Matar Paneer Recipe

4.96 from 41 votes

Creamy and luscious Matar Paneer is one of the most popular paneer dishes! Soft paneer and sweet green peas are cooked in a onion-tomato gravy with spices. This vegetarian curry tastes best with fresh rotis!

Jump to Recipe

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure policy.

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.

matar paneer served in a bowl with spoon on the side

The popularity of paneer in Indian cuisine is unquestionable. For every event, wedding, parties in India (north India especially) there is at least 1 paneer dish on the menu. The most popular ones are butter paneer, palak paneer and of course matar paneer. Basically no special vegetarian Indian meal is complete without paneer.

What is Matar Paneer

Matar Paneer is a popular Indian curry made with paneer which is Indian cottage cheese and green peas. It can be made in various ways and usually enjoyed with rotis, paratha and rice. The paneer and peas are cooked with aromatic spices and the curry usually has a base of onions and tomatoes.

In India, my mom would often make matar paneer during winters when fresh peas were in season. The fresh peas added to the freshness of the dish. However, these days people make it all the time using frozen peas. 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.

Ingredients

ingredients for making matar paneer arranged on a board

Paneer: you can use store-bought or homemade paneer for this recipe. If using store-bought paneer, make sure to soak it in warm water for 20 minutes before using it in the recipe.

Onion & tomatoes: for this recipe, I like using yellow onions but you can also use red onions.

Green peas: as green peas are not readily available here in the US, I always use frozen green peas for making matar paneer. Soak them in hot water for 10 minutes before using in the recipe.

Spices: the basic Indian spices used in everyday Indian cooking like coriander powder, turmeric are used here as well. I also use a little bit of fennel powder.

How to Make Matar Paneer- Step by Step Instructions

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 1 & 1/2 tablespoon oil in a pan on medium heat. Once hot, add 5-6 cashewnuts and sauté few seconds until they become light golden brown in color. Then add 2 small roughly chopped yellow onions (230 grams) and cook for 2 to 3 minutes until it turns soft and very light brown in color. We don’t want it to turn very brown.

2- Then add 2 teaspoons of ginger garlic paste and cook for 1 minute.

3- Add 3 medium tomatoes/385 grams (roughly sliced) , 1 green chili (or to taste) along with 1/4 teaspoon salt.

4- Stir and cook the tomatoes for 5 minutes until they are very soft. Remove the pan from heat and let it cool down.

step by step picture collage of making matar paneer at home

5- Then transfer to a blender and grind everything to a smooth paste and set aside.

6- Heat 1 tablespoon ghee and remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a pan on medium heat. Add 3/4 teaspoon cumin seeds and let them splutter. Then add 3/4 teaspoon Kashmiri red chili powder.

7- Stir and immediately add the prepared masala paste. This will give the masala a nice color. Mix until masala is well combined with the chili powder.

8- Then add the following:

  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon fennel powder
  • 1 teaspoon kasuri methi (dried fenugreek leaves)

Mix until combined. Then add 1 tablespoon of tomato paste and 1/2 teaspoon salt.

step by step picture collage of making matar paneer at home

9- Stir and cook the masala for 6 to 7 minutes. When done, you will oil ooze out of the masala and the color of the masala will change from orange to reddish. It will also reduce in volume.

10- At this point add 250 grams paneer and 3/4 cup green peas (frozen peas which I had soaked in warm water for 10 minutes before) and mix well.

11- Then add 1 & 1/4 cup water and the remaining salt (1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon or to taste). Stir everything and cover and let cook for 3-4 minutes.

12- Garnish with 1 to 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro, 1/4 teaspoon garam masala, and sprinkle of cardamom powder. You may also add 1 to 2 tablespoons of cream at this point (I didn’t add any). Serve matar paneer hot with rotis or paratha.

step by step picture collage of making matar paneer at home

Serving Suggestions

Serve matar paneer with plain roti, or naan or tandoori roti or parathas.

You can also serve matar paneer along with a side of jeera rice, and aloo gobi or any other dry sabzi.

Instant Pot Matar Paneer Instructions

To make this matar paneer in an Instant Pot, puree the tomatoes with the green chilies and cashews (soak cashews in hot water for 5 minutes before pureeing it). Press the sauté button on the instant pot. Once it displays hot, add 2 tablespoons of oil (or 1 tbsp oil and 1 tbsp ghee). Add cumin seeds, and let them sizzle.

