Matar Paneer, a creamy delicious and luscious curry made with sweet peas and paneer. Make Dhaba Style Matar Paneer Recipe without any cream and nuts. You can also call this as Halwai style Matar Paneer also as this way of preparing Matar Paneer is also followed by the Halwai when making for party and functions.
Serve this Gluten-free curry with your favourite bread like poori, chapati or paratha or rice.
- About the Recipe
- Dhaba and Halwai Style Food
- Ingredients to make Matar Paneer
- Substitutes for the ingredients
- How to cook Matar Paneer
- Storage and Shelf Life
- Serving Suggestions
- Some Flatbread recipe that can be paired with Matar Paneer from my blog
- More Curries Recipes from the bog that you may like to try
- Recipe Card
- Matar Paneer Recipe
About the Recipe
Simple yet so full of flavors, Matar Paneer is one of the most popular paneer dishes from North India. Matar/Peas and Paneer cooked in onion tomato gravy with or without cream.
Matar is Peas and Paneer is Indian Cottage Cheese.
The curry is very popular in North India and every household has there own way of making it. You can make it with cream, without cream, with gravy or on the semi-dry side or no-onion no-garlic Matar Paneer when many people abstain eating food that has onion and garlic.
Nowadays, dairy cream or vegan cashew cream is added to curries to get the creamy texture. But earlier and even now many Dhaba and Halwai add roasted gram flour to make rich curries.
Dhaba and Halwai Style Food
Dhabas are roadside joint which serve local food. Dhaba style food is very popular in India. It is a rustic way of cooking with locally available spices and ingredients.
Halwai style cooking is also uses the local ingredients. The curries are rich and creamy and various spices are added to make it flavourful. Both the style of cooking can be similar. Halwai are traditional sweet makers in India who cooked food during parties and marriage functions.
In Matar Paneer, paneer is pan-fried lightly and then added with peas to gravy, I usually skip frying it and add non-fried Paneer when I make for weekday lunch/dinner. I fry Paneer when I make for guests.
I have another way of making Matar Paneer, in less gravy the drier version, where I use cream/nuts(cashew nuts)/seeds like melon seeds for no onion no garlic version to make it or use.
Ingredients to make Matar Paneer
Paneer- Make your own at home or use store bought. Paneer should be fresh and soft. If you are using frozen paneer thaw it and then cut in cubes to use in recipe.
Check this Homemade Paneer Recipe
Green Peas- Use fresh green peas or frozen. When using fresh peas cook peas till soft. Boil peas in pressure cooker or cook in open pan.
Besan/Gram flour or Chickpea Flour- It is the secret ingredient used in the recipe.
For Gravy- Onion tomato, ginger, garlic and spices. Fresh coriander for garnish.
Spices- Dry Red Chilli, Coriander seeds, Cumin Seeds, Bay leaf(Tej Patta) and a small Cinnamon stick(Dal Chini), Black Cardamom(Moti Eliachi), Green Cardamom, Black Pepper, Cloves, Dried Fenugreek leaves(Kasuri Methi). I like to use a Kitchen King Masala to flavour this matar paneer curry which adds a unique flavour. You can use Garam Masala also.
Instead of Dry Red Chilli and Coriander Seeds and Cumin Seeds you can use the powdered spices also. But, the freshly crushed/ground spices add so much flavour to the curry.
Oil- I prefer to use Mustard oil for North Indian curries. You can use other oil like rice bran, corn, peanut or avocado or live. Many people even use ghee when making for parties and functions.
Substitutes for the ingredients
- Replace Paneer with Tofu for the Vegan version.
- For No onion No Garlic Matar Paneer, skip onion and garlic.
- You can replace besan with 2 tbsp dairy cream or vegan cashew cream.
- Use canned tomatoes or tomato sauce in place of fresh tomatoes. Add minced onions when using store bought tomato puree.
How to cook Matar Paneer
This is the Matar Paneer Recipe in open pan/kadhai. You can make it in Indian Pressure Cooker or Instant Pot/any electrical pressure cooker. Please see the sections below and recipe card for detail steps.
Prepare the Ingredients
- Cut Paneer in cubes, you lightly fry in oil.
- Pressure cook/boil peas before adding to the gravy as fresh peas can take time to cook. Pressure cook matar/peas with little salt till one-two whistle.
