Indian food is full of tantalizing spices and delectable flavours ready to be explored. There are dishes on the menu of every Indian restaurant suitable for every palate and dietary restriction. If you’re already a fan of the cuisine, it’s likely that you have a favourite dish, or even several favourite dishes. Perhaps you’ve sampled all of the curries, tasted all of the kebabs, and even had your fair share of samosas, and now you’re ready to find a new, delicious dish; enter matter paneer.
Matter paneer is a vegetarian Indian dish that combines paneer, which is a type of soft cheese, and matter, or green peas, in a rich, thick curry. Originating in Punjab, and enjoyed primarily in Northern India, the dish is typically served for lunch or dinner, and accompanied by different types of Indian bread or flavoured rice preparations.
For many, the star of this exquisite dish is the paneer. This delicious cheese is prepared by boiling milk with lemon juice, which causes the cheese and the whey to separate and the milk to curdle. The cheese is then squeezed to remove all of the liquids. At this point, the cheese is quite crumbly, so it’s placed under a weight and left overnight in the refrigerator to harden. The cheese is cut into bite-sized cubes, and is ready to be transformed into delicious matter paneer the very next day. Of course, if you are preparing Indian food at home, you can also buy and use ready-made paneer cubes.
To obtain the final result, the paneer is slow cooked in a smooth yogurt based curry sauce. Besides the cheese, other major ingredients in matter paneer include onions, tomatoes, ginger, garlic paste, and of course, peas. The spices used to create the delicious flavour found in this dish, and many other Indian foods, include cumin powder, turmeric, garam masala and coriander powder. Ground-up onions form the base of the sauce, to which tomato paste and the remainder of the ingredients are added. The dish is often garnished with coriander leaves, and eaten hot; it tastes most delicious when served immediately!
Now that you’ve expanded your Indian food horizons with fresh matter paneer, you won’t want to stop there! If you try the dish and love it, consider trying a similar dish, such as saag paneer, which uses spinach rather than peas. No matter what dish you choose, you will be sure to come back for more!