Paneer Masala is easy to make dish of paneer where paneer cubes are simmered in an onion-tomato based spicy gravy. It can be paired with Indian bread or Jeera Rice.
If you are looking for more Paneer Recipes, here are some that you can make at home – Kadai Paneer, Paneer Jalfrezi, Palak Paneer, Paneer Tikka Masala, Methi Paneer, Saag Paneer, and Mughlai Paneer Korma.
About This Recipe
Paneer Masala is a North Indian Paneer Curry, made with onion, tomato, ginger-garlic paste, and aromatic spices. Pan-fried Paneer pieces are added in this spicy onion tomato curry, which is apt for your everyday meals or can be a part of your festive meal too.
Whole spices are used to make this super delicious recipe, which lends it a beautiful aroma along with flavor. It is important that you use whole spices instead of powdered ready-to-use ones to get the best results.
If you like Paneer Butter Masala Recipe, then I am very sure you will love this one too.
This Paneer Masala is creamy, rich, and pairs well with almost all the Indian bread, especially with parantha and naan. I sometimes even serve it with Jeera Rice.
This Curry is super easy to make and great to include in your everyday meals, as it is also high in protein. So if you are looking for an easy Paneer recipe, that tastes like restaurant-style paneer sabzi, then do give this Paneer Masala a try.
This Paneer Masala is,
- Easy to make
- High In Protein
- Made with everyday ingredients
- Perfect for festive meals
Paneer – You can use homemade Paneer or store-bought Paneer for this curry. Homemade Paneer is naturally soft, but if the store-bought paneer is a bit hard, then add it in a bowl of warm water for about 10 minutes.
Paneer is high in protein and is a great ingredient to include in your everyday meals.
For Paneer Coating – Paneer is coated with a few ingredients such as red chili powder, turmeric powder, and salt. These Paneer pieces are pan-fried until crispy, as it adds great texture in the curry too.
Oil/Ghee – I have used a combination of both oil and ghee in this curry. You can use either of these or even butter. You can also make this curry in mustard oil or olive oil.
Whole Spices – To add flavor and aroma in this curry, we will use whole spices such as cardamom, cloves, peppercorns, cinnamon, dry red chilies, and cumin seeds.
Spice Powders – Other than whole spices, some everyday spice powders are also used such as coriander powder, turmeric powder, red chili powder, cumin powder, garam masala powder, and salt.
After adding the spice powders, make sure to cook it well until the oil separates, as it delivers the best taste.
Besan – Besan or Gram Flour adds great texture in this curry. It is optional but highly recommended.
Tomato – Tomato Puree is added to make the base along with onions and ginger garlic paste. The puree is added for a smooth texture, but you can add chopped tomatoes too.
Kasuri Methi – These ingredients just changes the game of this curry! Kasuri Methi adds a distinct taste in the curry. So do not miss this!
Others – Apart from the other ingredients, we will add in a few more such as Hing, Onion, Ginger Garlic Paste, Green Chillies, Lemon Juice, and Fresh Coriander, which makes for a great curry.
Step By Step Recipe
For marinating the paneer, mix paneer with salt, red chili powder, turmeric powder, and salt and keep aside for 15 minutes.
Brush a pan with ghee and fry the paneer on all the sides until browned. Remove the paneer from the pan and keep aside.
For the gravy, heat oil and ghee in a pan.
Once the oil is hot, add cardamom, cloves, peppercorns, cinnamon, dry red chilies, cumin seeds, and hing and fry them for a few seconds.
Add onion and fry until it turns slightly brown.
Add ginger garlic paste and fry until onion turns nicely browned.
Now add coriander powder, turmeric powder, red chilli powder, cumin powder, garam masala powder, besan and salt and fry for a minute.
Add tomato and green chilli and cook until oil starts to separate from the sides of the pan.
Add 1 cup water, fried paneer and kauri methi and cook for 2-3 minutes.
Finally add lemon juice and fresh coriander and mix well. Serve hot with roti.
