I generally follow the rule of moderation, except of course for sugar which I have banished from my household after it caused such massive grief. But paneer is one of my vices. I could eat a block of paneer with salt and pepper in a single sitting. Maybe with a little cayenne pepper to add a little kick. I really could. For those who are scratching their heads, paneer is the absolute best part of milk. You start with super fatty whole milk. And then you curdle it to separate the milk solids (aka – milk fats) from the watery liquid. THEN, you proceed to drip out the last remaining bits of liquid because really, it just gets in the way of the good stuff. THAT my friends is paneer. Pure, unadulterated milk fats. Yum.
Recently I was hosting a little party and decided to buy some paneer blocks from the Indian grocery store. Of course I bought a little extra because of my obsession. So over the next few weeks I have at least 3 paneer recipes I must share with you.
Mattar paneer is by far one of the easiest. As you can tell from the pictures it’s pretty much just peas, paneer and a bunch of spices. It’s especially easy if you use frozen peas like I do. Which makes this dish quite a winner when it comes to having something that tastes like you put a lot of effort into it, without really doing so. I find this perfect for weeknights, especially the ones where you really do want something that is incredibly rich in flavor but have very little energy to do anything interesting. Grab the peas from the freezer, open up your indian spice box and chop up that paneer. Stop thinking. Just throw it together. Viola! Instant deliciousness.
Makes: 4 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Ready in: 45 minutes
- 8 oz panner
- 1 1/3 cup frozen green peas
- 1/4 yellow onion
- 1 tomato
- 2 garlic cloves
- 2 inches ginger
- 2 – 3 green chills
- 2 tablespoons ghee
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin powder
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander powder
- 1/2 teaspoon gaaram masala
- About 10 tablespoons water
- Salt to taste (I used a little under 1 teaspoon)
2. Over medium-high heat, heat the ghee. Once it’s hot, fry the paneer pieces till they are golden brown. Turn the paneer to make sure it browns all sides. Remove from oil and place on a paper towel to remove excess oils.
3. Chop up the onion. Skip the onions if you’re really tired.
4. In the same pot with the same ghee, cook the onions till it starts browning.
5. While the onion cooks, trim and mince the green chillies.
6. Also peel and grate the ginger.
7. And chop up the tomato. Peel and mince the garlic if you’re not using a garlic press.
8. Add the tomato, garlic and ginger to the onion. Cook for a few minutes.
9. Add the chillies, coriander, cumin and gaaram masala. Cook for a few more minutes till the oil starts to separate from the mixture.
10. Add the peas and the water. Cook for about 5 minutes or so until the peas are done.
11. Add paneer and salt. Cook till the gravy is consistency that you want; add more water if necessary.