Matar Paneer recipe | Restaurant style Matar Paneer at home
Matar Paneer is one of the most popular dishes in North India, Punjab to be specific. The recipe I’m sharing today is restaurant-style Matar Paneer. Learn how to make this dish easily at home. If you love paneer, then this is a must-try recipe.
What is Matar Paneer?
In simple words, it translates to “green peas and Indian cottage cheese”. It is a standard item on the menu of most Indian restaurants and dhabas.
Restaurant-style Matar Paneer is an intense amalgamation of fresh matar/green peas and paneer cooked in a thick, creamy, luscious gravy made with onion, tomato, Indian spices, and cashew nuts paste.
If fresh green peas are not available, you can use frozen green peas. Just rinse well before use. Green peas and paneer do not take time to cook, which makes this easy and quick to make.
Among all the vegetarian dishes available in restaurants, Paneer has a huge fan base. Even if a non-vegetarian looks for vegetarian options in a restaurant, his/her first choice will be Paneer. Why would anyone not like Paneer? It is firm yet soft, creamy, tastes delicious if cooked in gravy or deep-fried.
Paneer is favorite of all age groups. Apart from being tasty, it is also one of the best sources of veg protein and calcium.
What is restaurant-style?
Ingredients used at home and in restaurants are almost the same. But the difference in taste is because of Chef’s imagination and cooking method.
Restaurant-style usually refers to dishes that have a thick, creamy, and smooth gravy. The secret to the consistency of gravy is the use of cashews, cream, or coconut depending on the type of dish.
Chef uses extra oil, butter, or ghee to make any dish. There is always a layer of fat on the top and sides of the dish.
These are the main two differences when compared to home food.
Though restaurant dishes are complex to make, they take less time from the kitchen to the table. A few years back I did not know the reason, but now because of social media, the secret is no more a secret.
1. Base gravies are made in advance which reduces the cooking time. Even the vegetables and half cooked. So, all that a Chef has to do is add vegetables to the base gravy and cook on high heat till everything blends well. Cooking at high heat, further enhance the taste of the spices.
2. Use of thoughtful ingredients which combine and define a dish. Kasuri methi is one of the ingredients. Dry roast on low flame and ground to a fine powder.
About Matar Paneer recipe
Making restaurant-style matar paneer at home is easier than you think. This Matar Paneer curry is my go-to recipe when I have cravings for restaurant curries, a special meal with family members, get together with relatives, or for guests.
This one-pot recipe is very easy to make, turns out extremely delicious, and satisfies the restaurant cravings.
So, the matar paneer recipe I’m sharing today is a full proof of a restaurant-style recipe.
To keep the light on the stomach, I did not add cream. While cream makes the curry taste better, it makes feel heavy after eating.
Another issue I have with cream is After opening, refrigerate, and use the cream within 2 days. If kept in the freezer, have to keep on the kitchen counter for stretches of time.
This Restaurant Style Matar Paneer is;
Easy and quick to make. Can make it in 30 minutes.
Perfect for a change from everyday meals.
Just like restaurant curries.
Tastes the same as a restaurant but is not heavy on the stomach.
Apt for Sunday specials, celebrations, parties, or get-togethers.
Enjoy it for breakfast, brunch, lunch, or dinner.
Ingredients to make Mutter Paneer
Paneer: Also known as Indian cottage cheese. Use good quality paneer that is soft. If you are using a store-bought paneer, will recommend buying a malai paneer.
Green peas: In this recipe, I used frozen peas. In the winter season, I make this dish by adding fresh green peas. You can use whatever you have, the only difference is the cooking time for both. Fresh peas take more time than frozen.
Whole spices: Bay leaf, cloves, cinnamon stick, green cardamom, and cumin.
The combination of different whole spices adds additional flavor, imparts an intense aroma, and also offers various health benefits. Also, whole spices release flavor at different stages of cooking, and flavor permeates the dish.
You may ask me why do we need both whole and powdered versions of the same spices? Well, every dish has many layers of spice that come together in various techniques. Using both is key to maximizing the flavors.
Dried Fenugreek leaves (kasuri methi): It is a key ingredient in restaurant-style dishes. Though the dried herb has a slightly bitter taste, it adds a complex sweetness and flavor to the curries.
The proportion of this herb really matters. Adding more kasuri methi will make the dish taste bitter.
Base gravy: Onion, tomatoes, ginger, and garlic.
Use fresh, canned tomatoes, or tomato puree as per your availability.
Spice powders: Kashmiri red chili powder, red chili powder, turmeric powder, coriander powder, garam masala.
Kashmiri red chili powder is to achieve the restaurant-style gorgeous and vibrant red color of the gravy. You can skip it if it is not available.
Green chilly: To add spice.
Cashews: The restaurant curries are incomplete without cashews. They thicken the gravy and add a creamy texture. However, if you do not have cashews on hand, grind a few more paneer cubes along with milk. This easy step will take the homestyle mutter paneer to a restaurant level.
If you are allergic, then you can replace cashews with almonds, muskmelon seeds (magaz), or poppy seeds.
Oil and Butter: For making a rich curry.
Coriander leaves to garnish.
Salt to taste.
Soak paneer in hot water for at least 10-15 mins. It helps to soften the paneer. If you are using homemade paneer, you need not soak it.
Frying the paneer cubes is not necessary. Well, it does not contribute to the taste of the curry.
Use red and pulpy Bangalore tomatoes. Grind them to a smooth puree for a velvety texture.
