Paneer Lababdar is a lusciously creamy and delicious curry flavored with warm spices. It is surprisingly light and gets its creaminess from almonds and cashews. I know, we all love paneer butter masala and matar paneer, but definitely give this paneer lababdar a try! It is light, and you can easily achieve restaurant taste, just by using a couple of pantry staples.
We all love a good paneer curry, isn't it? Paneer is unapologetically one of my favorite proteins. A scrumptious restaurant-style paneer curry totally makes my day. And from time to time I crave Paneer Lababdar.
Here is Why You Definitely Should Make this Paneer Lababdar!!!
- It is lusciously delicious, and restaurant flavors are achieved using a couple of pantry ingredients.
- The use of whole spices adds a beautiful warmth to the curry which takes it to the next level.
- The creaminess of this curry is from cashews and almonds. This makes this curry recipe surprisingly light.
- The curry doesn't use as much fat as other paneer recipes, so you can have this recipe on your weekly meal plan guilt-free.
- Make the gravy ahead of time and store it in the refrigerator or freeze it as a part of your meal prep.
Ingredients to Make This Paneer Curry
You only need a few Indian pantry staples to make this easy and absolutely lip-smackingly delicious curry.
- Oil and Ghee - This recipe uses both oil and ghee. Oil is essentially used to cook the curry masala for the paneer lababdar curry. And ghee is added later to add richness to the curry. If you are making this vegan, skip adding ghee, and add vegan butter instead.
- Onions and Tomatoes - The recipe calls for using a 1:4 ratio for Onions to Tomatoes. I recommend you use fresh Roma tomatoes for this recipe. These tomatoes are not very sour and add delicate tanginess with sweet undertones to the gravy.
- Spices - We will be using whole and ground spices for this recipe. These spices are Indian Pantry staples, but if you don't have these, they are easily available at the Indian Grocery Store, or any local Grocery Store too. Whole spices like cinnamon, cardamom, coriander seeds, and bay leaf add warmth to the curry. While fennel seeds and cumin seeds add earthy floral flavors. The ground spices like turmeric and red chili powder bring gorgeous deep orange color and garam masala adds the delicious kick that takes the curry to next level.
- Almonds and Cashews - The creaminess and Nuttiness in the curry is achieved by adding almonds and cashews. I prefer to add almond powder instead of almonds because I don't have to take an extra step to soak them. But if you don't have almond flour, soak 7-8 almonds in hot water for 10-15 minutes. Peel off the skin and it to the curry masala along with cashews.
- Roasted Besan - This is the secret weapon to achieve restaurant style nuttiness and flavor to your paneer curry. You can totally skip this step, but it does make the curry amazingly delicious.
- Kasuri Methi - Kasuri methi are sun-dried fenugreek leaves. These add delicious smokiness to the curry. Use it as per the directions in the recipe.
Expert Tips To Make this Curry
- Follow the instructions properly from the recipe card.
- Use Kashmiri Red Chili Powder to get the beautiful color for the curry
- Use Fresh Roma Tomatoes to make this curry.
- Add paneer cubes only before serving. Otherwise, paneer can become chewy.
- If you want to add more texture, add shredded paneer at the end. It gives a beautiful complex texture of paneer that makes this curry interesting.
How to Use Store Bought Paneer?
It is best to use homemade paneer for this recipe. But, if you are using a store-bought paneer here are the tips you can use.
- If you are using frozen paneer, thaw it overnight in your refrigerator overnight. This will help the paneer soften.
- Cut the store-bought paneer into equal cubes.
- Add boiling water to a bowl. Add the cubes of paneer and let them soak for 10 minutes. This will make your paneer perfectly soft and delicious.
- If you want to fry your paneer, fry it after soaking it in hot water. Pat dry the paneer using a kitchen towel. In a skillet add a tbsp of oil. Once hot add your paneer cubes. Fry them on medium flame. The oil will splatter due to water in the paneer, so use a splatter guard.
More Indian Main Dishes You Might Like
- Heavy Bottom Pot
- 1 Tbsp Oil
- 1 Tsp Fennel Seeds
- 2 Green Cardamoms
- 1 Small Cinammon Stick
- 1/4 Tsp Coriander Seeds
- 1 Tsp Cumin Seeds
- 1 Bay Leaf
- 1 Medium Onion
- 1.5 Tbsp Ginger Garlic Green Chili Paste
- 8-10 Cashews
- 3 Roma Tomatoes
- 1/4 Tsp Turmeric
- 1.5 Tsp Kashmiri Red Chili Powder
- 1 Tsp Coriander Powder
- 2 Tbsp Almond Powder
- 1 Tsp Salt
- 1 Tbsp Ghee
- 1 Tbsp Roasted Besan/ Sattu
- 1 Tsp Red Chili Powder
- 1/2 Tsp Coriander Powder
- 1 Tsp Kitchen King
- 1/4 Tsp Turmeric
- 1 Tbsp Karuri Methi
- 2-3 Tbsp Water
- 1 Tsp Sugar
- 1/2 Tsp Garam Masala
- 1/2 Tbsp Crushed Kasuri Methi
- 250 gms Paneer
- Add oil to a heavy bottom pot. Once hot, add fennel seeds, green cardamom, small cinnamon stick, coriander seeds and one bay leaf.
- Next add in cumin seeds and let it splutter.
- Now add in the sliced onions, ginger garlic and green chili paste, salt and sauté until onions are cooked and golden brown.
- Now add in cashews and tomatoes. Next goes in the ground spices - turmeric, coriander powder and kashmiri red chili powder.
- Mix everything well. Add almond powder and half a cup of water and bring everything to simmer.
- Let the curry cool down. Take out the cinnamon stick and bay leaf, and discard it.
- Once the masala cool down. Blitz the masala in smooth curry base. Once done, you can sift it using a fine mesh strainer. Leave it aside.
- Roaste the besan on a slow flame in the same pot. The besan will roast very fast so continuously stir it.
- Once you start to smell the nuttiness of the besan add ghee to the pot.
- Mix it well and add the ground spices along with kasuri methi. If you don't have kitchen king masala, replace it with curry powder or garam masala
- Add 3-4 Tbsp water. Add stir in.
- Now add the prepared curry base. Give everything a good mix. Add sugar and Cook it on slow flame. The curry will splatter so be careful.
- Finish it with garam masala, and crush the kasuri methi leaves between your palms and add it to the gravy.
- Add the paneer cubes. Read how to make the paneer soft under the section "How to Use Store Bought Paneer"
- Taste for salt as we already add salt while making the currbase so, add if required.
- Serve Hot with Naans, Parathas, Phulka Rotis or Jeera Rice.
- This curry can be made Vegan easily. Substitute Paneer for Tofu and Ghee for Oil/ Vegan Butter.
- If you want to add cream to the gravy you definitely can. I don't add it as the curry is deliciously creamy from using almonds and cashews.
- This curry is naturally gluten-free recipe
- Use fresh roma tomatoes. Sour tomatoes will kill the taste.
- Read every section of the blog to gain the best insights about this recipe