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.
adapted from Lisa’s Kitchen
– 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.