Make rich and creamy Matar Paneer at home with this step by step recipe!
Matar Paneer is one of the most popular paneer recipes where paneer (Indian cottage cheese) and matar (green peas) are simmered together in a luscious gravy made with tomatoes, onions and spices.
I don’t know what took me so long to share this recipe! The combination of soft paneer and sweet green peas makes this dish one of its kind. I am sharing today how to make creamy restaurant style matar paneer at home.
As with most restaurant style recipes, the ingredient list might look a bit long but it’s easy to put it all together.
The popularity of paneer in India is unquestionable. For every event, wedding, parties there are at least 2 paneer dishes on the menu.
The common ones are palak paneer, butter paneer and of course matar paneer. Oh there’s also the malai kofta – fried dumpling made from paneer and served in a creamy curry.
Basically no special vegetarian Indian meal is complete without paneer! It’s not one of those things that we eat on a daily basis.
I mean paneer in my home was made once in a while, when there was some special occasion. Like on festivals like diwali or raksha bandhan or for my birthday!
So yeah paneer is not a everyday thing but it is loved my one and all. I remember when we were kids, we would normally eat 1 to 2 rotis (Indian flatbread) for lunch but if there was paneer on the table, we all would double or triple the amount! You guys get the craze right?
My mom often made matar paneer during winters when fresh peas were in abundance in the market. These days people make it all the time using frozen peas. However the fresh sweet peas definitely make the dish more delightful.
Here in the United States, I don’t see fresh peas very often so I almost always make my matar paneer using frozen peas. This recipe uses frozen peas too.
Matar Paneer Recipe – How to Make Restaurant Style Matar Paneer
For this recipe of matar paneer, I have used a gravy made of onion, tomatoes, ginger, garlic, chilies and cashews. Some people like a tomato only based gravy for matar paneer but I prefer using both here. The cashews give this dish a rich taste.
I also use a little yogurt in this matar paneer recipe to give the dish that slight tangy taste. Because peas are sweet, the tanginess really helps balance the flavors. If your tomatoes are too tart, you might consider adding a pinch of sugar to the dish. That is completely optional and it’s up to you to add it or not.
I finish off this matar paneer recipe with a garnish of fresh cilantro. If you want make it even more rich and creamier, you may add a tablespoon or two of cream into the dish once it’s done. I did not add any because I thought the dish was quite creamy already.
The dish tastes best when you use fresh paneer and fresh peas. You can obviously make paneer at home but if you don’t have the time, store bought works well too.
Here’s a tip to make store bought paneer soft and nice: add store bought paneer to a pan of warm water. Let it sit in warm water for around 20-30 minutes and then use in the recipe. It gets soft and the texture is so much better than if you use it straight away.
PS: If using store bought paneer, soak in warm water for 20 minutes before you begin the recipe. Also soak frozen green peas in warm water for 10 minutes before using in the recipe.
1- Heat a tablespoon of oil in a pot/pan on medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add green cardamoms, peppercorns and cumin seeds. Saute until the spices are fragrant and the cumin seeds sizzle for few seconds.
2- Then add the chopped onion, ginger, garlic and green chili.
3- Cook for 4 to 5 minutes until the onions are light brown and soft.
4- Then add in the tomatoes and cashews and mix.
5- Cover the pot with a lid and let it cook for 6 to 7 minutes until the tomatoes are really soft.
6- Remove pan from heat and let the mixture cool down a bit.
7- Once it has cooled down a little, transfer to a blender.
8- And grind to a smooth paste. Set it aside.
9- Heat a tablespoon of ghee (or oil) in a pan on medium heat. Add bay leaf and then add the red chili powder.
10- Saute for few seconds until you see a nice bright red color.
11- Then add in the prepared onion-tomato paste back into the pan and mix well.
12- Add the coriander powder, garam masala, cumin powder, turmeric, salt and sugar (if using). Mix well and cook the spices for one minute.
13- Whisk in the yogurt, stirring continuously until it mixes well.
