Matar Paneer (Instant Pot and Stovetop)


Mattar paneer is a rich, creamy, saucy, and slightly spicy tomato-based curry made with green peas and paneer.

mattar paneer

My recipe for matar paneer is a breeze to make. One might even say it’s easy peasy. 😏

You can have this dish on your table within minutes, especially if you have my onion masala ready-to-go.

mattar paneer

Matar Paneer = Peas and Paneer

The words matar paneer describe the two main ingredients in this dish, peas, and paneer.

I almost always have frozen peas in my freezer – they work perfectly here.

As for paneer, if you’ve never had it before, it’s a firm block of cheese that’s often used in Indian cuisine. It’s also known as farmer’s cheese. You can make paneer yourself at home or find it at your local Indian grocery store. My Costco actually carriers paneer (Gopi brand), and I’ve seen paneer sold at Whole Foods as well, though it’s far more expensive.

Some people refer to paneer as Indian cottage cheese, but to me, the two are nothing alike in flavor or texture. I think of paneer as having the texture of really firm tofu but with a much richer, creamier flavor.

mattar paneer

Matar paneer is a simple enough dish to make on a weeknight and it’s also special enough to serve to guests.

I recently had friends over for dinner and decided on a north Indian menu that included this matar paneer along with Punjabi Kadhi Pakora, Corn Kadai, and Jeera Rice. It was a really nice vegetarian meal. Paneer always makes for a festive vegetarian dish.

I hope you love this recipe! Let me know what you think!

mattar paneer

Matar Paneer

mattar paneer

Matar Paneer

Matar paneer is a rich, creamy, saucy, and slightly spicy tomato-based curry made with green peas and paneer.
4.83 from 17 reviews
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Cuisine Indian


No Onion Masala? Use This:

  • 1 onion roughly chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic roughly chopped
  • 1- inch ginger roughly chopped
  • 2 large tomatoes roughly chopped


Instant Pot:

  • Press saute, add ghee and once it melts, add cumin seeds. Once the cumin seeds brown, add the serrano pepper and stir-fry for a minute.
  • Add the peas, water, onion masala, spices, paneer and mix well.
  • Secure the lid, close the pressure valve and cook for 1 minute at high pressure.
  • Quick-release pressure.
  • Stir the heavy cream into the pot, garnish with cilantro and serve.


  • Melt ghee in a dutch oven or heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat, add cumin seeds and once they start to splutter, add the serrano pepper, and stir-fry for 30 seconds. Then add the water, onion masala, peas, spices and mix well.
  • Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium, add the paneer and cover with a lid. Cook for 1-2 minutes (if using frozen onion masala, just make sure it has melted into the sauce).
  • Remove the lid, stir, add the cream and cook for another minute.
  • Garnish with cilantro and serve. 

No Onion Masala?

  • In step 1, after you brown the cumin seeds, stir-fry the onions for 5-6 minutes, or until they begin to brown. Then add the garlic and ginger along with the serrano and stir-fry for a minute, then add the tomatoes and stir-fry for 5 minutes or until they cook down. Use an immersion blender to puree until smooth (or add to blender then pour back into the pot). Proceed with the rest of the recipe.


  • *If using coconut cream, place a can of full-fat coconut milk in the fridge overnight. Scoop the cream from the top and use in the recipe.
  •  If using my recipe for paleo paneer (dairy-free), stir it into a slightly cooled curry just prior to serving. Dairy-free paneer will soften, but should not completely melt unless the curry is too hot.
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You can always try my aloo matar recipe!

Or, make my paleo-friendly paneer! The two pictures below are of dairy-free matar paneer.

A couple of things to know about my dairy-free paneer recipe: it calls for gelatin and it behaves differently than regular paneer. You’ll want to add it to a slightly cooled curry just prior to serving, otherwise, the dairy-free paneer may melt. If you’re interested in more paleo-friendly Indian recipes, check out my paleo Indian eCookbook, South Asian Persuasion: 100+ Paleo-Friendly Indian Recipes.

paleo-friendly mattar paneer dish on
paleo-friendly mattar paneer dish on

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Find out more about my cookbooks Indian Food Under Pressure and South Asian Persuasion.

About Ashley

Hi, I’m Ashley. Thanks for being here! I truly believe that food brings us closer together. Gather around a table with good food and good people, and you’ll have the ingredients you need to create some happy memories. My hope is that you find recipes here that you can’t wait to share with family and friends.


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  1. Clarissa says

    5 stars
    Hi Ashley,

    I tried the recipe and loved it, thank you so much!

    I’ve got some quick questions for you if you have the chance 🙂

    1. I have made this twice already and each time, it comes out very oily. Is that normal?

    2. If I am looking to double the recipe, do I have to add four tablespoons of ghee? I have someone who avoids dairy so I’ve been using coconut oil instead. She usually picks out the paneer.

    Thank you!

  2. Kumar om says

    Hi Meet Ashley,
    Indeed a very tasty dish, my son loves paneer and I was wondering in what different ways I could make paneer dishes. I made a dish with the masala suggested in this mattar paneer recipe. I did not add the mattar as my son does not like mattar. Did a bit of variation, cooked in a kadai, added malai and milk to make a thick gravy, and grated some paneer in the end. Lip smacking taste, my son loved it, thank you!

  3. Monica says

    5 stars
    Hi Ashley – wow!! I’ve made 5 of your recipes in the past 3 days and they are all easy and amazing!! I never realized Indian food could be this easy to make.
    I do have a question about the paneer. My Asian market didn’t have it so I used farmer’s cheese, which quickly began to crumble once I began to cut into it. And, further crumbled once I added it to the pot. Although that didn’t take away from the tastiness of the dish, what would be a good substitute for paneer? Is there a particular type of farmer’s cheese I should use? Thanks for your help. I can’t wait to try more of your recipes!! 🙂

    • Ashley - My Heart Beets says

      Monica, that’s so awesome to hear! Love that you’ve made so many of my recipes! I’ve heard halloumi is similar and I know one food writer (Priya Krishna) uses feta in place of paneer when making saag. But for this recipe, I’d really stick with paneer. If you try farmers’ cheese again, try putting it in cheesecloth and draining out any water to make it really compact. It’s also very easy to make your own paneer using whole milk and some lemon juice – I really need to get a recipe up on the blog soon. I hope this is helpful in the meantime though!

  4. Sharon says

    5 stars
    This was so easy and delicious! I don’t normally care for peas but I truly loved this recipe and will definitely make it again. Thank you Ashley!

  5. Mon says

    Hi Ashley, thanks for your recipes Quick question, since onion masala already has coriander power, cumin powder, turmeric and chili powder, while attempting to cook without onion masala should the spice quantities need to be slightly increased? Please do let me know. Thanks

    • Ashley - My Heart Beets says

      Hi Mon, if you’re making it without the onion masala, you can still use the amount of spices listed in the recipe – the extra spices in the onion masala won’t make too much of a difference. You can always add slightly more though if you prefer – it won’t make or break this recipe. Let me know what you think! 🙂

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