I firmly believe that food plays the biggest part in any kind of celebration. Special occasions demand specific kinds of food to create that quintessential celebratory vibe. It was only last month that I nearly forgot (I usually don’t) the day of “Rath Yatra” or the world famous “Car/ Chariot festival” until there was a gentle reminder from mom-in-law. I have fond memories of this day being celebrated at home by watching the live telecast of the event from Puri (Odisha, India) together followed by relishing lip smacking saatvik food (veg dishes made without onion-garlic) cooked by mom. Yup! I knew I had to cook really quickly something saatwik, special and luscious on the occasion of “Rath Yatra” and the result was “Creamy Matar-Paneer Curry”.
Creamy Matar-Paneer Curry
When I was in super hurry to cook something special on “Rath Yatra” / “Chariot Festival”, to my utmost relief, I found some Paneer or Cottage Cheese lying in the refrigerator. That put me at ease but I wanted to cook something different, without onion-garlic yet “gourmet-ish” for the special occasion. “Creamy Matar-Paneer Curry” was something that fulfilled all the above mentioned criteria and the fact that it’s less time consuming acted as the much needed bonus.
Creamy Matar Paneer Curry is basically cottage cheese and green peas cooked in cashew paste along with other subtle Indian flavours. The dish is something that’s comforting, alluring and the delectable treat that you would love to cook on special or auspicious occasions.
- Cottage Cheese / Paneer – 150 gms
- Green Peas – 35-40 gms
- Green Chillies – 4-5
- Hung Curd – 4 tablespoons
- Cumin Seeds – 2 teaspoons
- Ginger Paste – 3-4 teaspoons
- Cashew Paste – 30 gms
- Bay Leaf – 1
- Turmeric Powder – 1 teaspoon
- Kashmiri Red Chilli Powder – 1-2 teaspoons
- Coriander Powder – 1 teaspoon
- Vegetable Oil – 3-4 tablespoons
- Salt to taste
- Cut the cottage cheese / paneer into cubes or small rectangular pieces. Heat 2-3 teaspoons of oil in a pan and cook the paneer pieces till they change colour slightly. Don’t overcook it, else they will turn hard and rubbery. Once done, keep aside.
- In the same pan add 3-4 tablespoons of oil . Add cumin seeds and bay leaf and slit green chillies. Saute for a minute or so.
- Add ginger paste, turmeric powder, red chilli powder and coriander powder and mix well.
- Add cashew paste and give it a nice mix. Cook the mixture for about 5 minutes till oil starts to separate a little.
- At that point add hung curd in the mixture and mix well. Cook till the oil separates and the mixture starts thickening a bit.
- Add a little bit of water in the mixture. Add green peas, paneer chunks and salt to taste and mix well. Put the lid on and let it cook for about 7-10 minutes.
- Garnish it with coriander leaves and serve hot.
Creamy Matar Paneer Curry tastes amazingly luscious and takes very little time to cook (I swear it does). The creamy texture of the gravy that the cashew paste and curd render makes it gourmet-ish while slit green chillies give the dish the much required punch. When I cooked it for the first time I was a little sceptical about the taste but by the time I had it, all my apprehensions jumped out of the window. This is not only a gorgeous looking dish but the tastes equally toothsome. Creamy Matar Paneer Curry is best relished with puris or parathas. This is the best dish to cook when you have time crunch as I had and yet you can come up with a gorgeous looking dish.
I really hope that you all cook it, eat it, feed others and do share your feedback with me.
Till then, Happy Munching & Keep Smiling! 🙂