15 March, 2016

Matar Paneer Kurma/Korma Recipe | Simple & Easy Peas and Paneer Korma Recipe

Learn how to make Matar Paneer Kurma ~ Peas and Indian cottage cheese cooked in a mildly spiced onion, tomato and yogurt curry

The home looks like a storm has passed with cloths piled on the bed, gifts and boxes of chocolates piled in one corner. The extra-large suitcases are wide open and ready to swallow everything that I throw in its mouth. Few of my salwar kameez and boys’ kurtas finally see the light after being packed away in vacuum sealed bags for a year. Living in a corner of the England where there are very few brown faces means the ethnic cloths remain packed away until we go on our annual pilgrimage to our mother land! :)

Spices used for Matar Paneer Kurma/Korma


I have tonnes of things to finish, and yet here I am watching my fingers tap dance on the keyboard as I think about meeting our loved ones after almost a year. Sometimes I feel this anticipation, the bubbling excitement and the unexplainable joy before the trip is the best part than the whole trip itself! It reminds me of a quote I had read a long ago and imprinted in my memory. It goes something like, ‘do not care much about the destination, but simply enjoy the journey’.

We will be in India for 3 weeks, shopping, eating and more eating, burping loudly, laughing, fighting, complaining about the dust and heat, polishing tubs of ice creams, and enjoying the family wedding. We will visit our farm house four couple of days to think without too many noises pounding on our head and to breathe the fresh air free of poison. It is our sanctuary away from the hustle and bustle of city crowds and harsh lights, as we look up at the vast expanse of sky scattered with billions of twinkling stars. I know there weeks is not enough, but then even 3 months wouldn’t suffice either when one is with the loved ones. Visiting family and friends in India is always a bitter-sweet experience and it will always remain so…



I can’t keep procrastinating and have to finish packing today, as it’s just couple of hours left for our flight. I need to go through the list to make sure we don’t leave them behind. I need to tend to our indoor plants and make sure they survive without our tender care for the next three weeks. I have just a couple of hours to finish the final dusting, cleaning, cooking and dozens of last minutes things to do. Before I say adios, I have a recipe to share. It is Matar Paneer Kurma or Matar Paneer Korma, a mildly spiced peas and Indian cottage cheese simmered in a creamy and delicious onion and yogurt gravy.

According to Wikipedia, the word “Korma” is derived from Urdu ḳormā or ḳormah, meaning “braise”, derived in turn from Turkish kavurma, literally meaning “cooked meat”. Korma has its roots in the Mughalai cuisine of Indian subcontinent dating back to 16th century, where meat or vegetables are braised with water, stock and yogurt or cream. The flavour of a Korma or Kurma is based on a spice mixture combined with yogurt and cooked carefully below curdling temperature by incorporating slowly with the meat or vegetable juices.



My recipe for Matar Paneer Kurma or Korma is a simple one where the whole spices are fried with chopped onions and tomatoes before blending to smooth paste. The creamy thick yogurt is slowly added and simmered to get the smooth and creamy gravy that will delight your taste buds before adding the fried paneer and peas. The final touch is the crushed kasuri methi or the dried fenugreek leaves that elevates the dish to new level. This is a simple and fool proof recipe with rich, thick and creamy gravy without adding any nuts like cashews or almonds and it will delight your family or friends when served with freshly cooked naan or roti or on a bed of flavoured Basmati rice. I suggest you go and cook this delightful Matar Paneer Kurma for the special people in your life now, don’t just wait for the special occasions. After all life is short and every single day is special when you are with the special people in your life! :)

See you folks on the other side of the globe! I am not sure if I will get an time to update the blog with my rants or recipes. Please follow me on Facebook or Instagram you want to catch up with my travelogue. My social network feed is going to be filled with the vibrant colours of India and her glorious food! :) Till the, stay healthy and happy.

 

Ingredients for the Matar Paneer Kurma

Onion-tomato paste for the gravy

Matar Paneer Kurma/Korma


Matar Paneer Kurma (Peas and Indian cottage cheese cooked in a mildly spiced onion, tomato and yogurt curry)
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cooking Time: 25-30 mins
Recipe Level: Easy to Intermediate
Spice Level: Low
Serves: 5-6 people
Shelf Life: 2-3 days in refrigerator
Serving Suggestion: With any Indian flat breads (Whole Wheat Naan or Butter Naan or with any stuffed parathas) or plain/flavoured Basmati rice

Ingredients:
250 gms or around 2½ cups Paneer/Indian Cottage Cheese
1½ cups Green Peas, fresh or frozen (I have used frozen peas)
2 medium Onions, roughly chopped
2 medium Tomatoes, roughly chopped
1½ tsp Ginger-Garlic Paste
1 cup Thick Yogurt, whisked
2 tsp Sugar
Salt to taste
2½-3 tbsp. Oil or Ghee
1-2 tbsp. Fresh Coriander Leaves, finely chopped

