Mutter Paneer - Indian Cheese with Peas in a Creamy Tomato Sauce


250g paneer, cut into cubes
1 small red onion, coarsely chopped
1/2 inch thick piece of ginger, roughly cut
3 large cloves garlic
1 green chili
Canola oil
1 teaspoon black cumin seeds
1 bay  leaf
250g chunky tomato passata 
2 teaspoon garam masala
300g fresh or frozen peas, if using frozen do not thaw them
100ml cream
pinch of sea salt
handful of coriander leaves, roughly chopped


  1. To pan-fry the paneer cubes heat a small glug of oil in a skillet to medium and place the paneer cubes in a single layer. Cook them, turning occasionally until all the surfaces is a light golden color. Carefully remove the cheese cubes and allow the drain on kitchen paper towels. Set aside.  

  2. Pulse together onion, garlic, ginger and chili in a food processor until finely pureed.

  3. Pour a drizzle of oil into a saucepan and heat to medium-high. Sprinkle the black cumin seeds and bay leaf and cook for approx 6-8 seconds, until the cumin seeds are fragrant and turn slightly brown.

  4. Add the onion-garlic mixture and stir-fry for approx. 6 minutes until the mixture takes one a reddish golden color.

  5. Pour the passata and mix. Lower the heat to medium, then add the garam masala and salt. Allow to simmer covered for 5 minutes, then remove the lid and simmer for another 5 minutes, until the sauce becomes thick.

  6. Add about 50ml of water, then the peas and stir. Simmer for another 8 minutes or until the peas are tender. Keep an eye on the consistency of the gravy. If you find it is becoming too dry add a few tablespoons of water.

  7. Fold in the cream, then finally add the paneer and allow to simmer for another 5 minutes.

  8. Serve sprinkled with chopped coriander leaves. Is perfect with naans or pitas and even better with a light pilaf.


The Food Guide Tips:

- Make your own homemade paneer

- Find out everything about the Indian spice kitchen