Paneer Kali Mirch Recipe

Step by StepJump to Recipe

When speaking of the world of curries in the Indian cuisine repertoire, Paneer Kali Mirch is one of the lesser-known ones. But don’t go by this, as it is equally a delicious onion-yogurt based gravy dish with Paneer or Indian cottage cheese in it. This is also the reason that a true-blue North Indian eatery will always feature it on its menu, even after it being a non-popular choice amidst restaurant goers. So, why wait to visit a restaurant to try it out. Here’s the perfect recipe for you try at home.

paneer kali mirch garnished with mint leaves and crushed black pepper and served in a red ceramic casserole with a plate of chapattis kept on the top left side and text layovers.

About Paneer Kali Mirch

So, you’re a paneer lover and wouldn’t mind eating it every day! But are also in a fix, because all the recipes that you know of paneer are just about over or are getting repetitive and monotonous.

This is exactly the time for you to try this Paneer Kali Mirch, which is going to be just the change that you’ve been looking for.

The dish may sound fancy, but is quite simple as it is just a paneer curry that is firstly accentuated with a good dose of black pepper, and the whole dish eventually enriched with the use of aromatic spices, flavorings and cream.

Sounds too good, right? Don’t wait. Just get your aprons on and go ahead with this recipe.

As obvious from the name, kali mirch/kali miri or black pepper is the highlight of this otherwise underrated dish. In this Paneer Kali Mirch recipe, you will be able to notice the presence of kali miri on its own, in a subtle way.

It doesn’t overpower the gravy with its pungency. The slight hint of black pepper in every bite does the trick for your palate.

About My Recipe

The addition of curd (yogurt) imparts a faint sour taste in the gravy and also balances the pungency that you have from the black pepper.

The gravy also has another flavor profile that comes from the fried onion paste. These are the sweet notes which gel really well with the rest of the flavors.  

Making the Paneer Kali Mirch is quite easy inspite of the long list of ingredients that you have. Even for someone who’s an amateur or is new to cooking.

This recipe will give you a sumptuous restaurant style dish and the final result is absolutely going to be worth every effort. In the end, you will be really happy.

Since we are at this, here are some of the other popular rich paneer curries that we all love. You must try the Paneer Tikka Masala, Paneer Butter Masala and Paneer Makhani. Of course, whenever you want that much needed change, opt for this Paneer Kali Mirch.

Although Paneer Kali Mirch tastes best when had with Indian flatbreads like roti, phulka, paratha and naan. However, if you are a rice eater, then you can relish the flavors of this lovely dish with jeera rice, peas pulao or even a veg pulao.

Step-by-Step Guide

How to make Paneer Kali Mirch

Make Onion Paste

1. Heat 1 tablespoon oil or ghee in a a heavy pan or kadai. Add 1 inch cinnamon, 2 green cardamoms, 2 cloves and 1 or 2 mace strands.

whole spices added to hot oil in a pan.

2. Sauté for a few seconds till the spices crackle.

sautéing spices in hot oil.

3. Then, add ½ cup chopped onions.

chopped onions added to the whole spices.

4. Mix and begin to sauté the onion on low to medium heat, stirring often.

sautéing onions with whole spices.

5. Sauté till the onions become light golden.

sautéing onions till light golden.

6. Then, add ½ teaspoon chopped ginger, ½ teaspoon chopped garlic, 1 chopped green chili (about 1 teaspoon chopped) and 10 to 12 whole cashews.

chopped ginger, chopped garlic, chopped green chili and cashews added to the onions.

7. Mix well.

ingredients mixed well with the onions.

8. Stirring often, sauté till the onions turn golden.

sautéing onions till golden.

9. Let this mixture become warm or cool down.

cooked onion mixture.

10. Then, add in a grinder jar or a small blender. Also, add ⅓ to ½ cup water.

cooked onion mixture and water added to a grinder jar.

11. Grind to a smooth and fine paste. Keep aside.

ingredients ground to a smooth and fine onion paste.

More Prep

12. Take ½ teaspoon whole black pepper in a mortar-pestle.

whole black pepper added to a mortar.

13. Crush black pepper to a coarse powder. Keep aside.

whole black pepper crushed to a coarse powder.

