Paneer Korma is a flavorful Indian curry made with Indian cottage cheese, coconut milk, and spices. This gluten-free paneer curry is a delicious accompaniment to naan bread or any flavoured rice.
Make your curry nights or weekend meals special with this easy and delicious paneer korma curry. It is a great dish to have on weekdays with premade korma paste when you are craving a simple paneer curry to pair with chapati or paratha.
Pre-made korma paste could be used to make curry with any leftover precooked vegetables or this chickpea spinach curry. Follow the steps of paneer korma recipe, but replace paneer with chickpea, spinach, or any pre-cooked vegetables you choose.
Paneer is an adored and favoured ingredient in Indian cuisine. Paneer is used to cook a range of Indian dishes from appetisers such as Paneer Majestic to delicious curries such as Paneer Butter Masala, rice, side dishes to snacks.
- Oil and Butter
- Paneer: I have used store-bought paneer in this recipe. Feel free to use homemade paneer.
- Nuts & Whole spices: cloves, cassia, cardamom, cumin, cashew nuts. Feel free to use almonds, melon seeds or a combination of both instead of cashews.
- Vegetables: onion, green chillies, tomato, ginger garlic.
- Coconut milk: I use full fat coconut milk to get the creamy texture.
- Dry Spices: turmeric, red chilli powder, coriander powder, cumin powder, garam masala.
See the recipe card for quantities.
How to prepare paneer korma?
To make korma paste
- Soak cashews in hot water for 10-15 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, heat the oil over medium heat in a deep-bottomed pan. Once the oil is hot, add cardamom, cloves and cassia and fry for a minute or until fragrant. Add ginger, garlic, green chilli and saute for a minute.
3. Now reduce the heat, add the onion and cook for 10 minutes or until they turn brown. Keep stirring regularly to prevent the onion from sticking to the base of the pan.
4. Then add tomato and cook for a couple of minutes or until they start to turn soft. Now mix in turmeric, red chili powder, garam masala, coriander powder and cumin powder, cook for 2-3 minutes or until the raw aroma of spices vanishes.
Switch off the heat and allow the cooked curry mixture to cool down completely.
Transfer the mixture to a blender, add soaked cashews and blend to a smooth paste.
To make paneer korma
5. Heat a ¼ cup of oil over medium-low heat in a shallow pan. Once the oil is hot, fry the paneer cubes for 3-4 minutes or until they turn light brown.
6. Flip and fry the other side until golden brown.
Remove them from the pan and place them on a plate on a kitchen towel to remove excess oil.
7. Melt butter in a deep-bottomed pan.
8 and 9. Add the korma paste, coconut milk and salt, close the pan with a lid and simmer for 5 minutes.
10. After 5 minutes, take the lid off the pan, add fried paneer, mix well and switch the heat off.
Serve the creamy and delicious paneer korma with flatbread or any flavoured rice of your choice.
Substitutions and Variations
Vegan: substitute paneer with tofu and butter with oil or plant-based butter.
Low calorie: substitute coconut milk with yogurt. You must blend the yogurt with cooked vegetables.
Pre-made ginger garlic paste could be used instead of freshly minced ginger garlic.
Use the combination of coconut milk and coconut cream for a rich and intense coconut flavour. You could use up the leftover tinned coconut milk in this creamy vegetable soup or coconut pudding or make a simple yet delicious coconut milk custard.
Substitute cashews with either almonds or melon seeds, or use a combination of both in case you don't have cashews on hand.
Tips and Tricks
Browning onion is an essential step as it imparts a rich and intense flavour to the dish. Ensure to cook the onions over medium low heat for a long time so that they cook well and eventually turn brown. Cooking on high heat would result in charring onion and spices.
Keep stirring while cooking to prevent vegetables and spices from sticking to the base of the pan. If they stick to the pan, just add a splash of water, stir and continue cooking.
While frying, ensure to have enough spacing between paneer cubes to prevent them from sticking to each other.
Soak fried paneer in salted water for 10 mins or until ready to add in curry to prevent them from getting hard and rubbery.
You could make a big batch of korma paste and freeze it to use some other day when you are short of time or too tired to cook a meal from scratch.
Divide the korma paste into required portions and place them in a freezer. Take a portion out of the freezer and put it in the fridge to thaw the night before you plan to make a curry.
