The grass is always greener on the other side!
This is what I understand after ordering a plate of Matar Paneer from a nearby restaurant in Kolkata! There was a time when I used to miss the typical Kolkatan food in Gurgaon and mostly ended on preparing bong delicacies at home to fill the gap between availability and not-availability and wrongly available. Now that I am in Kolkata, I have started missing typical North Indian food! Coming to the quality and taste of Matar Paneer I ordered; it was nothing but disaster and I was badly missing typical North Indian spicy Restaurant Style Matar Paneer…
Now here I am with my Restaurant style Matar Paneer that I made last week to indulge the taste bud with the typical aroma of North Indian spicy, colorful Restaurant wala Matar Paneer. Matar Paneer which is a famous Tomato gravy based Peas and Cottage Cheese curry from the Northern part of the country and requires no further introduction. This dish is one of the heroes of the North Indian Menu from small Dhabas to exquisite five stars!
Before making it, I was exploring the web world to check the variations of Matar Paneer and found around 5-6 types of different recipes. Though the basic ingredients are same but process-wise those recipes are quite a bit different from each other and then I relied on my memory and taste bud and made it. You may found my recipe, not the authentic one but I just tried to recreate the typical restaurant like look and taste of the dish and believe me, my attempt of preparing Restaurant Style Matar Paneer was successful!
- Paneer/ Cottage Cheese: 250g
- Fresh Curd: 4 Tbsp.
- Green Peas: ½ Cup /75g
- Tomato: 2 (medium)
- Onion: 2 (medium size)
- Ginger: 1’’
- Garlic: 6-7 pod
- Cumin Seed: ½ Tsp.
- Cumin Powder: ½ Tsp.
- Coriander Powder: ⅔ Tsp.
- Garam Masala Powder: ½ Tsp.
- Kasuri Methi/ Dried Fenugreek Leaves: ½ Tsp. (optional)
- Kashmiri Red Chili Powder: 1 Tsp.
- Turmeric Powder: ½ Tsp.
- Sugar: 1 Tsp. (optional)
- Butter: 1 Tsp. (optional)
- Refined Vegetable Oil: 3 Tbsp.
- Salt: to taste
- Cut Paneer into 1” cubes and keep that aside.
- Roughly chop Onion, Tomato, Ginger, and Garlic.
- Heat 1 Tbsp. Oil in a wok and start frying Onions and add Tomato, Ginger, and Garlic one by one after Onion turned a bit pinkish in color.
- Add a little salt and continue cooking in medium flame until tomatoes dissolve completely.
- Switch the flame off and give the spice mix time to cool down completely.
- Now make a paste of the cooked Onion-Tomato-Ginger-Garlic using a food processor. I have made it after giving the mixture a standing time of 15 minutes.
- Now add remaining oil to the same pan and heat the oil properly.
- Temper the oil with Cumin seed and add Turmeric Powder and Kashmiri Red powder and again cook for 1 minutes. This step is essential to give a bright color to the gravy.
- Now add the Onion-Tomato-Ginger and Garlic paste to the tempering and start cooking on the medium flame for around 3-4 minutes or till water evaporates.
- Now add Cumin Powder and Coriander Powder and cook again for 1 minute in low flame.
- Beat curd to make it creamy and add that to the cooked spices and mix vigorously and then cook on low flame to get it mixed properly.
- Now add some crushed Kasuri Methi and Sugar to the mixture along with 1 Cup of water.
- Adjust the salt at this stage.
- Mix properly and add Peas to the mixture and the then cook for 5 minutes after covering the Wok with a lid in medium flame until oil separates from the mixture.
- Now add the pieces of Paneer and ½ cup of water and then cook for 3-4 minutes.
- Add Garam Masala Powder and switch the flame off after having a semi-thick consistency of the gravy.
- Add some Butter and give a careful mix.
- Enjoy Restaurant style Matar Paneer with Roti/ Nan/ Rice/ Pulav
Few ingredients I used are optional but gives amazing taste to the Matar Paneer