14. Take ¼ cup fresh curd in a bowl and whisk it till smooth. Keep aside. Use full fat fresh curd. Curd made from toned milk or skimmed milk can curdle in the gravy.

whisking fresh curd in a bowl till smooth.

Make Gravy

15. Now, in the same pan in which we sautéed the onions, heat 2 tablespoons oil or ghee. Add 1 tej patta and ½ teaspoon caraway seeds (shahi jeera).

If you do not have shahi jeera, you can also use cumin seeds.

bay leaves and caraway seeds added to hot oil in pan.

16. Sauté for a few seconds till the shahi jeera crackles and becomes fragrant.

sautéing spices in hot oil.

17. Now, add the prepared onion paste.

prepared onion paste added to the pan.

18. Mix well and sauté the onion paste on low heat.

sautéing onion paste.

19. In the jar in which the onion paste was ground, add ½ cup water. Swirl and rotate the jar so that the onion paste sticking to the bottom and sides of the jar get mixed with the water.

We will add this onion paste mixed water, later in the gravy. So keep it ready.

water swirled in grinder jar which was used to grind the onion paste.

20. Stirring often, sauté onion paste for 4 to 5 minutes on low heat.

sautéing onion paste.

21. Sauté till you see the oil or ghee separating from the sides of the paste.

sautéing onion paste till oil releases from the sides of the paste.

22. Then, add the crushed black pepper.

crushed black pepper added to the onion paste.

23. Mix very well.

crushed black pepper mixed well with the onion paste.

24. Sauté for 1 minute.

sautéing onion paste with crushed pepper.

25. Next, add the following ground spices:

  • ¼ teaspoon red chili powder or cayenne pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon garam masala powder
  • ½ teaspoon coriander powder (ground coriander)
spice powders added to the onion paste.

26. Mix very well and sauté for a minute.

sautéing spiced onion paste.

27. Switch off the heat. Remove the pan from the stovetop keep it on the kitchen countertop. Add the whisked curd (yogurt).

whisked curd added to the onion paste in the pan removed from the stovetop.

28. As soon as you add curd, quickly stir and mix it well with the onion paste.

curd mixed well with the sautéed onion paste.

29. Add ½ cup of the water from the grinder jar.

water from the grinder jar added to the onion paste.

30. Mix again very well.

water mixed well in the onion paste.

31. Now light the stovetop and keep the heat to low. Put the pan on heat and bring the gravy to a simmer.

simmering prepared gravy.

32. When the gravy comes to a boil, season with salt as per taste. Mix again.

adding salt to the boiling gravy.

33. Continue to simmer the gravy for a few minutes till you see a few oil or ghee specks on the top. If the gravy becomes thick, you can add some water.

simmering gravy.

Make Paneer Kali Mirch

34. Add 200 grams cubed paneer.

cubed paneer added to the gravy.

35. Mix well and switch off the heat. At this step, you can add 2 tablespoons cream, if you want.

paneer cubes mixed well in the gravy.

36. Lastly, add 1 teaspoon kewra water (pandanus water). Mix again. You can use 1 teaspoon of edible rose water instead of kewra water.

adding kewra water to the cooked paneer kali mirch.

37. Serve Paneer Kali Mirch with flatbreads like roti, chapati, paratha, naan or cumin rice, ghee rice or veg pulao. While serving, garnish with some crushed black pepper, mint leaves or coriander leaves (cilantro).

paneer kali mirch garnished with mint leaves and crushed black pepper and served in a red ceramic casserole with a plate of chapattis kept on the top left side and text layover.

Expert Tips

  1. Ensure to use fresh full fat curd. Toned milk or skimmed milk curds can curdle in the gravy while cooking.
  2. You can use the usual cumin seeds, if you don’t have caraway seeds (shahi jeera).
  3. In case you feel the gravy has become too thick, add some water to get it to a consistency that is desired.
  4. I have not added cream in this dish. Cream gives a richer and smoother finish to the gravy and you can add it if you prefer.
  5. If you have edible rose water at home instead of the kewra water (pandanus water), use it.

More Paneer Recipes To Try!

