Matter Paneer Made Simple Recipe | Vegetarian Times Skip to main content

Matter Paneer Made Simple

30 minutes or fewer
Nidhi Chanani, a lifelong vegetarian, streamlined her mother’s matter paneer recipe to make a meal her friends love. “My mother’s version takes twice as long and uses lots of heavy cream and ghee [clarified butter],” she says. Paneer is a mild, fresh cheese used in Indian stews. To make this recipe vegan, Nidhi omits the sour cream, uses cubed tofu instead of paneer and cooks the stew 10 to 15 minutes more. 2nd Place, 2006 recipe contest.



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1 large onion, quartered
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1 ½ Tbs. vegetable oil
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½ tsp. whole brown mustard seeds
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½ tsp. ground cumin
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1 bay leaf
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1 clove garlic, minced (about 1 tsp.)
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1 15-oz. can tomato sauce
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2 tsp. ground coriander
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1 tsp. garam masala
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½ tsp. ground turmeric
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½ tsp. salt
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½ tsp. paprika
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1 10-oz. pkg. frozen peas, thawed
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3 Tbs. reduced-fat sour cream
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¼ tsp. sugar
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1 8-oz. pkg. paneer, cut into 1-inch cubes


  1. Purée onion in food processor.
  2. Heat oil in pot over medium heat. Add mustard seeds, cumin and bay leaf. Cook 1 minute, or until fragrant.
  3. Add onion and garlic, and sauté 5 to 7 minutes, or until browned. Stir in tomato sauce, coriander, garam masala, turmeric, salt and paprika. Simmer 10 minutes, or until sauce thickens, stirring occasionally. Add up to 1/2 cup water if sauce is too thick.
  4. Stir in peas, sour cream and sugar. Simmer 5 minutes, or until peas are heated through.
  5. Fold in paneer, and cook 3 minutes more. Remove bay leaf, and serve hot with basmati rice or naan bread.

Nutrition Information: 

13 g
Total Fat: 
14 g
Saturated Fat: 
7 g
17 g
43 mg
754 mg
4 g
8 g
Serves 6

Comments on this Recipe

Incredibly flavorful! I love this one and I think it will be a regular on my dinner table...

Good and definitely cheaper than buying the sauce in a jar.

Since the magazine came out in '06, I have included this on the menu regulary. My eight year old asks me to make it for her. Thank you Nidhi Chanani for making our tummies so happy with this one!

this came out pretty good and took less than 30 minutes except that i had to defrost some stock to cook the rice i made to go with it. i didn't have enough peas so i added 3/4 can of chickpeas...was good that way but i think i'd like it a bit better with all peas. i also didn't have sour cream just greek yogurt and my homemade paneer sort of disintegrated but overall a quick and hearty meal. my boyfriend really liked it so it will definitely be on the weeknight menu again. =)

This recipe was my introduction to Indian food back in 2006. 8 years later I am a huge Indian food fan and cook many different recipes, but still keep going back to this one. I add a lot more spice now, but it's still delicious!

My family and I love this recipe! I was just wondering how much 1 serving is? Thanks.