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Recipe: Bethica's Matar Paneer Madra

June 22, 2023 18:24 IST
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Chana Paneer Madra is a creamy delight from Himachal Pradesh, the land of deodar trees, snow-topped mountains and apple orchards.

Traditionally, the dish features boiled chickpeas which are cooked in a thick yoghurt-based gravy. It contains no onions, no garlic and no ginger.

"It is generally served during festivals, marriages or for any special occasions," says Bethica Das who adapts the recipe by swapping chickpeas with green peas and calls it Matar Paneer Madra.

"It's very simple to prepare and tastes absolutely yummy," Bethica, whose recipes often give a new avatar to an age-old preparation, adds.

Matar Paneer Madra

Serves: 3-4


  • ½ cup green peas, frozen or fresh
  • 1½ cups paneer cubes
  • 1 tbsp mustard oil
  • 1 tbsp ghee
  • 2 tej patta or bay leaves
  • 2-3 green elaichi or cardamom
  • 1-inch stick dalcheeni or cinnamon
  • 3-4 lavang or cloves
  • 1 piece javitri or mace
  • ¼ tsp hing or asafoetida
  • 1 tsp jeera or cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp dhania or coriander powder
  • ½ tsp haldi or turmeric powder
  • ½ tsp red chilly powder
  • ½ tsp jeera or cumin powder
  • ½ tsp garam masala powder
  • Salt to taste, about 1 tsp
  • 1 cup yoghurt
  • 1 tsp besan or chickpea flour
  • 2 green chillies, slit lengthwise
  • ½ tsp crushed kasuri methi or dried fenugreek leaves, optional
  • 1 tbsp chopped green dhania or coriander or cilantro leaves


  • Whisk the yoghurt and the besan together.
    Keep aside.
  • Mix all the dry spice powders together along with some water to form a smooth paste.
    Keep aside.
  • Heat the mustard oil and the ghee in a large saucepan or kadhai over medium heat.
    Add the bay leaves, cumin seeds, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, mace, asafoetida.
    Saute for a few seconds.
    Add the spice paste and stir, simmering for a few minutes over low heat till the oil-ghee separates from the masala.
    Now add the whisked besan-yoghurt mixture and the salt.
    Keep stirring continuously over low heat till the gravy thickens slightly.
    Add the green peas, paneer cubes, slit green chillies, kasuri methi.
    Simmer for 2 minutes and take off heat.
    Garnish with the chopped coriander leaves and serve with either steamed rice or jeera rice or pulao or else, parathas, pooris or chapattis.

Editor's Note: For a vegan version of this recipe, use tofu instead of paneer or else cubed boiled potatoes and skip the ghee and use cashew butter instead.

Bethica Das is a Sharjah-based food blogger.

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