Matar Paneer (Instant Pot and Stovetop)

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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.
4.77 from 13 reviews
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Cuisine Indian

Ingredients
 

No Onion Masala? Use This:

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

Instructions
 

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.

Stovetop:

  • 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.

Notes

  • *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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ARE YOU DAIRY-FREE? FOLLOW A PALEO DIET?

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 myheartbeets.com
paleo-friendly mattar paneer dish on myheartbeets.com

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Cookbooks

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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Comments

  1. 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!

  2. 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!

  3. 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!

  4. 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! 🙂

  5. Preetha says

    5 stars
    Thanks for such an easy recipe! The only change I made was to lightly sauté the paneer before adding. I also let it simmer in the end just to thicken the sauce. I’d definitely recommend this and would definitely make it again! 😊

  6. Nisha Agarwal says

    Hi!!! Ashley,
    Thank you thank you thank you so much Ashley…with your onion masala recipe cooking has become so much easier for me…i used to stress so much about cooking with two kids at home…now with your recipe its so much easier to make anything means anything..i would also like to thank my sister Nidhi Agrawal for introducing me with ashley’s recipe..thanks once again…god bless you and your family ❤️

  7. Sarah says

    5 stars
    Hey Ashley,

    I made this with tofu (a new boiled tofu trick I learned which makes the texture more like paneer- sounds unappetizing but it works!), and it was excellent. I’m going to revisit your paneer recipes and see how the tofu trick goes. So excited to “unlock” another section of your recipes!

    • My Heart Beets says

      Sarah, that’s great to hear! And good to know about that trick – I’ve been cooking with tofu more lately, I’ll have to experiment 🙂 Thanks for letting me know how this turned out!

  8. Shravan says

    5 stars
    Outstanding! Made this with your onion masala and it turned out perfectly. This might be my favorite dish of yours yet. Thanks for sharing!

  9. SR says

    Just made this last night and my husband said it’s very good! I did feel it was too watery, so I boiled it longer and then cooked it on medium without the lid until it seemed less watery. Next time, I’d probably only add one cup of water instead of two. But great recipe, thanks!

  10. Barbara says

    Hi. Thank you for your recipes. I love Indian food and your recipes make it very accessible. If I used fresh peas instead of frozen, would I have to precook them?

  11. Karen says

    3 stars
    Unfortunately I felt this was too watery, even though I followed the recipe amounts exactly. I felt the amount of water also blunted the flavours of the spices. I prefer creamier, thicker sauces and I love your Butter Paneer ( I think that’s the one..) so I shall stick to that paneer curry in future.

  12. Michelle says

    5 stars
    Hi Ashley,

    Can I sub the onion/coriander/ginger/garlic/tomato for 1/2 of a cup of your onion masala? Or should I be adding something else back in?

    THanks!

  13. Brad Johnson says

    4 stars
    We made this last night, and although it was delicious, the cashew paneer didn’t really hold up in the curry. They softened a lot, almost “melted”. The paneer were really good outside the sauce, on their own. Is there a way to make them even more firm?

    • My Heart Beets says

      Hi Brad, thanks for letting me know how this turned out for you! Unfortunately, gelatin melts in hot liquid which is why I suggest adding the cashew paneer at the very end right before serving. I have yet to figure out a way to keep them really firm. Dairy-free cheese is tough to crack and this is my best attempt so far. Sorry if this wasn’t the answer you were looking for!

      • Brad says

        5 stars
        Ashely, thank you so much for the response. We put them in at the very end, but they tended to melt while we were eating. Still very, very tasty. I like that your Indian recipes are not overly complicated and come out delicious. Thanks for the excellent recipe.

  14. Katherine says

    I LOVE your recipes and want to buy your book. Is the paneer really dairy-free — no ghee? I can’t even do ghee. Thanks!!

  15. Kristin says

    love love love your recipes, thank you!

    This one is another home run. I reduced the amount of chili powder, and halved the amount of water. Plus, I cooked the onions for a while to really cook them down. Turned out fabulous, everyone asked me to make it again.

  16. S says

    I would love to try this recipe and buy your book, however the security of my information is important to me and unfortunately the website to buy your book isn’t secure enough for me… Is there any other place to buy your book?

  17. Faith says

    Okay, so… for the first time *ever* making one of your recipes, it didn’t turn out quite as I expected. Ack! I know! I’m as surprised as you are! But I think I have an idea why. My mother and I made it together, and since my parents are tolerant of dairy, we used regular cream (half & half) at the end instead of coconut cream. I used maybe 1/3 cup of cream and for whatever reason, it wasn’t enough to thicken up the gravy (it also didn’t help that my mother only has a Ninja blender, not a high-speed one for step 4).

    I’m thinking that maybe if dairy cream is used, there needs to be more of it. The coconut cream probably provides a vehicle for the flavors to come together, right? It just didn’t work with the quantity of dairy cream we used and I was left thinking “something’s not quite right here… something is missing.” If/when I try the recipe again, I’ll probably use more dairy cream (or honestly, just go with the coconut cream!) and let you know how it turns out!

    TL;DR If you’re using dairy instead of coconut cream for step 6, use more than you think you need!

  18. NikkiK says

    I am SO excited I found your website. My husband is Indian and this month we went Whole30 and we miss our Indian food with roti, naan, rice, paneer etc.! He will be thrilled at dinner tonight! Mattar paneer is my favorite vegetarian dish so I am excited to buy your book and try the paleo version. Thank you.

  19. Caitlin Hastings says

    Hi! This recipe looks really great! Would you do anything differently if making this with regular paneer?

    • My Heart Beets says

      Thanks, Caitlin! Just add the paneer cubes at the end and simmer for 2 minutes in the sauce. Or, you could always first shallow-fry the paneer cubes in ghee or oil to make the edges a little crisp before adding it to the sauce. Let me know how it turns out!!

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