Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Malai Matar Paneer

Malai Matar Paneer

You know dish is a screaming success when there are no left overs. Or maybe you invited too many people over and didn't cook enough food. I am gonna go with raging success - stay with me here. This rich creamy delicious paneer dish is surprisingly simple and mild with very few spices and therein lies its secret of success. This dish will check all your "curry" boxes and yet keep you from falling into the old butter chicken trap.

Malai Matar Paneer

Yield - Serves 4

Time - 45 Minutes

Malai Matar Paneer


300g Paneer
1 Large Onion
1 Tablespoon Ginger Garlic Paste
1.5 Cups Peas
2 Tablespoons Yogurt
1 Tablespoon Poppy Seeds
1/2 Cup Roasted Cashews
1 Tablespoon Kasuri Methi
2 Black Cardamom
1 Green Cardamom
1/2 Inch Cinnamon Stick
5 Cloves
3 Tablespoons Oil
370 ml Can Evaporated Milk
1 Teaspoon Sugar
Salt, to taste
Dash Asafetida
Pinch Saffron strands


First, let's prep the ingredients. Soak the poppy seeds in 1/4th cup of warm water. Soak the cubed paneer in enough hot water to cover. Set aside.

With a mortar and pestle, pound together the cinnamon, black and green cardamoms and cloves. Discard the skins of the cardamom and pound till the spice mix is roughly powdered (doesn't have to be completely fine, but it shouldn't be to coarse either)

Chop the onions roughly. You can dice or slice, whichever you prefer. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a pan and fry the onions. When the onions are translucent, add the ginger garlic paste and cook together for another couple of minutes till the raw smell's gone.

Let the onion mixture cool for a few minutes. Blend the onion mixture with cashews and poppy seeds along with the soaking water to make a thick paste.

Heat one tablespoon of oil in a pan and toss in the masala that you pounded earlier. Let it start to crackle but not burn. A minute or two.

Add the onion-nut paste into the pan and stir on low - medium heat for about 2-3 minutes till the paste is quite thick. This needs to be cooked in low heat because the cashews in the paste can make the sauce stick to the pan and burn. Stir this frequently. Add the yogurt and stir together and cook for about 5 minutes. Add a teaspoon of sugar.

Crush the kasuri methi in a bowl with the back of a spoon (I can't say this enough, NEVER touch Kasuri methi. EVER. Just don't do it.) and add it into the pan and stir it in. Cook a couple of minutes. Add in the evaporated milk and stir it well to make a smooth white gravy. Add salt to taste. Add a pinch of saffron. Give it another good stir.

Fish the paneer out of the soaking water, discarding the liquid, and add it into the sauce along with the peas. Stir together and heat it all through for about 5 - 7 minutes till the peas are softened.

Serve with rotis or rice. Enjoy!


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