Methi malai paneer recipe with step by step photos – Sharing one more restaurant style delicious recipe of methi malai paneer. It is a creamy, mildly sweet gravy with hints of bitterness from fenugreek leaves. Serve it with roti, paratha, naan or with steamed rice for a rich and delicious meal.
About Methi Malai Paneer
Methi malai paneer literally translates to fenugreek, cream, Indian cottage cheese a.k.a paneer. Though, the English translation is too plain and does not do justice to the actual dish.
However, the Hindi words methi malai paneer are apt for this dish. Say methi and any Indian will know what it tastes like. So is the case with malai and paneer. Finally what one expects of this dish is what one gets.
The gravy or curry is creamy, mild and lightly sweet. there is a hint of bitterness coming from the fenugreek leaves without getting overpowering. The soft paneer cubes bring a lot of texture to the otherwise smooth gravy.
Methi or fresh fenugreek leaves are often cooked at home. Usually I end up making the very simple and homely Aloo Methi Recipe. Rich curried dishes with methi like Methi Matar Malai or Methi Paneer or methi malai paneer, I only cook on some weekends or when we want to have some special restaurant style food at home.
I usually avoid ordering food from restaurants or takeaways and try to cook restaurant-style recipes at home. Since by now I have got enough experience in cooking, I do prepare a neat restaurant style food at home.
The recipe of this methi malai paneer is roughly adapted from the methi matar malai recipe I make. The recipe uses fresh fenugreek leaves and I do suggest to add them. But if you are not able to get them, then substitute with dry fenugreek leaves or kasuri methi (proportions mentioned in the recipe card at the end of the post).
The methi leaves that we get here, is not very bitter. So I just add them directly to the dish. But if you get very bitter methi leaves, then follow the tip mentioned below.
Tip to reduce bitterness in fenugreek leaves
Chop the methi leaves. Sprinkle some salt on them. Mix well and allow the mixture to sit at room temperature for 15 to 20 minutes. Then squeeze the methi leaves with your hands and then add in the recipe. This way much bitterness can be removed from methi leaves.
Before you proceed with the recipe, pluck methi leaves. rinse them well in water and then finely chop them. Usually I get one or two bunches from the market. Pluck the leaves and keep them in an airtight box in the fridge. The leaves stay good for about 10 days. Then I just rinse them, chop them and add to the dish. Its more easy this way and takes less time to make any dish with methi.
Methi malai paneer is good for kids who refuse to eat greens like methi. Best served with flatbreads like naan, paratha or rotis. Also goes very well with flavored rice like cumin rice, veg pulao or Kashmiri rice.
How to make Methi Malai Paneer
Making masala paste
1. In a pan or kadai heat 1 tablespoon oil. You can use any neutral flavored oil.
2. Add ½ teaspoon cumin seeds.
3. Stir and saute till the cumin seeds change color and splutter on a low heat.
4. Now add 1.5 cups chopped onions.
5. Stir very well and saute them on a low to medium heat stirring often.
6. Saute till they become light brown.
7. Then add 2 teaspoons chopped ginger, 1 teaspoon chopped garlic, 1 teaspoon chopped green chilies and 10 to 12 cashews (chopped).
Saute stirring often for about 10 to 15 seconds or till the raw aroma of ginger and garlic goes away.
8. Now add ¼ cup chopped tomatoes.
9. Stir well to combine.
10. Saute the tomatoes till they soften on a medium-low heat. Stir often.
11. When this onion-tomato mixture cools down, add it to a grinder or blender jar.
12. Add about ¼ to ⅓ cup water and grind or blend to a fine smooth paste. Keep aside.
Making methi malai paneer gravy
13. In the same pan, now add 2 tablespoons of oil. Add 1 cup tightly packed finely chopped methi leaves.
Substitute 2 tablespoons of dry fenugreek leaves or kasoori methi for fresh ones. If using kasuri methi, then just saute them for a few seconds in the oil and proceed to step 15.
14. Stir and saute the methi leaves till they wilt on a low to medium heat.
15. Lower the heat and then add ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder, ½ teaspoon Kashmiri red chili powder and ½ teaspoon coriander powder.
16. Mix and stir the spice powders with the sauteed methi leaves.
17. Now add the ground paste that we had prepared earlier.
18. Stir and mix very well.
19. On a low heat saute the entire mixture for 7 to 8 minutes. Keep on stirring so that the masala does not stick to the pan.
