Living in Consciousness ~ Indi(r)a’s Food and Garden Weblog

Matar Paneer with Fresh Summer Peas

Plump and firm, fresh peas of summer are a sight to behold. Bouncing out of pods, with that smooth pearly finish in pleasant green and warm sheen, they seem fit for a necklace rather than that endless pit we call stomach.

After the classic south Indian style Guggullu, the next best recipe with freshly shelled peas is the famous north Indian specialty called “Matar Paneer”. Matar means Peas in Hindi language. There are so many different ways to prepare this recipe. Mass produced for buffet, the much-maligned style with frozen peas is sadly how most people get acquainted with matar paneer. Over-cooked in overtly-spiced sauces, poor peas and paneer would evoke pity instead of poignant piquancy. Even the hardcore buffet connoisseurs can’t help but pass the peas. Thus punished, the curry remains in the pan, to spend the night in refrigerator feeling the onion raita’s aroma, all to face another day of reheating and rejection. The sob story of restaurant style matar paneer is truly pull-at-the-heartstrings, tearjerker of bollywood.

In contrast, the home-style version is an Indian housewife’s summer romance with sweet peas. It’s a joyous celebration of nature’s bounty. Fresh cow or buffalo milk churned to paneer, a cup of peas freshly shelled from the pods, few tomatoes plucked from the vines – if you stop and think for a minute, it’s easy to imagine how the recipe originated and the reason it got so famous. A treat for dulled taste buds as well as a sight for sore eyes, fresh peas of summer make matar paneer a pleasure to savor.

Peas, Paneer, Tomatoes and Cashews ~ Ingredients for Matar Paneer


1 cup fresh shelled peas
½ cup each – paneer cubes and roasted cashews
4 tomatoes and 1 onion – finely sliced
1 tablespoon – ginger, garlic and cilantro (GGC) paste
1 tablespoon – clove,cinnamon,coriander and cumin (CCCC) powder
½ tsp each – salt and turmeric (or to taste)
¼ tsp – chilli powder (or to taste)
1 teaspoon oil

Grind roasted cashews to fine powder in a mixer or spice grinder.

Heat oil in a saucepan. Add and saute finely chopped onions till translucent. Add the GGC paste, cook for few seconds. Next, tomatoes turn. Cook them till they turn to mush when pressed with the back of spoon. After spoon-mushing tomatoe pieces, stir in cashew powder, CCCC powder, salt, turmeric and chilli powder. Also green peas and paneer cubes. Add about a cup of water. Mix and simmer covered for about five to ten minutes, until the sauce thickens.

Enjoy with rice, parathas or chapatis.

Matar Paneer with Parathas and Cucumber Raita ~ Enjoying the Goodness of Seasonal Vegetables

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Cashews,Paneer,Peas (Bataani),Tomato (Thursday June 28, 2007 at 9:02 pm- permalink)
Comments (44)

The New Home of Mahanandi:

44 comments for Matar Paneer with Fresh Summer Peas »

  1. mmm i love matar paneer 😀

    Comment by The TriniGourmet — June 28, 2007 @ 8:56 pm

  2. Oh this is delightful and makes me want to make it right away! Have you used Trader Joe’s paneer Indira? Do you get fresh peas-in-the-pod at a farmer’s market or peel sugar snap peas?
    Too many questions 🙂 And oh, you have lovely hands…

    Comment by aa — June 28, 2007 @ 9:40 pm

  3. We get to see yr hands after the methi post (I still remember :)).”Endless pit called stomach”, so true. I see extra energy in yr post today. Guess the vacation did help you 🙂

    Comment by Suganya — June 28, 2007 @ 10:57 pm

  4. you have a way with ur words..makes us want to both eat and try these recipes 🙂

    Comment by IBH — June 28, 2007 @ 11:18 pm

  5. Somehow “Indira” has become a person who can talk to me everyday. first thing in the morning what I do is open Mahanandi. During school days the “happy days” are the days on which I could touch and feel my favorite teachers saree. I felt the same way when I see your hands in the above picture. Wonderful recipe. Will try it out this weekend!

