Dhaba Style Matar Paneer is a delicious Indian curry packed with paneer (cottage cheese) and green peas. It is perfect with tandoori roti or naan. This decadent looking matar paneer is a gluten-free recipe. In this recipe video, I have shared all the secrets to making a perfect Dhaba Style Matar Paneer at home.
What is ‘Dhaba’?
‘Dhaba’ is a popular North Indian term for the restaurants or the eateries on the highway.
These local eating joints serve lip-smacking, rustic, regional food without any fuss or fancy plating.
If you are traveling across North, West, or Central India, then eating on these road-side restaurants called ‘Dha-Ba’ is a common practice followed by the travelers and food lovers.
Dhaba Style Matar Paneer
When I say ‘Dhaba Style’ I truly mean the spicy, thick, and luscious paneer curry served at any North Indian Dhaba by the roadside.
Who says dhaba style paneer cannot be prepared without any artificial color or flavoring?
In this matar paneer recipe, none of these are used and yet the end result is totally delicious.
Though this is a bit time-consuming matar paneer recipe but a simple one to follow. There are no complicated steps involved. All you need to do is fry the masala nicely and cook it to perfection. That’s it!
Unlike my other quick and easy paneer recipes, this one requires a bit of time and patience. The roasting of masala for the curry is a time -taking process that cannot be done in a haste.
If you looking for a paneer curry in a hurry then try my pressure cooker matar paneer.
Tips To Make Perfect Dhaba Style Matar Paneer:
1) Use the best available ripe and red tomatoes for the gravy. They give a great taste and color to the dish.
2) Stick to either Kashmiri red chili powder or Deggi Mirch Powder for this paneer recipe. These two are known for imparting a rich color to the dishes.
3) Adding roasted gram flour thickens the curry and gives it a restaurant like consistency. But only a tablespoon or so is sufficient to make a perfect matar paneer.
4) Mustard oil or ghee is the ideal to make any dhaba style rich gravy. I have used mustard oil in this recipe.
5) Frying paneer for the gravy is totally optional. Many people like fried cubes of cottage cheese in their gravy but I prefer just the opposite. And I don’t think frying paneer contributes to the taste or texture of the dish.
You can serve matar paneer with a variety of Indian side-dishes:
Naan, Tandoori Roti, or Chapati
Steamed or boiled basmati rice
More Paneer Recipes For You:
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Dhaba Style Matar Paneer Recipe
- Heavy Bottom Kadhai
- 500 gram paneer (cottage cheese), cut into cubes
- ½ Cup fresh green peas
- 1 Cup chopped onion
- 1 Cup chopped tomato
- 1 tablespoon ginger-garlic paste
- 2 green chilies sliced
- 4 tablespoon mustard oil
- Salt to taste
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 teaspoon deggi mirch powder/Kashmiri lal mirch powder
- ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
- ½ teaspoon coriander powder
- ½ teaspoon garam masala (see recipe)
- 1 tablespoon gram flour besan
- Make paste of tomato in mixer. Set aside.
- Dry roast the gram flour over low heat till aromatic and golden. Keep aside.
- Heat mustard oil in a kadhai till it starts smoking. Reduce the heat to low.
- Fry the paneer cubes till they turn crisp and golden from both the sides. Transfer to a plate and set aside till required. This step is completely optional.
- Add bay leaf and fry for a second.
- Next add the chopped onion and cook till onion are golden brown.
- Add the ginger and garlic paste. Fry nicely for 3 – 5 minutes.
- Now add the tomato paste. Fry till the masala starts leaving the sides of the pan. This might take 5 – 10 minutes.
- Dissolve red chilli powder in two tablespoon of water and it to the masala.
- Add turmeric powder, peas, roasted gram flour and coriander powder. Stir to combine.
- Add approximately 1 Cup of water, cover the pan and allow the curry to simmer over low heat for 10 minutes.
- Next, add the paneer cubes, garam masala, green chilli, salt and mix nicely.
- Simmer the curry for few 5 more minutes or till it thickens.
- Garnish dhaba style matar paneer with fresh coriander leaves.
- Serve Dhaba Style Matar Paneer with naan or basmati rice.
- Use the best available ripe and red tomatoes for the gravy.
- Stick to either Kashmiri red chili powder or Deggi Mirch Powder for this paneer recipe.
- Dissolving red chili powder in water before adding to the masala gives a nice color to the curry.
- Adding roasted gram flour thickens the curry and gives it a restaurant like consistency.
- Mustard oil or ghee is the ideal to make any dhaba style rich gravy.
- Frying paneer for the gravy is totally optional.