Paneer Aloo Matar Recipe: Easy Instant Pot Guide & Serving Tips

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Written By Haryana’s Restaurant

Authentic Indian Food – Classic Indian Cuisine in Terrace BC

Craving a dish that’s both comforting and bursting with flavor? Look no further than Aloo Matar Paneer, a beloved North Indian curry that masterfully combines potatoes (aloo), peas (matar), and paneer (Indian cottage cheese). This hearty medley offers a delightful mix of textures and tastes, from the creamy paneer to the tender potatoes and sweet peas, all enveloped in a richly spiced tomato-based gravy.

What makes Aloo Matar Paneer truly special is its versatility. You can easily swap out paneer for tofu if you’re aiming for a vegan version or use frozen peas by simply soaking them before cooking. Plus, it’s naturally gluten-free! Whether you enjoy it with rice or naan, this dish promises to be a hit at your dining table. And if you have leftovers, they store wonderfully in the fridge for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 12 months.

Ingredients

To create the delicious and comforting Aloo Matar Paneer, you will need a combination of fresh vegetables, paneer, and aromatic spices. Here are the detailed ingredients:

Paneer, Aloo, and Matar

  • 1 cup Potatoes cubed
  • ½ cup Peas
  • 1 cup Paneer (cottage cheese) cubed
  • 1 cup Onions sliced
  • 1 cup Tomatoes roughly chopped
  • 2 pcs Green chilies slit into half
  • ¼ cup Coriander stems chopped

Spices and Oils

  • 1 tsp Oil
  • 1 tsp Cumin seeds
  • 12 pcs Dry red chili
  • 1 pinch Asafoetida
  • 1 tsp Ginger garlic paste
  • 1 tsp Turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp Red chili powder
  • 2 tsp Coriander powder
  • ½ tsp Cumin powder
  • ½ tsp Black pepper powder
  • 1 tsp Garam Masala
  • 1 tsp Salt

Additionally:

  • Ensure not to overcook the paneer as it can become rubbery.
  • Use fresh tomatoes for a richer flavor.
  • Garnish with fresh coriander leaves for added aroma and presentation.

Required Tools and Equipment

To prepare a delicious Paneer Aloo Matar, you will need specific tools and equipment to ensure the cooking process is smooth and efficient. Here’s what you’ll need:

  1. Instant Pot or Pressure Cooker: Essential for cooking your masala paste and vegetables quickly while preserving flavors.
  2. Grinder or Blender: Required to blend the masala paste ingredients into a smooth consistency.
  3. Knife and Cutting Board: For chopping tomatoes, onions, green chilies, ginger, garlic, coriander leaves, paneer, and potatoes.
  4. Measuring Cups and Spoons: To measure out ingredients like spices accurately.
  5. Spatula or Wooden Spoon: Useful for stirring the masala paste so it doesn’t stick to the pot.
  6. Bowls: To hold chopped vegetables and ground masala paste before combining them in your Instant Pot.

Preparation Steps

Let’s dive into the detailed steps needed to prepare your delicious Paneer Aloo Matar.

Preparing Vegetables

  1. Peel and Cube Potatoes: Start by peeling 1 cup of potatoes, then cut them into small cubes.
  2. Slice Onions: Take 1 cup of onions and slice them thinly for even cooking.
  3. Chop Tomatoes: Roughly chop 1 cup of tomatoes, ensuring they are ready to blend into the masala paste.
  4. Slit Green Chilies: Carefully slit 2 green chilies lengthwise; this will add a subtle heat to your dish.
  5. Prepare Peas: Measure out ½ cup of peas (fresh or frozen) and set aside.

Preparing Paneer

  1. Cube Paneer: Cut 1 cup of paneer (cottage cheese) into bite-sized cubes for easy mixing and even distribution in the curry.
  2. Optional – Fry Paneer: For added texture, you can lightly fry the paneer cubes in a teaspoon of oil until they turn golden brown on all sides before adding them to the curry.

Cooking Process

Follow these steps to create a delicious Paneer Aloo Matar. This section will guide you through making the masala and combining all the ingredients using an Instant Pot or Pressure Cooker.

Making the Masala

  1. Prepare Ingredients: Gather your prepped ingredients: sliced onions, chopped tomatoes, ginger garlic paste, cumin seeds, dry red chilies, and asafoetida.
  2. Heat Oil: Press the sauté button on your Instant Pot and let it display ‘hot’. Add 1 tsp of oil to the inner steel pot.
  3. Crackle Cumin Seeds: Once the oil is hot, add 1 tsp of cumin seeds and let them crackle.
  4. Add Aromatics: Add 12 pcs of dry red chili and a pinch of asafoetida; sauté until fragrant.
  5. Sauté Onions & Ginger Garlic Paste: Add 1 cup of sliced onions and 1 tsp of ginger garlic paste; sauté until onions become golden brown.
  6. Blend Masala Paste: Transfer this mixture to a blender along with roughly chopped tomatoes (1 cup), green chilies (2 pcs slit in half), coriander stems (¼ cup), cashews (optional), and blend into a smooth paste.

