Mahanandi

Living in Consciousness ~ Indi(r)a’s Food and Garden Weblog

Matar Paneer with Fresh Summer Peas

Plump and firm, fresh peas of summer are a sight to behold. Bouncing out of pods, with that smooth pearly finish in pleasant green and warm sheen, they seem fit for a necklace rather than that endless pit we call stomach.

After the classic south Indian style Guggullu, the next best recipe with freshly shelled peas is the famous north Indian specialty called “Matar Paneer”. Matar means Peas in Hindi language. There are so many different ways to prepare this recipe. Mass produced for buffet, the much-maligned style with frozen peas is sadly how most people get acquainted with matar paneer. Over-cooked in overtly-spiced sauces, poor peas and paneer would evoke pity instead of poignant piquancy. Even the hardcore buffet connoisseurs can’t help but pass the peas. Thus punished, the curry remains in the pan, to spend the night in refrigerator feeling the onion raita’s aroma, all to face another day of reheating and rejection. The sob story of restaurant style matar paneer is truly pull-at-the-heartstrings, tearjerker of bollywood.

In contrast, the home-style version is an Indian housewife’s summer romance with sweet peas. It’s a joyous celebration of nature’s bounty. Fresh cow or buffalo milk churned to paneer, a cup of peas freshly shelled from the pods, few tomatoes plucked from the vines - if you stop and think for a minute, it’s easy to imagine how the recipe originated and the reason it got so famous. A treat for dulled taste buds as well as a sight for sore eyes, fresh peas of summer make matar paneer a pleasure to savor.


Peas, Paneer, Tomatoes and Cashews ~ Ingredients for Matar Paneer

Recipe:

1 cup fresh shelled peas
½ cup each - paneer cubes and roasted cashews
4 tomatoes and 1 onion - finely sliced
1 tablespoon - ginger, garlic and cilantro (GGC) paste
1 tablespoon - clove,cinnamon,coriander and cumin (CCCC) powder
½ tsp each - salt and turmeric (or to taste)
¼ tsp - chilli powder (or to taste)
1 teaspoon oil

Grind roasted cashews to fine powder in a mixer or spice grinder.

Heat oil in a saucepan. Add and saute finely chopped onions till translucent. Add the GGC paste, cook for few seconds. Next, tomatoes turn. Cook them till they turn to mush when pressed with the back of spoon. After spoon-mushing tomatoe pieces, stir in cashew powder, CCCC powder, salt, turmeric and chilli powder. Also green peas and paneer cubes. Add about a cup of water. Mix and simmer covered for about five to ten minutes, until the sauce thickens.

Enjoy with rice, parathas or chapatis.


Matar Paneer with Parathas and Cucumber Raita ~ Enjoying the Goodness of Seasonal Vegetables

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Paneer, Tomato, Cashews, Peas (Bataani) (Thursday June 28, 2007 at 9:02 pm- permalink)
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