Cook the onion and tomato base gravy well till they literally melt into a gravy consistency and the oil separates. This sauteing part is one of the secrets is what makes restaurant-style dishes unique in taste. It is also an indication that the masala has cooked well.
The gravy gets its creamy texture from cashew paste. Adding paneer and cashew paste adds extra richness to the silky smooth onion and tomato-based sauce.
Indian spice powders have volatile aromatics, so add them at the end.
Add sugar or honey to balance the tanginess of the tomatoes and enhance the taste of the dish.
Do not cook paneer in the gravy for a long time, as it will make paneer pieces hard and chewy. For soft texture, add paneer pieces in the end and cook for a maximum of 10 minutes on low flame.
If you are afraid of leaving whole spices in the dish and someone biting into it, you can pick them out before serving or tie them up in a cheesecloth for easier removal and add them while simmering the gravy.
How to make Restaurant-style Matar Paneer
1. Soak the store-bought paneer in hot water for 10-15 mins.
2 & 3. Grind the tomatoes to a fine puree and keep it aside.
4. Heat oil in a pan over medium flame. When hot add the whole spices.
5 & 6. Add chopped onions and saute until they turn light brown in color.
7 & 8. Turn the flame to low and add turmeric powder, Kashmiri red chili powder, and red chili powder. Give a good mix.
9. Immediately add 1/4 th cup of water (in which paneer is soaked) and cook until oil separates.
10 & 11. Add ginger-garlic paste and saute until the raw smell goes away.
12. Increase the flame to medium and add tomato puree. Saute for a minute and add salt.
13 & 14. Continue to saute until moisture decreases and oil separates at the sides of the pan.
15 & 16. Grind cashews and a few paneer pieces to smooth paste.
17 & 18. Add the paste to the onion-tomato masala and give a good mix. Saute until oil is seen on the sides.
19 & 20. Add the peas and saute for 2 minutes.
21. Add 2 cups of water and mix well.
22. Add sugar and give a good mix.
23 & 24. Add green chili and let the gravy come to a boil. Cover the pan and simmer on low flame for 15 minutes.
25. Add the paneer pieces and mix well in the gravy.
26, 27, & 28. Add kasuri methi, coriander powder, and garam masala.
29 & 30. Add butter and allow the curry to cook until oil floats on the top.
31. Add coriander leaves and give a good mix.
32. Restaurant-style Matar Paneer is ready to serve.
My personal favorite way of serving mattar paneer masala is with rumali roti, naan, tandoori roti, lachha paratha.
The curry stays good for 4-5 days in the fridge. The curry tastes better the next day.
Before serving, reheat it in a microwave or in a pan on the stovetop. The gravy will thicken as it cools. So add little water while reheating.
Can I freeze the curry? Yes. I will recommend freezing the base gravy without adding matar and paneer. Let the gravy cool completely and freeze it in freezer-safe containers or bags.
Thaw the frozen gravy for a few hours or defrost it in a microwave. Reheat the gravy and add peas and paneer.
More Restaurant style recipes
If you have tried this Restaurant style Matar Paneer recipe, I would love to hear back from you. Please rate and comment below. You can also follow me on Instagram to see what’s latest in my kitchen!
Matar Paneer Restaurant style at home
- 200 gms Paneer (homemade or store-bought)
- 1/2 cup Green peas (fresh or frozen)
- 1/4 cup Oil (adjust according to your preference)
- 2 medium Onion (finely chopped)
- 3 medium Tomatoes (grind to smooth puree)
- 1 tspn Cumin seeds (jeera)
- 2 numbers Bay leaf (tej pata)
- 2 numbers Cardamom (elachi)
- 3-4 numbers Cloves (laung)
- 1 inch Cinnamon (dalchini)
- 8 Whole cashews
- 2 Bay leaf
- 1/2 tbsp Ginger-garlic paste
- 1/4 tspn Turmeric powder
- 1-2 tspn Red chilli powder
- 1/2 tbsp Kashmiri red chili powder (for color)
- 1 tspn Coriander powder
- 1 tspn Garam masala (or kitchen king masala)
- 1 tspn Kasuri Methi powder (dry roast on low flame and grind or crush between the palms)
- 8-10 Cashews (grind to smooth paste along with paneer pieces)
- 1-2 Green chilies
- 1 tbsp Butter
- 2 cups Water
- Salt to taste
- Coriander leaves
- Soak the store-bought paneer in hot water for 10-15 mins.
- Grind the tomatoes to a fine puree and keep it aside.
- Heat oil in a pan over medium flame. When hot add the whole spices.
- Add chopped onions and saute until they turn light brown in color.
- Turn the flame to low and add turmeric powder, kashmiri red chili powder, and red chili powder. Give a good mix.
- Immediately add 1/4 th cup of water (in which paneer is soaked) and cook until oil separates.
- Add ginger-garlic paste and saute until the raw smell goes away.
- Increase the flame to medium and add tomato puree. Saute for a minute and add salt.
- Continue to saute until moisture decreases and oil separates at the sides of the pan.
- Grind cashews and a few paneer pieces to smooth paste.
- Add the paste to the onion-tomato masala and give a good mix. Saute until oil is seen on the sides.
- Add the peas and saute for 2 minutes. Add 2 cups of water and mix well.
- Add sugar and give a good mix.
- Add green chili and let the gravy come to a boil. Cover the pan and simmer on low flame for 15 minutes.
- Add the paneer pieces and mix well in the gravy.
- Add kasuri methi, coriander powder, and garam masala.
- Add butter and allow the curry to cook until oil floats on the top.
- Add coriander leaves and give a good mix.
- Restaurant style Matar Paneer is ready to serve.