Paneer Peas masala – Spicy side dish with Pooris or Rotis

paneer peas masalaWhenever we go to restaurants, there are certain dishes that we order almost involuntarily. Top one has to be biryani (my husband’s all-time favourite), second top would be paneer butter masala. He’d go through the entire menu, front to back, back to front and then order biryani. These are dishes that no matter how many times we’ve had, we order again. The paneer peas masala dish that I am posting today is not a restaurant style paneer peas masala. It tastes even better and is definitely restaurant grade. It is a smooth, zesty curry infused with freshly ground masala and is an excellent side with roti, poori or pulav.

I have to thank my dear friend Priya and her mother, who so generously wrote down multiple copies of this recipe for me and my recipe crazy friends. Priya’s tiffen box is hugely popular at work especially for this trademark gravy. I served this Paneer peas masala with Pooris. You could easily substitute the peas and paneer with boiled potatoes or par-boiled cauliflower. This is a versatile gravy base that you can improvise and apply to your needs.

Preparation time: 10 mins
Cooking time: 40 mins
Serves: 4


Paneer – 250 gm cut into cubes
Peas – 1-1/2 cups
Cinnamon – 1 inch stick
Kalpaasi (Seaweed) – ¼ tsp
Cloves – 2
Chilli sauce – 1 tsp
Soy sauce – 1 tsp
Tomato sauce – 1 tsp
Chilli powder – 1 tbsp
Turmeric powder – ½ tsp
Garam Masala – ½ tsp
Butter – 1 tbsp
Salt to taste
Oil – 2 tbsp


Onion – 1 large, roughly chopped
Tomatoes – 2 large, roughly chopped
Cashewnuts – 7
Fennel seeds/Sombu – 1 tsp
Cinnamon – 1 inch stick
Cloves – 2
Cardamom – 2
Ginger – 1 inch piece peeled and chopped
Garlic – 6-7 pods
Green chilli – 1 chopped


1.      Grind together all the ingredients called for under “Masala” and set aside.

2.      Heat oil in a kadai/skillet and when hot, add cinnamon, cloves and kalpaasi and stir around for half a minute. Tip in the ground masala, and cook on high for 10 mins.  

3.      Add chilli powder, turmeric powder, and salt and mix well. Cover and cook on high initially and then on low till the oil separates. This takes around 20-30 minutes. Use a non-stick skillet to quicken the process.

4.      Add chilli sauce, tomato sauce and soy sauce and mix well. Drop in the paneer and peas. Cover and cook till the peas are cooked through – around 10 minutes.

5.      Add garam masala, mix well and cook uncovered for 2-3 minutes or till the gravy is your desired consistency.

6.      Before switching off, stir in the butter.


The butter gives the dish a nice glossy, velvety texture.

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