Nawabi Paneer

5 from 1 vote

Nawabi Paneer Masala is a restaurant-style Indian paneer curry where paneer pieces are simmered in a rich and creamy white sauce. Serve this Mughlai-inspired dish with naan or lachha paratha for an indulgent meal (vegetarian, gluten-free).

Nawabi paneer served in a bowl.
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About Nawabi Paneer

This restaurant-style Nawabi Paneer Masala (Paneer Nawabi) is a Mughlai-inspired curry where paneer cubes are dunked in a white-colored sauce made using onions, nuts, fresh coconut, and spices.

This curry gets its name from its rich and creamy texture which gives it a royal (nawabi) touch.

Nawabi Paneer Curry Recipe is quite different in terms of taste and appearance when compared to other popular paneer curries. It is not your everyday curry as it is very rich but it is a great and unique addition to your festive and special meals.

Double or triple the nawabi paneer recipe if making it for a crowd.

Here are some more paneer recipes that you may like

Ingredient

For The Masala Paste

Oil – Use any neutral-flavored vegetable oil.

Whole Spices – You will need green cardamoms (hari elaichi), cinnamon (dalchini), black cardamom (badi elaichi), cloves (laung), black peppercorns (kali mirch), and cumin seeds.

Cashew Nuts – Cashew nuts make the gravy very rich and creamy. You can replace them with almonds, or melon seeds. If using almonds, then soak them in water for 30 minutes before blending.

Others – You will also need onions, fresh coconut, ginger garlic paste, and green chillies.

To Fry The Paneer

Paneer (Indian Cottage Cheese) – You can either use homemade paneer or a store-bought one. If using store-bought paneer, soak it in a bowl of warm water for about 5 minutes, to make it soft.

For The Curry

Ghee & Butter – The curry is made in a mixture of ghee and butter.

Others – You will need plain yogurt (dahi, curd), coriander powder, milk, green peas, Kasuri methi, unsweetened heavy cream (or fresh cream, malai), garam masala powder, and kewra essence.

If using fresh green peas, then boil them with a little sugar until they are tender. Adding a little sugar helps to retain their lovely green color. If using frozen peas, then just rinse and use.

Kewra essence gives the curry a typical Mughlai flavor. Be very careful while using it. Just 2-3 drops os good enough. If added more, it can make the curry bitter. Replace it with rose water if it’s not available.

Adding 1 tablespoon sugar or honey at the end balances the flavors really well. Try it too.

You can also add some coconut milk at the end of cooking for a change in taste.

How To Make Nawabi Paneer Curry

Make The Masala Paste

Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a pan over medium-high heat.

Oil heating in a pan.

When the oil is hot, add

  • 2-3 whole green cardamoms
  • 1-inch piece of cinnamon
  • 1 whole black cardamom
  • 2-3 cloves
  • 4-5 whole black peppercorns
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds

and let them crackle for 5-6 seconds.

Whole spices added to hot oil.

Add ½ cup chopped onions and cook until they turn light brown in color (4-5 minutes).

Onions added to the pan.

Add ½ cup grated fresh coconut and cook for 2 minutes. Stir frequently.

Coconut added to the pan.

Now add 1 teaspoon ginger-garlic paste and cook for another minute.

Ginger garlic added to the pan.

Add whole 2-3 green chilies and cook for 3-4 minutes.

Green chilies added to the pan.

Now add 15-20 cashew nuts and cook for another minute. Stir frequently.

Cashew nuts added to the pan.

Remove the pan from the heat and let the mixture cool down.

Ready masala mixture.

Transfer it to a blender along with ½ cup water and blend to make a fine paste. Scrape the sides of the blender a few times.

Note – If you want extra smooth curry, then you can pass this paste through a fine-mesh strainer.

Mixture transferred to a blender with water.
Smooth paste made.

Fry The Paneer

Cut 10.5 oz (300 g) paneer into 1-inch pieces.

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a flat pan or a skillet over medium heat.

Oil heating in a skillet.

Arrange the paneer pieces on the pan and sprinkle them with salt and pepper.

Paneer pieces arranged on the skillet.

Cook from both sides until lightly browned.

Remove them from the pan and add them to a bowl filled with hot water.

Fried paneer.

Make The Curry

Heat 2 tablespoon ghee and 1 tablespoon butter in a pan over medium-high heat.

Ghee and butter heating in a pan.

Once hot, add the masala paste and fry for 3-4 minutes. Stir frequently to prevent the masala from sticking to the bottom of the pan.

Masala paste added to the pan.

Add 2 tablespoon plain yogurt and cook for 2 minutes.

Yogurt added to the pan.

Add 1 teaspoon coriander powder and cook for another minute.

Coriander powder added to the pan.

Now add 1 cup of milk and cook for 4-5 minutes. Stir frequently.

Milk added to the pan.

Add

  • ½ cup green peas
  • fried paneer cubes
  • 1 teaspoon Kauri methi
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup unsweetened heavy cream

and mix well. Cook for 3-4 minutes.

Peas, paneer, kasuri methi, salt, cream added to the pan.

Finally, add ½ teaspoon garam masala powder and 2-3 drops of kewra essence and mix well. Check for salt and add more if required. Nawabi paneer is ready, serve hot.

Note – You can add a tablespoon of honey if you like the gravy to be a little sweet.

Garam masala powder and kewra essence added to the pan.
Ready nawabi paneer.

