Matar Paneer recipe with step by step photos. Scrumptious and satisfying Punjabi Matar Paneer - Indian cheese and peas cooked in a traditional masala gravy. This dish is vegetarian, gluten-free, and delicious.
Why did I start blogging?
As requested, today's blog post is about how to pursue your passion while working full-time. When I first started my blog, it was purely out of misery. I was in a negative space back then and needed an outlet, and so I turned to blogging. I loved to cook, so I thought why not document my recipes so I don't have to keep asking my mom for exact measurements.
How to pursue your passion while working full-time?
In order to pursue your passion while working full-time, you have to LOVE your hobby. If you are not passionate about your hobby, you will give up very fast.
Pursuing a hobby is not easy because it requires a lot of time gathering your thoughts, creating content, and then sharing your content. On a single blog post, I easily spend 4 hours editing pictures, writing out the recipe and post, and finally sharing it on social media. This time doesn't even include cooking and photographing a recipe, not to mention recipe failures. As you can see, pursuing a passion is time-consuming, so how does one do it while working fulltime?
By sacrificing, being selfish, learning to say "no" to social outings, skipping happy hour for late-night blogging, and limiting screen time. Having said that, I'm also the type of person who isn't into the whole "drinking culture" and I only need 4-5 good friends in my life. I learned early on to stop being a people pleaser and this has helped me tremendously in working toward my goals. And believe me, your good friends will always understand and support you... although I did hang out with my friends once a week because I loved spending time with them.
In order to achieve anything in life, you're going to have to give something up. Whether you want a successful blog, or that promotion at work, or finding love, or a dream home, or that perfect marriage, or a family... you're going have to adjust your priorities and give something up. Sadly, nothing in life is free, absolutely, NOTHING! You have to work for everything you want in life because very few people have it all without having to try.
So, what exactly did I do?
At the time I started my blog, I was working full-time at a demanding job. I worked my regular day hours, and then logged back in for work later at night. I cooked most days when I got home from work and over the weekends. Additionally, I was only able to photograph my food photos while it was still daylight outside, so getting home from work on time to cook and take pictures during the winter months was nearly impossible.
By the time dinner and the dishes were done, it was 9 PM. This was my "me time" when I would sit down to blog - edit pictures, write out the recipe, and share a story on my blog post. Back then, blogging was kinda like a diary, and for me, that was my outlet. I probably shared too much at times because I felt no one was reading lol... guess I was wrong. Nowadays, I'm more mindful of how much I share.
In the beginning, I aimed to post 3 times a week which was a lot with a full-time job, nowadays, I consider myself lucky getting 2 posts out a week. I stayed up until 2, 3, 4 AM finishing up a blog post and then waking up at 8 AM for work. It wasn't easy, but I was younger so I was able to do it. The older I've gotten, I've realized I can't function on such little sleep. Initially, you need to put in the work so later on, you can reap the rewards.
What are you willing to sacrifice to pursue your passion?
I would write out what you are truly passionate about, what you want to achieve, and list out a plan on how to get there.
- Think about what is taking up so much of your time that's preventing you from pursuing your hobby.
- Is your fulltime job very demanding? If so, figure out how can you make time for your hobby.
- How much sleep can you function on?
- How many times a week do you socialize with friends/family?
- Are you willing to dedicate weekends to your hobby?
- Are you in a toxic relationship that isn't allowing you to focus on your goals? Remember, a healthy relationship will always encourage you to work towards your goal.
- How much time do you spend watching TV/Instagram? If you can limit this to 1 hour a day or none, that's ideal.
Think about the above and how you can make time for your hobby. I recommend putting in 2-3 hours a day on average and then building on that. Figure out how other people in your space are growing. Feel free to DM me on Instagram if you have any questions, or leave a comment below. Hope that helps!
And now sharing my Mom's Matar Paneer.
There are so many different ways of making Matar Paneer. My mom's way is more traditional... paneer and peas cooked in a homestyle masala gravy. A traditional masala gravy consists of ginger, garlic, onions, and tomatoes cooked down to a paste-like consistency. The end result is delicious, mouthwatering Matar Paneer that you can soak up with roti, naan, or rice.
Here are some other Paneer dishes to try -
- Paneer Makhani (no butter, no cream)
- Paneer Kathi Roll
- Mughlai Shahi Paneer (no butter, no ghee, no cream)
Should I saute the paneer or not?
For Matar Paneer, my mom sautees the paneer, however you can always opt not to. Sauteing the paneer lends a slightly different flavor - think fried halloumi cheese - it's so good.
If you're using store-bought paneer, you do not need to soak the paneer in warm water before sauteing, simply cube the paneer and saute for 1-2 minutes max to avoid a rubbery texture. Never overcook the paneer! On the other hand, if you are using store-bought paneer and do not want to saute the paneer, soak it for 20 minutes in hot water to help soften the paneer. Cube the paneer and add it to the dish towards the end.
Can I make Matar Paneer vegan?
Paneer is an Indian cheese so it's not vegan. If you really want to make this recipe vegan, I recommend replacing paneer with tofu. Essentially, you'll be making Tofu Matar Paneer which is delicious, but tofu is no comparison to paneer. Just saying! 🙂
Can I make Matar Paneer creamy?
