Mutter Paneer


  • Flour for dusting the paneer
  • 6 tbsp clarified butter
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • 2 cups finely chopped onion
  • 1 tsp pressed or mashed garlic
  • 2 tbsp grated ginger
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • ¼ - ½ tsp cayenne pepper
  • ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1-½ cups canned crushed tomatoes
  • 2-½ - 3 cups hot water, divided
  • 10 oz peas (fresh or frozen)
  • 2 tsp kosher salt

To Finish

  • 2 tsp garam masala
  • 4 tbsp minced cilantro

Special Equipment

  • Immersion blender (ideal!), blender or food processor


  1. Heat 3 tbs clarified butter in a large heavy-bottomed pan (non-stick is preferable) over medium heat until very hot
  2. Dust the pieces of paneer in flour, and cook in the hot butter until lightly browned. This should be done in batches so that there is plenty of room to turn the paneer. Transfer the cooked pieces to a plate
  3. Add the remaining 3 tbs clarified butter to the pan and increase the heat to high
  4. Add the cumin and cook for about 30 seconds or until fragrant
  5. Add the onions and cook until golden, stirring often to prevent uneven browning
  6. Add the garlic and ginger and cook a couple of minutes longer
  7. Add the coriander, turmeric, cayenne pepper, black pepper, and paprika. Incorporate well into the onion mixture, then immediately add the tomatoes
  8. Lower the heat and simmer, stirring often, until the mixture thickens and the fat begins to separate, about 10 minutes
  9. Add 2-1/2 cups hot water, stir well, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium, cover, and let cook about 20 minutes. Cool slightly and puree with an immersion blender or in a regular blender food processor until just slightly coarse
  10. If using a regular blender or food processor, return the sauce to the pan
  11. Add 1/2 cup hot water, peas, salt, and the fried paneer to the pan
  12. Bring the sauce to a boil, reduce the heat to medium, and simmer, covered, for about 5 minutes, or until the peas are cooked through
  13. Right before serving, stir in the garam masala and the cilantro
  14. Serve with basmati rice