Just thaw the curry, heat it, add paneer and matar and cook for 5-6 minutes.

You might also like

Made using fresh paneer and green peas, matar paneer is one of the most popular Indian curries. This creamy and spicy curry is made by simmering peas and paneer in an onion-tomato-based gravy. Make it for special occasions or everyday meals, it's going to be a hit always (gluten-free, can be made vegan)
4.55 from 11 votes

Matar Paneer Recipe

Made using fresh paneer and green peas, matar paneer is one of the most popular Indian curries. This creamy and spicy curry is made by simmering peas and paneer in an onion-tomato-based gravy. Make it for special occasions or everyday meals, it's going to be a hit always (gluten-free, can be made vegan)
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 30 minutes
Total: 40 minutes
Servings: 4 people

Ingredients 

  • 5 tablespoon vegetable oil (plus ¼ cup for frying paneer)
  • 1 cup roughly chopped onion
  • 1 cup roughly chopped tomato
  • 1 inch piece ginger (chopped )
  • 3-4 whole garlic cloves
  • 2 teaspoon chopped green chili
  • 2 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 2 teaspoon Kashmiri red chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon cumin powder
  • ½ teaspoon garam masala powder
  • 300 grams paneer
  • 1 cup peas
  • salt to taste
  • 2 tablespoon chopped coriander
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Instructions 

  • Start by preparing the peas. If using frozen peas, wash them with water and drain the water. They are ready to use. If using fresh peas, steam them for 5-6 minutes until they are softened. I like to pressure cook them with little water for 1 whistle on high heat. Then remove the pressure manually and open the lid of the cooker. Drain and use. You can also cook them in a pan or a steamer.
  • Now make the masala paste. Add 1 cup roughly chopped onion, 1 cup roughly chopped tomato, 1-inch piece chopped ginger, 3-4 whole cloves of garlic, and 2 teaspoon chopped green chili in the small jar of a blender and blend to make a coarse paste. Do not make the paste too smooth. The slightly coarse paste gives a nice texture to the curry.
  • Keep the ready paste aside.
  • Wash the paneer slab and wipe it dry using a kitchen tissue. Cut the paneer slab into 1-inch cubes. Add ¼ cup vegetable oil in a grill pan (or normal pan) and shallow fry the paneer cubes on medium heat from all the sides until they turn golden brown in color. Keep flipping the cubes using a tong while frying.
  • Pour 1 cup water into a medium-size bowl and remove the fried paneer cubes into the bowl. This step will make the cubes soft. Keep aside.
  • Heat 5 tablespoon vegetable oil in a medium size pan.
  • Once the oil is hot, add the onion and tomato paste that we made earlier and fry on medium-high heat until the masala turns golden brown. Keep stirring frequently while frying. It will take 8-10 minutes for this masala to fry properly.
  • Add 2 teaspoon coriander powder, 1 teaspoon turmeric powder, 2 teaspoon Kashmiri red chili powder, ½ teaspoon cumin powder, and ½ teaspoon garam masala powder to the pan and fry for another 2-3 minutes. Splash a little water if the masala is getting too dry and is starting to burn.
  • Now take out the paneer cubes from the water and add them to the pan along with the peas. Add the water in which we soaked the paneer and salt to taste and mix everything well.
  • Bring the curry to a boil. Cook on low heat for 2-3 minutes. Garnish with chopped coriander and serve hot with roti, paratha or rice.

Notes

You can add some cream or milk to the curry to give it a rich taste. If adding cream, also add some lime juice and honey to balance out the flavors.
Add some khoya in the curry to make it even richer. I call it Shahi Matar Paneer.
You can make this mutter paneer recipe without onion and garlic.
Add some cashew nut or almond paste in the masala to give a different taste and richer feel.
You can also add some yogurt for a slightly different taste of the gravy.
Add boiled cubed potatoes to make aloo muter paneer.
Add sautéed mushroom to make mushroom matar paneer.
You can also cook it in a buttery makhani gravy just like paneer butter masala and add peas along with it.
Puree the cooked masala before adding the paneer and peas to it if you like your gravy creamy and not chunky.
To make it vegan, use cashew cream and tofu instead of paneer.
Add some roasted chickpea flour to the masala to make this gravy creamier.

Nutrition

Calories: 429kcal, Carbohydrates: 14g, Protein: 14g, Fat: 37g, Saturated Fat: 26g, Cholesterol: 50mg, Sodium: 42mg, Potassium: 287mg, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 5g, Vitamin A: 906IU, Vitamin C: 24mg, Calcium: 395mg, Iron: 1mg
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Recipe Rating




8 Comments

      1. 5 stars
        Neha, I tried this recipe last night and it came out fantastic! My boyfriend said that it was very much akin to the restaurants. I found that soaking the paneer in water after frying was INGENIOUS! The nicely browned color remained while being so velvety soft. 5 stars all around, this will be a staple in our household for years to come 🙂