Methi Matar Malai Paneer – No Onion No Garlic Recipe

Methi Matar Malai Paneer in a wok

Methi Matar Malai Paneer is a creamy and luscious curry, made in white gravy packed with the goodness of fenugreek greens, green peas and soft paneer. This no onion no garlic curry is very subtle on flavors and can be loved by all; adults as well as kids. Try this rich creamy curry for your next get together or special occasion and wow your guests with its flavors.

Methi Matar Malai Paneer served with roti

This Methi Matar Malai Paneer is an adaptive version of popular Methi Matar Malai you will find in mostly all Indian restaurant menu which needs no introduction.  

Methi Matar Malai Paneer

Methi Malai Matar Paneer tastes great and goes well with almost all Indian breads such as roti, paratha, poori, naan and jeera rice. I myself feel blessed when I see my daughter enjoying this dish, since it is loaded with highly nutritious ingredients

Methi or Fenugreek leaves used in this recipe

Other Methi / Fenugreek recipes on EYP:

Key Ingredients in Methi Malai Matar Paneer Recipe

The key ingredients in the Methi Malai Matar Paneer recipe are:

  • Cashews and seeds – When ground together, they form the creamy base of this curry. 
  • Methi (fenugreek leaves) – has the most prominent flavors in all the ingredients and set the flavors of this recipe.
  • Malai (heavy cream) – is what gives this dish a rich, creamy taste.
  • Matar (green peas) – adds protein and texture to the curry.
  • Paneer (cottage cheese) – Paneer makes an excellent addition to increase the overall protein of this vegetarian curry
All the healthy ingredients for Methi Mater Malai Paneer recipe

No Onion No Garlic Gravy Base Ingredients

Let’s check out what is in gravy base. I have used cashews, melon seeds, poppy seeds and hung curd to make no onion no garlic base for this curry. All these ingredients combined, make the base really creamy, rich, luscious and nutritious as well.

  • Cashews are a powerhouse of vitamins, minerals, and other beneficial nutrients. Research shows that eating more nuts, such as cashews, can lower your risk for cardiovascular disease. This may occur by reducing blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
  • Watermelon seeds are rich in nutrients like folate, iron, zinc, copper, magnesium, potassium. These seeds are considered to be highly nutritious, as they are rich in amino acids, proteins and vitamin B complex.
  • Poppy Seeds: Also known as khus-khus provides calcium and phosphorus to meet 4% of daily needs from 1 tsp of quantity. These minerals work together to build strong bones. Poppy seeds also provide enough daily needs for iron and Zinc. Zinc helps to regulate growth and development of new cells and the structure of proteins.
  • Hung Curd:  Hung curd, or Greek yogurt, is strained to remove some of the watery whey, the denser and creamier remains that you get post the straining is referred to hung curd. Hung curd is a good source of protein and calcium.
Ingredients for Methi Matar Malai Paneer

What goes in Methi Malai Paneer?

Methi (fenugreek leaves): This plant is grown in countries across the globe, but the majority is cultivated and consumed in India. When fresh, Methi leaves have a light, sweet aroma with a mild, grassy and slightly bitter flavor with notes of celery and fennel. The health benefits of fenugreek are uncountable, commonly used to reduce inflammation inside the body, help improve blood sugar, and to help reduce digestive problems. Methi contains many powerful antioxidants which have great health benefits. Methi also laced with iron, copper, vitamin C, potassium, fiber, and manganese.

Fresh Fenugreek Leaves or Methi bunch

Matar (green peas): Green peas are seeds that come from a legume plant, but they are most often consumed as a starchy vegetable. What makes peas unique from other vegetables is their high protein content. They are quite nutritious and contain a fair amount of fiber and antioxidants. Green peas are high in nutrients, and have properties that may reduce the risk of several diseases. Peas contain almost about every vitamin and mineral you required, in addition to significant amount of protein, and fibers.

Methi Matal Malai Paneer served in a wok

Paneer (cottage cheese): An important part of the Indian cuisine in form of vegetarian protein. Paneer is loved by all kids, which makes an obvious choice to add in the curry. Paneer is nourishing and healthy, contains 80 %of protein and 20% of fat. Paneer contains all the nine essential amino acids, makes another great reason to add in the diet.

Methi Matal Malai Paneer served in a wok and with Chapati on a clay plate

How to Make Methi Paneer?

Methi matar malai paneer may sound very complex but trust me it is super simple to put together.

