Methi Malai Paneer (Restaurant-Style Paneer Curry)
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.
1 cup = 250ml ; 1 tbsp = 15ml
For Masala Paste
- 1/2 tbsp Oil
- 3 Cloves
- 2 Cardamom
- 1/2 inch Cassia
- 6-7 Black peppercorn
- 1 large (165 gms) Onion chopped
- 1/4 cup (33 gms) Cashews
- 1/3 cup (115 gms) Yogurt
For Curry Sauce
- 2 tbsp Oil
- 1 tbsp Butter
- 1/2 tsp Cumin
- 1 tsp Ginger garlic paste
- 1/2 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.
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.