    Comment by Nirmala — June 28, 2007 @ 11:21 pm

  6. Hmmm…delicious, wish i was anywhere near Seattle ,would have dropped by to taste it 🙂
    I like those cute steel ‘measuring(i am assuming)cups’for the ingredients.

    Comment by madhuli — June 28, 2007 @ 11:54 pm

  7. Hi Indira

    I am a regular visitor to ur site bt dis s d first time I am leaving a comment. I hv a doubt. Do we need to cook the peas and use or straightaway use them and hw to use the paneer directly in this. Pls. do reply.

    Comment by anandhi — June 29, 2007 @ 12:29 am

  8. Indira, that matar-panner looks delectable. But I really want to know how you make those paranthas in the picture – they look absolutely scrummilicious!

    Comment by Anita — June 29, 2007 @ 12:55 am

  9. Hi!
    Mutter paneer looks delicious!!!

    Comment by usha — June 29, 2007 @ 12:55 am

  10. umm.. Delicious Mattar Paneer…. I visit your site regularly, though this is the first time i am leaving a comment… you site has the warmth of home 🙂 thankx for all the lovely recipes…

    Comment by Cinnamon — June 29, 2007 @ 2:44 am

  11. Cashews in Matar Paneer….this I have to try after the success of your Palak Paneer recipe using the cashews too….
    What a great shot of the fresh peas in the pod… 🙂

    Comment by trupti — June 29, 2007 @ 4:25 am

  12. Wow! I love Matar Paneer. I usually do this at home, using extra-firm tofu instead of paneer.

    Tofu from TS’s is beautiful.

    Comment by Kumudha — June 29, 2007 @ 5:53 am

  13. hi indira,
    matar paneer looks delicious.Nice pics.will try next time with cashews.

    Comment by prajusha — June 29, 2007 @ 9:24 am

  14. Hi Indira, how r u? Mutar paneer looks lovely and yummy. Even y’day night only I prepared matar paneer. We enjoyed a lot. I am going to post it very soon in my blog. Thanks for sharing your version.

    Comment by Jyothi — June 29, 2007 @ 9:37 am

  15. Wow !!excellent pic …I also make matar paneer ..but must try ur version ….nice one

    Comment by Deepa — June 29, 2007 @ 11:13 am

  16. Delicous looking and welll written !!! I am all hungry for matter paneer now !!

    Comment by Revathi — June 29, 2007 @ 1:08 pm

  17. Its my favorite and special bcos K makes it really well!!

    Comment by Deepika Saripalli — June 29, 2007 @ 3:14 pm

  18. Hi Indira,

    I just made it and it turned out awesome. I used some almonds and some cashews (didn’t have enough cashews at home) and it tastes quite good. Thanks for the recipe!

    — Seetha

    Comment by Seetha — June 29, 2007 @ 6:09 pm

  19. Amazing! Your description is splendid. My version is similar, but I use garam masala instead & cashew paste. I’ll use home made cccc & powdered cashews next time. Thanks Indira!
    – Roopa

    Comment by KitchenAromas — June 29, 2007 @ 7:04 pm

  20. Oh, and I can’t get my eyes off that picture perfect peas in the pod.

    Comment by KitchenAromas — June 29, 2007 @ 7:05 pm

  21. Thanks all for your nice comments on this recipe.

    AA: Paneer at Trader Joe? You lucky gal.:) I haven’t seen paneer at Trader Joe here.
    Peas are plump and sweet English peas from our local farmers market (Pike place market).

    Nirmala: Thanks for you kind words.
    I look forward to reading your input on this recipe. Thanks!

    Madhuli: Yep, they are “The Cups” folks in US use. 1-cup, 1/2-cup, 1/3 cup and 1/4 cup – the 4 sizes in the photo are popular and most commonly used measurements here for food ingredients.

    Hi Anandhi: The peas I have used in the recipe are fresh peas. They are quite delicate and cook fast so do not need prior cooking. About paneer – if you want you can fry paneer beforehand and add the fried, golden paneer pieces to the curry at the end. Hope that helps.

    Anita: I wish I’d make parathas that good.:)
    They are purchased at a shop called Trader Joe’s. 4 frozen parathas for 2 dollars and they are made in India. Taste quite decent and like homemade ones.

