Mattar Paneer

by Kiran on May 19, 2016 · 36 comments

in Curries, Indian, Sides, Vegetarian

January 8th, 2016.

I recall getting that dreadful call about your sudden passing. The news wasn’t sinking in. Every being in me went numb. Questions went unanswered.

Tears kept rolling down and we were thousands of miles away. I couldn’t move. I knew I had to, but I couldn’t. I kept hoping that it’s all just a nightmare and I’ll be awake soon.

Mattar Paneer | @KiranTarun

Because it’s a sorrowful reality. You both are gone, for real. This actually happened.

In the midst of reality sinking in, calls pouring in, and trying to make any sense out of everything — we needed to leave, now. We needed to be with family.


I’ve since returned but life is no more the same. Questions are still left, unanswered.

Mattar Paneer | @KiranTarun

It’s what keeping me sane. Almost 4.5 months since you left, leaving a huge void in our lives. Clinging onto every memory we had together. Many of which, had something to do with food.

Mourning every single day ever since. Waking up every day, hoping it was just a bad dream. Reality sinks in pretty soon thereafter. It almost feels like I’m getting punched in the gut, over and over again.

I feel numb, I feel pain.

Getting out of bed seems like an impossible task. A growling tummy motivates.

Mattar Paneer | @KiranTarun
I slowly inch closer towards the kitchen. With heavy heart and tears streaming down my face, I forcibly plan my day while making breakfast.

Food. Definitely reminds me of you. The fond memories we shared, even when it was only for a very short duration. I’m thankful we made some memories together.

I miss your voice. Your kind heart. Your enthusiasm about family and life in general. Most endearingly, I miss your laughs.

People say, “the show must go on… you’d find closure soon… life must move on”… Well, let me tell you something. It’s easier said than done.

Wherever you are, I hope you both are at peace. Life is no longer the same, I’m clinging onto memories and nourishment is what keeping us going.

Mattar Paneer | @KiranTarun

Print This Recipe Print This Recipe

Serves 4


  • 1 cup peas (fresh of frozen)
  • 3 tbsp mustard oil or any cooking oil
  • 6 oz / 200 gms fresh paneer, cubed
  • 1 medium onion,  chopped
  • 2 green chilis
  • 1/2 inch of ginger
  • 2 large garlic cloves
  • 2 medium tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 green cardamom, cracked
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp red chili powder
  • 2 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp kasoori methi (dried fenugreek leaves)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1.5 cups of water
  • 2 tbsp fresh cream
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala
  • some chopped coriander leaves for garnish


  1. If you want to lightly brown the cubed paneer or leave it as is, that’s optional. And if you do want to lightly brown it, make sure to leave browned paneer (or even plain paneer) soaked in some hot water. That way, paneer would remain soft.
  2. Add chopped onion, green chilis, ginger and garlic into a small blender. Blend into a smooth paste. Add very little water or oil to aid in blending.
  3. Heat a large non-stick saucepan (kadhai) on medium-high. Add mustard oil and wait till the oil begins to lightly smoke before adding all the whole spices (cumin seeds, bay leaves, cracked green cardamom).
  4. After 15 seconds, add in the paste of onion, chilis, ginger and garlic. Saute for at least 5 to 8 minutes or until paste begins to thicken and color.
  5. Blend chopped tomatoes. Add that into the saucepan. Saute. Sprinkle in turmeric, red chili powder and coriander powder.
  6. Saute until paste begins to thicken and deepen its color and oil begins to separate on the sides. This should take about 8 to 10 minutes.
  7. Add water, cubes of soft paneer, salt and black pepper. Gently stir everything and bring it to a simmer before putting on a lid. Cook with a lid on for at least 15 to 20 minutes, gently stirring in between.
  8. The gravy should be thicken and oil begins to separates on the sides. At this point, sprinkle in some crushed kasoori methi and garam masala. Simmer for a few more minutes, remove saucepan from heat and drizzle in 2 tbsp of fresh cream. Stir and garnish with freshly chopped coriander.
  9. Serve hot with rice, chapati or naan. Enjoy.


