Paneer recipes for weight loss – Low calories Instant Pot Matar Paneer is a slimmed-down version of classic Indian Matar Paneer. Suitable for weight loss and calorie counting diets. Vegetarian and gluten-free. Vegan options included.
Matar Paneer is a classic creamy paneer dish popular all over India. It is made using paneer(Indian cottage cheese) and matar(green peas) simmered in a onion-tomato based gravy along with aromatic spice powders.
Am making this restaurant style matar paneer using instant pot that is rich in taste yet low in calories.
Paneer is an irresistible Indian cheese variety made from curdling fresh milk. Unlike other hard cheeses, Indian paneer doesn’t need any ageing process making it much more accessible in the kitchen even if you don’t get in stores.
Also, paneer is the king of luxurious Indian vegetarian food classed as restaurant variety, Enough reasons to fall in love with this instant pot matar paneer curry.
But this kind of luxurious curries also comes with a label of high-calorie food as the gravy for matar paneer is usually simmered in loads of butter and cream while paneer itself is made of full-fat milk.
One such classic Indian paneer dish is this Matar Paneer , a rich tomato-onion based silky smooth gravy in which fresh green peas and soft paneer cube are simmered to perfection.
Avoiding any foods for weight loss is not in my dictionary so I made this healthy instant pot Matar paneer where the pressure cooking of masala quicken the cooking process thus also eliminates the need for loads of oil and cream too.
Instant Pot Matar Paneer is
- a low-calorie version of classic Matar Paneer curry.
- low-fat and tasty.
- ideal for weight loss and calorie counting diets.
- perfect to serve for curry nights and winter dinners.
- served with basmati rice or peas pulao or Indian flat breads.
INGREDIENTS AND SUBSTITUTES
Paneer Cheese – the king of the recipe. You can get in all major supermarkets across the UK in the cheese isles usually. If you can’t find, Greek Halloumi is the closest option. Tofu cubes can also be used.
Matar – Green peas either fresh or frozen.
Green Chilli – this is optional and can be skipped if you don’t have.
Onions, Tomatoes – form the base gravy. Pick fresh vine tomatoes and avoid canned if you can. They are too tart and sour which doesn’t go well for this curry.
Whole spices – like green cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, bay leaf. If you cant source these just rely on store-bought garam masala.
Ginger and Garlic – best to use fresh but if not use ginger garlic paste. Please note that I forgot to add in the pic.
Spice powders – Kashmiri red chilli powder or paprika is best as the gravy doesn’t need any spicy kick. Coriander and garam masala powders are mandatory too.
Tomato Paste again optional to add depth and volume to the curry. If your tomatoes are already ripened well, you can skip.
Butter – Usually Indian ghee is used but I don’t have right now. Also, you can use normal cooking oil but I prefer butter or ghee.
Cashew nuts – add creaminess and depth to the gravy. Almonds can also be used but you get a nutty flavour. You can make the curry without nuts also but tastes different.
Full-fat milk – I added milk instead of heavy cream to reduce the calories. You can have it fine even without milk but milk rally balances any additional spice and give a creamy texture to the gravy.
Paneer for weight loss diets –
paneer is a good source of protein and calcium. It is absolutely fine to eat paneer and still lose weight.
the main reason why many people are scared to eat is that it is cooked along with rich fats making it calorie-dense. You can absolutely have this healthy paneer tikka every day and still keep up with the weight loss goals.
Instant pot Matar paneer is loaded with vegetables like onion and tomatoes cooked in fewer fats, so curry doesn’t feel greasy unlike to get in Indian takeaways in any part of the Britan.
Other weight loss friendly Paneer recipes on the blog
Can I make in Stove Top?
Yes but be prepared to spend more time standing simmering the gravy. ideally pressure cooking eliminates the need for excess oil to cook the food.
follow the same recipe, but you may need to continuously stir using more water and simmer the gravy while we cook on a pan covered with a lid. the curry gets spluttered easily so cover it always.
Alternatively you can even cook the tomatoes and onions first and then proceed with the steps.
Tips to make in Instant Pot
- Always toggle between LOW and MEDIUM modes when using SAUTE mode. I normally avoid adding more oil hence the bottom gets burn easily in the medium. so I will switch them frequently while cooking any tomato-based gravies especially
- Use splashes of water if you feel the curry is getting stick to the bottom, this avoids any need for excess oil.
- If using fresh green peas, increase the timer to 3 minutes.
STEP BY STEP PROCEDURE
1-Take chopped onion, tomatoes, whole spices, cashew nuts, ginger, garlic into a blender jar.
2-Grind into a very fine paste to get silky smooth curry if you want. I grinded into little coarse as per my liking. Make sure the cashews and spices are ground well.
3- Press the SAUTE button on instant pot and heat a tablespoon of butter or oil or ghee. Add in the paste and fry for 5 minutes.
4- Add in turmeric, chilli and coriander powder.