Spices Used:
2 inch Cinnamon or Cassia Stick
4 Green Cardamoms
4 Cloves
1 Star Anise (Optional)
1 Bay Leaf
1 tsp Jeera/Cumin Seeds
1 tsp Saunf/Fennel Seeds (Optional, but recommended)
½ tsp Haldi/Turmeric Powder
½-1 tsp Red Chilli Powder (Adjust as per taste)
1 tbsp. Dhania/Coriander Powder
1 tbsp. Kasuri Methi/Dried Fenugreek Leaves
½ tsp Garam Masala
1 tsp Kitchen King Masala (Optional, but recommended)


Method:
Preparation:
  1. Chop onion and tomatoes roughly and keep them aside.
  2. Whisk the yogurt to remove any lumps and keep it aside.
  3. Cut the paneer into 1 inch squares or triangles of 1 cm thick pieces.
  4. Heat the griddle or tawa and spread 1 tbsp. oil or ghee. Place paneer pieces on heated griddle in a single layer. Fry the paneer pieces on both sides until it turns golden, about a minute each. Keep the fried paneer pieces immersed in a bowl of hot water. This helps in keeping the fried pieces stay soft.
  5. If using a fresh green peas, boil 2 cups of water and add washed fresh peas. Cover and turn off the flame. Let the peas sit for 5-6 minutes. Drain all the water passing through a colander and refresh the peas by rinsing them in ice cold water. Alternatively you can steam them for 4-5 minutes. Keep them aside until needed.

Prepare Onion-Tomato Paste:
  1. Heat 1 tbsp. oil or ghee in a pan and add cinnamon, cloves, green cardamoms, star anise and bay leaf. Fry the whole spices for a minute on a medium flame.
  2. Add cumin seeds and fennel seeds and fry them until cumin seeds sizzle and turn deeper shade, about 1 minute.
  3. Mix in roughly chopped onions, sugar and ¼ tsp salt. The sugar helps in caramelising the onions while the salt speeds the cooking of onions. Sauté the onions on medium flame until the edges turn golden brown, about 2-3 mins.
  4. Add ginger-garlic paste and sauté until the raw smell disappears, about 2 mins, on medium flame.
  5. Next add the chopped tomatoes and cook until the tomatoes turn pulpy and releases its juice, about 2-3 mins.
  6. Turn off the gas and let the mixture cool down to room temperature. Once the mixture is cool, grind it to smooth paste without adding any water.
Proceed to make the Kurma:
  1. Heat ½ tbsp. oil or ghee in a pan and add ground onion-tomato paste. Fry the paste on medium flame for 3-4 minutes until the moisture is absorbed and the oil oozes from the side.
  2. Next add turmeric powder, red chilli powder, coriander powder and kitchen king masala and mix them well.
  3. Add whisked thick yogurt and mix them well. Keep stirring the mixture for a minute or two. Add about 2-2½ cups of water and bring the gravy to gentle boil, about 4-5 mins.
  4. Once the gravy comes to gentle boil, add the peas and salt to taste. Let it cook covered for 2-3 minutes.
  5. Add fried paneer pieces, garam masala and dried fenugreek leaves crushed between fingers. Add about ½-1 cup of water if you find the gravy too thick. Lower the heat to low and let it cook uncovered for 4-5 mins.
  6. Turn off the heat and mix in finely chopped coriander leaves. Cover and let it rest for 10-30 minutes for all the flavours to blend well.
  7. Gently heat the curry before serving. Serve this delicious creamy Matar Paneer Kurma with With any Indian flat breads (Whole Wheat Naan or Butter Naan or with any stuffed parathas) or plain/flavoured Basmati rice and enjoy!




Sia’s Notes:
  • Keep the fried paneer pieces immersed in a bowl of hot water. This helps in keeping the fried pieces stay soft.
  • If using a fresh green peas, boil 2 cups of water and add washed fresh peas. Cover and turn off the flame. Let the peas sit for 5-6 minutes. Drain all the water passing through a colander and refresh the peas by rinsing them in ice cold water. Alternatively you can steam them for 4-5 minutes. Keep them aside until needed. 
  • When cooking the onions, add about a tsp of sugar and a generous pinch of salt. The sugar helps in caramelising the onions while the salt speeds the cooking of onions.

7 comments:

  1. the thought of going back home is always so freaking awesome!!!! i was in Nepal in March and im already looking forward to my trip, hopefully soon. have a lovely time :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Dixya! I read somewhere that we may grow like branches in a tree, but our root still belongs in the family home! :)

      Delete
  2. I can so much relate with the topic of planning, shopping and packing when heading to India, it's such a nice feeling many a times hard to express. Have a safe Journey Sia.
    The kurma is a nice variation from the usual matar paneer that I make,your photos are top class Sia !!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Shilpa! We become kids every time we pack or bags to visit our loved ones in India! :)
      Please do keep me posted if you ever decide to try this recipe. It is simple and easy to make and loved by all in my family.

      Delete
  3. What a delicious recipe I love the recipe yummyy

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hi Sia
    I am not able to follow you on Instagram. Is there some problem with your Instagram account?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sandhya, as far as I know there's no problem with the account. In fact I got few followers today on Instagram. May be you need to reinstall the app as it may be outdated?! Or just logout from your Instagram account and log in again and see if it works. Just a thought.

      Delete

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