The palak paneer vs matar paneer comparison goes a long way. These two Indian curries are one of a kind. Whenever you go to an Indian wedding, you are sure to find these two dishes on the menu.
You can distinguish between these two dishes just by their names. The former (Indian spinach curry) utilizes spinach leaves as one of the main ingredients, whereas the latter uses peas. Are there any more differences? Let’s find out.
1. What Are These Indian Cuisines?
Palak paneer (similar to saag paneer, check out palak paneer vs saag paneer) is a blend of juicy cottage cheese cubes and smooth spinach sauce. This vibrant recipe uses fresh spinach leaves, herbs, aromatics, and spices.
The matar variant, on the other hand, is made with peas and cottage cheese, delivering a sweet flavor that goes perfectly with Indian naans. This blend of ingredients makes the ultimate cuisine we all love so much. In fact, this dish makes an annual appearance in traditional Bengali festivals.
Besides the primary ingredients, are there any more differences? Yes, there are! And we are going to tell you every palak paneer vs matar paneer comparison point you need to know.
2. Matar Paneer vs Palak Paneer: Ingredients Difference
For the former dish, the ingredients are used depending on how you want to prepare this cuisine. You can make it either in the homemade style or use the recipe used in Indian restaurants.
Two Versions of Spinach Curry
The restaurant version will leave your mouth watering because it contains spinach puree, onions, spices, and fresh cheese. You do not need to include tomatoes in the ingredient list.
To prepare the spinach sauce, you will require many seasonings such as cumin seeds, garlic and ginger paste, dry fenugreek leaves, green chili, etc. For a step-to-step guide to making vegetarian palak paneer, click below:
The homemade recipe will ensure that your dish has a creamy texture and a vibrant green color. The recipe for the homemade style also uses the same ingredients, but their proportions are altered.
Another big difference is the use of the charcoal smoking technique in restaurant style to flavor the dish. Furthermore, you won’t find a sour or tangy ingredient in the recipe. As an optional step, you can add 1 medium tomato after sautéing the fresh ginger and garlic paste to give the finished dish a tangy taste.
The recipe for Matar paneer is quite simple. It utilizes Indian cheese and green peas as the primary ingredients. The gravy is made from almost the same ingredients as the regular spinach dish. However, it uses one additional component called cashews.
Cashew nuts are added to the mix to let this Indian dish achieve a creamy consistency throughout. It also has a cream and soft texture. You can also add a pinch of sugar to sweeten it. Due to saag paneer having similar ingredients, matar paneer vs saag paneer might interest you.
3. The Difference in Preparation Method
To understand the palak paneer vs matar paneer, we have to look at how these dishes are made. By just reading it, you will be able to distinguish these dishes quite easily. Therefore, here is a brief breakdown of their preparation process.
Delicious Palak Paneer
To make a delicious palak paneer, you need to add fresh or frozen spinach to the boiling water. Mix well and let the frozen spinach blanch in hot water for about 2-3 minutes. The blanching step is vital because it stops the action of the enzyme present in the frozen spinach.
After this, place the blanched blocks of spinach in a powerful blender jar to make its smooth puree. The next steps would involve frying the cubed cottage cheese and making the spinach sauce.
Once made, add the pureed spinach to the mix and cook well. Make sure to mix the ready-made cheese cubes well with the delicious spinach gravy. Your favorite spinach dish is ready to serve! It works well with biryani rice, Indian flatbread, naan, etc. Also, refer to palak paneer vs kashmir paneer for more delicious recipes.
Matar Paneer’s Simplicity
The initial steps would include the making of the masala or gravy. You will add most of the seasonings like garlic cloves, ¼ tsp cumin seeds, and others into the pot with 1 tablespoon oil in this step. Leave them aside for a few minutes at medium heat until they turn light golden. Pour the ingredients into a blender to make a paste.
After this, add the fresh cottage cheese pieces and peas into the smooth paste. You can add ½ tsp garam masala on top and 1 tsp salt to taste. You can serve mutter paneer with roti (Indian flatbread), ghee rice, basmati rice, saffron rice, etc.
The difference between the preparation methods is absolute. For instance, the former requires blanching, whereas the latter doesn’t.
4. Palak Paneer vs Matar Paneer: Nutrition Facts
Nutritional values of a food item are vital, especially when you are health conscious. Let’s know which one has a better nutritional value.
- Calories: For every 1 cup (200 grams), the palak variant offers about 366 calories. Matar variant, on the contrary, is less calorie-dense as it provides about 271 calories for the same amount.
- Macronutrients: Leafy greens help make this palak dish a calorie-dense food. Hence, it provides you with more macronutrients than the matar dish.
- Sodium: Consuming just 1 cup of palak paneer would give you more than 1/3 of the daily recommended sodium limit (2300 mg). On the other side, a dish made of green peas and cottage cheese would give about 470 mg of Sodium for the same amount.
- If you have high cholesterol levels, you may not want to consume spinach with cottage cheese.
You may feel that Indian cottage cheese may not be healthy because it is full of fats. However, the homemade paneer is completely safe for your body. You may also wonder, “Can pregnant women eat paneer?”
5. Palak Paneer vs Matar Paneer: Taste and Color
The final and vital comparison point between the two is their appearance.
- Palak paneer may taste bitter due to spinach present in it. You can add fresh cream to reduce the bitterness. The latter tastes a bit sweet and creamy due to the added sugar and other ingredients.
- Since spinach is of green color, the palak dish possesses the same vibrant color. On the other hand, the matar dish has a color inclined towards the reddish-orange.
To be fair, both these Indian cuisines are delicious. It is challenging to choose one over the other because of the luxurious feel they bring to our diet. Therefore, choose the one that matches your lifestyle and preferences.