Peas with Indian Cheese - Mattar Paneer

Peas with Indian Cheese - Mattar Paneer

Paneer is a rich source of protein for many Indians who are vegetarian and is the most common form of Indian cheese which unlike western cheeses, contains no rennet.

bar Peas with Indian Cheese - Mattar Paneer
Paneer is made by adding lemon juice or vinegar to hot milk and the curds are then drained and pressed. Mattar Paneer is eaten all over Northern India, practically on a daily basis!

Picture by William Lingwood

Serves 4

3 tomatoes, roughly chopped
5 tbsp sunflower or vegetable oil
500g/1lb 2oz paneer, cut into bite-sized cubes
2 tsp cumin seeds
2.5cm/1in piece root ginger, peeled and chopped
6 garlic cloves, chopped
2 onions, chopped
¼ tsp turmeric
¼ tsp chilli powder
½ tsp salt
250g/9oz/ 1 2/3 cups shelled green peas, defrosted if frozen
¼ tsp garam masala
3 tbsp double cream
A few coriander leaves, washed and roughly chopped


Tip in the tomatoes and their juice into a blender and blend until smooth,
then set aside.
Heat the oil in a wok or saucepan over a medium heat. Add the paneer and fry for about 4 minutes, gently turning occasionally, until the edges are browned. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.
Add the cumin seeds to the oil remaining in the pan and fry, stirring constantly for 30 seconds or until the seeds splutter. Watch carefully so they do not burn. Add the ginger, garlic and onions and fry, stirring frequently, for 6-8 minutes until the onions are golden brown, then stir in the turmeric, chilli powder and salt. Bring 310ml/10 ¾ floz/1¼ cups water to the boil while the onions are frying.
Tip the peas into the pan and continue stirring for 2 minutes. Add the blended tomatoes and simmer for a further 3 minutes.
Return the paneer to the pan and add the boiling water. Stir well and leave to simmer, uncovered for 5 minutes, or until droplets of oil appear on the surface.
Sprinkle with the garam masala, swirl in the cream and scatter over the coriander leaves.
Serve hot.


(c) 2012