Methi Malai Paneer – Indian cottage cheese and fenugreek leaves cooked in a creamy, luscious and mildly spiced curry sauce. It is a popular paneer curry in Indian restaurants that gets ready in less than 30 minutes.
There are different ways of cooking this delicious paneer gravy and this recreated paneer curry is certainly healthier and tastier too. Next time you feel the need for the feast from your local takeaways, try making this curry instead, I bet you won't regret it!
The creamy dish makes a perfect crowd-pleaser dish at potlucks, family gatherings, special occasions or curry night events. This curry is often called with other names such as malai paneer, methi paneer and malai methi paneer.
The mild taste, white gravy and creamy texture are the major factors to entice kids to enjoy this rich gravy without any fuss. Although the ingredients list of this simple recipe seems long, the cooking process is easy and most of the ingredients used in this recipe are pantry staples of an Indian kitchen. You have to make a trip to the shop to buy paneer, methi and maybe cream.
Methi Malai Paneer Recipe Variations
You may use dried fenugreek leaves (kasuri methi) if frozen or fresh fenugreek leaves are not available. Soak dried fenugreek in water for 5 minutes and use it.
Fresh methi leaves can be substituted for frozen leaves.
For a vegan version, substitute fresh cream with cashew paste or coconut cream, yogurt with non-dairy yogurt and paneer with tofu.
You can skip both cream, yogurt and use ⅓ cup almonds. Soak almonds in warm water for 20 - 30 minutes, peel the skin and blend it to a smooth paste adding little water. Ground almonds lend a great flavour and creamy texture to the curry.
Few green chilies can be blended along with onion and spices.
Add green peas to transform this curry into a methi matar malai paneer.
Watch how to make creamy and delicious Methi Malai Paneer
If you enjoy watching my videos, please subscribe to my Youtube Channel and click the bell icon, so you’ll be the first to know when I post a new video. THANK YOU for subscribing!
More Paneer Recipes here:
📖 Recipe Card
Methi Malai Paneer (Restaurant-Style Paneer Curry)
1 Cup = 250ml ; 1 Tablespoon = 15ml ; 1 Teaspoon = 5ml
For Masala Paste
For Curry Sauce
- Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a pan, add bay leaf, cardamoms, cloves, peppercorns, cassia and sauté for few seconds until fragrant.½ Tablespoon Oil, 3 Cloves, 2 Cardamom, ½ inch Cassia, 6-7 Black peppercorn
- Now add onion, cashews and sauté for 2 minutes or until onions turn soft.1 large (165 gms) Onion, ¼ cup (33 gms) Cashews
- Turn off the heat and let the onion and spice mixture to cool down to room temperature.
- Meanwhile, in the same pan heat 1 teaspoon oil and sauté thawed methi (fenugreek leaves) for a couple of minutes. Transfer cooked methi to a bowl.½ Tablespoon Oil, 55 gms Frozen Methi (fenugreek leaves)
- Transfer cooled onion mixture to a grinder, add yogurt and grind it to a smooth paste. Do not add water while grinding.⅓ cup (115 gms) Yogurt
- Heat 2 tablespoon oil and a tablespoon butter in a saucepan.2 Tablespoon Oil, 1 Tablespoon Butter
- Add cumin and let it sizzle.½ Teaspoon Cumin
- Now reduce the heat to the lowest possible setting, add ginger garlic paste and sauté for few seconds. Be careful as the ginger garlic paste splutters all around.1 Teaspoon Ginger garlic paste
- Add turmeric, chili powder, coriander powder, cumin powder, stir for few seconds until the dry spices blend well in oil. Keep stirring at low heat to avoid burning the spices.½ Teaspoon Turmeric, 2 Teaspoon Chilli powder, 2 Teaspoon Coriander powder, 1 Teaspoon Cumin powder
- Now mix in ground paste, water, salt and sauteed methi. Turn up the heat to medium, close the lid and cook for 10 minutes or until oil floats on top of the curry.Salt, ½ Cup Water
- Now add paneer cubes, cream, mix until well combined.250 gms Paneer, 3 Tablespoon Cream
- Simmer for 5 minutes and turn off the heat.
- Serve piping hot paneer curry with naan or rice.
Masala Paste: Whole spices cardamom, cloves, bay leaf, cassia, black peppercorn are used to infuse aromatic flavours into the curry. Onion, yogurt and cashews help to thicken the curry sauce and provide a creamy texture.
Other ingredients: Oil, butter, ginger garlic paste and adequate water.
Cook whole spices, onion and cashews over medium flame for 5-6 minutes.
Grind onion masala and yogurt to a smooth paste.
Saute thawed frozen methi for 2-3 minutes.
Stir in dry spices on low heat.
Add masala paste, water, salt, sauteed methi and cook for 10 minutes.
Finally, add paneer cubes and cream.
Enjoy piping hot methi paneer with roti or rice.
Tips & Tricks to make perfect Methi Malai Paneer
If you are using fresh methi to make this paneer methi malai recipe, then ensure to eliminate the bitterness of methi before you use them. To remove bitterness, place the chopped methi leaves in a bowl of salted cold water, let it sit for 15 – 20 minutes and then discard the water and blanch it.
Once you add paneer and cream do not cook for long. Just simmer the curry for 5 minutes and turn off the heat. Cooking paneer longer makes it hard and chewy. The alternative best option is to turn off the heat, mix in paneer, cream then close the pan with a lid and let it sit for 5-10 minutes. The heat of curry is sufficient to cook paneer.
The quality of paneer determines its texture and softness. Fresh homemade paneer is the best option to use in this recipe. If you are using a store-bought paneer then make sure it is fresh and not expired. To keep store-bought paneer soft, cut it into cubes and soak it in a bowl of warm salted water for 5 minutes before adding in curry.
You can use fresh ginger and garlic if you don't have a pre-made paste. Saute and grind them along with onion and whole spices.
Fresh yogurt lends nice taste and texture. If you are using a bit old or too sour yogurt, just add a teaspoon of sugar to tame sour taste.
Almonds and/or melon seeds could be substituted for cashews.
You can use garam masala or curry powder instead of whole spices if you don't have any south Asian or Indian stores nearby.
If you are not worried about extra calories then feel free to use heavy cream. Add it along with paneer pieces at the end just before you switch the heat off.
This restaurant style creamy curry makes a great dish to go with garlic naan, chapati or any Indian bread on weeknights.
Fridge: Leftover Indian cottage cheese curry could be stored in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 3-4 days.
Freezer: Consider freezing this delicious Indian curry for long shelf life. Divide the curry into sizeable portions, put each portion in a freezer-safe container or zip-lock bag and store them in the freezer.
Reheat: Take out a portion from the freezer and keep it in the fridge overnight to thaw. Reheat either in a microwave or on the stovetop in a saucepan when ready to serve.
More Curry Recipes here:
KEEP IN TOUCH
Do let me know if you make this creamy and rich methi malai paneer recipe. If you like this recipe kindly consider rating it using stars in the comment section or on the recipe card to help more people find this recipe online. You can stay up to date by following me on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram or subscribing to my Youtube channel. Or why not subscribe to my blog and get simple recipes straight to your inbox?