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.)
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- 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
- 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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