Matar Paneer


Peas – green balls of sweet, metallic, gritty mush. But, put enough yummy gravy and paneer on them and then they’re worthwhile – making matar paneer delightful.

Naming a dish after the grossest ingredient in it makes no sense! It should be called paneer matar…and then you should just leave out the peas. Clearly, no one asked for my opinion on the matar (get it…matar, matter…no? ok then). Matar paneer can be made a million different ways. Ranging from traditional matar paneer (which yes, it is originally a Punjabi dish) to a shahi matar paneer which normally has yogurt and cashews in it. I prefer the traditional Punjabi style matar paneer because there are so many warm spices added in that they make the dish an explosion of flavors. The paneer not only cuts the heaviness of the spices with it’s creaminess, but also takes on all of the delicious flavors of the gravy. Whereas, I find the other versions often a too sweet or even bland because between the cream, tomatoes, and paneer there isn’t a lot of flavor to impart on the dish other than sweet, and the texture is just too much like thinned out yogurt.

The nice thing about this dish is that it’s incredibly easy to make, and it’s fast. You can make it midweek as a quick dinner sabji, or over the weekend and eat it over a few days. I would say that there’s no special ingredients needed but that only makes sense if you’re Punjabi. So, once you’re stocked it’s standard Punjabi spices and ingredients. I use fresh peas and fresh paneer but you could easily use frozen peas and store bought paneer. The one thing to keep in mind is to use sweet peas, it does make a difference. Other than that, just follow the recipe. There’s no pitfalls or uh-ohs to watch out for. Now, I’m off to eat, toodles.

Love paneer as much as we do? Try these:

Matar Paneer

Course: Main CoursesCuisine: PunjabiDifficulty: Easy


Prep time


Cooking time


Total time


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  • 3 tbsp canola oil

  • 2 onion, puréed

  • 2 tbsp ginger, puréed

  • 4 cloves garlic, puréed

  • 2 chili peppers, puréed

  • 4 tomatoes, puréed

  • 2 tbsp cumin

  • 1 tbsp coriander, powdered

  • 2 bay leaves

  • 1 pod black cardamom

  • 2 cardamom pods

  • 2 cloves

  • 1 tbsp Punjabi garam masala

  • 1 tsp chili powder

  • 1/2 tsp turmeric

  • 1 cup water

  • 10 oz peas

  • 1 lb paneer, cubed in 1/2 inch pieces

  • Salt, to taste

  • 1 tbsp Kasuri methi, dried and crumbled

Equipment/Specialty Items


  • In a large sauce pot, heat oil over medium heat.
  • Add onions and cook until golden brown. Approximately 10 minutes. 
  • Add in ginger, sauté for 2 minutes.
  • Add in garlic and chili peppers, sauté for 2 minutes.
  • Add in tomatoes, mix well, cover, and cook until masala has homogenized and it starts to release oil. Stir occasionally to avoid sticking and burning. Approximately 7-10 minutes.
  • Add in cumin, coriander, bay leaves, black cardamom, cardamom, cloves, garam masala, and chili powder, stir well and sauté for 2 minutes.
  • Stir in turmeric, sauté for 1 minute. 
  • Add 1/2 cup water and peas, stir, cover, and cook for 5 minutes or till peas are cooked.
  • Add remaining water, salt, and stir.
  • Add in paneer, stir, cover, and cook for 5 minutes.
  • Add in methi, stir, cover, cook for 3 minutes.
  • Remove from heat, garnish with cilantro, and serve immediately.

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Nutrition Facts

6 servings per container


  • Amount Per Serving% Daily Value *
  • Total Fat 40.5g 62%
    • Saturated Fat 21.9g 105%
  • Cholesterol 106mg 36%
  • Sodium 133mg 6%
  • Amount Per Serving% Daily Value *
  • Potassium 356mg 11%
  • Total Carbohydrate 15.8g 5%
    • Dietary Fiber 3.2g 12%
    • Sugars 5.5g
  • Protein 27.8g 54%
  • Calcium 69%
  • Iron 22%
  • Vitamin D 2%

* The % Daily Value tells you how much a nutrient in a serving of food contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

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