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If using store bought paneer, soak it in a bowl of hot water for 20 mins. Drain the water and use. This step helps to keep the paneer soft.
Pour 1 tbsp oil to a hot pan. When the oil turns hot, add 2 green cardamoms, ginger & garlic.
Fry for a minute. Next add 1 cup chopped onions & saute until they turn light golden.
Put in 1½ cup tomatoes, ¼ teaspoon turmeric and ¼ teaspoon salt.
Saute for 2 to 3 mins. Cook covered until soft & mushy.
Add 10 cashews. Cool this completely. Make a fine puree of this in a blender without water.
Heat 2 tbsps oil in the same pan. Saute 1 inch cinnamon & 1 bay leaf for a minute.
Pour the pureed onion tomato mixture. If your puree is not smooth, then pass it through a filter/sieve.
Add ¾ to 1 teaspoon chili powder, ¾ to 1 teaspoon garam masala and ½ to ¾ teaspoon coriander powder.
Saute until the masala comes together and turns thick. Keep stirring to prevent burning.
Next add ¾ cup green peas. Pour 1 to 1 ¼ cups water. If using fresh peas, boil them until tender in a pot, drain and use. If using frozen peas then you can rinse and use.
Mix well to make a thick gravy. Add more water if needed.
Mix and cook covered on a medium heat until the gravy thickens and traces of oil appear over the gravy.
Crush 1 teaspoon kasuri methi in your palm & sprinkle all over. Mix well.
Check salt and add more if needed. Add 1 slit green chilli & 250 grams cubed paneer.
Cover and cook just for 2 mins. Sprinkle coriander leaves and cream.
Stir well. Serve matar paneer with jeera rice, naan or paratha.