There are some foods that I love to eat, but never even consider making.
Now, I’m going the Indian route! Mattar Paneer is what I pretty much always order when I get Indian takeout. Now, this version of Mattar Paneer probably isn’t authentic, but it’s certainly delicious!
This recipe developed after reading a bunch of Mattar Paneer recipes, and also raiding my spices, pantry, and fridge. As I said, it’s not very authentic…I used crema mexicana in it…definitely not a common Indian ingredient, hahah! But it’s what I had in the fridge, and it works just as well as yogurt or cream 😛
This dish is very flavorful–a little sweet, very savory, and pretty dang spicy. But, the heat level is somewhat tempered by a bit of dairy and plain white rice.
This will make a bunch of sauce, so if you want, you can get creative and use some with paneer, some with chicken, some with veggies… I’ve even put tofu in this and it was really tasty.
Yield: at least 6 servings
- 4 small to medium sweet onions, chopped
- piece of fresh ginger the size of your thumb, peeled and chopped
- 1/4 cup roasted garlic olive oil (or use regular and throw in a couple minced garlic cloves)
- kosher salt
- 3 dried chiles de arbor, seeded
- 1 and 1/2 tbsp curry powder
- 1 and 1/2 tbsp ground cumin
- 1 and 1/2 tbsp ground turmeric
- 1 and 1/2 tbsp garam masala
- freshly-ground black pepper
- 28 oz. can fire-roasted tomatoes
- 2 bay leaves
- juice of 1 lemon
- 3/4 cup half-and-half, crema mexicana, yogurt, etc
- 1 and 1/2 tbsp granulated sugar
- 2 cups frozen peas
- 12-14 oz. paneer, cut into bite-sized cubes (or try tofu or chicken)
- In a large dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Saute the onions and ginger for 5-8 minutes, until translucent and starting to brown. Add in the dried chiles, spices, and salt and pepper, and sauce for 1 to 2 minutes until fragrant.
- Add in the tomatoes and bay leaves and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 15-20 minutes. Remove the dried chilies and bay leaves and discard.
- Carefully, ladle the contents into a blender and blend until smooth. Pour back into the dutch-oven, and heat over medium heat. Stir in the lemon juice, dairy, and sugar. Add in the peas and paneer and heat until warmed.
- Serve with white rice and naan!