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Mutter Paneer

Written by Marly Schimmelschmidt on February 5th, 2013.      6 comments

Anyone that knows me, will know that I just cannot follow a recipe.  This is not because ‘I cannot follow a recipe’, but because I have an insatiable need to tweak everything I make, when following a recipe that I did not create myself.  Probably a good thing to, as no doubt there are copyright laws protecting original recipe replication, without honouring the source.  This recipe is no exception, hence a few non-traditional ingredients.  This is a modified version of a Nosh Food Market recipe I laid my eyes on some time ago.  Mutter Paneer directly translated means ‘green peas home-made cheese’.  Being somewhat of a cheese-making aficionado I couldn’t help but be drawn to a recipe that allows me to make cheese, and then use this cheese as the centre piece of a dish.  One of the more well known Indian Curries, Mutter Paneer is absolutely beautiful in appearance and taste, and incredibly easy to make.  Further to add to my excitement, it is vegetarian, and you would never know it.  Paneer acts as the perfect meatless protein, and even the most avid meat eater would hardly notice its absence.  I get some outlandish satisfaction from having meat enthusiasts eat a meal such as this, without mention at the lack of meat. Often meat contributes flavour in flavourless meals.  Let me tell you, this curry packs a punch in the flavour department, without the need for meat.  I hope you enjoy it, as much as I, and my manly meat eating dinner guest did.

For The Paneer:

2 Litre of whole milk (Homogenized)
• 1 tsp. of citric acid dissolved in 2 tbsp. of cool water
Step 1: Bring milk to 90 degrees, while stirring constantly (so as not to burn the bottom), once you have reached 90 degrees stir in the diluted citric acid -The milk should start to curdle immediately

Paneer 2
• Step 4: Cover the curds with the cheese cloth and press by placing a bowl of water on top of the curds for 2 – 3 hours until firm.

paneer 6

For the Curry:

• Vegetable oil for frying, plus 80ml
• Thumb size knob of ginger, peel removed and very finely cut
• 200g frozen peas
• 1 carrot halved lengthwise and sliced 
• 1 courgette halved lengthwise and sliced  (or ½ eggplant cubed)
•  Paneer cheese from 2L of milk (cut into desired sized cubes)
• 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
• 1 x tin of crushed tomatoes
• 1 tablespoon tomato paste
• 1 - 2 teaspoons chilli powder (depending on taste)
• 1 tsp Garam masala
• 2 teaspoons turmeric
• 2–4 teaspoons ground coriander
• 1 teaspoon ground cumin
• 1¼ teaspoons salt
• 1 handful of fresh coriander, finely chopped

Photo 7

 • Step 2: Drain the Paneer on a paper towel.

Curry 2

Step 4: Add the courgette, carrot, canned crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, finely sliced ginger, chilli powder, turmeric, ground coriander, ground cumin, and salt.

Curry 5
• Step 6: Stir through the Paneer cubes and peas.

• Step 7: Increase the heat to high and pour in 200ml of boiling water.  Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Allow to sit for 5 minutes to allow flavours to infuse.
paneer 1

Step 2: Once the milk has curdled take the pot off the heat and leave for 5 minutes

• Step 3: After 5 minutes, scoop the curds into a butter muslin lined colander. and press the curds by placing a bowl of water on top of the curds for 2 – 3 hours until firm.
Paneer 4


• Step 5: After the pressing time, cut into desired sized pieces ready for use.


Step 1: Heat the vegetable oil for frying the Paneer over a high heat (be quite generous and cover the entire base of the fry pan). Gently place the Paneer cubes into the oil and fry both sides until they are golden brown. 

paneer 8

Step 3:  Heat the 80ml of oil in a separate large pan for approx. 2 minutes over a medium heat.  Add the cumin seeds to the hot oil and reduce the heat to low as the seeds begin to brown

Curry 6

• Step 5: Stir the spices through thoroughly and allow to cook for a few minute.

Curry 8
Step 8: After the 5 minutes, spoon off any excess oil released by the resting Paneer, and reheat until hot. Serve with preferred rice, fresh coriander and chapatti or naan bread (if desired).

 Final mutter paneer


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