Serving Suggestions

It is a dish to serve on special occasions and festivals.

Serve nawabi paneer with Indian bread such as butter naan, garlic naan, lachha paratha, phulka, tandoori roti, or any other bread that you prefer. It can also be served with lightly spiced pulao recipes.

Storage Suggestions

Due to the use of ingredients such as cream, milk, yogurt, and fresh coconut, Nawabi paneer curry won’t last for long. Leftovers can be stored for 1-2 days in an air-tight container in the fridge and can be reheated in a pan or microwave.

It is not freezer-friendly! The gravy will split while thawing which won’t taste great.

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Nawabi Paneer Masala is a restaurant-style Indian paneer curry where paneer pieces are simmered in a rich and creamy white sauce. Serve this Mughlai-inspired dish with naan or lachha paratha for an indulgent meal (vegetarian, gluten-free).
5 from 1 vote

Restaurant Style Nawabi Paneer Masala Recipe

Nawabi Paneer Masala is a restaurant-style Indian paneer curry where paneer pieces are simmered in a rich and creamy white sauce. Serve this Mughlai-inspired dish with naan or lachha paratha for an indulgent meal.
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 30 minutes
Total: 40 minutes
Servings: 4 people

Ingredients 

For The Masala Paste

  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 2-3 whole green cardamoms (hari elaichi)
  • 1 inch piece of cinnamon (dalchini)
  • 1 whole black cardamom (badi elaichi)
  • 2-3 cloves (laung)
  • 4-5 whole black peppercorns (kali mirch)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • ½ cup chopped onions
  • ½ cup grated fresh coconut
  • 1 teaspoon ginger garlic paste
  • 2-3 whole green chilies
  • 15-20 whole cashew nuts
  • ½ cup water

For The Paneer

  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 10.5 ounces paneer (300 g, cut into 1-inch pieces)
  • salt (to taste)
  • pepper (to taste)

For The Curry

  • 2 tablespoons ghee
  • 1 tablespoon butter (salted or unsalted)
  • 2 tablespoons plain yogurt (dahi, curd)
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1 cup milk
  • ½ cup green peas
  • 1 teaspoon Kasuri methi
  • ½ teaspoon salt (or to taste)
  • ¼ cup unsweetened heavy cream
  • ½ teaspoon garam masala powder
  • 2-3 drops kewra essence
  • 1 teaspoon sugar or honey (optional)
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Instructions 

Make The Masala Paste

  • Heat oil in a pan over medium-high heat.
  • When the oil is hot, add green cardamoms, cinnamon, black cardamom, cloves, black peppercorns, and cumin seeds and let them crackle for 5-6 seconds.
  • Add onions and cook until they turn light brown in color (4-5 minutes).
  • Add coconut and cook for 2 minutes. Stir frequently.
  • Now add ginger-garlic paste and cook for another minute.
  • Add green chilies and cook for 3-4 minutes.
  • Now add cashew nuts and cook for another minute. Stir frequently.
  • Remove the pan from the heat and let the mixture cool down.
  • Transfer it to a blender along with ½ cup of water and blend to make a smooth paste. Scrape the sides of the blender a few times.
  • If you want extra smooth curry, then you can pass this paste through a fine-mesh strainer.

Fry The Paneer

  • Heat oil in a flat pan or a skillet over medium heat.
  • Arrange the paneer pieces on the pan and sprinkle them with salt and pepper.
  • Cook from both sides until lightly browned.
  • Remove them from the pan and add to a bowl filled with hot water.

Make The Curry

  • Heat ghee and butter in a pan over medium-high heat.
  • Once hot, add the masala paste and fry for 3-4 minutes. Stir frequently to prevent the masala from sticking to the bottom of the pan.
  • Add plain yogurt and cook for 2 minutes.
  • Add coriander powder and cook for another minute.
  • Now add milk and cook for 4-5 minutes. Stir frequently.
  • Add green peas, fried paneer cubes, Kauri methi, salt, and heavy cream, and mix well. Cook for 3-4 minutes.
  • Note – You can add a teaspoon of honey or sugar if you like the gravy to be a little sweet.
  • Finally, add garam masala powder and kewra essence and mix well. Check for salt and add more if required. Nawabi paneer is ready, serve hot.

Video

YouTube video

Notes

Thin the curry with some milk or water if you like it thinner.
Double or triple the nawabi paneer recipe if making it for a crowd.
Cashew nuts make the gravy very rich and creamy. You can replace them with almonds, or melon seeds. If using almonds, then soak them in water for 30 minutes before blending.
If using fresh green peas, then boil them with a little sugar until they are tender. Adding a little sugar helps to retain their lovely green color. If using frozen peas, then just rinse and use.
Kewra essence gives the curry a typical Mughlai flavor. Be very careful while using it. Just 2-3 drops os good enough. If added more, it can make the curry bitter. Replace it with rose water if it’s not available.
Adding 1 tablespoon sugar or honey at the end balances the flavors really well. Try it too.
You can also add some coconut milk at the end of cooking for a change in taste.

Nutrition

Calories: 470kcal, Carbohydrates: 13g, Protein: 15g, Fat: 41g, Saturated Fat: 25g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 5g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 104mg, Sodium: 88mg, Potassium: 254mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 6g, Vitamin A: 566IU, Vitamin C: 10mg, Calcium: 480mg, Iron: 1mg
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