Paneer Masala


  • 200g Paneer (Get the hard kind, available at Indian Grocery Store)- Dice into cubes 
  • 3-4 tsp. Oil 
  • 1 Tomato finely chopped 
  • 1 Large onion finely chopped 
  • ¼ tsp. Turmeric powder
  • ½-1 tsp. Chili powder
    (add more or less as per your liking) 
  • 2 tbsp. Ginger-Garlic paste (or 1 tbsp. each of ginger & garlic paste)
  • Salt to taste
  • Water for cooking 
  • Spice mix:
    • 1 Bay leaf
    • 5 Cloves 
    • 4 Black pepper corns 
    • 1 tsp. Sesame seeds 
    • ¼inch Cinnamon stick 
    • 1 tbsp. Coriander seeds 
    • 1 tbsp. Cumin seeds 
Make the spice mix first:
  1. In a skillet or pan dry roast all the spices, till a nice aroma starts to release from the spices. 
  2. Let them cool a bit & grind in a spice or coffee grinder.(Invest in a coffee grinder, it really helps a lot with making spices.)
  3. You can and store this in a glass bottle. Stays well for weeks. 

To make the curry:

  1. In the same pan or a larger pan add the oil. 
  2. When hot add the onion. Saute for a few minutes. Add chili and turmeric powder and give it a stir. 
  3. Then add the ginger garlic paste. Cook for 2 mins or till the raw smell from the paste goes away. 
  4. Add some salt to taste. 
  5. Next add about 2-3 tsp. of the  freshly ground spice mix. Mix well. Cook for 2 mins. 
  6. Next add the chopped tomato. Give it a mix. 
  7. Cover the pan and cook for 5-7 mins on medium heat. 
  8. Open cover, mix everything together again. The mixture should be reduced to half . 
  9. If you notice oil has started separating from the spices and onion and tomato mixture your gravy is ready. If not, cook for another 2 mins covered. 
  10. Now add the diced paneer cubes. Coat the pieces gently with the mixture, make sure you don't break the cubes. Check seasoning. If needed add some more of the ground spice mix, I always like to do that for extra flavor. 
  11. Add as much or as little water as you like, to get some gravy. 
  12. Cook covered for another 2-mins. 

Take pan off the heat.Garnish with freshly chopped coriander. 
The freshly ground spices gives this dish a really aromatic flavour and the paneer pieces complement the spiciness of the curry. Serve with rice, roti or bread. 

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