  1. Grab all the ingredients, sort, wash thoroughly and chop the fresh methi leaves. 
  2. If you like you can blanch the methi leaves first, but I prefer to sauté them over blanching. Methi or Fenugreek Leaves
  3. I have tried both ways and prefer sautéing over blanching. Sautéing Methi leaves with green peas and paneer, bind them together with flavors. Sauted matar paneer and methi
  4. While sautéing, don’t forget to add a tbs of sugar and some salt. -Sugar, helps maintaining the color of greens as well as helps in reducing the bitterness of methi. While, salt will help release all the water from the methi leaves.
    Sugar being added salt being added
  5. Saute the methi leaves along with green peas until all the water from the leaves is evaporated and methi leaves are softened enough. Methi and matar being sauted
  6. Before, transferring the sautéed Methi leaves and green peas from the pan add cubes of paneer.
  7. Try not to sauté paneer for long time as cooking them longer make them chewy.
  8. Transfer this mixture to a bowl and place the same pan back on heat without wiping or washing it. Because you don’t want to wash these flavors away from the pan. 
  9. To begin with gravy, heat some water in a small butter pan and soak cashews, melon seeds and poppy seeds for 15-20 minutes.
    Water being heated in a pan Cashews being soaked in warm water for gravy
    Poppy seeds being soaked in water with cashews for gravy Ingredients being soaked for Gravy
  10. After 20 minutes blend soaked nuts and seeds along with ginger and green chilis to a fine puree.
    Green chillies being added
    Puree made by blending all ingredients Puree made by blending soaked ingredients
  11. Next, add oil to the same pan and heat. Once it is hot, add hing and cumin seeds. When the cumin seeds start sizzling, add the blended nut paste in the pan.
    Oil being added to pan
    Jeera being added to pan Blended cashw puree added to pan for roasting
  12. Gently stir the paste and cook until it starts separating the oil. You will start seeing the oil between pan and the paste. If you paste is getting too thick and oil hasn’t separated yet, add 2 tbs of milk. On medium heat it usually takes 10-12 minutes to separate oil.
    gravy being sauteed
    milk being added to adjust consistency Sauted gravy
  13. Next add hung yogurt give it a quick mix and cook again. The nut and seed paste is cooked but not the yogurt. So, we need to cook that as well for 10 minutes.
    Hung curd being added to roasted gravy for Methi Matar Malai Paneer
    Hung curd being added to roasted gravy for Methi Matar Malai Paneer Hung curd being added to roasted gravy for Methi Matar Malai Paneer
  14. Add salt, turmeric powder, red chili powder or cayenne and coriander seeds powder, stir together all spices and  base.
    Spices being added to gravy Spices being added to gravy
    Spices being added to gravy
  15. Add the sautéed methi, matar and paneer mixture and mix well with gravy and spices.
    Sauted Methi Matar and Paneer being added to gravy Sauted Methi Matar and Paneer being added to gravy
  16. Now add milk or water totally your preference. If you add milk you can reduce the amount of heavy cream or malai, because cashew paste and milk will bring enough richness and creaminess to the curry.
  17. Let it  simmer for 15 minutes or until the rogan “the fat or oil” of curry starts floating on top. Which indicates that gravy is cooked and flavors has been absorbed by all the elements. 
  18. Sprinkle some garam masala, fresh cream and lemon juice in it. Sprinkle of garam masala

Serve with naan, roti, rice of other accompaniments

Methi Malai Matar Paneer served in a wok with garnish

Tips for Methi Matar Malai Paneer Recipe:

  • You can double the quantity of gravy and save half for later use. Freeze it for longer duration storage.
  • You can store this curry in fridge conveniently for 3-4 days. For longer period froze it. This is certainly a freezer friendly recipe, only thing to take care when freezing, always froze in a single portion size you are going to use, so that you don’t end up thawing the whole quantity.  
  • If you would like to skip heavy cream use milk as liquid because cashews, seeds and milk would add enough creaminess to this dish.
  • Dried kasoori methi leaves can be used if fresh methi is not available. Dried kasoori methi are so much more potent than the fresh ones. I would just use 1/4th cup to replace 2 cups of fresh ones. 
  • You can also use khoya in the gravy. However, Khoya is not always available or handy hence, I have used hung curd in this recipe.
Methi Matar Malai Paneer served in a wok with chapati

“For pleasure has no relish unless we share it.” 

― Virginia Woolf, The Common Reader

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