Matar Paneer (Curried Peas and Indian Cheese)

This is, without a doubt, my favourite Indian dish.  For those who haven’t tried it, Paneer is a non-melting cheese similar to Halloumi.  It’s soft in texture and does a great job of absorbing the flavours around it.  It is also very high in protein, making it a great meat substitute.

This dish combines it with a rich tomato-based curry and peas to make both a great main or side dish.  As usual, quick disclaimer – I can’t claim that this is the most ‘authentic’ version of this recipe you’ll find online, but quite frankly Indian food is about using bold flavours to your advantage – there’s always a little room for adaptation!

I’m going to give rough measurements for some of the ingredients based on a 250g block of paneer here, but as always, adapt and alter to your tastes.


  • Paneer (yes, your supermarket has it – just ask)
  • Peas
  • 1 Onion
  • Garlic
  • Ginger (equal in size to garlic)
  • 2-3 tbsp Tomato Paste
  • Handful fresh Coriander
  • 3 tsp Garam Masala
  • 1 tsp Chilli Powder
  • 2 tsp Ground Cumin
  • 1 tspTurmeric
  • Oil


  1. Cut your paneer into cubes.
  2. In a chopper/blender/wet grinder chop the onion into a paste, adding a little oil to help it.
  3. Add the tomato paste, garlic, ginger and spices/herbs and continue blending to a paste.
  4. Add some more water and continue blending until you have a smooth mixture slightly thinner than you like your curry.
  5. Lightly fry the paneer in oil so that the sides are brown (some people prefer not to but I like the crisp)
  6. Pour in the sauce and begin to simmer gently.  As it warms tastes and adjust the seasoning – salt, pepper, more spices it’s all down to your taste.
  7. Add the peas, cover with a lid and continue simmering, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is thicker and the peas are just cooked (you don’t want them to go mushy.)

Serving and Storage

These go excellently with a naan or chapati bread, but some also serve with rice.  Alternatively, it can be an accompaniment to a larger meal.  I like to top with a little ground pepper or fresh coriander.


This will keep in a sealed container in the fridge for a couple of days, and is suitable for reheating in the microwave (but a saucepan is always better).


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