Tandoori Mattar Paneer Recipe


After editing the grilled tandoori shrimp recipe yesterday, I couldn’t help but feel the urge to make a similar dish today for dinner. Given that I have so many vegetarians in the house, I opted for a mattar paneer dish (peas and cheese) flavored with tandoori paste.

In the morning, I made fresh homemade  paneer cheese (it’s ultra easy). Later, I marinated the paneer cubes in tandoori paste, which dressed them in a beautiful crimson red color. The rest is the usual paneer masala recipe that my husband Lulu loves so much. I used fresh green peas from a local Indian market for color, texture and nutrition.

This recipe isn’t strictly authentic since I combined two dishes I learned from my husband’s late grandmother Baji. But your taste buds won’t complain, I promise.

1. Info for Tandoori Mattar Paneer Recipe

  • Cook Time: unavailable
  • Total Time: unavailable
  • Servings: 8
  • Calories: unavailable

2. Ingredients for Tandoori Mattar Paneer Recipe

  • 3 cups homemade paneer cheese, diced into 1″-pieces
  • ½ cup full-fat Greek yogurt
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil (or any neutral oil)
  • 1-½ pounds green peas, parboiled then transferred to a cold water bath
  • 1 yellow onion, cut into thin wedges
  • ¾ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 2 teaspoons ginger garlic paste
  • 1 teaspoon red chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon paprika (optional)
  • ⅔ teaspoon garam masala
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon black pepper
  • 3 dried red chiles, stemmed

3. Directions:

  1. For the paneer: In a sealable  container, combine 3 tablespoons yogurt, red chili powder, paprika (if used), ½ teaspoon turmeric powder and garam masala. Stir, add the paneer cheese pieces and seal. Shake well. Make sure the tandoori marinade lightly coats the cheese. Brush a griddle pan with oil. Place the cubes of paneer and cook for 2 minutes on each side until the pieces have a dry red-colored thin crust. Set the paneer aside.
  2. For the masala sauce: In a deep pan, heat 1 tablespoon oil. Fry the onion wedges, stirring frequently to prevent the onion from burning, until the color is evenly golden brown. Add the garam masala and turmeric powder. Cook for another 1-2 minutes, then add the remaining yogurt. Transfer half the amount to a plate and the rest to a mini-blender and blend until the sauce is smooth. Add the heavy cream. Set aside.
  3. Assembly time: In the same pan, add more oil. When it’s hot, add the ginger garlic paste and the whole long red chiles. Cook for about 1 minute until fragrant. Add the masala sauce. Keep the temperature high. Stir frequently for about 3-4 minutes.  Add about ½ cup of water (up to a cup) and the green peas. Continue to cook the peas for about 5 minutes. Check the texture of the sauce; it should be thickened and the liquid should have evaporated. If you find the sauce to be too thick, add 2 to 4 tablespoons of water depending on how you want the sauce. Add the tandoori paneer pieces and the reserved onions at the end. Season with salt. Stir well. Simmer for another 2-3 minutes. Cover and let stand until ready to serve.
  4. Serve with steamed basmati rice, naan or roti (flat Indian wheat bread). You can decorate with a few sprigs of fresh cilantro if you like.
  5. Bon appétit!

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