14- Then add water to the pan and let it come to a boil.
15- Add the paneer cubes and green peas peas. Stir and then cover the pan. Let it simmer for 6 to 7 minutes on medium heat.
16- Sprinkle some garam masala on top.
Garnish with cilantro and serve matar paneer with some warm rotis or parathas!
More Paneer Recipes On The Blog!
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- 1 tablespoon oil 15 ml, use oil of choice
- 2 whole green cardamom
- 4-5 black peppercorns
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 medium onion 160 grams, roughly chopped
- 1 inch ginger 13 grams, chopped
- 4 large garlic cloves 14 grams, chopped
- 1-2 green chilies roughly chopped, adjust to taste
- 3 medium tomatoes 400 grams, roughly chopped
- 10 whole cashews
- 1 tablespoon ghee
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/4 teaspoon red chili powder or to taste
- 3/4 teaspoon coriander powder
- 1/4 teaspoon garam masala + more to sprinkle
- 1/4-1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
- 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 3/4 teaspoon salt or to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar optional
- 2 tablespoons plain yogurt
- 1.25 cups water
- 250 grams paneer
- 1/2-3/4 cup green peas I used frozen soaked in warm water for 5 minutes
- cilantro to garnish
- Before you start with the recipe: If using store bought paneer, soak in warm water for 20 minutes before you begin the recipe. Also soak frozen green peas in warm water for 10 minutes before using in the recipe.
- Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a pot/pan on medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add 2 green cardamoms, 4-5 peppercorns and 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds. Saute until the spices are fragrant and the cumin seeds sizzle for few seconds.
- Then add the onion, ginger, garlic and green chili. Cook for 4 to 5 minutes until the onions are light brown and soft.
- Then add the chopped tomatoes and 10 whole cashews and mix. Cover the pot with a lid and let it cook for 6 to 7 minutes until the tomatoes are really soft.
- Remove pan from heat and let the mixture cool down a bit. Once it has cooled down a little, transfer to a blender and grind to a smooth paste. Set it aside.
- Heat a tablespoon of ghee (or oil) in a pan on medium heat. Add bay leaf and then add 1/4 teaspoon red chili powder. Saute for few seconds until you see a nice bright red color.
- Then add in the prepared onion-tomato paste back into the pan and mix well.
- Add 3/4 teaspoon coriander powder, 1/4 teaspoon garam masala, 1/4 teaspoon cumin powder, 1/4 teaspoon turmeric, 3/4 teaspoon salt (or to taste) and 1/2 teaspoon sugar (if using). Mix well and cook the spices for one minute.
- Whisk in 2 tablespoons plain yogurt, stirring continuously until it mixes well.
- Then add water to the pan and let it come to a boil.
- Add the paneer cubes and green peas peas. Stir and then cover the pan. Let it simmer for 6 to 7 minutes on medium heat.
- Sprinkle some garam masala on top.
- Garnish with cilantro and serve matar paneer with some warm rotis or parathas!
70 thoughts on “Matar Paneer”
Should the fresh green peas be cooked separately before adding?
yes cook fresh peas beforehand or you can add to the pan before adding paneer and cook the peas first and then add the paneer later.
When do you add 1.25 cups of water? Step 4 or 5. Thanks
where it says “Whisk in 2 tablespoons plain yogurt, stirring continuously until it mixes well.
Then add water to the pan and let it come to a boil.”
Hi Manali , any substitute for cashews
Any substitute for nuts? Have nuts allergies
Hi Manali! Do you have to use the yogurt? Any substitutes?
you can skip!
Tried this today. Turned out absolutely delicious 🤩 Thank you for sharing.
glad to hear that!
I cooked this recipe several times and I must say this is the best recipe ever. Thankyou very much for sharing.
glad to know barbara 🙂
Do you have to soak the paneer in warm water even if it was in refrigerator or just when it was in freezer?
even in the refrigerator. This is usually for brands that we get here in US since they aren’t that great to begin with. If you can find a good quality soft paneer, then you don’t need to soak it at all.