Having a pre-made curry paste is a lifesaver on busy weekdays rather than storing the curry. Because with pre-made curry paste you would take less than 20 minutes to get the fresh curry on the dinner table.
Paneer Korma is a classic accompaniment with naan bread.
Add more green chilies or use spicier varieties for a hotter korma. Alternatively, add red chili powder for extra spiciness. Start with ½ to 1 teaspoon and adjust to your preferred level of heat.
Make sure to taste the korma and adjust for your preferred level of spiciness. Remember, heat tolerance varies from person to person, so it's crucial to find the right balance for your taste. In addition, consider serving raita or mango lassi with the korma to balance out its spiciness.
South Indian kurma dishes are often spicier than North Indian ones. A combination of spices, such as green chilies, black pepper, and curry leaves, is frequently used, resulting in a spicier taste.
Korma dishes from North India and Mughlai cuisine are known for their mild heat and emphasis on rich, creamy flavours and aromatic spices like cloves, cardamom, and cinnamon.
South Indian kurma often features a variety of vegetables, and it is commonly served as a vegetarian dish.
Korma is a versatile dish that can feature different ingredients and is frequently served with meat. Vegetarian versions of korma may include paneer or vegetables.
More Curry Recipes
📖 Recipe Card
1 cup = 250ml ; 1 Tablespoon = 15ml ; 1 Teaspoon = 5ml
To make korma paste
- 20 gms (or) 2 Tablespoons Cashews
- 2 Tablespoons Oil
- 2 Cloves
- 1 Cardamom
- ½ inch Cassia / Dalchini
- 1 inch Ginger peeled, washed and roughly chopped
- 2 cloves Garlic peeled
- 1 Green Chilli cut into half
- 123 gms (or) 1 large (or) 1 cup Onion thinly sliced
- 89 gms (or) 1 large (or) ¾ cup Tomato chopped
- ¼ Teaspoon Turmeric
- ½ Teaspoon Chilli Powder
- ½ Teaspoon Coriander Powder
- ½ Teaspoon Cumin Powder
- ½ Teaspoon Garam Masala
To make korma paste
- Soak cashews in hot water for 15-20 minutes.20 gms (or) 2 Tablespoons Cashews
- Meanwhile, heat the oil over medium-high heat in a deep-bottomed pan.2 Tablespoons Oil
- Once the oil is hot, add cardamom, cloves and cassia and fry for a minute or until fragrant.2 Cloves, 1 Cardamom, ½ inch Cassia / Dalchini
- Add ginger, garlic, green chilli and saute for a minute.1 inch Ginger, 2 cloves Garlic, 1 Green Chilli
- Now reduce the heat, add the onion and cook for 10 minutes or until they turn brown.123 gms (or) 1 large (or) 1 cup Onion
- Keep stirring regularly to prevent the onion from sticking to the base of the pan.
- Then add tomato and cook for a couple of minutes or until they start to turn soft.89 gms (or) 1 large (or) ¾ cup Tomato
- Now mix in turmeric, chilli powder, garam masala, coriander powder and cumin powder, cook for 5 minutes or until the raw aroma of spices vanishes.¼ Teaspoon Turmeric, ½ Teaspoon Chilli Powder, ½ Teaspoon Coriander Powder, ½ Teaspoon Cumin Powder, ½ Teaspoon Garam Masala
- Switch off the heat and allow the cooked curry mixture to cool down completely.Transfer the mixture to a blender, add soaked cashews and blend to a smooth paste.
To make paneer korma
- Heat a ¼ cup of oil over medium-low heat in a shallow pan.Oil
- Once the oil is hot, fry the paneer cubes for 3-4 minutes or until they turn light brown.250 gms Paneer
- Flip and fry the other side until golden brown.
- Remove them from the pan and place them on a plate on a kitchen towel to remove excess oil.
- Melt butter in a deep-bottomed pan.16 gms (or) Butter
- Add the korma paste, coconut milk and salt, close the pan with a lid and simmer for 5 minutes.400 ml (or) 1½ cup Coconut Milk, Salt
- After 5 minutes, take the lid off the pan, add fried paneer, mix well and switch the heat off.
- Serve the creamy and delicious paneer korma with flatbread or any flavoured rice of your choice.
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