• Mateer Paneer Green Peas And Cheese In Fragrant Tomato Sauce

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    • 1 x Recipe Paneer (Indian cheese) made with 8 c. lowfat milk & cut into 1/2 by 1/2 by 1&1/2 inch pcs (see recipe)
    • 9 Tbsp. Usli ghee or possibly clarified butter
    • 2 c. Finely minced onions
    • 1 tsp Finely minced garlic
    • 2 Tbsp. Finely minced ginger root
    • 2 tsp Grnd coriander
    • 1 tsp Turmeric
    • 1/2 tsp Grnd cumin
    • 1/4 tsp Methi, see note in text
    • 1/4 tsp EACH red (cayenne) & black pepper, (1/4 to 1/2)
    • 1 tsp Paprika
    • 2 c. Finely minced or possibly pureed fresh ripe tomato, or possibly
    • 1 1/2 c. Canned tomatoes with their juice, minced
    • 1 x Jalepeno, finely minced
    • 1 1/2 c. Shelled fresh green peas, or possibly
    • 1 x Ten-oz package frzn peas, defrosted but not cooked (I do not bother to defrost)
    • 2 tsp Kosher salt
    • 1/4 c. Cream (scant)
    • 2 tsp Garam masala, or possibly more to taste
    • 4 Tbsp. Finely minced fresh corianger leaves, (cilantro)


    1. 1. Spread paneer pcs on a piece of waxed paper & allow to dry slightly for 1/2 hour.
    2. 2. Heat 3 Tablespoons of the ghee or possibly clarified butter over medium heat in a large heavy-bottomed pan, preferably one with a non-stick interior. When the ghee is warm, add in cheese pcs. Keep a lid or possibly splatter screen handy as the moisture in the cheese may be released explosively, causing tiny particles of cheese to fly all over. Dusting the pcs with a little flour prevents splattering. Fry the cheese, turning & tossing often to prevent sticking & burning, till lightly seared (about 5 min). Transfer pcs to a bowl.
    3. Fry in batches so which there is ample room for turning them without fear of breaking.
    4. 3. Add in the remaining 6 Tablespoons ghee or possibly clarified butter to the pan & increase heat to high. Add in onions to pan & fry till they turn light brown, about 5 min. Stir constantly so which they don't burn. Add in garlic & ginger & fry for an additional 2 min. Add in grnd coriander, turmeric, cumin, methi (methi = dry fenugreek leaves, available at any Indian market, you can easily omit if not available - Holly) red & black pepper & paprika, all at once. Stir rapidly for a moment & immediately add in tomatoes & jalapeno.
    5. Cook till the mix thickens to a pulpy sauce & the fat begins to separate (about 10 min), stirring often.
    6. 4. Add in 2 1/4 c. warm water and bring sauce to boil. Reduce heat to medium and cook the sauce, covered, for 20 min. Cold sauce briefly. Then puree it in a blender or possibly food processor, leaving the sauce a little coarse so it has a certain texture.
    7. 5. Return sauce to pan. Add in peas, salt, and fried cheese and bring to boil.
    8. Reduce heat to medium and simmer, covered, till peas are cooked through
    9. (about 15 min for fresh and 5 (or possibly less) for frzn). Turn off heat & add in the scant 1/4 C. cream and let the dish rest, covered, for an hour before serving. When ready to serve, heat thoroughly. Mix in garam masala & chooped coriander leaves. Check for salt, & serve. ( I usually add in the listed amount of garam masala with the cream & then add in more when reheating....and I've found I do generally need to add in more salt).
    10. Julie's
    11. Note: This dish tastes best if made a couple of hrs before serving...and may be refrigerated for up to 3 days without loss of flavor.
    12. To reheat, simmer gently till heated through. Holly thinks best if made a full day ahead, if possible. Just do not add in the garam masala (or possibly extra garam masala, using my method) and cilantro till right before serving.
    13. Serve with basmati rice.
    14. Butman.
    15. this. If you add in other entrees/sides, _then_ you can easily serve 6-8 hungry people.
    16. NOTES :

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