Mattar Paneer Sauce: Weeknight Dinner Helper

mattar paneer sauce, mattar paneer recipe
While I don’t use my freezer a whole lot for full meals, I do keep it well stocked with tadka cubes, stuffed paranthas, and a few simple starter sauces for some of our favourite desi dishes. Not only does this speed up cooking on busy weeknights, it also prevents my house smelling like a roadside dhaba on a daily basis. I love love love Indian food, but I could do without the lingering tadhka (tempering) smell in my hair some days. 

Today I’m sharing my recipe for Mattar Paneer Sauce. I keep this on hand along with some green peas and paneer in the freezer for a 20 minute meal.  I tend to buy a block of paneer and fry it as needed, however, you can also purchase pre-friend paneer cubes which make this dish ridiculously easy to pull together. If you find yourself really crunched for time on weeknights, consider freezing cooked rice to pull out with your mattar paneer. I try to keep a few bags of frozen rice on hand for nights when dad is manning the dinner hour rush and could use a hand. {My Mr. has many domestic skills – cooking is not one of them!}.

This recipe is broken up into two parts; first I’ll walk you through making the sauce, and then we’ll go through how to cook up the finished dish. 

Mattar Paneer Sauce Base

Grind up 2 tomatoes, 1/2 a red onion, 4-5 garlic cloves, and a 1 1/2 inch piece of ginger all together and freeze in a good quality freezer bag. I usually label my bag and try to use anything in my freezer within 3 months. {Note: if you like spicy food, feel free to add a green chili to your sauce base also}

mattar paneer sauce, matter paneer recipe

Assembling the Mattar Paneer

Additional Ingredients:

  • oil for frying
  • 1 teaspoon jeera/cumin seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon haldi/turmeric
  • red chili powder to taste (I use 1/2 a teaspoon)
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garam masala
  • salt to taste
  • 1 1/4 cups water 
  • 1 cup of peas (if you are using fresh peas, boil them for 10 minutes first)
  • 3/4 cup cubed paneer
  • cilantro to garnish

I have to say, this is sort of a “cheat” version of mattar paneer. In a traditional version you would sweat out the onions first and then add the tomatoes, cook everything together, and finally blend your ingredients. I do cook mattar paneer that way sometimes, but for weeknights this is my go-to.

Start by adding about a teaspoon of oil to your pan, warm it up and add the cumin seeds. When the cumin seeds start to sputter add your tomato and onion mixture (sauce base) and cook for 8-10 minutes on medium high heat. You want to get most of the moisture out of the mix, don’t worry if it looks dry!

Add all your spices except garam masala and mix well. Then add water and cook the sauce for 2-3 minutes. If you like you can add more water and if you want a thinner gravy. 

Add in the peas and paneer and heat through for 3-5 minutes on a low heat. Finish with a garnishing of cilantro and serve warm with roti or rice. mattar paneer sauce, mattar paneer recipe

 

I’ve also used this same sauce for a version of aloo mattar (potato and pea sabzi), or dropped in whatever veggies I have on hand in the crisper and need to use up! If you give this recipe a try, let me know what you think by leaving a comment. 

Images by Aziz Dhamani Photography

 

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1 Comment

  1. Pooja
    May 18, 2015 / 7:13 am

    I love your blog! All it is missing is a “print recipe” button!

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