Mamta's Kitchen

Peas, Spinach and Paneer Cheese Curry

Matar-Palak-Paneer

Mamta Gupta

CurryIndianMainVegetarian

Matar paneer and Palak paneer are two of my favourite dishes. So I often mix the two and make one dish. It is quite tasty, I make it often. Here, I have used frozen peas and frozen spinach, but I often use fresh spinach, when in season. Frozen vegetables are generally quite good for this kind of dish.

Serves 6

Edited June 2024

Ingredients

  • 250 gm. Indian cheese or Paneer, cubed (make your own or buy ready made

  • 250 gm. peas, frozen or shelled

  • 250 gm. fresh or frozen spinach leaves

  • 250 gm. tinned or 1 cup chopped fresh tomatoes

  • 2-3 tbsp. cooking oil

  • 1 tsp. cumin seeds

  • 2 bay leaves

  • 2 brown cardamoms

  • 4-5 cloves

  • 2 small pieces of cinnamon/cassia bark

  • A pinch of asafoetida powder

  • 250 gm. onions, peeled and roughly chopped

  • 1-1 1/2 inch piece of ginger

  • 1-2 cloves garlic (optional)

  • 2 tsp. coriander powder

  • 1 tsp. turmeric powder

  • 1/2 tsp. crushed chillies or chilli powder

  • Salt to taste

  • 500 ml of water or milk (see notes)

  • 1 tsp. Garam Masala

  • A handful of coriander leaves for garnish

Instructions

  1. Peel, wash, chop onion, ginger and garlic roughly and then grind in a food processor.

  2. Cut paneer into cubes.

  3. Heat oil in a pan.

  4. Add cumin seeds, bay leaves, cinnamon, cardamoms, cloves and a large pinch of asafoetida & let the seed splutter for a few seconds. Do not let them burn.

  5. Add chopped onions, ginger garlic mix and fry till light to medium brown and oil separates.

  6. Add tomatoes, coriander powder, turmeric, salt and chillies.

  7. Cook, stirring frequently, until oil begins to separate from the gravy. I use less oil, so you do not see it separate, only shine at the edges.

  8. Add the peas and spinach, mix thoroughly.

  9. Add enough water (or milk-see notes), to cover the peas.

  10. Bring to boil on full heat, then cover and simmer for 10 minutes, longer if fresh vegetables are used. If using milk, cooked uncovered. This is to stop the milk from boiling over.

  11. Add paneer* squares, cover and simmer for 5 more minutes. Paneer absorbs liquid and becomes soft.

  12. Adjust seasoning and thickness of gravy to your choice. Turn heat off.

  13. Add chopped coriander and a little garam masala and mix.

  14. Serve hot with Chapatti or Paratha or any other Indian bread or a Plain Pulao Rice.

Notes

  • If you like matar paneer creamy like in restaurants, you can either add 2 tbsp. of double cream at the end of cooking or add full cream milk, instead of water.

  • It is possible to use Tofu instead of paneer, but the taste will be a little different. Cut tofu into bite size squares. Shallow fry on both sides in a non-stick frying pan, until lightly brown. Use as paneer.

  • *Paneer squares can be deep fried before adding to spinach. Fry in hot oil quickly, this will make them brown outside, while still remaining soft. Frying slowly makes them dry up and taste chewy.


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