Easy Matar Paneer or Peas Paneer, Microwaved

IMG_4696Quick and delicious Peas Paneer or Mattar Paneer made in less than 15 minutes in the microwave…

After a long day, when I don’t feel like spending too much time in my kitchen, easy breezy recipes come to rescue me. One such recipe that I’ve fallen for lately is Peas Paneer or Mattar paneer( in Hindi), which is a famous North Indian veggie dish, often served with Naan or chapati. I never thought that I could make Peas Paneer in less than 15 minutes in my microwave. If I had known this before, this dish would have made frequent appearances for my lunch or dinner.

For those of you who don’t know much about Paneer, here are a few interesting facts about Paneer:

  • Paneer is the most common Cheese in India, commonly used in North Indian cooking.
  • It is completely lacto-vegetarian as the making of paneer does not involve Rennet (which is traditionally derived from calf stomachs, but today may come from genetically modified microbes or fungi) as the coagulation agent.
  • It is a good source of protein for hard core vegetarians.
  • Paneer is one such cheese which can be prepared easily in anyone’s kitchen.

Preparation of Paneer:

  • To prepare paneer, food acid (usually lemon juice, vinegar, citric acid or yogurt) is added to hot milk to separate the curd from the whey. The curd is then drained in a muslin cloth or cheesecloth and excess water is pressed out. The resulting paneer is dipped in chilled water for 2 to 3 hours to give it a good texture and appearance.
  • From this point, the preparation of paneer varies based on its use.
  • In most of the Indian cuisine, the paneer wrapped in cloth is put under a heavy weight, such as a stone slab, for 2 to 3 hours, and is then cut into cubes and used in curries. Pressing for a shorter time (approximately 20 minutes), results in a softer, fluffier cheese.
  • Frozen Paneer is available in almost all Indian grocery stores and it can be used in all types of curries.

Common Paneer dishes are:

  • Mattar paneer ( Peas Paneer)
  • Palak paneer( Spinach Paneer)
  • Chili Paneer( Spicy Paneer)
  • Paneer pakora( Fried Paneer)
  • Paneer Tikka Masala
  • Paneer Makhani ( Butter Paneer)

Mattar Paneer or Peas Paneer, Microwaved:

Ingredients:

  • Paneer cubes- 1 cup
  • Frozen Peas, thawed – 1 cup (or use fresh peas)
  • Onion, minced, medium size-1
  • Green chilies minced- 1 tsp
  • Ginger minced- 1/2 inch
  • Chili powder- 1/2 tsp
  • Cumin powder-1/2 tsp
  • Garam masala- 1/2 tsp
  • Tomato paste ( no salt added) or fresh Tomato puree- 5 tbsp
  • Cashew nuts  – 8
  • Cilantro chopped- 1 handful
  • Oil- 2 tbsp
  • Salt- to taste
  • Water- 4 tbsp
  • Microwave proof dish with lid – for microwave cooking

Instruction:

  • In a blender, grind onion, green chilies and ginger together into a smooth paste.
  • In a wide non-skillet pan, heat the oil, add the paste and fry for 5 minutes until the raw smell of onion goes away.
  • Add the tomato paste, chili powder, cumin powder, garam masala and the peas along with 1 tbsp water and give it a stir.

  • Transfer this into a microwave proof dish, close it with its lid and microwave at high power for 3 minutes.
  • To the above Peas mixture, add salt to taste, paneer cubes, cashew nuts, 3 tbsp water and mix gently.
  • Cover the dish and again microwave for another 2 minutes and let stand for 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Garnish with cilantro and serve hot with Naan or Rice.

IMG_4692

Tips:

  • Adjust the spice level of this dish accordingly.
  • If you don’t have a microwave, you could make it in the pan itself, after the peas has cooked well, add the paneer, cashew nuts, salt and cook for few minutes. Don’t mash or break the paneer.

 

Mattar Paneer or Peas Paneer, Microwaved
 
Ingredients
  • Paneer cubes- 1 cup
  • Frozen Peas, thawed - 1 cup
  • Onion, minced, medium size-1
  • Green chilies minced- 1 tsp
  • Ginger minced- ½ inch
  • Chili powder- ½ tsp
  • Cumin powder-1/2 tsp
  • Garam masala- ½ tsp
  • Tomato paste ( no salt added) or fresh Tomato puree- 5 tbsp
  • Cashew nuts - 8
  • Cilantro chopped- 1 handful
  • Oil- 2 tbsp
  • Salt- to taste
  • Water- 4 tbsp
  • Microwave proof dish with lid - for microwave cooking
Instructions
  1. In a blender, grind onion, green chilies and ginger together into a smooth paste.
  2. In a wide non-skillet pan, heat the oil, add the paste and fry for 5 minutes until the raw smell of onion goes away.
  3. Add the tomato paste, chili powder, cumin powder, garam masala and the peas along with 1 tbsp water and give it a stir.
  4. Transfer this into a microwave proof dish, close it with its lid and microwave at high power for 3 minutes.
  5. To the above Peas mixture, add little salt, paneer cubes, cashew nuts, 3 tbsp water and mix gently.
  6. Cover the dish and again microwave for another 2 minutes and let stand for 2 to 3 minutes.
  7. Garnish with cilantro and serve hot with Naan or Rice.
Preparation of Paneer
  1. To prepare paneer, food acid (usually lemon juice, vinegar, citric acid or yogurt) is added to hot milk to separate the curd from the whey. The curd is then drained in a muslin cloth or cheesecloth and excess water is pressed out. The resulting paneer is dipped in chilled water for 2 to 3 hours to give it a good texture and appearance.
  2. From this point, the preparation of paneer varies based on its use.
  3. In most of the Indian cuisine, paneer wrapped in cloth is put under a heavy weight such as a stone slab, for 2 to 3 hours, and is then cut into cubes and used in curries.
  4. Pressing for a shorter time (approximately 20 minutes), results in a softer, fluffier cheese.
  5. Frozen Paneer is available in almost all Indian grocery stores and it can be used in all types of curries.
Notes
Adjust the spice level of this dish accordingly.
If you don't have a microwave, you could make it in the pan itself, after the peas has cooked well, add the paneer, cashew nuts, salt and cook for few minutes. Don't mash or break the paneer.

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