I am a huge fan of paneer (Indian cottage cheese). Well, as a matter of fact, a four of us are. And this tomato peas and paneer curry is right up there among our family favourites.
I have always believed in the fact that most dishes can have a healthy version without going overboard on items that may make it unnecessarily rich and not so good for you. When one enjoys a meal, a bloated feeling is not something one wants to have later. Moreover, when one cooks sensibly, one can indulge in the dish more frequently. And of course, as always, my mantra is that healthy cooking need not taste and look bland and boring.
This paneer curry is one such dish. The curry looks good and tastes good! It gives off the appearance of richness, has a texture that is creamy and flavours that makes your tongue sing. Yet, it is equally easy to make, has some simple ingredients and is packed with flavour. I do make it often, and this time I noted it down and also recorded a video to share with all of you. Do give it a try to see what I mean and you won’t regret it.
As this is a tomato based gravy, the more lush the tomatoes, the better the flavour of your dish will turn out to be.
We almost always have his curry with some kind of Indian flatbread and a fresh salad, as I feel that the combination works the best. Scooping up the curry with a bit of Indian flatbread is truly satisfying. Having said that, there is no reason as to why it cannot be a side dish to a rice dish as well. However, keep do keep it in mind that this is quite a thick curry so you might need to make more of it to go with your rice dish. Or use this as a side dish along with others, perhaps with a simple dal.
This is a thick gravy. So keep an eye on it and stir frequently, scraping the bottom every time to avoid the gravy sticking to the bottom of the pan. If it thickens too much before the cooking time, just add a little bit of water and stir well.
Continue reading for the full printable recipe and instruction video for the tomato peas and paneer curry.
Tomato, peas and paneer curry
- 500 gms tomatoes, chopped (see notes below)
- 1 onion, peeled and chopped
- 1 bay leaf, halved
- 2 whole dried red chillies, halved
- 4 pods of cardamom, split at one end
- 2 1 inch sticks of cinnamon
- 4 cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped
- ½ tsp turmeric powder
- 1 tsp coriander powder
- 1 tsp cumin powder
- 1 tsp kasuri methi (dried fenugreek leaves)
- ¼ cup cashew nuts
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup peas (I used frozen and soaked them in water to defrost)
- 200 gms paneer, cut into small pieces
- ¼ cup chopped coriander
- 1 tsp ghee (see notes below)
- 1 bay leaf, halved
- 1 whole red chilli, halved
- 1 small stick of cinnamon
- 3 pods of cardamom
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- In a cooking pot, add the tomato, onion, bay leaf, whole dried red chillies, cashew nuts, cinnamon, cardamom, garlic, turmeric powder, cumin powder, coriander powder, kasuri methi, salt and water. Mix well.
- Place the pot over high heat and bring to a boil.
- Stir, cover and cook over low heat for 20 minutes or till the tomatoes are mushy. Keep stirring in between and breaking up the tomatoes with your ladle.
- Remove from heat, cool and grind everything together, including the whole spices.
- Transfer the ground mixture to a pot.
- Add the peas and mix in.
- Place the pot over low heat, stir and bring to a slight simmer.
- As soon as you see bubbles on the sides, stir, cover and cook for 5 minutes. Keep stirring in between.
- Mix in the paneer.
- Mix in the garam masala powder, stir well and cover.
- Meanwhile, heat a small pan and add the ghee.
- When the ghee is hot, add the rest of the ingredients for tempering. Stir well.
- Add the tempering (everything in the small pan) to the curry and mix well.
- Mix in chopped coriander.
- Stir and cook covered for a minute. Stir well in between. Make sure the gravy does not stick to the pan.
- Remove from heat and serve hot with Indian flatbreads.
- This is a tomato based dish. The riper and sweeter the tomatoes, the tastier the gravy will be.
- Ghee adds a beautiful flavour. I have used only a teaspoon, so try not to skip it. If it is not available, add 1 teaspoon of sunflower or vegetable oil.
- This is a thick gravy. At any stage, if you find the gravy begins to stick to the bottom of the pan, add a very small amount of water.
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Until next time,