20. When you see some oil releasing from the sides, then add ¾ to 1 cup water.
21. Stir and mix again very well.
22. Now add salt as per taste.
23. On a low to medium heat simmer the gravy for 3 to 4 minutes.
24. Now add ¼ cup cream. You can add light or low fat cream. Stir the cream very well with the rest of the methi masala gravy.
If using whipping cream or heavy cream then add 2 tablespoons.
25. Add paneer cubes and ½ teaspoon garam masala powder. Switch off the heat.
26. Now add ¼ to ½ teaspoon sugar. Add sugar as per taste.
27. Mix very well. Check the taste and add more salt, sugar if needed.
28. Serve methi malai paneer garnished with some grated paneer accompanied with tandoori rotis or naan or chapatis or paratha. This creamy gravy also goes well with rice varieties like cumin rice or saffron rice or Kashmiri pulao.
For best taste have the curry hot. On reheating the paneer cubes may become chewy or rubbery and won’t taste so good.
Few more curry recipes for you!
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Methi Malai Paneer
for masala paste
- 2 medium onions or 175 grams onions or 1.5 cups chopped onions
- 1 small tomato or 50 grams tomatoes or ¼ cup chopped tomatoes
- 1 inch ginger, chopped or 2 teaspoons chopped ginger
- 5 to 6 small garlic cloves, chopped or 1 teaspoon chopped garlic
- 1 or 2 chopped green chilies or 1 teaspoon chopped green chilies
- 10 to 12 cashews or 2 tablespoon cashews – chopped
- ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 200 to 250 grams Paneer (cottage cheese) – cut in cubes or squares
- 1 cup tightly packed fresh methi leaves (fenugreek leaves) – about 40 grams methi leaves or 2 tablespoon kasuri methi (dry fenugreek leaves)
- ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
- ½ teaspoon kashmiri red chili powder
- ½ teaspoon Coriander Powder (ground coriander)
- ½ teaspoon Garam Masala
- ¾ to 1 cup water – i added 1 cup water
- ¼ cup fresh cream
- 2 tablespoon oil
- salt as required
- First pluck the methi leaves. Then rinse them very well in water. Chop them finely and keep aside.
making masala paste
- In a pan or kadai heat oil. Add cumin seeds.
- Stir and saute till the cumin seeds change color and splutter on low heat.
- Now add chopped onions.
- Stir very well and saute them on a low to medium heat till they become light brown stirring often.
- Then add chopped ginger, chopped garlic, chopped green chilies and chopped cashews. Saute for 10 to 15 seconds or till the raw aroma of ginger and garlic goes away.
- Add chopped tomatoes. Mix well and saute the tomatoes till they soften on medium-low heat stirring often. Switch off the heat once the tomatoes soften. Set the pan aside.
- When this onion-tomato mixture cools down, add it in a grinder or blender jar. Add about ¼ to ⅓ cup water and grind or blend to a fine smooth paste. Keep aside.
making methi malai paneer
- In the same pan, now add 2 tablespoons of oil.
- Add 1 cup tightly packed finely chopped methi leaves. Stir and saute the methi leaves till they wilt and soften on low heat.
- Next add turmeric powder, Kashmiri red chili powder and coriander powder.
- Mix and stir the spice powders with the sauteed methi leaves.
- Now add the ground onion tomato paste prepared earlier. Stir and mix very well.
- On a low heat saute the entire mixture for 7 to 8 minutes. Keep on stirring so that the masala does not stick to the pan.
- When you see some oil releasing from the sides, then add ¾ to 1 cup water.
- Stir again very well. Now add salt as per taste.
- On a low to medium heat simmer the gravy for 3 to 4 minutes.
- Now add ¼ cup light or low fat cream. Instead of light cream you can add 2 tablespoons of whipping cream or heavy cream.
- Stir the cream very well with the rest of the gravy.
- Add paneer cubes and garam masala powder. Switch off the heat.
- Now add ¼ to ½ teaspoon sugar. Add sugar as required.
- Mix very well. Check the taste of gravy and add salt or sugar if needed.
- Serve methi malai paneer garnished with some grated paneer with tandoori rotis, naan or chapatis or paratha. This creamy gravy also goes well with jeera rice, saffron rice or Kashmiri rice.
- Use homemade soft paneer for best results. For frozen paneer follow the package instructions to defrost the paneer.
- Only use the leaves and not the stems of fenugreek.
- This recipe can’t be scaled because of its complexity.
- Instead of cashews you can add almonds.
Nutrition Info (Approximate values)
This Methi Malai Paneer post from the blog archives first published in April 2015 has been republished and updated on 12 January 2022.