I am participating in this campaign as a member of the World Market Ambassador Program. I received compensation in the form of gift cards, but all opinions are my own.
Indian food has always been a favorite in our family’s home. My mom went to high school in Delhi, and ever since then has had a deep love for the country, which she passed on to us. We all traveled to India when I was 15. We eat Indian food so often that my mom literally has a tandoori oven in her back yard! And for Christmas day, we don’t have a roast and all the fixins—we have tandoori chicken, sabzi pilau, saag paneer, dal, and samosas.
So you know that when I’m talking Indian food here, it’s the real deal.
Today I want to share my favorite Indian food recipe from my mom, mattar paneer. Mattar paneer is homemade cheese and spiced peas and it is delicious. I’m going to outline how to make the recipe below so that you can see, in photos, how to make it. I’m using some spices and other goodies from World Market—their international food section can’t be beat!
And if you want, at the end there is a printable version of the recipe.
For the cheese:
- 1/2 gallon whole milk
- 1/2 heaping cup plain yogurt
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
For the peas:
- 3 tablespoons ghee (clarified butter)
- 3 tablespoons ginger/garlic mixture (see below)
- 1 cup chopped onions
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 tablespoon garam masala
- 2 cups chopped tomatoes
- 16oz package of frozen peas, thawed
At an Indian market, you can buy a delicious mixture of garlic and ginger (useful in all sorts of cooking!). If you do not have this mixture, use 2 tablespoons chopped fresh ginger and 1 tablespoon chopped fresh garlic.
For the cheese:
NOTE: Make the cheese the day before so that it has time to set. Just refrigerate it and chop the next day in preparation for cooking. If you do not want to make the cheese, most Indian markets sell pre-made paneer.
In a heavy saucepan, bring the whole milk to a boil over high heat. Stir constantly so it doesn’t scald. The milk foam will start to rise. You’ll know it when you see it! It takes about 15 minutes.
Immediately remove from heat and gently stir in the yogurt and the lemon juice. The curds and liquid whey will begin to separate right when you start mixing.
Set a sieve lined with cheesecloth over a bowl and pour the whole contents through the sieve. (We often use Handi Wipes instead of cheesecloth because it’s cheaper)! The whey will drain and the curds will remain in the cheese cloth. Allow to cool enough to handle.
Wrap the cheesecloth around the curds and squeeze out as much whey as possible. Reserve one cup of whey for making the peas. You can also freeze the leftover whey and use it in place of water in soup recipes!
Flatten out the curds so that it’s an even thickness, and wrap in cheese cloth, setting it on a towel.
Place another towel on top, and add heavy weight. Let sit for six to eight hours. The towels will soak up the remaining whey.
Remove the weight and refrigerate until ready to use. When you’re ready to use it, chop into 1/2″ pieces.
For the peas:
Heat ghee until melted in a large skillet. Add cheese cubes and fry for 5 minutes or until brown. Transfer browned cubes to a plate lined with paper towels.
Add the ginger/garlic to the remaining ghee and cook for 30 seconds. Add the onions and salt and cook until the onions are soft and clear, about 8 minutes. Stir in 1/4 cup of reserved whey and add all spices. I used garam masala and turmeric from World Market. Their Indian spices are delicious and the prices are really reasonable.
When they are well blended, add the remaining whey and tomatoes and simmer for 10 minutes.
Add the peas and cook for an additional 3 minutes, add the cheese, and you’re done! I served it in this gorgeous stainless steel kadhai bowl from World Market’s India collection. You can both cook and serve in these bowls — they’re really beautiful. Paired with the Palampore Floral Reeya Napkins, it’s perfectly India!
We served our mattar paneer with puppodums from World Market that we fried up ourselves. This was a lot more fun that I expected — they go from little round dough disks and expand like crazy in the oil! It’s almost magical to watch. And so tasty!
So pretty! A perfect little side in my tiny World Market kadhai bowls!
Want to experience India for yourself? World Market is partnering with the release of the movie The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel and giving away a trip to India and free movies for a year!
The movie is a follow-up to the fabulous The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, and tells the story of Sonny, who wants to expand on his first venture into the hotel business. But the expansion is putting demands on his time, especially with his upcoming marriage to the love of his life Sunaina. As the demands of his wedding and hotel threaten to engulf them, an unexpected way forward presents itself. With an all star cast including Dev Patel, Tina Desai, Richard Gere, Tamsin Greig, Judy Dench, Bill Nighy, Ronald Pickup, Diana Hardcastle, Celia Imrie, and Maggie Smith, this is a movie you won’t want to miss! You can watch the trailer here.
So how can you win the epic 6-day trip to India, including airfare, accommodations, and excursions, as well as free movies for a year and a $1,000 gift card from World Market? Visit www.worldmarketsweepstakes.com to enter to win!
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