Muttar paneer masala

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Muttar paneer masala - a quick and easy vegetarian curry with peas and paneer cheese. This sauce is so creamy and luxurious!

Something I never thought I’d say: I think I might be starting to like peas! They’re still probably my least favourite vegetable, but I actually almost enjoy them these days. Almost. It definitely helps when they’re smothered in a luscious sauce like in this muttar paneer masala. For those of you who aren’t hugely familiar with Indian-inspired food, muttar means peas, and paneer is a dense, creamy cheese that’s really common in curries. And I pretty much love anything that’s served with cheese, so I’m happy.

Muttar paneer masala - a quick and easy vegetarian curry with peas and paneer cheese. This sauce is so creamy and luxurious!

A cheese curry might sound a little odd, but we’re not talking about lumps of cheddar here (although…?!). Paneer doesn’t have a huge amount of flavour itself, just a lovely creaminess, so it’s great for soaking up tasty curry sauces. It’s my favourite – I always order some kind of paneer dish when we get Indian food. I usually get saag paneer every single time, but I’ve been trying to branch out a bit lately, and paneer masala is a new favourite. It’s super rich and creamy – not particularly spicy, just ever so slightly sweet, and really luxurious tasting.

Muttar paneer masala - a quick and easy vegetarian curry with peas and paneer cheese. This sauce is so creamy and luxurious!

Of course, this is my own entirely non-authentic version of muttar paneer masala. If you want a real Indian recipe, look elsewhere (unless I’m an accidental culinary genius and have come up with an authentic recipe entirely on my own… but let’s face it, that’s pretty unlikely). This version is quick and easy to make though, and tastes great, so I’m not particularly bothered about authenticity.

Muttar paneer masala - a quick and easy vegetarian curry with peas and paneer cheese. This sauce is so creamy and luxurious!

Don’t worry if your spice cupboard isn’t stacked to the ceiling – this muttar paneer masala only uses a few everyday spices. I’m not keen on buying tons of new ingredients for recipes that I’ll only use once, and will then clutter up my cupboards forever more, so I try to keep things simple. I basically use the same 10-ish spices in everything I cook (only 4 in this curry!), and it seems to work for me!

Muttar paneer masala - a quick and easy vegetarian curry with peas and paneer cheese. This sauce is so creamy and luxurious!

Muttar Paneer Masala

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4.84 from 6 votes
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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 2 people
Calories:
Author: Becca Heyes

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 225 g paneer cheese, cut into 2cm dice (~ 2 cups when diced)
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 400 g tinned tomatoes (~ 1 1/3 cups)
  • 2 tbsp single cream
  • 70 g (~ 1/2 cup) frozen peas
  • 1/2 tbsp sugar
  • Salt
  • Black pepper
  • Few sprigs fresh coriander (cilantro), chopped, to serve

Instructions

  • Heat a dash of oil in a large frying pan, and add the diced paneer in a single layer. Cook over a medium-high heat for 5 minutes, turning the pieces of cheese regularly, until golden brown.
  • In a separate frying pan, heat another dash of oil. Add the diced onion and minced garlic, and cook over a medium heat for a few minutes, until soft and translucent. Add the spices, and cook for 1 more minute, stirring regularly. Next add the tinned tomatoes, and bring to a gentle simmer.
  • Using an immersion blender, carefully blend the tomato curry sauce to your desired smoothness.
  • Add the cream, frozen peas and sugar, along with a generous pinch of salt and pepper. Bring to a gentle simmer again, and cook for a few minutes until the peas are defrosted. Add the fried paneer, and serve topped with some chopped coriander (cilantro).

Nutritional information is approximate, and will depend on your exact ingredients. Please calculate your own nutritional values if you require accuracy for health reasons.

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Note: Nutritional information is approximate, and will depend on exactly what ingredients you choose. Information above is for 1/2 the recipe.

Paneer is also great crumbled! Try it as part of a stuffing for this paneer stuffed butternut squash:

Paneer stuffed butternut squash

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18 Comments

  1. I just made this and it was delicious! I used chickpeas instead of green peas and Greek yogurt instead of cream because it’s what I had. All around excellent :)5 stars

  2. Definitely gonna give this a try. We love Indian food, especially if it includes Paneer.
    Question : where did you find those silver (Indian) serving dishes? Been on the hunt for them since we eat Indian at least once a week :)4 stars

    1. My brother brought me the little (rice) one back from his travels! And the larger (curry) one, I can’t remember… maybe Wayfair? Looks like they do them (here), looks a slightly different shape to mine so probably not the exact one I’ve got but looks good enough!

    1. In the UK we have single and double cream – single has a lower fat content than double so it’s ever so slightly thinner in consistency (but both are a pourable liquid). I think heavy cream is probably the equivalent of double cream? But to be honest it doesn’t really matter too much, I’m sure heavy cream would work just fine in this :)

      1. I am given to understand from other sources that heavy cream is more like our whipping cream, and our single cream is more like the American half-and-half. But I’m sure any kind of cream would be delicious in this recipe – I don’t add it myself, as I tend to put a dollop of yoghurt on to my curries.5 stars

  3. My son is vegan and I was wondering if you could adapt this recipe using tofu and coconut cream? I don’t have a ton of experience with these ingredients but it seems it could work. Thoughts? Thanks5 stars

  4. This one is making my mouth water!
    I have made my own paneer in the old days when I could still be bothered to do that sort of thing (I think it’s nicer than the packs I’ve tried!) but you’ve used all my favourite spices in this and I know they’ll totally transform the paneer!

    Cautionary tale: a few years ago I ordered saag paneer and when it arrived they’d used cheddar – it was vile, seriously horrible! I should have said something, obviously, but I didn’t want to make a fuss and appear to be telling them their job!