Monday 23 November 2009

Mutter Paneer (Green Peas and Cheese Curry)

Would you like to treat yourself with a true Punjabi meal? Then you’re at the right place. The striking feature of most of the Punjabi dishes is that they are mostly rich and copious, with an abundant use of butter, cream, ghee and cheese in the preparations which are furthermore royally spiced and flavored. Even more, than for their food, I love the Punjabis in a special way because, like me, eeeehhhhh, the Punjabis are hearty people who love to eat and enjoy every bite of their food to the fullest.
There are so many lip smacking curries both in their Vegetarian and the Non-vegetarian specialties and one among them is this creamy Mutter Paneer!!!

This was my first attempt to do this at home and I’ve been googling for the authentic recipe in so many websites but then, I would not even be sure that I found the original method…since I was totally lost in the 1001 variations of this wonderful dish.

So, I don’t know if this could be one of the ways a true Punjabi prepares this dish but this is how I concocted with what lingered in my memory about the taste of this dish (delicious memories of a Punjabi restaurant at Agra) and of course with the example from My Dhaba’s recipe, that I slightly modified according to my personal likings, but I can guarantee the Goodness of the deadly combination of Paneer with the amazing flavor of the soft peas in this truly irresistible gravy, which I’m sure will take you away to the land of 5 Rivers!!!!

Ingredients we need:

For the Paneer (for a little more than 500g of Paneer):
2 liters of full fat milk
4 tbsp of lime juice
¼ tsp Salt and Pepper (optional)

For the gravy:
500g Paneer
500g Green Peas
Whole spices (1 cinnamon stick, 3 cloves, 3 cardamom pods, ¼ tsp peppercorns, 1 tsp fennel seeds)
1 tsp whole cumin seeds
1 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp hot chilly powder
6 cashew nuts
1tbsp of ginger julienned
1 tbsp of garlic julienned
5 green chilies deseeded and chopped
5 chopped tomatoes
2 big onions
200 ml yoghurt
A pinch of sugar
½ a tsp garam masala
2 sticks of Salted butter
Coriander leaves for garnishing


To prepare Paneer:
Pour the milk in a double bottomed vessel along with salt and pepper and bring it to boil on medium heat.

Simmer and add drops of lime juice little by little into the milk, in order to curdle the milk slowly.

Stir gently leave it for a few minutes off the fire so that the whole milk curdles.

Remove from the heat, rinse with some cold water and pour into a colander which has been lined with cheesecloth or some fine muslin cloth. Hold the corners of the cheesecloth and bring them together to make a knot and tie them together. Hang it for about half an hour (I hang it right above the sink, just an idea).

Squeeze out slightly if there are any more liquids and now place the cheese tightly together in the cloth and keep it pressed under something heavy and place this in the refrigerator until ready to use.

After a few hours, once the paneer gets firm, remove and cut into desired shapes.

To prepare the gravy:
Chop the onions and the tomatoes.

Shell the green peas (if you’re using fresh ones) and cook for about 5 minutes in salted boiling water. Drain and reserve. (Frozen peas can also be used, in that case, defreeze them and keep it ready)

Cut the paneer into bite size cubes.

Heat sufficient ghee in a pan on medium flame and fry the Paneer cubes until golden brown.

Remove and drain them over a paper towel to remove excess oil.

In the same pan, add the chopped onions and fry until slightly brown. Add the tomatoes and fry them until slightly soft. Let it cool down completely before blending it to a smooth mixture.

Heat another vessel on medium flame and add 5 big tbsp of ghee.
Splutter all the whole spices with the cumin seeds and the cashew nuts and fry until the cashew nuts brown.

Add the julienned ginger, garlic and the green chilies, followed by the coriander and chilly powder and fry for a few seconds.

Add the tomato/ onion mixture and fry until oil oozes out (I suggest you may close the vessel partially with a lid to avoid getting burnt by the hot splashing liquid)

Beat the yoghurt slightly and add it to the above. Stir well until the yoghurt is well incorporated in the sauce. Add the salt and the sugar.

Add the green peas and the paneer cubes and simmer for about 10 minutes.