5- Mix well and cook for a couple more minutes.
6- Add in peas, ½ cup of water splash of water and get ready to pressure cook.
7 – Make sure you scrape the bottom well else the cooking procedure will be paused giving you a BURN message.
8- Close the lid, cancel SAUTE mode and press PRESSURE COOK/MANUAL mode,set the timer for 2 minutes.
9- Once completed, release the pressure MANUALLY.
10- Scrape the bottom well to make sure we have enough water.
11- Add in tomato paste, adjust salt and cook for 1 minute.
12 -Add the paneer cubes, optional slit green chilli and ¼th cup of water. Simmer for 5 minutes by scraping in between.
13 – Crush dried fenugreek/kasuri methi, garam masala and mix well.
14 – Optionally add a splash of full fat milk and simmer for further couple of minutes.
Instant Pot Matar paneer can be served with
- pulao or basmati rice.
- roti or chapati or naan
- Dosa(although am not a big fan)
- You can also use this curry as pizza topping minus the peas.
What diets Matar paneer come under?
The recipe for this instant pot matar paneer is suitable for vegetarians and is gluten-free.
To make matar paneer suitable for vegans, replace paneer with tofu and butter with oil. Skip milk. For richness, you can add dairy free yogurt or additional cashews ground with little water.
The paneer curry stays good at room temperature for a day and is I highly recommend refrigerating afterwards due to it being a diary. It stays good for 3-4 days.
You may notice the paneer becomes hard but ideally it will become soft when you reheat it and consume immediately.
Also please note the curry becomes thick when cooled down.
I wouldn’t recommend freezing.Print
Instant Pot Matar Paneer Recipe
- Prep Time: 10
- Cook Time: 30
- Total Time: 40 minutes
- Yield: 3 1x
- Diet: Vegetarian
Instant Pot Matar Paneer is a healthy low-calorie curry for weight loss and calorie counting diets. Can be served with basmati rice or any Indian flatbreads.
- 200 grams paneer cheese (approx 2 cups)
- 1 Cup of frozen green peas
- 2 medium onions
- 3–4 Large red vine tomatoes
- 8 cashew nuts
- ½ tablespoon ginger garlic paste(or 1 inch of ginger and 2 cloves of garlic)
- 4 cloves
- 3 green cardamom pods
- 1 Bay leaf
- ½ inch cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon ghee or butter
- ½ teaspoon Kashmiri red chilli powder or paprika
- 1 teaspoon coriander powder
- ½ teaspoon garam masala
- ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
- ½ tablespoon tomato paste(optional)
- ½ tablespoon Kasuri methi or dried fenugreek
- 2 tablespoon full-fat milk(optional)
- If using store-bought paneer, soak the paneer cubes in warm water for at least 10-15 minutes. This will ensure the paneer becomes soft and spongy.
- Take all ingredients mentioned under Grind section into a jar, blend to a smooth paste without adding any water.
- Press Saute Mode on instant pot and adjust to medium(see notes below on temperature adjustment).
- Heat butter or ghee and add the ground paste and fry for 5 minutes.
- Add chilli powder, coriander powder, turmeric, mix well and cook for a couple of minutes.
- Add green peas, ½ cup f water and mix well. The water is to enable pressure cooking.
- Close the lid and cancel saute mode. Press pressure cook mode and set the timer for 2 minutes. Make sure the valve is turned to sealing mode.
- Once done, the monitor will display L, wait for a couple of minutes and release the pressure manually carefully. Remove the lid and set to saute mode again adjusting between low and medium a required.
- Add tomato paste if using, adjust salt and cook for 1-2 minutes.
- Add paneer cubes, green chilli along with ¼ cup of water roughly. Cook for 5 more minutes by scraping the bottom carefully.
- Crush fenugreek leaves between your palms and add to the curry and then garam masala. Mix well.
- Add a splash of milk and simmer for a further couple of minutes. Serve hot with rice or naan.
- Always toggle between low to medium modes while cooking with less oil in saute mode of the instant pot.
- If you cannot find paneer, greek halloumi cheese is a close option, To make this vegan replace paneer with tofu and butter with cooking oil.
- You can skip green chilli and tomato paste and they are optional.
- The paneer curry stays good at room temperature for a day and is I highly recommend refrigerating afterwards due to it being a diary. It stays good for 3-4 days.
- You may notice the paneer becomes hard but ideally it will become soft when you reheat it and consume immediately.
- Also please note the curry becomes thick when cooled down.
- The nutritional information is only an estimate and always check your original food labels for accurate values.
- I wouldn’t recommend freezing. this curry.
- Category: Mains
- Method: Pressure Cook
- Cuisine: Indian
My first time making matar paneer and it was hit in the house. Recipe is detailed and super easy to make.. this will become our staple diet from now. Thanks for sharing this!! Looking forward to more
Am glad you liked it Sas 🙂 keep coming back for more