Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Paneer Matar

Blogging Marathon# 63 -Journey through the cuisines: Day 16
State: Punjab
Dish: Paneer Matar

Not so long ago I was checking me blog index to see what all I have there. To my sheer surprise, I had Paneer Makhani, Tofu Mutter, Palak Paneer, Methi Mutter Malai and Methi Mutter Masala; butt no Paneer Matar or Mutter Paneer as a lot of people also call it. I had that thought at the back of my mind while I was making a list for this Mega Marathon. Today's letter is P, and there are a dozen ingredients and dishes in Punjabi cuisine that begin from P: Palak, Paneer, Peas, Pinjri, Phirni, Pinni. But I chose a dish that essentially is the heart of Punjab: Paneer Matar.



Generally seen as a simple dish, there are ample ways to make Paneer Matar. I have relished this dish at the dhabas in Punjab, and now how hard I try, I can never replicate the taste. The chief reason for that I think is that I use frozen paneer, and not fresh like them. I have thought of making paneer several times, but always put it off till the next time! I think I should soon start making my own paneer. 



Coming to the dish, as I mentioned, there are various forms of the same. While some have a very dry sabji of paneer and matar, some have a thick gravy made from blanched tomatoes and some have a very smooth gravy made from onion paste and tomato paste. I have used pureed tomatoes and finely diced onions, that gives a slight crunchy texture to the dish. Also, there is a difference in the way people treat their paneer. Some like to saute it in little oil before adding to the curry, some deep fry it and few people just add diced paneer. I did the last, just dropped cubed paneer in my curry and it tasted just fine. That has a more dhaba feel to it, where people do not generally fry their paneer.



Ingredients

Paneer 1 block
Peas 1 cup
Onion 2 medium
Tomatoes 3-4 medium pureed
Garlic, ginger chilli paste 1 tbsp
Mustard seeds 1 tsp
Cumin seeds 1 tsp
Asafoetida a pinch
Bay leaf 1
Oil 1 tbsp
Red Chilli Powder 2 tsp 
Turmeric powder 1 tsp
Salt, Sugar, Lime juice to taste
Cilantro



Method

Thaw paneer and cut into cubes. Boil peas in water till partially soft (about 4-5 minutes). 

Heat oil in a pan, add mustard seeds. once they pop, add asafoetida, cumin seeds and bay leaf. Once the cumin pops, add ginger garlic and chilli paste. Cook till the raw flavor vanishes. 

Next, add finely diced onions and cook till soft. Add the tomato puree, red chilli powder and turmeric. Cover and cook till the curry becomes bright red. Then add the boiled peas and paneer. 




Season with salt and sugar. Cook for 4-5 minutes to let the paneer and peas absorb the flavor. Turn down the flame and add lime juice. 

Season with cilantro and serve with naan or kulcha. Also, papad and steamed rice along with raita completes the meal!








14 comments :

  1. Smruti your pictures are so stunning, I love how well you plate your dishes..and this matar paneer is our favorite too...

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  2. Wish i get that bowl of paneer mattar rite from my lappy screen, ultimate side dish for rotis.

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  3. You are right about many ways to prepare this curry and there so many versions online. This is such a popular curry all across the globe and a perfect Punjabi dish for P.

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  4. I used to deep fry paneer before but nowadays add it just like that and it turns out very soft. This paneer matar looks so inviting..

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  5. Very tempting recipe. Love your personalized cutting board. Wonderful.

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  6. The dish looks very colorful and is a yummy choice for P.

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  7. Mattar panner is a dish which has to be on the Pujabi tables very often , living in Delhi , i am more of a Punjabi than Sindhi ;)) Tour set up looks perfect for A meal , excellent clicks .

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  8. matar paneer or paneer matar - ki farak Painda :)))

    this looks sooo inviting :) my kid's go-to dish anyday !

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  9. Love matar paneer, such a beautiful presentation...loving it:)

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  10. That is such a classic Punjabi dish Smruthi. Perfect pick for letter P.

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  11. Very beautifully plated. Love the colorful and yummy sabji.

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  12. Matar paneer is such a classic dish and I am literally drooling over your pictures!

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  13. Dry version of matar paneer looks delcious. You should tell us your source f lightening in the pictures. Too good.

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  14. looks so inviting and colorful and I love all these ingredients - lovely side dish I can dig into

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