- Roughly chop onions, tomatoes and crush ginger, garlic and green chilli in a motor pestle.
- Take 2 tbsp of Besan (Chickpea Flour), dry roast it in a pan till it gives roasted aroma. Keep aside for later use.
- Dry roast dry red chilli, coriander seeds and 1 tsp cumin seeds and coarsely crush or grind it. (pic is missing)
Make Gravy/Onion Tomato Masala for Matar Paneer
- In a kadhai/heavy bottomed pan, take 2 tbsp of mustard oil, heat oil till it's smoking point. Let it cool a bit.
- Put kadhai/pan back put on medium flame, add bay leaf and cinnamon stick and other whole spices. Add ginger-garlic-chili paste. Cook for a minute, add onions and fry onions till these are translucent.
- Add tomatoes mix well, cover the lid and cook tomatoes till these are soft and mushy and start leaving oil. Keep stirring in between so that the masala doesn't burn.
- Once tomatoes are done. Take it off the flame. Take out the bay leaf and cinnamon stick and black cardamom. Cool a bit, then grind masala to a fine paste.
- In the same pan that we made onion-tomato masala, add 1 tsp of oil that we kept aside, once it is hot enough add jeera(Cumin) seeds to it.
- When the seeds crackle add the grinded onion-tomato paste and mix nicely. Add 1/4 tsp of sugar/jaggery powder. Cook it for a minute, mix all the dry spices together in a bowl and add to the onion-tomato paste, mix well. Take care that besan doesn't form any lumps.
- Cook masala really well for 2-3 minutes till masala starts leaving oil. Add about half cup of water to adjust the consistency of gravy. Then, add kitchen king masala and salt as required and mix.
- Add boiled peas and paneer cubes mix well. Cover the pan let the peas cook for 4-5 mins on low flame.
- Roast kasuri methi or dried fenugreek leaves in a pan on medium flame, crush it and add to gravy.
Storage and Shelf Life
Leftover Matar paneer can be refrigerated for 2-3 days in an air tight container. Reheat in microwave (HIGH) for a minute depending on the quantity of curry or pan on medium heat.
Homestyle Matar Paneer is cooked in pressure cooker only in Indian homes. Checkout the details in recipe card
Matar Paneer can be cooked in Instant Pot or any electrical pressure cooker. Details in the recipe card.
Also, check this No Onion NO Garlic Matar Paneer in Instant Pot recipe.
Matar Paneer can be prepared for weekly meal preps. Completely cool the curry and pack in freezer safe container. Stays good for about a month.
To make Vegan Matar Paneer, replace paneer with tofu to make vegan version. The gravy is already vegan without any cream/dairy as we are adding chickpea flour to make it rich.
Some Flatbread recipe that can be paired with Matar Paneer from my blog
Poori, Whole Wheat Chapati, Ajwain Paratha
More Curries Recipes from the bog that you may like to try
Matar Paneer Recipe
- Chopping Board
- Measuring Cups and Spoons
- 200 g Paneer (Indian Cottage Cheese)
- 1 cup Matar/Green Peas(fresh/frozen)
- 1 medium Onion
- 3-4 Tomatoes
- 1 inch Ginger
- 4-5 Garlic Cloves
- Green Chilli
- 2 tbsp Besan/Chickpea Flour
- 1 Bay Leaf
- 1 stick Cinnamon
- 1 Black Cardamom
- 1 Green Cardamom
- 4-5 Black Pepper
- 4-5 Cloves
- 1 Dry Red Chilli
- 1 tbsp Coriander Seeds
- 1½ tsp Cumin Seeds
- 1 tsp Kitchen King Masala
- 1 tsp Kasuri Methi/Dried Fenugreek Leaves
- 2 tbsp Oil(Mustard/Olive/any flavorless oil)
- ½ tsp Sugar
- Salt to taste
- Take 2 cups water in a pan and cook peas till soft. Or, pressure cook peas for 2 whistles.
