Methi Malai Paneer – Cottage cheese and fenugreek leaves cooked in a creamy, luscious and mildly spiced curry sauce. This restaurant-style paneer curry gets ready in less than 30 minutes.
This recreated popular paneer curry is certainly healthier and tastier too. Next time you feel the need for the feast from your local take-aways, try making this curry instead, I bet you won't regret!
Rich malai methi paneer makes a perfect crowd-pleaser dish at potlucks, family gatherings or any curry night events. This curry is often called with other names such as malai paneer, methi paneer, malai methi paneer.
The mild and creamy texture are the two major factors to entice kids to enjoy this curry without any fuss. Although the ingredients list seems long, the cooking process is simple 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 (kasoori methi) if frozen or fresh leaves are not available. Soak dried fenugreek in water for 5 minutes and use it.
Fresh fenugreek leaves can be substituted for frozen leaves.
For a vegan version, substitute cream with cashew 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 hot water for 20 - 30 minutes, peel the skin and blend it to a smooth paste. Ground almonds lend a great flavour and creamy texture to the curry.
Few green chilies can be blended along with onion and spices.
Watch how to make creamy and delicious Methi Malai Paneer
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More Paneer Recipes here:
Methi Malai Paneer (Restaurant-Style Paneer Curry)
1 cup = 250ml ; 1 tbsp = 15ml
For Masala Paste
- ½ tbsp Oil
- 3 Cloves
- 2 Cardamom
- ½ inch Cassia
- 6-7 Black peppercorn
- 1 large (165 gms) Onion chopped
- ¼ cup (33 gms) Cashews
- ⅓ cup (115 gms) Yogurt
For Curry Sauce
- 2 tbsp Oil
- 1 tbsp Butter
- ½ tsp Cumin
- 1 tsp Ginger garlic paste
- ½ tsp Turmeric
- 2 tsp Chilli powder
- 2 tsp Coriander powder
- 1 tsp Cumin powder
- Salt as required
- 55 gms Frozen Methi (fenugreek leaves)
- 3 tbsp Cream
- 250 gms Paneer cut into 2 cm x 2 cm pieces
- Heat 1 tbsp oil in a pan, add bay leaf, cardamoms, cloves, peppercorns, cassia and sauté for few seconds until fragrant.
- Now add onion, cashews and sauté for 2 minutes or until onions turn soft.
- Turn off the heat and let the onion and spice mixture to cool down to room temperature.
- Meanwhile, in the same pan heat 1 tsp oil and sauté thawed methi (fenugreek leaves) for a couple of minutes. Transfer cooked methi to a bowl.
- Transfer cooled onion mixture to a grinder, add yogurt and grind it to a smooth paste. Do not add water while grinding.
- Heat 2 tbsp oil and a tbsp butter in a saucepan.
- Add cumin and let it sizzle.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Now add paneer cubes, cream, mix until well combined.
- 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 to the curry. Onion, yogurt and cashews helps to thicken the curry sauce and provide a creamy texture.
Dry spices: Basic spices turmeric powder, chili powder, coriander powder, cumin powder are used here. You don't really need any unusual or rare spices to make this curry.
Other ingredients: Oil, butter, ginger garlic paste and adequate water.
Cook whole spices, onion and cashews.
Grind onion masala and yogurt to a smooth paste.
Saute thawed frozen methi.
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 then ensure to eliminate bitterness before you use them. To remove bitterness, place the chopped 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 the texture and softness of paneer. 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 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 tsp of sugar to tame sour taste.
Almonds and/or melon seeds could be substituted for cashews.
More Curry Recipes here:
KEEP IN TOUCH
Do let me know if you make this creamy and delicious restaurant-style paneer curry. I love to get feedback from readers.