Ok, for a person who doesn’t love Paneer much, two paneer side dishes in a week are a little too much But then, this is one of the side dishes that we love at home and this is what I served along with my Kulcha. It was a fabulous dinner – better than any high quality restaurant. Moving on to the recipe of Paneer Lababdar, I have not seen it in many restaurants and although it is similar to Paneer Butter Masala, I would say that it’s tastier than that 🙂 This is a super creamy, rich and tasty gravy – thanks to the addition of cashews! Not only paneer is added in cubes, some grated paneer is added to the gravy making it very rich. I usually skip adding fresh cream to my gravies, to cut down the calories and instead substitute it with milk. For richer version, fresh cream can be added. This gravy is medium spicy, making it perfect for any Indian bread.
To make Paneer Lababdar
What I used –
- Paneer, 100 gms
- Onion, 1 large
- Tomato, 2 medium
- Cashews, 8-10
- Ginger Garlic Paste, 1 tsp
- Butter/Oil, 1.5 tsp
- Green Chillies, 1 or 2
- Dried Bay Leaf, 1
- Red Chilli Powder, ½ tsp
- Garam Masala Powder, ½ tsp
- Coriander Powder, ½ tsp
- Jeera Powder, ½ tsp
- Turmeric Powder, ¼ tsp
- Fresh Cream/ Milk, 1 tbsp/ 1/4th cup
- Kasoor Methi/Dried Fenugreek Leaves, 1.5 tsp
- Salt, as required
- Water, as required
How I made –
1. In a microwave safe bowl, add diced tomatoes, ginger garlic paste and cashews with some little water. Set it on microwave power high for 4-5 mins. Once the mixture is cooled completely, blend it into a smooth paste. Set aside.
2. In a nonstick pan, heat butter/oil. Add dried bay leaf and fry for ten secs. Add finely chopped onions and fry until translucent. Add the ground tomato cashew paste and fry for 3-4 mins.
3. Add some water if required and add all the masala powders – red chilli powder, garam masala powder, coriander powder, cumin powder and turmeric powder. Add some water if the gravy is too thick. Add slit green chillies and salt. Cook for another 3-4 mins.
4. Add dried fenugreek leaves/Kasoor methi and add the milk or fresh cream. Mix well. Cut the paneer into cubes and grate some of the paneer too. Add cubed Paneer pieces as well as the grated paneer. Mix well.
5. Serve hot with Kulchas/Rotis/Phulkas/Naan.
- The tomato cashew mixture can be cooked on stove top as well. I use microwave as it’s convenient.
- For additional spiciness, green chillies can be fried in the butter/oil at the start.
- Adjust spices as per preference.
- A pinch of sugar can be added if the tomatoes are too tangy.
- For richer version, fresh cream can be added instead of milk.
- Crush the dried fenugreek leaves between your palms before adding it to the gravy – enhances the aroma.