    Jyothi and Deepika: Thanks and I look forward to reading your versions of matar paneer.

    Seetha: Your version with almond and cashew mix sounds delicious.

    Comment by Indira — June 29, 2007 @ 9:45 pm

  22. hi
    i make this dish a lot many times but looking at your pictures makes me want to eat it right now!!! can you help me? hahah…
    now one more thing, the paratha which you have mentioned looks like a stuffed kulcha sooooo
    yummy, is it a kulcha and if it a paratha how did you get that look on it pls make a post on that too. Thanks….

    Indira replies:
    Hi Mahek: It’s a storebought paratha. Looks so good, doesn’t it?:)

    Comment by mahek — June 30, 2007 @ 5:56 am

  23. Oh, Indira…it’s been such a long time since my last visit, and immediately I’m reminded of just how much I miss you and your blog.

    Mutar Paneer was one of the very first Indian dishes I tried (having come from a background devoid of anything resembling this most delicious cuisine), and I’m still in love with it today.

    I have no idea if the dish I get at our favorite Indian restaurant is made with fresh peas or no, but I’m definitely going to give your recipe a try very soon. Thank you, as always, for providing such amazing recipes.

    And I hope things are well with you!

    Indira replies:
    I missed you too Stephanie! So happy to see you again.
    Matar paneer with fresh peas is really a delight. I think you and Matt will like it a lot.
    Life is little bit hectic compared to Boardman lifestyle, but we are doing ok here. Thanks for asking.
    Hope the remodelling at your home is going smoothly. New look for bedroom, that must be pretty exciting.:)

    Comment by Stephanie — June 30, 2007 @ 12:59 pm

  24. best peapod photo evah!

    Comment by the chocolate lady — July 2, 2007 @ 8:12 am

  25. Indira, I love the way you write. You have described the plight of the poor ‘matar paneer’ very fittingly. I myself had passed this ‘dripping in cream’ dish many a times at the buffet table. I think you should pen down a cookbook. I’m sure there are many like me, who would love to buy it. Of course, as usual, fantastic pictures.

    Comment by Vani — July 2, 2007 @ 12:06 pm

  26. Yummy looking cup of my favorite dish. Cool post.

    Comment by Hima — July 3, 2007 @ 1:27 pm

  27. hi, indira, very good site, i almost visit everyday. but i am scared to comment because you may not take, but i could not resist to comment on paneer peas with cashews, what to say it was superb just like restaurant, thanks.

    Indira replies:
    Hi Vanita, thanks for taking time to write the comment and I am glad to hear that you liked this recipe.
    There is no need to be scared, you are always welcome to write your input on my blogged recipes. Thanks Vanita.

    Comment by vanita — July 6, 2007 @ 8:59 am

  28. Hi again–
    I am shelling the peas at this very moment! I am so excited!

    Indira replies:
    Yay. I am excited for you too.:)
    Have a great matar paneer dinner, dear Chocolate Lady.

    Comment by the chocolate lady — July 6, 2007 @ 11:40 am

  29. Hi Indira,
    this is a wonderful recipe,easy to prepare and very tasty.i am a regular reader of ur blog but rarely comment.just wanted to thank you for all the wonderful dishes.

    Comment by shalini — July 25, 2007 @ 1:16 pm

  30. I made this last night, but forgot the cashew powder. Even though I didn’t have fresh peas on hand, it turned out amazingly, I’m proud of myself and thankful for your site:)

    my variation: i threw in a yellow tomato which added nice color and a pinch of sugar which offset the sourness of the tomatoes (it’s not really tomato season here in new england yet)

    Comment by jules — August 1, 2007 @ 9:34 am

  31. hi.indiraji…thanku for sharing awesme recipe…panner is my favorite,i made this last week…it came out well, really very tasty.i’m a regular reader of ur blog…after seeing ur blog…i got interestd n recently startd blogging…

    Comment by remya — September 14, 2007 @ 3:59 pm

  32. Hi Indra..i have read so many paneer recipes and tried millions too…but when i tried this one came out so well. My husband and I loved this recipe and when i made it too. We didn’t even spare a teaspoon of the leftover. Thanks…keep up the good work.

