Monday, March 14, 2011

Indian- Mattar Paneer

Curried peas and cheese with rice


  • Onion, chopped -- 1
  • Garlic, chopped -- 3 to 4 cloves
  • Ginger, peeled, thinly sliced -- 1 tablespoon
  • Oil -- 1/4 cup
  • Paneer, cubed -- 1 cup
  • Peas -- 1 pound
  • Tomato sauce -- 1 cup
  • Water -- 1/2 to 1 cup
  • Coriander, ground -- 1 tablespoon
  • Turmeric -- 1 teaspoon
  • Sugar -- 1 to 2 teaspoons
  • Cayenne pepper -- 1/4 teaspoon
  • Salt and pepper -- to taste


  1. Puree the onion, garlic, ginger and spices in a blender or food processor, adding a little water if necessary. Set aside.
  2. Heat the oil over medium heat in a large skillet or wok. Add the paneer cubes and fry until lightly golden. Remove the paneer to a plate and set aside.
  3. Reduce the heat to medium low and add the onion puree. Sauté for 5 to 8 minutes, or until the onion loses its raw taste and the mixture cooks down.
  4. Add back the paneer and stir in the rest of ingredients. Simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, adjust seasoning and serve with naan or chapati.


  • Aloo Matar: Substitute 1 to 2 cups of peeled, cubed potatoes for the paneer. Follow the same steps as above, browning the potatoes in the same way as for the paneer.
  • Stir in 1 to 2 tablespoons of yogurt or cream at the end if you like.
  • Add 1-2 teaspoons of paprika to the onion-spice puree if you like.
  • Sprinkle the finished dish with a little garam masala and some chopped cilantro.

Chana Masala

Recipe from

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
    2 medium onions, minced
    1 clove garlic, minced
    2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
    1 fresh, hot green chili pepper, minced
    1 tablespoon ground coriander
    2 teaspoons ground cumin
    1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper (I used a quarter of this because my cayenne is extremely hot)
    1 teaspoon ground turmeric
    2 teaspoons cumin seeds, toasted and ground
    1 tablespoon amchoor powder (see note)
    2 teaspoons paprika
    1 teaspoon garam masala
    2 cups tomatoes, chopped small or 1 15-ounce can of whole tomatoes with their juices, chopped small
    2/3 cup water
    4 cups cooked chickpeas or 2 (15-ounce) cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1/2 lemon (juiced) (see note; I used a whole lemon to swap for the amchoor powder)

    "Heat oil in a large skillet. Add onion, garlic, ginger and pepper and sauté over medium heat until browned, about 5 minutes. Turn heat down to medium-low and add the coriander, cumin, cayenne, turmeric, cumin seeds, amchoor (if using it), paprika and garam masala. Cook onion mixture with spiced for a minute or two, then add the tomatoes and any accumulated juices, scraping up any bits that have stuck to the pan. Add the water and chickpeas. Simmer uncovered for 10 minutes, then stir in salt and lemon juice.

    Eat up or put a lid on it and reheat it when needed. Curries such as this reheat very well, later or or in the days that follow, should it last that long."