Yes. Towards the end of this dish right after you add the peas (matar), go ahead and add a little heavy cream (2-4 tbsp) for a rich flavor, or whole milk (½ cup - my preference). Make sure you add the dairy products slowly to avoid curdling. The paneer gravy should turn slightly orange, at this time proceed to add the paneer, kasoori methi, garam masala, and cilantro leaves.
Matar Paneer is:
Quick & Easy
How to make Matar Paneer recipe step by step?
Cook the Masala
1. Heat a pot on medium heat, once hot, add avocado oil followed by cumin seeds, green cardamom, and cloves. Saute for about 30 seconds.
2. Add the ginger and garlic and saute for about 30 seconds.
3. Add the red onions and ½ teaspoon of salt. Stir. Allow the onions to cook for about 7 minutes. Stir occasionally.
4. The onions should be slightly brown.
5. Add the spices - red chili powder, Kashmiri red chili powder, turmeric powder, and coriander powder. Saute for a couple of seconds.
6. Immediately add water and cook down the spices. The water prevents the spices from burning.
7. Result of the onions and spices.
8. Add tomato puree and another ½ teaspoon of salt.
10. Cover and cook for 20 minutes on medium heat. To speed things up, you can leave the lid slightly ajar.
Saute the Paneer
1. While the tomatoes cook down. Cube the paneer. Heat up a nonstick pan on medium heat, add oil, once hot, add cubed paneer.
2. Saute the paneer for 1-2 minutes max. DO NOT OVERCOOK THE PANEER else it'll become rubbery.
3. Transfer the paneer onto a plate with a paper towel. This will help remove some of the excess oil.
Make Matar Paneer
1. 20 minutes later - the tomatoes should look like this.
2. Add 1 ½ cups of water. Stir. Cook for a couple of minutes until heated.
3. Add frozen peas that have been rinsed under warm water. Cook for another 2 minutes.
4. Now add dry kasoori methi leaves. Stir.
5. Add sauteed paneer and cook for about 30 seconds to 1-minute max. Do not overcook the paneer. Turn off the stove.
6. Add garam masala.
7. Finish with ¼ cup of chopped cilantro.
8. Matar Paneer is ready! Check for salt. Allow the flavors to marry for about 15 minutes before serving.
Enjoy with roti/rice!
Matar PaneerVegetarian, Gluten-Free
- ¾ tablespoon avocado oil
- 400 grams paneer, cubed & sauteed
for matar paneer
- 1 tablespoon avocado oil
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 3 green cardamoms
- 2 cloves
- 4 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 inch piece ginger, chopped
- 1 medium red onion, finely chopped, ~ 1 ½ cups
- ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
- ½ teaspoon red chili powder
- 1 teaspoon Kashmiri red chili powder
- 1 tablespoon coriander powder
- 1 teaspoon salt, divided
- ¼ cup water, to cook spices
- 3 Roma tomatoes, pureed, ~ 2 ½ cups
- 1 ½ cups water
- 1 cup frozen peas, rinsed under warm water
- ½ tablespoon kasoori methi
- ½ teaspoon garam masala
- add sauteed paneer
- ¼ cup fresh cilantro
- sprinkle of fresh cilantro
- Chop the ginger and garlic. Chop the red onions, I just used my Chopper. Puree the tomatoes using a NutriBullet.
Cook the Masala
- Heat a pot on medium heat, once hot, add avocado oil followed by cumin seeds, green cardamom, and cloves. Saute for about 30 seconds.
- Add the ginger and garlic and saute for about 30 seconds.
- Add the red onions and ½ teaspoon of salt. Stir. Allow the onions to cook for about 7 minutes. Stir occasionally.
- The onions should be slightly brown.
- Add the spices - red chili powder, Kashmiri red chili powder, turmeric powder, and coriander powder. Saute for a couple of seconds.
- Immediately add water and cook down the spices. The water prevents the spices from burning.
- Result of the onions and spices.
- Add tomato puree and another ½ teaspoon of salt.
- Cover and cook for 20 minutes on medium heat. To speed things up, you can leave the lid slightly ajar.
Saute the Paneer
- While the tomatoes cook down. Cube the paneer. Heat up a nonstick pan on medium heat, add oil, once hot, add cubed paneer.
- Saute the paneer for 1-2 minutes max. DO NOT OVERCOOK THE PANEER else it'll become rubbery.
- Transfer the paneer onto a plate with a paper towel. This will help remove some of the excess oil.
Make Matar Paneer
- 20 minutes later - the tomatoes should look like this.
- Add 1 ½ cups of water. Stir. Cook for a couple of minutes until heated.
- Add frozen peas that have been rinsed under warm water. Cook for another 2 minutes.
- Now add dry kasoori methi leaves. Stir.
- Add sauteed paneer and cook for about 30 seconds to 1-minute max. Do not overcook the paneer. Turn off the stove.
- Add garam masala.
- Finish with ¼ cup of chopped cilantro.
- Matar Paneer is ready! Check for salt. Allow the flavors to marry for about 15 minutes before serving.