- When the peas are boiling do the other preparations. Roughly chop onion, tomato. Coarsely crush ginger, garlic and green chilli.1 medium Onion, 3-4 Tomatoes, 1 inch Ginger, 4-5 Garlic Cloves, Green Chilli
- Coarsely crush/grind dry red chilli, coriander leaves and 1 tsp cumin seeds1 Dry Red Chilli, 1 tbsp Coriander Seeds, 1½ tsp Cumin Seeds
- Roast besan/chickpea flour in a pan, till it gives a nice aroma.2 tbsp Besan/Chickpea Flour
- Boil matar/peas in a pan or cook in a pressure cooker. Cut paneer in cubes.1 cup Matar/Green Peas(fresh/frozen)
- In a kadhai/thick bottomed pan, heat oil (reserve 1 tsp of oil for later use), add bay leaf, cinnamon stick, black cardamom and fry for a min.1 Bay Leaf, 1 stick Cinnamon, 1 Black Cardamom, 1 Green Cardamom, 4-5 Black Pepper, 4-5 Cloves, 2 tbsp Oil(Mustard/Olive/any flavorless oil)
- Add roughly crushed ginger-garlic and green chilli. Cook for 1-2 a min then add onions, when onions turn translucent, add tomatoes.
- Once tomatoes are soft and cooked, take pan off the flame, cool it , grind the masala to a fine paste.
- Keep the kadhai/pan back on medium flame, add tsp of oil.
- When oil is hot enough add jeera(cumin seeds), when seeds crackle, add onion-tomato paste. Add sugar and mix and cook it for 2-3 minutes.1½ tsp Cumin Seeds, ½ tsp Sugar
- Add roasted besan and all the spices. Mix well. Add about ½ cup or as required, water to adjust the consistency of gravy.
- Add kitchen king masala and cook for few seconds. Add paneer and peas and mix nicely.1 tsp Kitchen King Masala
- Dry roast kasuri methi, crush and add it to the gravy. Add salt to taste. Cover the pan and cook on low flame for 4-5 minutes.1 tsp Kasuri Methi/Dried Fenugreek Leaves, Salt to taste
- Serve hot with any flatbread of your choice or rice(jeera/steamed).
Pressure Cooker Matar Paneer
- Do the basic preparations for the gravy. Roast chickpea flour, coarsely grind/crush coriander seeds, red chilli and cumin seeds. chop onion, tomato, ginger, garlic and green chilli.
- Heat oil in a pressure cooker. Add whole spices and cumin seeds. Add ginger garlic paste, saute for few seconds then add chopped onions. Saute onions till translucent, add chopped tomatoes. Cook till it is soft. Add tomatoes and cook till soft.
- When tomatoes are soft, switch off the gas stove and cool the masala. Take out bay leaf, black cardamom and grind masala to fine paste. Add gravy back in pressure cooker then add all the powdered spices and roasted chickpea flour. Mix and cook nicely till the gravy starts leaving oil. Add peas and paneer and add water as per the desired consistency of gravy. Add Kitchen King Masala. Close the lid of pressure cooker and cook till 3-4 whistles on medium flame. Then switch off the gas.
- Let the pressure release naturally then open the lid and check the curry. Crush kasuri methi to fine powder by rolling in hands and add to gravy. Serve hot, garnish with fresh coriander leaves.
Instant Pot Matar Paneer
- Switch on the IP to SAUTE MODE for 10 mins. Add whole spices and cumin seeds. Add ginger garlic paste, saute for few seconds then add chopped onions. Saute onions till translucent, add chopped tomatoes. Cook till it is soft. Add tomatoes and cook till soft.
- Cover the inner lid while tomatoes are cooking. When tomatoes are soft, switch off the IP and cool the masala . Then grind to fine paste. Take out bay leaf, black cardamom before grinding masala.
- Switch on the IP again on SAUTE MODE for 5 mins. Add gravy back in pressure cooker then add all the powdered spices and roasted chickpea flour. Mix and cook nicely till the gravy starts leaving oil. Add peas and paneer and add water as per the desired consistency of gravy. Add Kitchen King Masala.
- Cancel the SAUTE MODE and seal the lid. Switch on the PRESSURE COOK MODE for 5 mins. When IP beeps do the quick pressure release. Check the curry. Crush kasuri methi to fine powder by rolling in hands and add to gravy. Serve hot, garnish with fresh coriander leaves.
Do try this Matar Paneer recipe my way. You can make it for special occasions, parties or for weekend meals. I am sure you and your loved ones will surely love the recipe.
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