Then add the onions and cook them for 2 to 3 minutes until softened. Add the ginger-garlic paste and cook for 1 more minute. Add the pureed tomato-cashew-green chili paste and stir. Add the tomato paste , salt and stir. Cook the masala for around 5 minutes until oil separates from the sides. Add all the spices (except garam masala and kasuri methi) and cook for 1 more minute. Add the paneer and green peas along with 1 cup water. Close the lid and pressure cook on high pressure for 2 minutes with the pressure valve in sealing position. Let the pressure release naturally for 3 minutes and then do a quick pressure release.

Press the sauté button again and add crushed kasuri methi, garam masala and cilantro. Taste test and adjust the salt as needed. You can also add some cream if you like.

matar paneer in a clay bowl with a bowl of yogurt on the side and some rotis in the back

Expert Tips

  • Make it extra creamy: to make this Matar paneer extra creamy, add a couple of tablespoons of fresh cream at the very end. It will make the curry richer and creamier. Although, I prefer this basic version more.
  • Fry the paneer cubes: a lot of people like frying their paneer in little oil before using it in the recipe. You can definitely do that. Make sure to soak the fried paneer in warm water for a few minutes before using it in the recipe. Fried paneer definitely adds to flavor.
  • Soak the paneer: do not forget to soak the paneer in warm water for at least 20 minutes before using it in the recipe. This is especially important if using store-bought paneer.
  • Fresh peas would need more time: if you are using fresh green peas in this recipe, make sure to add them first before adding the paneer and cook until they are soft and done. Add the paneer at the end once the peas are cooked and then simmer for 3 to 4 minutes.
  • Reheating: if you have leftovers, store it in the fridge and reheat in a pan or microwave. You would need to add some water while reheating as the curry thickens considerably.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can we make matar paneer vegan?

Yes, for this recipe you can just replace the paneer with extra-firm tofu and follow the rest of the recipe as it. I have not added heavy cream here but if you do add heavy cream, replace that with coconut cream.

Is this recipe gluten free?

Yes this recipe is gluten free.

Can I make matar paneer in advance?

Yes, you can. Although I suggest consuming it within 2 days for best flavor. While reheating, you might need to add a little water as needed. You can also make the masala base and freeze it and then make the matar paneer fresh one the day you want to eat it.

matar paneer served in a bowl with spoon on the side

If you’ve tried this Recipe then don’t forget to rate the recipe! You can also follow me on FacebookInstagram to see what’s latest in my kitchen and on YouTube to watch my latest videos.

This post has been updated from the recipe archives, first published in August 2018.

Matar Paneer

4.96 from 41 votes
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 25 minutes
Total: 35 minutes
Servings: 4
Creamy and luscious Matar Paneer is one of the most popular paneer dishes! Soft paneer and sweet green peas are cooked in a onion-tomato gravy with spices. This vegetarian curry tastes best with fresh rotis!

Ingredients 

  • 2 & 1/2 tablespoons oil divided
  • 5-6 whole raw cashews
  • 2 small yellow onions roughly chopped, 230 grams, or use red onions
  • 2 teaspoons ginger garlic paste
  • 3 medium tomatoes roughly chopped, 385 grams
  • 1 green chili or add more to taste
  • 1 tablespoon ghee
  • 3/4 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 3/4 teaspoon Kashmiri red chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon fennel powder
  • 1 teaspoon kasuri methi dried fenugreek leaves, crushed
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste optional
  • 1 + 1/4 teaspoon salt or to taste, divided
  • 250 grams paneer cut into cubes, soak in warm water for 20 minutes if using store-bought paneer
  • 3/4 cup green peas frozen, soaked in hot water for 10 minutes before using in the recipe
  • 1 & 1/4 cup water or as needed
  • 1-2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • 1/4 teaspoon garam masala
  • cardamom powder to sprinkle
  • 1-2 tablespoons heavy cream optional
Save this recipe!
Get this sent to your inbox, plus get new recipes from us every week!
Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.

