malai paneer recipe – soft, melt in the mouth creamy paneer recipe made easy and quick and also restaurant style.
the paneer cubes have a similar taste like that of malai paneer tikka. however, the whole recipe is made in a pan and in flat 20 mins, if you have the paneer ready. just add a couple of minutes to chop the onions and crush the ginger-garlic. so you have a entire dish ready in 25 mins. one of the best and quickest paneer recipes.
i make paneer at home the night before, whenever i make any paneer dish. i avoid buying paneer from outside. this dish would go very well as a starter or a mocktail/cocktail snack. since we are chapati and rice people at home, i served this malai paneer with chapatis and a side onion-lemon salad and cucumber-carrot salad.
this malai paneer dish is semi dry and has a nice moistness due to the cream. i have used amul cream here. if you live outside india, you can use any good quality 25% to 30% low fat cream. the ingredients are easy to get, except for kasuri methi. just skip kasuri methi if you don’t have it or substitute with a pinch of fenugreek seeds powder.
the malai paneer recipe has been adapted and modified from the cook book 1000 great indian recipes (India | US). when i read the recipe, it immediately clicked to me that this is such a quick & easy paneer recipe and that too from the restaurant chefs. the quickness and ease of this recipe made me try it without a second thought….. and its good i made this recipe. this is a recipe for keeps. one more recipe in my basket, which i can make when we have unexpected guests or relatives.
i halved the recipe and reduced the ridiculous proportions of oil in the recipe and increased the proportion of cream. added the amount of spices which suit us and did not make it spicy or hot. in the original recipe, kasuri methi is not added. i added these dried fenugreek leaves to give the dish a nice aroma and flavor.
lets start step by step malai paneer recipe:
1. heat oil in a pan or a small kadai/wok and add the onions.
2. saute the onions on a low or medium flame, till they start to turn golden.
3. then add the ginger-garlic paste and saute till the raw aroma of ginger-garlic goes away. by this time all the onions would also have browned. make sure you don’t burn the onions as this will give a bitter taste in the dish.
4. lower the flame and then add the spice powders – coriander powder, red chili powder and turmeric powder. stir and saute the masala for a couple of seconds without burning them.
5. stir well and then add the paneer cubes. stir and saute till the masala coats the paneer well.
6. add the cream and saute as well as stir till you see fat leaving the sides or the cream has coated the paneer cubes. just cook for about 2 to 3 minutes after you add the cream. also add salt after you add the cream.
7. switch off the stove top and sprinkle crushed kasuri methi. stir very well.
malai paneer recipe below:
- 200 to 250 gms paneer/cottage cheese
- ½ cup cream 25% to 30% low fat
- ¾ tsp or 1 tsp coriander powder/dhania powder
- ½ tsp kashmiri red chili powder or deggi mirch (lal mirch powder) or ⅓ tsp of any red chili powder
- ¼ tsp turmeric powder/haldi
- 2 tbsp oil
- ¾ cup finely chopped onion - about 1 medium to large onion
- 1 tsp ginger -garlic paste, ½ inch ginger + 2 to 3 small to medium garlic cloves crushed to a fine paste in a mortar-pestle
- ⅛ tsp garam masala powder
- ⅛ or ¼ tsp crushed kasuri methi/dry fenugreek leaves (optional) - if the kasuri methi leaves are too bitter, then just add a pinch.
- salt as required
- first chop the paneer into cubes and keep aside.
- finely chop the onion. peel and crush the ginger-garlic to a fine paste in a mortar-pestle.
- heat 2 tbsp oil in a pan. add the onions.
- keep on stirring whilst the onions are sauteing, so that there is uniform browning.
- saute till the onions start turning golden.
- then add the ginger-garlic paste. saute till the raw aroma of the ginger-garlic goes away. about 20 to 30 seconds.
- on a low flame add the coriander powder, red chili powder and turmeric powder.
- stir and saute the spice powders for a couple of seconds. make sure you don't burn them. then add the paneer cubes. on a low flame gently saute and stir the paneer cubes till they are coated with the masala.
- add cream and and continue to gently stir till the cream coats the paneer cubes well. cook for about 2 to 3 minutes after adding the cream. season with salt and stir.
- lastly sprinkle crushed kasuri methi and stir gently.
- garnish with a few coriander leaves and serve malai paneer hot as a starter snack or with naan, rotis, chapatis or bread.