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easy paneer curry (matar paneer)

Easy paneer curry or matar paneer, is a delicious vegetarian curry with lots of aromatic spicing, but not too much heat. This is a curry the whole family will enjoy.

Our easy paneer curry (also known as matar paneer) is a simple vegetarian curry made with paneer cheese and peas in a spicy tomato curry. This curry is a family favourite and a regular feature on our dinner table.

A closeup view of a paneer curry sitting on a homemade flatbread.

I love vegetarian curries, I always have and frequently order them when I’m out. This is my go to recipe when I want spice but want to keep things light.

Thankfully my family share my love of this spiced dish. I’ve served this paneer and pea curry in a warm flat bread with crisp salad for added crunch to work with the soft cheese.

A hand reaching for a folded flatbread containing paneer curry and chutneys.

Matar paneer is a North Indian Punjabi dish and this dish is what I have based this recipe on. I first tasted this curry in Leeds years ago with friends. I noted down the ingredients I could see and taste and recreated it at home.

Easy Paneer Curry – recipe steps:

Colour starting to show on paneer cheese being fried in ghee.
  • Heat the ghee or vegetable oil in a large non-stick frying pan.
  • Cut the paneer cheese into cubes and add to the hot pan. Saute gently over a medium heat, until golden. Then remove from the pan and set aside on some kitchen paper.
  • Take care not to overcook the paneer you want it just golden brown, any further and it will become rubbery!
An onion and garlic paste frying in a skillet in ghee.
  • In a food processor, blitz the onion, garlic and ginger with 2 tablespoons of water to form a paste.
  • Add the remaining ghee or vegetable oil to the pan and over a medium heat gently cook the paste for around 5 minutes.
Onions and garlic cooked in a skillet and now some dried curry spices added to cook.
  • Add the dry spices to the pan and stir for a minute until the spices start to release their aroma.
Fresh tomatoes being added to a skillet cooking a curry paste.
  • Add the tomatoes to the pan and cook for a further minute.
Frozen peas added to a curry paste and tomatoes in a skillet.
  • Now add paneer back into the pan, along with the peas, lemon juice, salt, fresh coriander and water. Bring to the boil stirring to combine.
Finished off a paneer curry before serving.
  • Reduce the heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes until the sauce becomes thick. Serve with the salad and some soft flatbreads or steamed rice.

Serving suggestions:

Mattar paneer is a great tasting vegetarian curry. I like to serve this in a chapati, wrap or one of our Yogurt Flatbreads. Pile it high with salad for added crunch.

Now if you really want to elevate this dish, try drizzling over our fresh and vibrant Green Chutney and our rich and spicy Date & Tamarind Chutney. This is a real taste explosion and one you are guaranteed to enjoy.

Chutneys really do take curries to the next level and if you’ve no time to make your own then add some store bought mango chutney and some thick Greek yogurt instead.

If you don’t want a curry wrap, serve with some steamed basmati rice instead.

This meat free curry is great served alongside other Indian dishes if feeding a crowd for dinner. Ideal for a curry night in with friends.

A top down view of a table set with a a white plate holding a large flatbread topped with a spicy paneer curry and side salad

Recipe substitutions and variations:

  • Paneer cheese is the perfect soft cheese to use in this curry and available in most large supermarkets. You could substitute with Halloumi cheese, but this cheese is more rubbery.
  • Ghee can be substituted with vegetable or sunflower oil.
  • Onion, garlic and ginger paste forms the base of this easy paneer curry. If you want to add a little extra heat then add 2-3 fresh chillies to the blend. You can either de-seed the chillies or leave them whole depending on how spicy you like your food.
  • Spices that are used in this recipe are aromatic but don’t add too much heat, making this a great curry to feed to kids.
  • Fresh tomatoes are added to the sauce, use any variety of fresh tomato.
  • Lemon juice is added for sourness to balance out the spices. You can add a teaspoon of tamarind paste if you prefer.
  • Fresh coriander adds a herby freshness to the curry. If you don’t like coriander leaf substitute it with flat leaf parsley or leave it out.
  • Salad vegetables add the crunch element to this dish to balance out the rich curry sauce. Use any combination of salad vegetables that you enjoy eating. Thinly sliced red peppers or radish would also work in this dish.
A paneer cheese curry on a top of a flatbread served with a side crunchy salad and green and date chutney.

Can I made Matar Paneer ahead of time?

This is a great make ahead curry and in fact, like all curries, tastes even better the next day. This allows the curry flavours to really develop in the dish.

  • Fridge: make this paneer and pea curry 2-3 days ahead of time. Cook the curry and allow it to cool before popping into an airtight container in the fridge.
  • Freezer: once cooked and cooled pop into an airtight container and place in the freezer. This curry will keep for up to 3 months and when ready to enjoy defrost before cooking.
  • When ready to serve: warm the paneer and pea curry up gently over a medium heat until piping hot. If the sauce looks a little thick, add some water to loosen the curry.