Instructions 

  • Remember to soak paneer and green peas in warm water for 20 and 10 minutes respectively before using in the recipe.
    Heat 1 & 1/2 tablespoons of oil in a pan or wok on medium heat. Then add cashews and cook until light golden brown in color. Add chopped onions and cook for 2 to 3 minutes until soft and translucent. Then add the ginger garlic paste and cook for 1 minute.
  • Add the roughly chopped tomatoes, green chili with 1/4 teaspoon salt. Cook the tomatoes for 5 minutes until very soft. Then remove pan from heat and let the mixture cool down. Once it has cooled down, transfer it to a blender and blend to a smooth paste.
  • Now, heat 1 tablespoon ghee and remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a pan on medium heat. Add cumin seeds and let them splutter and then add the Kashmiri red chili powder (for bright red color). Stir and add the ground masala paste.
  • Add the spices: coriander powder, turmeric, fennel powder and kasuri methi. Also add tomato paste and 1/2 teaspoon salt.
  • Cook the masala with the spices for 6 to 7 minutes until oil oozes out from the sides. You will also notice that the color of the masala will change to orange to reddish.
  • Then add the paneer cubes and green peas. Mix well and add the water and more salt as needed (around 1/4 teaspoon or more). Stir and let it simmer for 3 more minutes.
  • Garnish with chopped cilantro, garam masala, and sprinkle of cardamom powder. You may also add 1 to 2 tablespoons of cream. Enjoy matar paneer with rotis.

Instant Pot Instructions

  • To make this matar paneer in an Instant Pot, puree the tomatoes with the green chilies and cashews (soak cashews in hot water for 5 minutes before pureeing it). Press the sauté button on the instant pot. Once it displays hot, add 2 tablespoons of oil (or 1 tbsp oil and 1 tbsp ghee). Add cumin seeds, and let them sizzle.
  • Then add the onions and cook them for 2 to 3 minutes until softened. Add the ginger-garlic paste and cook for 1 more minute. Add the pureed tomato-cashew-green chili paste and stir. Add the tomato paste , salt and stir. Cook the masala for around 5 minutes until oil separates from the sides.
  • Add all the spices (except garam masala and kasuri methi) and cook for 1 more minute. Add the paneer and green peas along with 1 cup water. Close the lid and pressure cook on high pressure for 2 minutes with the pressure valve in sealing position. Let the pressure release naturally for 3 minutes and then do a quick pressure release.
    Press the sauté button again and add crushed kasuri methi, garam masala and cilantro. Taste test and adjust the salt as needed. You can also add some cream if you like.

Video

Notes

  1. You can pan fry the paneer for extra flavor. Remember to soak the fried paneer in warm water for 15 minutes and then add it to the gravy.
  2. Add couple of tablespoons of heavy cream for extra flavor.
  3. If using fresh green peas, cook them for a longer time since they would need more time to cook compared to frozen peas. 

Nutrition

Calories: 375kcal, Carbohydrates: 15g, Protein: 12g, Fat: 31g, Saturated Fat: 13g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g, Monounsaturated Fat: 7g, Trans Fat: 0.04g, Cholesterol: 55mg, Sodium: 832mg, Potassium: 410mg, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 7g, Vitamin A: 1218IU, Vitamin C: 29mg, Calcium: 338mg, Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Indian
Your feedback is valuable!Please share your comments, ratings, and any suggestions or adaptations below to help us improve and make our recipes more successful.

Hi, I’m Manali!

Bringing you easy, delicious vegetarian & vegan recipes! Eating veggies can be fun, you just need to get creative in the kitchen with the right set of ingredients!


Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating




87 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Made this last night, and it was much better than the older one. Everyone loved it, especially the kids. Ty so much Manali.

  2. Hi Manali, we really like this recipe and the old one! Could you please send me the old recipe so I can experiment between a mix of both of them?

    Thank you!

    BTW, we really enjoy your recipes! Thank you for all the effort you put in to them! 😁

    1. 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.

    1. 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.”

  3. 5 stars
    Hi Manali,
    I cooked this recipe several times and I must say this is the best recipe ever. Thankyou very much for sharing.

  4. Do you have to soak the paneer in warm water even if it was in refrigerator or just when it was in freezer?

    1. 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.

  5. 5 stars
    Loved the recipe! Made it several times and it’s so easy! The end result was super yummy!

  6. Hi. How do I add some flavourful “heat”? I love matar paneer but have had it with more flavor but can’t seem to get it right

  7. 5 stars
    Turned out super tasty! The sauce is like better than what you get in a restaurant! I’ll be making it again!
    Cheers!

  8. 5 stars
    Far and away the nicest matar paneer recipe I’ve tried.

    I substituted tinned tomatoes as fresh winter tomatoes have no taste, and it worked really well. A big hit with all of us! Thank you so much for the clear explanations, the photographs and the tips to improve it. I’m making it for the second time in 2 weeks tonight.