Frequently Asked Questions
To make paneer at home, bring 1-liter full-fat milk to a boil. Remove from heat and add 2 teaspoon lemon juice or vinegar to the milk.
Let it rest for 5 minutes. Now strain the curdled milk in a cheesecloth and press it with a heavyweight to drain extra water. Rest it for 1-2 hours until the paneer is set. Now cut the paneer into cubes and use as required.
To make it vegan, you can avoid adding ghee and increase the amount of oil. Instead of Paneer, you can use in Tofu. Other than this all the other ingredients are vegan friendly.
This Paneer Masala will last in the fridge for about 3 to 4 days, when stored in an air tight container. Reheat it in a pan or microwave. If you think it has become a little dry, add in a little water and mix it well and heat until nice and warm.
You can even freeze it. Freeze the curry without Paneer, in an air tight container for about a month or two. Reheat the curry, add in freshly pan fried paneer pieces and serve hot.
Pro Tips By Neha
Use the best quality paneer to make this dish. In India, you get paneer easily, but if you live in the US, Indian stores carry it all the time.
Kasuri methi gives a delicious flavor to this dish, so make sure you don’t skip it.
To make the gravy silky smooth, grind the masala to a fine paste.
You can freeze the gravy for 2-3 months in a freezer-safe container. Thaw it at room temperature for 3-4 hours and then heat in a pan before serving.
To add a smoky flavor to this curry, keep a steel bowl in the pan with a piece of red hot charcoal in it and sprinkle some ghee on it. Close the lid immediately for the smoky taste.
You can add fresh cream to the Paneer Masala Gravy once it done for a rich flavour.
Add cashew nut paste for a richer flavour.
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Paneer Masala Recipe
For marinating paneer
- 400 g Paneer (Cubed)
- ½ teaspoon Salt
- ½ teaspoon Red Chilli Powder
- ½ teaspoon Turmeric Powder
- 2 tablespoon Vegetable Oil
For the gravy
- 2 tablespoon Vegetable Oil
- 2 tablespoon Ghee
- 2 Cardamom (Crushed)
- 2-3 Clove (Crushed)
- 5-6 Black peppercorn (Crushed)
- 1 inch Cinnamon (Crushed)
- 3-4 Dry Red Chillies
- 1 teaspoon Cumin Seeds
- ¼ teaspoon Hing
- 1 cup Onion (Grated)
- 2 teaspoon Ginger Garlic Paste
- 2 teaspoon Coriander Powder
- ½ teaspoon Turmeric Powder
- 2 teaspoon Kashmiri Red Chilli Powder
- ½ teaspoon Roasted Cumin Powder
- ½ teaspoon Garam Masala Powder
- 2 tablespoon Roasted Besan
- Salt to taste
- 1 cup Tomato (Grated)
- 2-3 Green Chilli (Slit into half)
- 2 tablespoon Kasuri Methi
- 1 tablespoon Lemon Juice
- 2 tablespoon Coriander (Chopped)
For marinating the paneer
- Mix paneer with salt, red chilli powder, turmeric powder and salt and keep aside for 15 minutes.
- Brush a pan with ghee and fry the paneer on all the sides until browned.
- Remove the paneer from the pan and keep aside.
For the gravy
- Heat oil and ghee in a pan.
- Once the oil is hot, add cardamom, cloves, peppercorns, cinnamon, dry red chillies, cumin seeds and hing and fry them for a few seconds.
- Add onion and fry until it turns slightly brown.
- Add ginger garlic paste and fry until onion turns nicely browned.
- Now add coriander powder, turmeric powder, red chilli powder, cumin powder, garam masala powder, besan and salt and fry for a minute.
- Add tomato and green chilli and cook until oil starts to separate from the sides of the pan.
- Add 1 cup water, fried paneer and kauri methi and cook for 2-3 minutes.
- Finally add lemon juice and fresh coriander and mix well.
- Serve hot with roti.