Then suddenly, I feel the warmth of my daughter from behind, trying to lift her body on heels to reach for the bowl of seeds that I just shelled.Her smile breaks the array of thoughts. She is like mommy.
Matar Paneer – Fresh Peas & Indian Fresh Cheese in a aromatic and spicy tomato – onion sauce
Ingredients (Serves 2-3)
- 1 cup fresh or frozen peas
- 2 medium tomatoes (yield about 3/4 cup fresh tomato puree)
- 1 fat garlic
- 6 oz paneer (about 200 grams, homemade or store-bought, cubed, use extra firm tofu for vegan)
- 1/4 cup mustard oil (or use olive/vegetable oil)
- 1/3 cup onions, finely chopped
- 2 green cardamom
- 1 clove
- 1/4 inch piece of dalchini (cassia bark, substitute with 1/2 inch piece of regular cinnamon)
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 2 teaspoon coriander powder
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1 teaspoon red chilli powder (adjust to taste, substitute with 1/2 teaspoon cayenne)
- 1/2 teaspoon kashmiri chilli powder (this lends the color not the heat, substitute with paprika)
- salt to taste
- 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup -1 cup water (depending on the desired consistency of sauce)
- 1 teaspoon kasuri methi, crushed between palms
- 1/2 teaspoon garam masala (adjust to taste)
- 2-3 tablespoon of heavy cream (optional, I did not use, skip for vegan )
- Fresh cilantro & ginger juliennes to garnish and serve
If you are using fresh peas, shell the pods. If using frozen, thaw the peas.
Blend the tomatoes along with garlic to a fine puree. Set aside.
Soak the paneer cubes in warm water. Set aside. If using tofu, dry it using paper towels, cube it and let sit.
Heat up the mustard oil in a large pot, wait till you see little ripples on the surface, add the onions along with cardamom, clove, dalchini & cumin seeds.Saute for 5-6 minutes till the onion start to turn light brown.
Add the coriander, turmeric, red chili, kashmiri chilli powder next and sauté for less than a minute. Add the blended tomatoes and reduce heat to low.Let cook slowly till you see little bubbles of oil separating on sides of the pot and the spice paste glistening. At this point, add the peas along with chopped ginger,add salt, stir to combine together with spice paste and on low heat, saute for 3-4 minutes. Add about 3/4 cup water, mix well and cover the pot with a lid. Cook for about 15-20 minutes till the peas are soft (but not mushy).Uncover and add the kasuri methi and garam masala along with paneer cubes. Stir, and again cover and on low heat, let simmer for another 10-12 minutes.
Add the heavy cream (if using) next and simmer (not boil) on very low heat for another 2-3 minutes.Once the sauce has simmered, let sit for at least 45mins -1hour or till ready to serve.
Once ready to serve, warm up the sauce and serve immediately. You can garnish with cilantro, extra cream and ginger juliennes.
Serve with rice or flatbreads.
Thanks for stopping by!