Matar Paneer

I was delighted to see how much the girls enjoyed this too, last weekend.

Matar Paneer

For the paneer:

1 liter of whole milk

125 gms of whisked yoghurt

2-3 tablespoons of lime juice

For the gravy:

2 small onions, chopped very fine

2 large tomatoes

½ a tsp, or a little more, of grated ginger

2 large cloves of garlic, grated

½ a tsp of cumin seeds

½ a tsp or a little more, of coriander powder

½ a tsp of turmeric

½ a tsp of kashmiri red chilli powder

½ a tsp of garam masala powder

1 or 2 tbsp of cashew nuts, roughly crushed (this is an optional ingredient)

salt to taste

3-4 tbsp of sunflower oil

1 cup of frozen, shelled peas

To make the paneer, boil the milk in a thick-bottomed pan. When it has come to a full boil, turn the heat down very low, add the yoghurt and the lime juice, and stir these in thoroughly till the paneer begins to form. Now drain the paneer through a sieve that has been lined with a large, fine piece of cloth. Keep some of the whey by collecting it in a vessel placed under the sieve. You can use this later to add to the curry; some say it adds to the taste, and it is full of good things anyway.

Place the cloth with the paneer in it carefully on a large chopping board, and form it carefully in to a large square shape. Fold the cloth over this, and press the paneer down with a heavy weight (typically a large vessel full of water) that places uniform pressure on all parts of the paneer’s surface, for 20-30 minutes, so that all the excess water drains out and the paneer becomes firm. When the panner seems set, cut it in to 1/2 ” or 1″ squares.

Make a fine paste of the cashew nuts. To do this, first boil them in 1/3 cup of water for 7-8 minutes, then grind them fine either with a hand-held blender or manually with a rolling pin (this is messier though).

Boil the tomatoes in a little bit of water till the skin starts to break. When the tomatoes have cooled, peel off the skin and puree the tomatoes.

To make the curry, heat the oil in a frying pan, add the cumin seeds, and when these start to release their aroma put the onions in. Fry these till they start to turn golden brown, then add the ginger and the garlic and fry for another minute. Then add the cashew nut paste and fry the mixture till the onions turn a darkish brown. Now add the tomato puree and cook till everything is well-blended and the puree starts to dry. Add the spices and fry for a further minute. Finally, add the peas, salt to taste, and fry everything together for a few minutes. Now add a cup or a little more of the whey or boiled water, and pressure cook the curry for 5-7 minutes.

When the cooker has cooled enough for you to be able to open it easily, add the paneer pieces and simmer the curry for a little while so that the gravy is not runny.

For an everyday version of this curry, I skip the cashew nuts, and I use them only for a more formal meal like Saturday’s; they add a slightly sweet, and quite rich taste.

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8 Comments

Filed under Curries

8 responses to “Matar Paneer

  1. eiktaylor

    The paneer and the sauce sound delicious, I will have to give it a try.

  2. Hi eiktaylor, thanks – and do let me know how it turns out.

  3. Hi, I made this on Wednesday night to allow the gravy to really come together. It was by far THE BEST I have tried to make at home, the recipe is surely a keeper (although I have to admit, I didn’t add the peas and I puréed the gravy and ran it through a fine sieve so it was silky smooth)…looking forward to my leftovers for lunch! Unfortunately, the paneer was crumbly (but delicious), and I suspect I did something wrong, your advice is appreciated. I followed the recipe verbatim, drained the paneer in a cheesecloth and then patted it into a rectangle. I suspect I didn’t drain it enough. How long do you need to drain it and, how to keep the whey from being reabsorbed? Check out some photos later this weekend on my blog http://kitcheninspirations.wordpress.com/
    Thanks again. Éva from Toronto, Canada

    • Hi Eva,

      That’s great, I am so pleased you are happy with the results !

      you know another way to get a really smooth curry/gravy if you like it that way is to cook with boiled and pureed onions, and pureed tomatoes, and a paste of ginger and garlic. But this uses a lot more oil while frying.

      To drain the paneer well, I keep the block of paneer pressed under a heavy weight for about 20 minutes on a large chopping board (and wipe/mop away the whey as it drains out on to the board), then turn it over press the other side for another 10 minutes. Over 3-4 attempts, one figures out the balance between not pressing it for long enough, and pressing it too long such that the paneer tends to then go a bit dry.

      I’ll certainly look out for the pictures. thanks for letting me know.

      take care, Chandna

  4. eiktaylor

    Thanks for the reply Chandra, I shall certainly try your method next time.

  5. Pingback: Matar Paneer « Kitchinspirations

  6. Pingback: Not exactly food, but REALLY cool non-the-less! « Kitchinspirations

  7. Pingback: Not exactly food, but REALLY cool non-the-less! « Kitchinspirations

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