    Comment by Vidya — October 19, 2007 @ 1:16 pm

  33. Hi Indira

    I accidentally came upon your site while searching for a recipe. I am very passionate about cooking and can spend hours in the kitchen with great happiness!

    I a full time working mum of two, but still look forward to coming home in the evenings and preparing a lovely meal.. Of course, there are the odd days when I just don’t feel the mood to cook.
    I hadn’t been to your site for the last 7 months as I had my son in April and life has been hectic to say the least.. But I was happy to see all the new recipes and also the list of all your recipes in the June archive section which is amazinginly well catalogued.

    It is with great anticipation and excitement that I visit your site. Hats off to you for the wonderful recipes and the even more eloquent writing. You have been doing a fabulous job with the website and all the best to you.

    Warm regards


    Comment by Vandana — November 22, 2007 @ 7:39 am

  34. I made the recipe with nuts, and then without the nuts. Personally, I find that the nuts distract from the fresh taste of paneer and peas, and prefer the dish without nuts.(I put ground cashews or almonds in my butter chicken, which is great with matar paneer, dhal, and rice).

    Comment by Ken — December 21, 2007 @ 7:34 pm

  35. For some reason, the matar paneer I made was rather bitter. I was hoping for a sweet taste, and I’m unsure of what to add to remove that bitterness.

    I did use frozen peas in lieu of fresh ones due to the fact that the latter are not in season.

    Comment by Zelda — December 27, 2007 @ 5:42 pm

  36. What is the recipe for the clove, cinnamon, coriander and cumin (CCCC) powder you refer to?


    Comment by Kris — February 3, 2008 @ 10:30 am

  37. Hi Kris,
    I got exactly the same doubt, after reading Indira’s posts I got her cccc powder from one of her comments, it might help you…..

    cccc powder Indira’s:
    1/4 cup of coriander seeds, 1 tablespoon of cumin, 6 to 8 pieces of cloves and 1 small stick of cinnamon, dry roast them first, once they are cool, grind them to smooth powder. You can add this powder to all types of meat and vegetable curries.

    Sorry Indira for writing on your behalf.


    Hi Rajani, it’s so good to hear from you and thanks very much for helping out.
    I should write a separate post on this CCCC powder, will do it one of these days.:)
    Thanks again!

    Comment by Rajani — March 20, 2008 @ 4:17 pm

  38. Hi Indira!

    I tried this recipe today and it came out great. My husband and I enjoyed it very much.

    I tried with frozen peas. I can’t wait to make it with fresh peas.

    Comment by Krithika — May 21, 2008 @ 7:04 pm

  39. Hi Indira!

    I do visit your site whenever I am in mood to try out something new. Yesterday, i have tried this recipe and it turned out excellent. My husband loved it 🙂 thanks for such easy and delicious recipes.


    Comment by kalyani — December 11, 2008 @ 6:16 am

  40. Hi,

    What is the liquid in this dish? I love Matar Paneer, but the restaurant I go to uses milk. Made me wonder what where the liquid comes from in your recipe. I can’t wait to try it, by the way!!!


    Comment by Jennifer — April 14, 2009 @ 7:10 pm

  41. i tried this came out very good,delicious..
    thank u.

    Comment by hello — November 9, 2009 @ 8:48 pm

  42. thanks. your recepies are easy and truely authentic.

    Comment by kashmira — January 8, 2010 @ 11:49 am

  43. Hi Indira,
    I tried your recipe and it was wonderful. It turned out exactly like the picture so I was thrilled. I didn’t have cashews in the house so substituted it with almond powder. It still tasted good. Thanks.

    Comment by Nithya — March 5, 2011 @ 7:48 am

  44. Great simple recipe. I’ve tried Tarla Dalal’s was not happy & very involved processes (who has time for that?). I got your recipe from web since I wanted to make it for dinner & 5 minutes later was in the kitchen making it! It turned out good. My husband and daughters both complimented me on it. It was less spicy – will put in extra green chili(s) or red chili next time. This one is a keeper and is the one I will use from now on – for us or when I have company over.

    Comment by Daksha — November 18, 2011 @ 12:10 am

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