  9. I made the matar paneer as per your recipe and everybody loved it. Thanks. The best thing was that the recipe used simple masala’s. And the process was pretty simple too. The tips really helped.

  10. 5 stars
    Super easy and delicious. Soaking the paneer in warm water really gave it the right texture. I liked it better than the version I get from most of restaurants!

  11. 5 stars
    Thank you for your wonderful recipes! They are delicious and explained so clearly! I am very grateful to you.

  12. 5 stars
    I love love love your recipes, the dishes turns out very flavorful. This is from a girl who hates cooking! I love the simplicity of the recipes and that most of them takes maximum of 30-40 minutes, which is my limit of spending time in kitchen. Thanks Manali!

  13. 5 stars
    I made this today with paneer I also made earlier today from your recipe. It is amazing (and so different in taste from your butter paneer, though the basic ingredients are similar). Wonderful.

  14. 5 stars
    Hi Manali,
    I made this today. It turned out really well. I have been trying your recipes and love them.
    Your style of cooking has become my preferred choice over others for any recipe. I am so happy to have come across your site .
    Lulu

  15. 4 stars
    This was really nice and easy to make. But I found it had more of tomatoes flavour than other matar paneer inhale tried (not home made). Do I need to increase the spicies to get more of that flavour and less of the tomatoes?
    Note I made this vegan and used coconut milk and reduced the amount of water.

  16. 5 stars
    I made this recipe today, and it turned out really well….. it is surprisingly quick once you do the sauce and quite yummy. Thank you for this great recipe Manali! =)

  17. Tasted really great. Printing the recipe helped a lot. Mine came out quite runny too, maybe because I used tinned chopped tomatoes to save some time.

  18. 4 stars
    Hi, just cooked and was fun

    It was a bit annoying having to scroll up to instructions and back down to the correct amounts, I guess you need to prep all the ingredients first.

    Also the amount of water has made it way too runny, am currently simmering to boil the reduce.

    Tastes fab though

    1. Right you should prep everything in advance for Indian recipes, always helps. You can print out the recipe and that will make it easier to cook. Also this curry will really thicken up, it has cashews so the amount of water is just right. It’s quite a thick curry so I am not sure how it turned out runny for you. Glad you liked the taste though. Thanks for trying.

      1. Hi, I’ve just started prepping the ingredients as am keen to cook it again, and once again I have to keep scrolling up and down the page to get the right amount of ingredients prepped in the right order.

        Sorry i know I’m being a pain but it would just take you putting the exact amounts of each ingredient next to each step to greatly improve the usability of the recipe.

        Thanks
        Richard

      2. Okay Richard, will do. But honestly this is the way most people write their recipes. Ingredients in one place and then the directions without mentioning the quantity of ingredients again. I will change this for you though. Thanks. You can always print the recipe to make it easier to follow.

  19. 5 stars
    This was delicious! I made this and your Instant Pot Dal tonight. Surprise to me, my sons enjoyed the Dal more than this – but that’s just saying how good your dal recipe is. This was the first time I’ve been able to get my kids to eat dal. So, Bravo on that recipe!

    I happened upon a package of paneer at the grocery store last week and just had to buy it. Matar paneer is one of my favourites and I’m happy to finally have a recipe for it. I used my small food processor to grind the paste and it came out less smooth than I had hoped for. Next time I’ll definitely use my blender, like your recipe suggests. And I’ll get off my lazy tush and try making my own paneer.

    Thank you for the delicious dinner!

  20. Hi. Could you let me know if I can boil the green peas first and then add to the mixture.I normally buy fresh green peas from the market.

  21. 5 stars
    It came soo well ..my son loved it and wants it often . I really like the way the steps are defined , thanks

  22. 5 stars
    Wow, what an interesting recipe. I have a question. Can I use all pasted masala instead of grinding them later?

  23. 5 stars
    Would this be good with Tofu to make it vegan and is it better to remove the cardamom husks before blending please?

    1. It will work great with tofu! also skip the yogurt to make it vegan! you don’t need to remove the skin of the cardamom before blending, it’s optional! the yogurt is called “raita” and is a common accompianemtnt to Indian dishes. Just whisk your favorite yogurt and stir in cumin powder, red chili powder, black salt. You can also add some dried mint leaves if you want! We can also add chopped onion, tomaoto to it. Hope this helps!

      1. Please check the recipe card at the end, everything’s mentioned. It’s 250 grams.