Methi malai matar paneer is a recipe made of Paneer (cottage cheese) in a creamy gravy with onions, tomatoes, cashews and fenugreek leaves. This creamy gravy is slightly thick and rich in texture with a bit of sweetness of cashews and a hint of bitterness from fenugreek leaves.
Methi Matar malai paneer is a recipe which most people have at the restaurant but if you have all the ingredients available in your pantry, it’s easy to make at home.
This recipe requires fresh fenugreek leaves, but if the same is not available you can use Kasuri methi (dry fenugreek leaves).
The word ‘malai’ translates into ‘cream’ in English. But in this recipe, denotes the creamy texture and not compulsorily “use of cream”. However, you can add the cream at last for making it creamier.
If you’re a vegan and do not want to use Paneer, it’s fine. Because there is another recipe variant without paneer which is called “Methi Matar malai”. Therefore, the use of Paneer is completely optional.
The recipe contains few steps but for you, I am starting from a very basic step.
Plucking Methi Leaves
Take a bunch of fenugreek leaves and pluck all the leaves. I took 250 gm of methi bunch for this recipe. You’ll need leaves and not the stem parts. Wash leaves thoroughly to remove any dust particles from them. After washing, chop it roughly and keep it aside.
Sauteeing Fenugreek Leaves
If you’re using fresh fenugreek leaves, this step is required for two reasons. One, that fenugreek leaves will be ready for your gravy and you don’t need to cook it again. Second, that it reduces its bitterness.
Take a pan and heat 1 tablespoon of ghee into it. Keep the flame on medium and add chopped fenugreek leaves. Sprinkle a pinch of salt and cook till water released from the methi leaves completely vapourised. Keep these methi leaves aside.
Making Onion, Tomato and Cashew Puree
Heat 1 tablespoon ghee in a pan. Add roughly chopped 1 large onion, 2 green chillies, 5-6 cloves of garlic and 1-inch ginger. After 2 minutes, add 2 medium roughly chopped tomatoes and 1/3 cup cashews. Cook for 3-4 minutes and then add 1 cup water. Cover and cook for 5 minutes on medium flame. Let it cool down completely and grind into a paste. Keep this puree aside for later use in the recipe.
Preparing Gravy for Methi Malai Matar Paneer
Heat 1 teaspoon oil in a pan. Add 1 teaspoon cumin seeds, 2 bay leaves, 1 cinnamon stick and 4 cardamoms into it. Cook for a while and then add onions, tomatoes and cashews puree mixture with 2 tablespoons of coriander powder, 2 cups of frozen peas and roasted fenugreek leaves. Mix everything well. Cook the gravy for 2-3 minutes and add the water according to the desired consistency. Sprinkle salt as per taste. Cover this and cook for 5 minutes. After this, add 1 cup diced paneer pieces into this gravy and further cover and cook for 5 minutes on medium flame. Now, add 1 teaspoon of garam masala. Methi malai matar paneer is ready to serve with chapati or naan.
Tips for Methi Malai Matar Paneer
- Always use fresh fenugreek leaves. But if the same is not available, you can use Kasuri Methi (dry fenugreek leaves) directly into the gravy at the stage when we added sauteed fenugreek leaves in above recipe.
- For making gravy more creamier, you can add cream into it after the last step of the recipe.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes. You can completely remove the paneer from this recipe or you can use tofu in its place.
Of course, but remember that fresh peas take more time to cook than frozen ones.
I won’t recommend doing that because softer Paneer goes well with the creamy gravy but if you like or prefer roasted Paneer, you may try it.
Methi Malai Matar Paneer
- 2 tbsp ghee
- 250 gm fenugreek leaves or methi leaves
- as per taste salt
- 1 onion, roughly chopped
- 2 green chillies
- 5-6 cloves garlic
- 1 inch ginger
- 2 tomatoes, roughly chopped
- 1/3 cup cashews
- 1 cup water
- 1 tbsp oil
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 4 cardamoms
- 2 tbsp coriander powder
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 1 cup paneer, diced
- 1 tsp garam masala
For sauteeing fenugreek (methi) leaves
- Heat 1 tbsp ghee in a pan.
- Add chopped fenugreek leaves. Sprinkle a pinch of salt on it.
- Cook till water is completely vapourised. Keep it aside.
For making onion, tomatoes and cashews puree
- Heat 1 tbsp ghee in a pan.
- Add onion, green chillies, garlic, ginger and tomatoes into it. Fry them for a while, then add cashews. Cook for 3-4 minutes.
- Then add 1 cup of water into this mixture. Cover and cook for 5 minutes on medium flame.
- Let this mixture cool down completely and afterwards grind it into a fine paste. Keep it aside.
For preparing gravy
- Heat oil in a pan.
- Add cumin seeds, bay leaves, cinnamon stick and cardamoms into it. Once cumin seeds starts crackling, pour onion, tomatoes and cashews puree into it.
- At this stage, add coriander powder, frozen peas and sauteed fenugreek leaves. Mix everything well. Cook for 2-3 minutes and add water to get the desired consistency along with salt.
- Cover and cook for further 5 minutes. Then add paneer. Again cover and cook for 5 minutes.
- Now, add garam masala, cover and switch off the flame.
- Methi malai matar paneer is ready to serve hot.
- Always use fresh fenugreek leaves. But if the same is not available, you can use Kasuri Methi (dry fenugreek leaves) directly into the gravy at the stage when we added sauteed fenugreek leaves in the above recipe.
- For making gravy creamier, you can add cream into it after the last step of the recipe.