Mattar Paneer | @KiranTarun
So friends, don’t stop loving. Don’t stop making memories and cherishing your loved ones. Because the reality of life truly sucks. In a blink of an eye, life throws you a couple of curveballs and that’s when it will be too late.

Don’t leave room for any regrets.

Feed yourself and your loved ones. With memories, food, love… anything your heart desires. Just hug them now, every day, tell them how much you love them.

Every single day.

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{ 36 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella May 20, 2016 at 3:44 AM

Oh I’m so sorry to hear that your loved one has passed. A big hug Kiran!! xxx


2 Kiran May 25, 2016 at 3:22 PM

Thanks Lorraine. Trying to move on has been a huge difficulty. But food have been comforting. xx


3 Rosa May 20, 2016 at 3:51 AM

A wonderful dish! This curry looks ever so luscious. I really have to buy paneer in order to finally make mattar paneer (been wanting to make it since a while…).


Rosa x


4 Kiran May 27, 2016 at 1:33 PM

Thanks Rosa! You can even make paneer at home. It’s super simple.


5 Rosa May 27, 2016 at 1:39 PM

True… Haven’t made any yet. 😉 Soon, I hope, but I’ve been a lazy cook lately.


6 Kiran May 27, 2016 at 1:40 PM

Count me in. I’ve been quite lazy too myself 😉


7 Rosa May 27, 2016 at 3:40 PM

LOL! And with the way I feel, I am even more lazy than ever…;-)

8 Smitha May 20, 2016 at 1:05 PM

Iam really sorry to know about your loved one. Kiran i know how difficult it is to pass through this stage with unanswered questions popping up every now and then. Try to be strong and live strong. It isnt easy. Still my prayers for you to be strong.
Dish looks scrumptious and speaks more about how you stay sane with food
Take care kiran


9 Kiran May 27, 2016 at 1:44 PM

Thank you so much. Your words of encouragement is motivating me even more. I am at a stage where “acceptance” is difficult. But I will pull through. We as a family, will have to pull through eventually. We do not have a choice. And if we did, it would’ve been to never lose a loved one. Sadly, that’s a reality of life. A painful life cycle that we all have to eventually go through.


10 Amy May 20, 2016 at 3:38 PM

Kiran, I’m so sorry for your loss. Thank you for sharing your experience. You have stated so perfectly what I have been going through over the past year – this brought tears as soon as I started reading. Cooking for friends and family has definitely brought solace. Thank you for the reminder to cherish our loved ones & that this is a part of life we all must go through. I’m looking forward to trying the recipe too – it looks delicious.


11 Kiran May 27, 2016 at 1:47 PM

Oh Amy, thanks for writing this — I needed to read this today. I am so sorry for your loss and let’s hug it out, virtually. May you find peace in all this chaos that life puts us all through. xx


12 Laura | Tutti Dolci May 20, 2016 at 5:34 PM

I’m so sorry for your loss, Kiran! Hugs to you during this very difficult time. xo


13 Kiran May 27, 2016 at 1:48 PM

Thank you so much, Laura. xo


14 Angie@Angie's Recipes May 21, 2016 at 1:58 AM

Have never had paneer…this looks really tempting that I need to FIND some to try!
Angie@Angie’s Recipes recently posted..No Bake Raspberry Chocolate Tart (Vegan, Gluten-free, Dairy-free and Sugar-free)


15 Kiran May 27, 2016 at 1:49 PM

Thanks Angie, you need to. It’s freaking comforting 😀


16 Simi Jois May 21, 2016 at 11:53 AM

I really don’t know what to say…. it is probably the most difficult phase of life to loose someone! Sending you lots of healing thoughts and courage to deal with this…!!
Simi Jois recently posted..Saturday Stills # Chasing the light !


17 Kiran May 27, 2016 at 1:54 PM

Thank you so much, Simi. I’m lost for words myself. xo


18 Priya May 21, 2016 at 2:33 PM

This dish is truly my all time favorite recipe..


