By Jo Cooksey
There are several spellings of muttar but essentially, they are all the same or very similar recipes.
I discovered this dish at my cousin’s New Year’s Eve party many years ago and have loved it ever since. It is simple, quick and thoroughly satisfying. It is suitable for vegetarians and those meat eaters amongst us who are trying to cut down on our carnivorous tendencies. If you can’t get paneer, which can be difficult to find outside of an Asian supermarket, you can substitute halloumi or even feta. However, if you do use feta don’t fry it, just cube it and pop it in the spicy tomato mix.
The recipe below serves 4 as a main meal. If you want it as a side dish for 4 just halve the ingredient amounts except for the tomatoes. Still use a full can but just 100ml water. Serve with rice and/or flatbreads, such as roti or naan.
Prep time approx. 10 minutes. Cooking time approx. 20 minutes
600g Paneer, cubed
8cm piece of Ginger, peeled and chopped finely or grated
1 tsp Ground Cumin
1 tsp Tumeric
1 tsp Ground Coriander
1 tsp Chilli Powder, or to taste
400g tin of Chopped Tomatoes
200ml Boiling Water
300g Frozen Peas, or fresh
2 tsp Garam Masala
1. Pat your cheese dry with kitchen paper to help minimize spitting when put into the hot oil. Cube your cheese.
2. Heat a couple of tablespoons of oil in a frying pan and carefully add the cheese. It will spit so don’t have the pan on too high. It will also brown quickly, so flip regularly to get an even, crisp golden colour on all sides. I find this easiest using a pair of long tongs.
3. Remove from the pan and drain on kitchen paper.
4. Add the ginger, ground cumin, turmeric, ground coriander and chilli powder to the pan and fry gently for 1 minutes.
5. Add the tinned tomatoes and water and simmer for 5 minutes.
6. Then add the garam masala and simmer for a further 2 minutes.
7. Finally add the peas and the paneer. Season, cover the pan and put on a low simmer whilst you cook your rice and/or warm your flatbreads.
8. Garnish with fresh coriander and serve.