Cooking the Vegetables

1. Return Masala Paste to Pot: Pour the ground masala paste back into the Instant Pot.

2. Sauté Masala Paste: Sauté this mixture while stirring often until it thickens and looks glossy; adjust heat setting if necessary by pressing the sauté button twice to bring it down if too hot.

3. Add Spices: Mix in 1 tsp turmeric powder, 1 tsp red chili powder, and 1 tsp garam masala powder; continue sautéing for another minute for flavors to meld.

4. Incorporate Vegetables & Water:

  • Add cubed potatoes (1 cup) first and sauté for about 2 minutes.
  • Follow with peas (½ cup) and paneer cubes (also optional frying beforehand for added texture).
  • Pour in water (2 cups) along with salt (to taste); mix thoroughly ensuring nothing sticks at the bottom by deglazing if needed.

5. Pressure Cook:

  • Seal lid securely making sure valve is set to sealing position,
  • Press pressure cook/manual button setting time at high pressure for just 3 minutes.

6. Release Pressure:

Wait five minutes post cooking completion beep before doing quick release method cautiously.

7. Finish Dish:

Open lid then gently fold fresh coriander leaves mixing again carefully before serving warm/hot alongside chapatis/naan/rice as preferred accompaniment!

Optional Variations

Feel free to customize your Paneer Aloo Matar with these optional variations to suit different dietary preferences and tastes.

Vegan Version

To make a vegan version of Paneer Aloo Matar, replace paneer with tofu. Grill or air-fry the tofu pieces before adding them to the curry for an extra layer of flavor and texture. Ensure you use oil instead of ghee to keep it fully vegan.

Without Onion And Garlic

If you prefer to avoid onion and garlic, you can still enjoy this delicious dish by following the same steps but skipping these ingredients. This variation offers a lighter flavor while maintaining the richness from the spices and other vegetables.

Serving Suggestions

Paneer Aloo Matar is a versatile dish that pairs well with various sides. Here are some serving suggestions to enhance your meal experience:

With Naan or Chapati

Serve Paneer Aloo Matar hot with freshly made naan or chapati. The soft and fluffy texture of naan complements the rich flavors of the curry, while chapatis add a wholesome touch.

Over Steamed Rice

A classic choice is to serve Paneer Aloo Matar over steamed rice. The plain rice balances the spiciness and richness of the curry, creating a harmonious meal.

With Flavored Rice

For an elevated experience, pair this dish with flavored rice like jeera (cumin) rice or peas pulao. The subtle spices in these rice dishes complement the vibrant flavors of Paneer Aloo Matar.

Accompanied by Raita

Add a side of raita to cool down the palate. Cucumber raita or boondi raita adds a refreshing contrast to the spicy notes in your main dish.

Garnished with Fresh Coriander

Before serving, garnish your Paneer Aloo Matar with freshly chopped coriander leaves for added color and aroma.

These suggestions not only enhance the taste but also provide variety, making your dining experience delightful and memorable.

Make Ahead and Storage

Planning ahead for your Paneer Aloo Matar can save you time and effort. Learn how to store this delicious dish properly to enjoy it later.

Refrigeration

Store leftover Paneer Aloo Matar in an airtight container. It will stay fresh in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Before serving, reheat the dish on a stovetop over medium heat, stirring occasionally until heated through. Alternatively, you can use a microwave, heating it in short intervals while stirring between each interval.

Freezing

For longer storage, freeze Paneer Aloo Matar in freezer-safe containers or heavy-duty freezer bags. Remove as much air as possible before sealing to prevent freezer burn. The dish can be frozen for up to 2 months. To reheat, thaw it overnight in the refrigerator and then warm it on the stovetop over medium heat until thoroughly heated. You may need to add a splash of water or cream during reheating to restore its creamy consistency.

Conclusion

Paneer Aloo Matar is a versatile and flavorful dish that can easily become a staple in your meal rotation. Whether you prefer the ease of an Instant Pot or the traditional pressure cooker method, this recipe offers flexibility and rich taste.

Pair it with naan or chapati for a classic combination or serve it over rice for a comforting bowl of goodness. Don’t forget to add raita and fresh coriander to elevate your dining experience.

With tips on making ahead and storing, you’re well-equipped to enjoy this delicious dish anytime without compromising on its creamy consistency and robust flavors.

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