I had this malai paneer, for the first time, at my sister’s place last month and I just had to write down the recipe for myself. Some of the ingredients were quite a surprise for me like ketchup and vinegar. But every ingredient comes together beautifully in this tangy and slightly sweet paneer recipe.
Last weekend when we were hosting a dinner for friends here in Bucharest, I knew I had to make this malai paneer. First it was a mixed group of Indians and French and Swiss so I wanted to menu to be very Indian and a paneer dish is the quintessential Indian vegetarian main dish in a party menu. Two, I knew the group couldn’t take too much spice, so malai paneer was the perfect preparation.
Traditionally paneer or cottage cheese was always made at home. At my mom’s place it still is. I don’t remember her ever buying the paneer from market. I go both ways, if I can plan ahead, I make paneer at home else I buy from a local dairy.
If you are looking for more delicious and easy paneer recipes, check out:
Palak Paneer (Cottage cheese in a spinach curry)
Paneer Tikka Masala (A vegetarian adaptation of the popular chicken tikka masala recipe)
Kadhai Paneer (Spicy dry preparation of Paneer with bell peppers, onions and tomatoes)
Paneer Mili Juli (A mixed veg preparation of paneer with other vegetables)
Moong and Paneer Soup (A very light and comforting yellow lentil broth with paneer.)
If you like this recipe, please take a moment to rate it below and/or share your thoughts. It will really encourage me.
Malai Paneer Curry | Easy Paneer Recipe
Ingredients (1cup = 240ml; 1tbsp = 15ml; 1tsp = 5ml)
- 400 g fresh paneer , homemade or shop bought
- 1 tbsp ginger-garlic paste
- 1 cup cashew , soaked overnight
- 4 tomatoes
- 100 ml low fat cream
- 2 tbsp Olive-pomace oil
- 1 tbsp butter
Spices & Condiments
- 2 Bay leaves
- 1 tbsp tomato ketchup
- ½ tsp sugar
- Salt , to taste
- 1 tsp turmeric powder
- 1 tsp paprika
- ½ tsp rice vinegar
- 2 tsp garam masala
- Wash the paneer with water and cut into bit size cubes. Keep aside.
- In a mixer, purée tomatoes and soaked cashew nuts together.
- Put a deep pan on medium heat. Add oil and butter.
- When the oil is hot, add bay leaves, ginger garlic paste, turmeric and paprika powder. Mix well and Sauté for a minute.
- Add in the tomato-cashew nut purée, ketchup and salt and sugar. Mix and sauté for 5 mins.
- Add water to the mixer jar used for making the tomato-cashew purée. Swirl it around and add to the pot. Mix well and let the gravy come to a boil.
- Beat the cream in a jar so that there are no lumps and add to the gravy. Mix well.
- Add paneer cubes, vinegar and garam masala. Mix well and cook covered till there is a boil.
- Check for seasoning and add more salt, paprika or garam masala as required.
- Cashew nuts make the curry this and add to its creaminess. You can skip the cashew nuts in the gravy for a lighter version of the dish.
- For a vegan preparation, you can substitute paneer or cottage cheese with plain tofu and milk cream with soy cream or ½ cup more cashew nuts. And don’t use butter, only oil.
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I love all paneer recipes. YUM!
I love to try new dishes and like that this one is vegetarian. I was wondering about the ginger garlic paste. Is it made from equal parts of both ginger and garlic? I will have to make my own.
Yes I make my own ginger garlic paste as well and while I don’t measure them exactly, hey usually are in equal parts. Sometimes I just grate both ginger and garlic right into the pan.
I am so glad you liked they recipe. I do hope you try it soon!
Ashima, thank you for clarifying the proportions for ginger garlic paste. I hope to try this recipe as soon as I can.
my pleasure Patti! 🙂
this Malai Paneer Curry looks so delicious… wish I had some right now!
I wish I could give you some right now! 🙂
lots of love,
Ashley @ Big Flavors from a Tiny Kitchen
I didn’t realize that cashews made this dish so creamy! I love paneer curries – yours looks delicious!
Cashews really add a smooth creaminess to the curry. You can try and add them in other curries too apart from malai paneer
I have never heard of Malai Curry, this looks and sounds amazing! Saving this, thanks so much for the recipe:)
Malai is the hindi word for cream… this curry is so called because of the creaminess of the curry. I am glad you liked the recipe and thank you so much for rating the recipe! It really encourages me 🙂
malai gravies are my weakness,looks so creamy rich texture.
Thanks Prasanna! I wish I could treat to this one 🙂
Oh my goodness I am going to have to make this for my dad. He would love this!
I would love to know how your dad finds it when you make it for him :-). do ask me if you have any questions about the recipe!
lots of love,
LOL I’ll admit the ketchup would have startled me as well… But if I don’t think of it as ubiquitous American ketchup and do just think of the tomato/vinegar/sweet flavor… Sure! That does look good, especially as a Not Too Hot dish for guests – I’ll have to make a note of it.
this one is not at all hot! I made it specially keeping in mind that my guests can’t take chillies. The cashews and the cream actually take away all the heat and there is just a hint of spice. The ketchup and vinegar add to the sweet and tangy flavours of the curry.
Thanks so much for dropping by!
Malai gravies are my family favorites 🙂 Your gravy definitely looks so creamy smooth!
They are at my end too! Aren’t they a weakness in most Indian families! 🙂 Though we keep them for special occasions!
Thanks so much for dropping by!
Mmm! I love paneer! This looks and sounds incredible. I haven’t made or had paneer in quite a while…maybe it’s time!
Maybe it is time! 🙂 Thank you for sharing your thoughts!
Thanks for this easy recipe! I would love to make my own paneer curry and this seems like a great way to start.
I am so glad you liked the recipe.It really is very simple to make and do hope the dish finds it way in your kitchen soon 🙂
Thank you so much for rating the recipe! really encourages me a lot!
Ooh yum, I always order something similar when we go out for Indian food, but I have never tried making it myself. It sounds very doable though, and not as labor intensive as some of the Indian dishes I have attempted. I will be trying this one for sure
Paneer is a quintessential Indian dish so most Indian restaurants will have a variety of paneer dishes 🙂 I am glad you liked the recipe and it really is simple to follow. I will be happy to help if you have any questions!
Thanks so much for rating the recipe, really encourages me a lot!
This recipe has tempted me to make fresh paneer again, my first attempt failed, but I will give it a go again cos I need to try this recipe.
Can you tell mw more as to how your first attempt failed? Did yogurt a crumbly paneer or none at all? I would love to help.
Thank you so much for dropping by and rating the recipe. It really encourages me 🙂
lots of love,