19 Kiran May 27, 2016 at 1:57 PM

And my husband’s. So comforting 🙂


20 Anu - My Ginger Garlic Kitchen May 23, 2016 at 7:55 AM

I am sorry to hear about your loss, Kiran. Hope time will heal the pain. I love matar panner. And I love it even more when it looks droolicious like this! YUMMY!
Anu – My Ginger Garlic Kitchen recently posted..Couscous with Sauteed Mushrooms Kidney Beans | Video


21 Kiran May 27, 2016 at 2:01 PM

Thank you so much, Anu. xo


22 Ina Gawne May 23, 2016 at 1:14 PM

Beautifully written post Kiran…I am so sorry for your loss. I know how excruciating it feels. Bless your heart, Ina
Ina Gawne recently posted..COOK BOOK REVIEW & A GIVEAWAY!


23 Kiran May 27, 2016 at 2:01 PM

Thanks Ina. I truly appreciate your words of encouragement. xo


24 May 23, 2016 at 10:10 PM

I am lacking words of consolation when trying to jot down something…. The void left by the loved ones when they leave cannot be replaced, but the moments shared together can linger around like the sweetest memories of life. Hope and pray that Almighty give you the courage and strength to keep going.


25 Kiran May 27, 2016 at 2:09 PM

Thank you, Shibi. No words can act as a consolation but definitely can be encouraging. And I am truly grateful to all my virtual friends, for the continued encouragement, afar. xo


26 Katerina May 24, 2016 at 4:14 AM

Loosing a loved one is devastating and there are really no words to console the people left behind! But time is a a catalyst and offers, what all of us fail to do, consolation and peace! Try to concentrate on the people around you and the joy they bring to your life! Your creation looks fantastic and food is a big comforter to the broken heart!
Katerina recently posted..Feta Cheese Mousse with Sweet Cherry Tomatoes Confit


27 Kiran June 7, 2016 at 3:22 AM

Katerina — you summed it all so well. thank you for being here, with your comforting support. truly appreciate it. xo


28 Nusrat Azim May 24, 2016 at 12:03 PM

There’s so much tenderness and depth in this blog-post! And you’ve delivered a very insightful message through your recipe.
May God bless the departed soul with eternal peace.
Stay strong, dear Kiran and keep motivating us with your warm and wonderful recipes.
Love and hugs.
Nusrat Azim recently posted..Fish Fry


29 Kiran June 7, 2016 at 3:24 AM

Hugs and love to you as well, Nusrat. Thank you for the comforting words of encouragement. It was tough writing up this post. I wanted it to feel like I was having a conversation with my sister in law. I miss her and her husband, oh so dearly. xo

ps: have a blessed fasting month. take care.


30 John/Kitchen Riffs May 24, 2016 at 4:35 PM

Loss is so hard, isn’t it? It happens, but it’s never easy. And SO difficult to accept. Impossible, really. Lovely writing. And a great dish, too!
John/Kitchen Riffs recently posted..Cauliflower Potato-Style Salad


31 Kiran June 7, 2016 at 3:26 AM

Thank you, John. You are so right. It’s very hard to accept loss.


32 Shashi @ RunninSrilankan May 25, 2016 at 2:52 PM

Kiran, this is such a beautiful post – your words struck a cord with me – my dad passed away a couple of years ago and he is so missed.
Whoever it was you lost, I wish you strength and peace in the days and months to come. Thank you for your beautiful post and this deliciously aromatic mattar paneer.
Shashi @ RunninSrilankan recently posted..Matcha & White Chocolate Protein Cups


33 Kiran June 7, 2016 at 3:32 AM

Shashi — we’re so sorry for your loss. It truly is very difficult to move on, but we are trying. Time is a healer, I suppose. I lost my sister in law and her spouse.


34 Shumaila June 2, 2016 at 12:47 AM

Kiran, I am so sorry for your loss, and as you mention it was a double loss. Sending prayers and hugs to you. And hope your loved ones are at peace wherever they are.
Shumaila recently posted..Orzo with Chicken and Vegetables


35 Kiran June 7, 2016 at 3:33 AM

Thank you so much, Shumaila. xoxo


36 Aniket Anand July 8, 2016 at 8:40 AM

Wow Great.. I can’t live without eating Mattar paneer in my dinner.
Looking so delicious.


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