Malai Paneer
Malai Paneer, as the name suggests, it’s a paneer curry prepared in a fresh milk cream based rich and spicy gravy where almond and cashew nut paste brings in rich texture while dried fenugreek leaves bring a subtle but definite flavor. Whether you are hosting a party at home or just looking for easy recipes with paneer to have a delicious quick Indian dinner, it’s a perfect choice to satisfy your craving for something spicy yet creamy.
150 gms (5 oz) Paneer (cottage cheese)
1/4 cup Malai (fresh cream)
1/2 teaspoon Kasuri Methi (Dried Fenugreek Leaves)
1 medium Onion, finely chopped
4 Almonds
4 Cashew Nuts
1/2 teaspoon grated Ginger
2-3 cloves Garlic, crushed
1/4 teaspoon Garam Masala Powder
1/8 teaspoon Turmeric Powder
1 teaspoon Red Chilli Powder
1 teaspoon Coriander Powder
2 tablespoons + 1 tablespoon Oil
1 tablespoon finely chopped Coriander Leaves
  1. Grind cashew nuts and almonds in the small jar of a mixer grinder until smooth powder. Transfer it to a small bowl and mix with 2 tablespoons water to make a dry-fruit paste.
  2. Cut paneer into 1.5-inch long and 0.5-inch thick strips or into 0.5-inch thick triangles. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in non-stick pan over medium flame. Shallow fry paneer triangles or strips until its edges turn light brown. Drain and transfer to a plate.
  3. Heat remaining 1-tablespoon oil in the same pan over medium flame. Add finely chopped onion and sauté until it turns light brown. It will take approx. 1-2 minutes. Add grated ginger and crushed garlic, sauté for a minute.
  4. Add red chilli powder, turmeric powder, coriander powder, and salt; stir and sauté for approx 30 seconds.
  5. Add dry-fruit paste (prepared in step 1) and sauté for a minute.
  6. Add 1/2 cup water and bring mixture to a boil.
  7. When mixture starts boiling, reduce flame to low and add paneer, garam masala powder and dried fenugreek leaves.
  8. Mix and cook for 3 to 4 minutes. Add 1/4 cup fresh cream over it.
  9. Mix cream with curry and cook for a minute or little less. Do not cook for long time after adding cream because it curdles if cooked more.
  10. Turn off the flame and transfer prepared malai paneer to a serving bowl. Garnish with fresh coriander leaves and serve hot.
Tips and Variations:
  • If you like more gravy, then add more water in step-6 and cook until you get desired consistency. However, make sure that paneer cubes are added only towards the end of cooking.
  • Add boiled green peas along with paneer in step-7 to make yummy malai peas paneer.
  • Do not cook for more than a minute or on high flame after adding fresh cream, otherwise cream may curdle.
  • Add 1-cup fresh green methi leaves in step-5 to make delicious and healthy methi malai paneer.
Taste: Mild spicy and creamy.
Serving Ideas: Savor this delicately spicy curry with any Indian bread like butter naan or onion paratha or butter kulcha.

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