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December 6, 2009

Matar Paneer and Aloo Tikki

After my first major success in cooking authentic tasting Indian food at home, I had in mind to show off my new skills to my boyfriend. Oh, how very rude of me, you haven't been introduced, have you? This is Steve, my most wonderful boyfriend. Everyone say, "Hi Steve!" He pretty much rules, and I am certain that you would love him.

Steve shares my love of Indian food so I was very excited to cook up something special for him. We both love all things paneer, so I thought it would be most fun and tasty to conquer a paneer dish. I returned to Lisa's Kitchen for inspiration since her Chana Masala was such a hit, and I was pleased to find many paneer recipes in her archives. With a big bag of frozen peas already in my freezer the Matar Paneer was the obvious choice. I put Steve to work measuring spices into small bowls so they would be ready for me when I needed them. He seemed to really enjoy the process of watching it all come together. We were super happy with the end result, and I definitely plan to make this dish again.

To make this an extra special feast I made Aloo Tikki as an appetizer, Indian spiced fried potato patties. I don't have any experience making fried things at home, because I shy away from recipes that involve submerging food in oil. We did not have the highest expectations for these, but were very pleasantly surprised in the end. I love it when that happens! I want to continue with my habit of not submerging my food in oil, but it will be hard not to indulge in this recipe from time to time. This would be great with some tamarind chutney on top, but we did not have any this time.

Matar Paneer

a few tablespoons of oil or butter, or a mixture of both
1 1/2 teaspoons of cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon of black mustard seeds
1 medium onion, finely chopped
3 hot green chillies or jalapenos, finely minced
1 clove of garlic, crushed
1 inch piece of ginger, grated or finely minced
1 generous teaspoon of ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon of cayenne
1/2 teaspoon of paprika
1 teaspoon of turmeric
2 teaspoons of water
2 cups of tomatoes, finely chopped
1 - 2 teaspoons of sea salt
2 cups of paneer cheese, cubed
1 1/2 cups of frozen peas, defrosted
1/2 - 1 cup of yogurt
2 teaspoons of garam masala
1 1/2 teaspoons of kasoori methi (dried fenugreek leaves) - I could not find this, so I omitted
3 tablespoons of fresh parsley or coriander, chopped

In a mortar and pestle, make a paste of the garlic, ginger, cayenne, coriander, paprika, turmeric and water. Set aside.

In a large pot, heat the oil and butter over medium heat. When hot, add the cumin and black mustard seeds and stir and fry until the mustard seeds turn gray and begin to pop. Now add the onion and cook until it is translucent, stirring frequently. Add the chillies, stir and then add the ginger, garlic spice paste. Stir and fry for a minute.

Add the tomatoes and salt to the pot, increase the heat slightly and cook for about 5 - 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is thickened. Reduce the heat, and add the peas, paneer, yogurt, garam masala, kasoori methi and parsley. Stir to combine and gently cook for another 5 minutes.

Serves 4.

Aloo Tikki
(adapted from VegNews)

2 russet potatoes, peeled, chopped, and boiled (apprx 1.5 - 2 cups)
3/4 cup cooked chickpeas
1 green chile, seeded and minced
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
1 tbsp ginger, grated
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tsp fine grain sea salt
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tbsp cornstarch
1/4 cup canola oil, for frying

In a large bowl, mash potato and chickpeas (the chickpeas will remain a bit chunky which is fine). Add chile, cilantro, ginger, lemon juice, salt, pepper, coriander, cumin, flour, and cornstarch and mix well. Use your hands to shape the mixture into small, tight patties.

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat oil. Add the patties and cook until both sides are golden brown, turning once. Serve hot.


  1. "Hi Steve!" Those both look like great recipes, I do love Indian food.

  2. Hi Steve! My husband and I are both big fans of Indian, so I will have to try these! I agree with not loving to submerge my food in oil, so I usually use a bit less or try to bake things. One in a while I agree its ok though!

  3. Yum! YOu've inspired me to find some paneer, which I also adore! Also, might even go for the Aloo Tikki. Gorgeous!

  4. Hello Steve.


    Your dinner looks wonderful. Indian food is one of my favorites when the weather turns cool.


  5. This sounds like a heavenly meal. Thanks for visiting my site and I'm glad you found some inspiration. Paneer rules :)


  6. Hi Steve! (Lucky you, Steve!)

    What a great job, Sarah! Your Paneer and Tikki look and sound absolutely delicious, I'm so impressed!

  7. I love Indian food. Both of these dishes look and sound amazing! I love paneer, and am not sure if I've had tikki or not.

  8. Hi, Steve! ;o) And what good food Steve get to eat at your house! This looks sooo delicious... I adore Indian food and always looking for new recipe try that are meat-free. So thank you! Oh, and glad you got to stop by for cupcakes today at my place! Happy Day :o))

  9. Hi Steve!
    Your food looks amazing. I just found your blog and was looking back through your posts. Your kitty photos are darling!

  10. What an amazing meal! I would devour that as would my husband. I haven't been making much Indian food lately and clearly I need to change that!

  11. Mmmmmm, so good! Looks really yummy. I had to pop over here and see what warm food you were cooking up. Steve looks nice, but I'm looking at the pics of your kitties as I'm typing this, and they want you to know that their opinions matter, too. If he passes their interrogations, then he passes mine. :)

  12. Hi Steve *wave*,
    I am drooling here looking at this dish. Lisa's recipes are always fab and it sounds really good. I will have to give it a go.
    ps I love that fabric

  13. ooooh, yum! both your matar paneer & aloo tikki look fantastical! i think i can sub in some tofu for the cheese & i may be able to use brown rice flour for the aloo tikki to make 'em gluten-free. mmmmmmmm! i can't wait to try them out! yay!

  14. Yum, I just adore matar paneer! Of course, I use tofu instead of cheese. Now I'm craving those warm spices all over again.

    PS, I'm looking forward to reading your thoughts on my book! Can't wait for the review. :)


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