Dhaba Style Paneer

We are a paneer loving family and our idea of a special weekend dinner is incomplete without paneer. So when my dearest friend and soul sister Sumangala posted Dhaba style Paneer on her Instagram handle @onlyvegfoodie, I could not resist trying it instantly. It looked so so delicious.

And how amazing it came out too. My kids who usually make faces during dinner time ate whole heartedly and happily that day. My daughter even ate the curry as it is which is a rarity since she always finds everything spicy. So you can imagine how much she liked it.

I also want to write something about Sumangala. We first met through our GSB youth wing Elamakkara (where we lived in Kochi) during our college days. We were (still are 😁) both talkative and got along very well. She’s very loving and a down to earth person. I still remember my visits to her house and the nearby Shiva temple with her. Now we both are busy mommies with two kids of our own but our common love for cooking keeps us connected on Instagram. So glad to see you happy Suma. Love you. The memories with you are unforgettable. 😘

Hope you all try her recipe of Dhaba style Paneer and love it as much as we did. Happy and healthy cooking!



To marinate:

200 grams Paneer cubes

1 tsp Red chilli powder

1 tsp Coriander powder

2 tsp Garam masala powder

1/2 tsp Haldi powder

2 tsp Water

Other ingredients in order:

1 Tbsp Ghee

1 Tbsp Oil

2 Cardamom pods

2 Cloves

1/2 inch Cinnamon stick

1 Bay leaf

1 tsp Cumin seeds or Jeera

1 tsp minced Ginger

1 large Onion, blended in mixer

2 large Tomatoes, pureed in mixer

2 Tbsp Coriander leaves, while frying

1/2 tsp Kasuri methi, crushed between palm

1 tsp Red chilli powder

1 tsp Garam masala powder

2 tsp Besan/ Chickpea flour

Salt to taste

Coriander leaves for garnish

Step by step recipe:

1. Take Paneer cubes in a bowl. Add red chilli powder, garam masala powder, haldi powder and coriander powder along with little water. Mix well and keep aside for 30 mins.

2. Heat oil and ghee in a pan. Add jeera along with Cardamom pods, cloves, cinnamon stick, bay leaf. When jeera changes colour, add blended onion and ginger.

3. Keep frying continually till the raw smell goes away and the paste leaves the sides of the pan. Now add kasuri methi, red chilli powder, garam masala powder and besan.

4. Fry for two mins till the rawness of besan goes away. Now add tomato puree along with coriander leaves and cook covered for 6 to 8 mins till the mixture leaves the sides of the pan.

5. Now add paneer cubes and mix well. Cook again covered for 5 mins.

6. Remove from flame. Garnish with Coriander leaves. Serve with rotis or rice.


* Paneer can be substituted with mushroom or cauliflower.

* You can fry the marinated paneer first before adding to the gravy for a firmer paneer. I skipped that step since we like the softness of paneer in gravies.

* Do remember to cook well after adding onion puree, after adding besan and after adding tomato puree. All three steps need some time to cook thoroughly but is very important to get the authentic dhaba style Paneer.

* You can skip the red chilli powder in the gravy and add only to the marinate if you don’t like too much spicy gravy. My kids loved it even though I added red chilli powder in both marinate and gravy.


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