Matar Paneer is one of the easiest Paneer/Tofu
Matar Paneer is a recipe made with lots of Peas and Paneer (tofu for vegan alternative). Peas and Paneer are added to the Onion-Tomato Masala. Onion- Tomato Masala is the base for almost all of the Indian recipes.
I usually don't a add lot of Peas in my Matar Paneer, just a personal preference. If you like Peas, you can add as many as you feel like or you can even reduce the quantity.
You can cut the Paneer pieces in any size and shape you prefer. Before adding Paneer to the dish, I usually grill the pieces in my Air Fryer. This gives them a nice texture. Or you can shallow-fry them till they turn light golden in color. If you like the soft texture of Paneer, you can just add them without frying. Again, this is a personal preference on how you want your Paneer to taste like.
MATAR PANEER INGREDIENTS
- PANEER: I have used homemade Paneer in my Matar Paneer. I have grilled the paneer before adding in the curry. If you want to make the vegan version of this dish, replace paneer with tofu.
- PEAS: I have added around 1 cup of frozen peas in the curry. You can add some other veggies along with peas like carrots, french beans, or bell pepper, etc.
- INDIAN MASALA: The base of any Indian Curry is Indian Masala. First, make tadka by sauteing onions and tomatoes with ginger & garlic paste.
- SPICES: Indian food is incomplete without some aromatic spices. So add all the spices in the prepared Indian Masala (or Tadka) and saute for a few minutes.
- HERBS: Lastly, garnish with some chopped cilantro or mint leaves and sprinkle some lemon juice and serve,
COOKING WITHOUT INSTANT POT
I make Matar Paneer in Instant Pot. But if you don't have Instant Pot, You can still make the dish. Follow the same steps in a pan on the stovetop, or in a regular pressure cooker on the stove.
It will taste pretty much the same. But I personally feel that while making in Instant Pot, I don't need to be physically present there to monitor it. So making Matar Paneer in Instant Pot is more convenient for me.
I personally like Matar Paneer to be light in flavor, I don't add cream, or yogurt, or even cashews. But if you like a creamy & buttery flavor, you can definitely add cream or yogurt. Matar Paneer has a very light flavor. So without adding anything heavy, it still tastes amazing. To try another option check out Indian Spiced Peas recipe.
STEP-BY-STEP INSTRUCTION FOR MAKING MATAR PANEER
STEP 1 - FRY/ AIR-FRY PANEER: The first step is to fry/ air-fry the paneer pieces. Frying the paneer gives a crush to the recipe which tastes really amazing. If you like it soft and creamy, then don't fry the paneer pieces.
STEP 2 - MAKE INDIAN MASALA (OR TADKA): The next step is to make Indian Masala in the cooker or you can also use prepared or frozen Indian Masala. Indian Masala remains same for all the Indian recipes, so you can freeze the Indian Masala.
STEP 3 - ADD PEAS & PANEER: Once the tadka is prepared, then add all the peas and paneer pieces with water or stock in it and pressure cook it.
STEP 4 - ADJUST & SERVE: Once pressure cooked, adjust the spices (if needed). garnish with cilantro and serve with Rice or Indian Flatbread.
HOW TO STORE MATAR PANEER
If you have some leftover Matar Paneer, you can store it in a refrigerator or a freezer. You can store the leftover Matar Paneer in the refrigerator for 3-5 days. And in the freezer for up to 1-2 months. When re-using, just warm it or boil in a microwave or stove-top and eat it with rice or naan.
Matar Paneer (Tofu Peas)
- 1 cup Paneer cut in bite size pieces
- 2 cup Peas
- 1 small Onion sliced
- 2 small Tomatoes cut in big chunks
- 1 tbsp Ginger- Garlic Paste
- 3 tbsp Oil
- 1 tsp Cumin Seeds
- ½ tbsp Garam Masala Powder
- ½ tbsp Coriander Powder
- 1 tsp Turmeric Powder
- ½ tsp Amchur/ Mango Powder
- Red Chili Powder (as per taste)
- 1 Green Chilies chopped (optional)
- 1.5 cup Water
How to make Matar Paneer in Instant Pot:
- Add 1 tbsp of oil to the inner pot of Instant Pot and start the Saute mode.
- Once hot, add sliced onions to it. When onion change color to golden, add tomato chunks to it.
- Let it cook for 5 minutes. When tomatoes turn mushy, cancel the saute mode and grind it smoothly using Immersion Blender.
- Add oil in the Instant Pot and put the onion & tomato masala in it. Let it saute for 2-3 minutes and then add all the spices (Garam Masala Powder, Red Chili Powder, Coriander Powder, and Amchur Powder) and fry for 1-2 minutes. Then add ginger-garlic paste and cook for another minute.
- Add paneer, peas, water, and salt to the pot and close the lid. With the vent in the sealing position, pressure cook for 4 minutes. Do NPR (No Pressure Release) for 10 minutes and then Quick Release turning vent in the venting position.
- When steam is released, open the lid. Transfer Matar Paneer in a bowl and garnish with some cilantro leaves. Serve with Rice or any Indian Flatbread.
- Add oil in the pressure cooker, and when the oil is hot, add onions and cook for 2-3 minutes. When they start to change the color add tomatoes and cook for 3-5 minutes till they turn mushy.
- Then grind the masala in a grinder. Then add oil to the cooker and add cumin seeds in it. When they splutter, add the pureed onion-tomato masala.
- Cook for 2-3 minutes till the oil starts to separate. Then add all the spices and cook for 1-2 minutes. Then add ginger-garlic paste and cook for another minute.
- Add paneer, peas, water, and salt to the pot and close the lid. Pressure cook for 3-4 whistles at medium-high heat and then turn off the stove.
- When steam is released, open the lid. Transfer the Matar Paneer in a bowl and garnish with some cilantro leaves. Serve with Rice or any Indian Flatbread.