Useful hints and tips:

  1. When cooking paneer take care not to cook it too long or it will become rubbery. Instead cook till just golden and set aside till later.
  2. Short of time, then don’t cook the paneer ! You can omit this step entirely and simply add the paneer to the curry along with the tomatoes so that it warms through and soaks up all the flavour.
  3. This is a great gluten free curry and ideal for Coeliacs or anyone following a gluten free diet. Swap the bread out and serve with some steamed basmati rice instead.
  4. To make this curry suitable for a dairy free or vegan diet you can swap out the paneer cheese and replace it with some extra firm tofu instead.

Pin the recipe:

Additional recipe suggestions:

If you enjoy a curry then why not try another of our curry recipes:

Spice up your curries with some great tasting chutneys, our fresh and vibrant Green Chutney packed full of fresh herbs and our warm and spicy Date & Tamarind Chutney.

Looking for inspiration for feeding the family mid week, then take a look at our Ultimate Guide to Family Dinners. Full of useful hints, tips and recipes.

A hand wrapped up a fresh homemade flatbread filled with a paneer curry and chutneys.

Easy Paneer Curry (Matar Paneer)

Easy paneer curry or matar paneer, is a delicious vegetarian curry with lots of aromatic spicing, but not too much heat. For something a little different serve the curry in a chapati or wrap with fresh salad.
5 from 10 votes
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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 489kcal


Matar Paneer Curry

  • 400 g paneer cheese (sliced)
  • 3 tbsp ghee (or substitute vegetable oil)
  • 1 onion (diced)
  • 5 cm root ginger (grated)
  • 4-6 cloves garlic (crushed)
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp ground coriander
  • ½ tsp ground turmeric
  • ½ tsp ground cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ lemon juiced
  • 4 large tomatoes (diced)
  • 200 ml water
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • bunch fresh coriander (finely chop leaves and stalks)


  • ½ iceberg lettuce (shredded)
  • 1 carrot (grated)
  • ½ red onion (finely sliced)
  • ½ cucumber (remove core and slice finely)
  • bunch fresh coriander (leaves only and roughly chopped)


Matar Paneer Curry

  • Heat 2 tbsp ghee in a non-stick frying pan, add the sliced paneer and saute gently on both sides, over a medium heat, until the cheese is lightly golden in colour. Do not walk away from the pan as the cheese tends to stick. Once golden remove from the pan and drain on some kitchen paper, set aside till later.
  • In a food processor blitz together the onion, garlic and ginger with 2 tbsp water into a paste. Heat the remaining 1 tbsp ghee in the frying pan, add the paste and cook gently for approximately 5 minutes. The paste should be cooked through but not colour.
  • Add all the dry spices to the pan, stirring constantly over a medium heat for 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes to the pan and cook for a further minute.
  • Add the paneer back into the pan, along with the lemon juice, salt, peas, fresh coriander and water, bring to the boil stirring constantly.
  • Reduce the heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes until the sauce becomes thick.


  • Assemble all the salad ingredients together and serve alongside the curry.


Serving suggestion:
Fill a chapati or wrap with this paneer curry and some crisp salad vegetables for added crunch. You can also drizzle over some chutneys for a real taste explosion.
Nutrition Facts
Easy Paneer Curry (Matar Paneer)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 489 Calories from Fat 333
% Daily Value*
Fat 37g57%
Saturated Fat 22g138%
Cholesterol 95mg32%
Sodium 639mg28%
Potassium 692mg20%
Carbohydrates 23g8%
Fiber 6g25%
Sugar 10g11%
Protein 19g38%
Vitamin A 4326IU87%
Vitamin C 41mg50%
Calcium 556mg56%
Iron 2mg11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

• Please note that the nutrition information provided above is approximate and meant as a guideline only •

Course : Lunch, Main Course
Cuisine : Indian
Keyword : Curry, Easy, vegetarian
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Recipe Rating


Saturday 7th of August 2021

I will definitely be pointing my Mum and sister in the direction of this recipe. They always order matar paneer or cheesy peas as they call it when we go to an Indian restaurant so this is made for them!


Tuesday 10th of August 2021

Thank you Cat, I'm like your Mum, this is a curry I often order when I am out as I love paneer curry.


Friday 6th of August 2021

You know I'm not actually sure I've ever had paneer! I shall make sure to source some and give this a go!


Tuesday 10th of August 2021

Chloe, this is a super quick curry and one I make often. Well worth giving this a go.


Thursday 5th of August 2021

Awesome recipe! I had no idea you could freeze paneer in a curry that’s definitely a bonus.


Thursday 5th of August 2021

Its one of both of our favourite curries. I love it with the homemade flatbreads too! Michelle


Thursday 5th of August 2021

Absolutely love paneer curries but don't have it nearly as often as I'd like. Might have to give this one a go! x


Thursday 5th of August 2021

Its one I go to when I want a quicker cook and perfect for the entire family. Michelle

Carrie Carvalho

Wednesday 4th of August 2021

Delicious! Such a good option for a veggie curry and nice and easy too.


Thursday 5th of August 2021

Its great for a midweek meatless night, packed with flavour. Michelle