Mutter Paneer

Before I moved to the foodie-land of Portland, I lived in a small Minnesota college town.  There wasn’t a lot in the way of restaurants, just the requisite pizza, sandwich shops, and a pub or two.  The one option for more worldly cuisine was an Indian restaurant and it was by far my favorite place to get dinner in town.  That was where I first learned about mutter paneer and my life hasn’t been the same since.  I immediately fell in love with the aromatic spices, sweet green peas, and chewy paneer cheese all covered in a rich and creamy sauce.  I can hardly bring myself to order anything else at an indian restaurant now that I know about it.  It’s a funny thing that I’ve never tried making it at home until this week!

I served it with Whole Foods brand naan for dinner last night to make my life easier but I mixed the leftovers with quinoa for lunch today liked that even better!  If you want to be more traditional, serve it over basmati rice.

Mutter Paneer
serves 4-6
adapted from Lisa’s Kitchen

Ingredients
- 1/4 cup water
- 2 Tbs ground coriander
- 2 tsp turmeric
- 1 tsp paprika
- 2 tsp cayenne
- 2 Tbs butter, divided
- 1 Tbs olive oil
- 8 oz fresh paneer, cubed
- 2 tsp cumin seeds
- 1/2 tsp black mustard seeds
- 1/2 tsp fennel seeds
- 2 cups tomatoes, diced (I actually Pomi brand chopped tomatoes since fresh ones aren’t in season)
-  2 cups full-fat plain yogurt
- 1 lb peas (defrost if using frozen)
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 Tbs garam masala

1. In a small bowl, mix water, coriander, turmeric, paprika, and cayenne until a paste is formed.  Set aside.

2. In a large pot heat 1 Tbs butter and olive oil over medium-high heat.  Add paneer and cook until browned on all sides, stirring constantly.  This should take 5 minutes or so.  Remove paneer from pan with a slotted spoon and set on a paper towel to drain.

3. Add cumin, black mustard and fennel to the heated oil and cook until you hear the spices start popping, about 1 minute.  Immediately add another Tbs butter and the spice paste.  Cook until most of the water has evaporated.

4.  Add tomatoes and allow to bubble and thicken for about 10 minutes.  Add yogurt, peas, paneer, salt, and garam masala.  Simmer until heated through.  Serve with rice, naan, or quinoa.

* I added this post to this week’s Real Food 101Melt in Your Mouth Monday, Fat Tuesday, Gluten-Free WednesdayFresh Bites Friday and Fight Back Friday.

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12 thoughts on “Mutter Paneer

  1. I am a big fan of Indian food…mmmmm! I had some indian friends who would cook for me (well, they were just cooking for themselves and let me come over and eat), and it was always amazing.
    I’ve never had this type of paneer. I have had palak paneer…but I’m ready to branch out! Thanks for sharing your recipe!

  2. Oh wow, This looks delicious. Most curries we make are all day affairs. I love how simple this is to put together and all this fresh spices and seeds you used. I don’t have black mustard seed but just the regular ones. Do you think that will make much of a difference taste wise?

    • I’m not sure…I honestly couldn’t make out a “mustard” taste in the final product and so you might do better to omit them. I actually haven’t used regular mustard seeds in anything and so they might not give much of a mustard taste either. I’ll leave it to your judgement!

    • I know! I think once we’ve been spoiled by good indian food we don’t want to risk the mediocre food we’ll make at home. I think it’s definitely all in the spices and it sounds wonderful that your friend made it so authentically!

  3. Paneer isn’t that hard to make. It involves bringing a gallon of whole milk to just under a boil, then adding a curdling agent like lemon juice or vinegar (about half a cup or so), then pouring the curds that form through a cheesecloth-lined colander so you can gather them up and then place a weight on them to form the paneer. You can find recipes online, or I have even substituted a package of Mexican queso fresco, cut into cubes. I have been looking for a recipe for mutter paneer exactly like this one—thanks so much!!!

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