Sprinkle some garam masala and spoon some salted butter on top. Serve it perfumed with a bouquet of coriander leaves and enjoy it with any Indian Breads like Naan /Parotta / Chapati….. !!!


Soma Pradhan said...

Looks very yummy..home made paneer makes it even tastie

Balakrishna Saraswathy said...

Wow!!! what a tempting dish my dear..utterly irresistible:)

Cham said...

I wish I could grab ur bowl!

chakhlere said...

Oh my my , It looks so mouthwatering !! Great with that lovely roti!

Pari said...

Hi. The Mutter paneer looks very inviting dear and I totally agree that you can make this in various ways but I do not agree with one statement you have made that Punjabi dishes are all about butter and's a very wrong belief which persists every where. There are surely certain Punjabi dishes which call for a lot of butter and cream. I am surrounded by largely Punjabis in my locality and to a large extent their food is devoid of butter and cream and still is very very tasty.( exception of their Parathas, they have to eat that with fresh home made butter only):-)

kitchen queen said...

The mutter paneer looks bright and colourful and very tempting to have with rotis.

shanthi said...

Colourful and awesome recipe. Its really very inviting. I would like to have it now with that naan. Nice clicks.

Jean's Saappadu said...

Dear All, Thank you for the sweet comments!

Dear Pari,
"one statement you have made that Punjabi dishes are all about butter and cream"

I didn't mention in any of my statements that "ALL" of them are RICH... and whatever I've said here has nothing to offense the Punjabis in any hard feelings please!!!!

"I am surrounded by largely Punjabis in my locality and to a large extent their food is devoid of butter and cream and still is very very tasty.

and neither did I say that food without butter has no taste......

thank you anyway for the information about the food habits of the Punjabis living in your locality :):)

Rohini said...

Looks so rich and delicious!

Buddy please collect your award from my blog! :)

Priya said...

Feel like finishing that whole bowl, my all time favourite, u did paneer from the scratch, tremendous dear...regarding ur q'n about bread pudding, i dunno exactly how long to bake..i followed the steam cook as the original recipe went for, y not let me give a try to bake the pudding..

Suvaiyaana Suvai said...

Looks very yummy!!!!

Sarah Naveen said...

OMG!!! the gravy looks fabulously yummy dea..!!love to have it now with some porotta..
OOh i m drooling...

Tina said...

Really exellent dear.....Colourful and yummy.

Viki's Kitchen said...

This is a very nice post da . I am kind of lazy to try these items from scratch. Your explanation n pics inspire me to the paneer too. Lovely into to Punjabi food. Me too, a true foodie and love all those who love food:) Peas masala looks absolutely delicious.

Dolly said...

You Nailed this dish. I'm originally from North(raised in Mumbai though)and this is the way my mom makes Mutter paneer. Looks absolutely gorgeous and irrestible. Beautiful Presentation.

Also Food is one thing which surpasses all boundaries. North-South-East-West.

Vrinda said...

Lov mutter paneer,lov the look of the rich gravy..just mouthwatering....

Malar Gandhi said...

Wow Vino, you did exactly the way they do in god, from scratch 'paneer', I really need to appreciate ur effort. Yes, love foodies who enjoy every bite of their course, ofcurse. Lovely presentation.

n33ma said...

The gravy looks so rich and yummy!paneer has also turned out so well.

Ushnish Ghosh said...

Dear Jean
What a dish indeed! I am linking it to my library as " Jean's Badshahi Mutter Paneer", just to distinguish from many muter paneer recipes I have.
I always use fried paneer and faced some criticisms. Adding a dash of pepper in the milk is great..I will do that.
Thanks for sharing and happy cooking ( and eating too :-)

Dhanya Nambirajan said...

Wow..Paneer curry looks delicious. I am drooling here....

Latha said...

Deicious and yummy dish.....

First time here....You have a lovely drop at mine when time permits. Following u.

Anonymous said...

Recipe looks good. I have got some more tips from your recipe. I am looking for nutrient tips for mutter paneer, because after palak paneer this is the second paneer dish which has good nutrients.

Sharmilee! :) said...

Rich and creamy matar paneer!

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