Please be sure to rate the recipe in the recipe card or leave a comment below if you have made it. For more vegetarian inspirations, Sign Up for my emails or follow me on Instagram, Youtube, Facebook, Pinterest or Twitter.

paneer kalimirch recipe

Paneer Kali Mirch Recipe

Paneer Kalimirch is one of the lesser-known but equally tasty gravy based dish made with paneer or Indian cottage cheese. Kalimirch or black pepper is the highlight of this dish.
4.67 from 9 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Cuisine North Indian, Punjabi
Course Main Course
Diet Vegetarian
Difficulty Level Moderate
Servings 3
Units

Ingredients

For onion paste

  • 1 inch cinnamon
  • 2 green cardamoms
  • 2 cloves
  • 1 or 2 single and thin mace strands
  • ½ cup chopped onions or 1 medium to large onion, chopped
  • ½ teaspoon chopped ginger or ½ inch ginger, chopped
  • ½ teaspoon chopped garlic or 2 to 3 small to medium garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 green chili chopped or 1 teaspoon chopped green chilies
  • 10 to 12 cashews – whole
  • ⅓ to ½ cup water – for grinding

For crushed black pepper

  • ½ teaspoon black peppercorns

Other ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons oil or ghee (clarified butter)
  • 1 tej patta (small-sized)
  • ½ teaspoon caraway seeds (shahi jeera)
  • ¼ cup Curd (yogurt)- beaten, use full fat fresh curd
  • ¼ teaspoon red chilli powder or cayenne pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon Garam Masala
  • ½ teaspoon Coriander Powder (ground coriander)
  • ½ cup water or add as required
  • salt as required
  • 200 grams Paneer cubed
  • 2 tablespoons cream – optional
  • 1 teaspoon kewra water (pandanus water) – can also use rose water
  • some mint leaves or coriander leaves for garnish
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper – crushed for garnish

Instructions
 

Preparation

  • Take ½ teaspoon black pepper in a mortar-pestle.
  • Crush black pepper to a coarse powder. Set aside.
  • Take ¼ cup fresh curd in a bowl and whisk it till smooth. Keep aside. Use full fat fresh curd or yogurt made from whole milk.
    Curd made from toned milk or skimmed milk can curdle in the gravy.

Making onion paste

  • Heat 1 tablespoon oil or ghee in a a heavy pan or kadai. Add the cinnamon stick, green cardamoms, cloves and mace strands.
  • Sauté for a few seconds till the spices crackle.
  • Then add the chopped onions.
  • Mix and begin to sauté the onion on a low to medium heat till they become light golden. 
  • When the onions become light golden, then add chopped ginger, garlic, green chilies. Also add cashews.
  • Mix and stirring often sauté till the onions turn golden.
  • Let this onion mixture become warm or cool down.
  • Then add the onion mixture in a grinder jar or a small blender. 
  • Add ⅓ to ½ cup water and grind to a smooth and fine paste. Keep the onion paste aside.

Making paneer kali mirch

  • Now in the same pan in which the onions were sautéed, heat 2 tablespoon oil or ghee. Add 1 tej patta and ½ teaspoon shahi jeera (caraway seeds).
  • Sauté for a few seconds till the caraway seeds crackle and become fragrant.
  • Now add the onion paste.
  • Mix very well and on a low heat sauté the onion paste for 4 to 5 minutes. 
  • In the jar in which the onion paste was ground, add ½ cup water. Swirl and rotate the jar so that the onion paste sticking to the bottom and sides of the jar gets mixed with the water.
    This onion paste mixed water we will add later in the paneer kalimirch gravy. So keep it ready.
  • Sauté onion paste till you see the oil or ghee separating from the sides of the paste.
  • Then add the crushed black pepper.
  • Mix very well and sauté for 1 minute.
  • Next add the following spice powders – red chilli powder, garam masala powder and coriander powder.
  • Mix very well and sauté again for a minute.
  • Switch off the heat. Keep the pan on the kitchen countertop and then add the beaten or whisked curd (yogurt).
  • As soon as you add curd then quickly stir and mix it very well with the onion paste.
  • Add ½ cup water from the grinder jar. Mix again very well.
  • Now light the stove-top. Keep the heat to a low and then keep the pan on it. 
  • Bring the kali mirch gravy to a simmer.
  • Then add salt as per taste. Mix again.
  • Continue to simmer the gravy for a few minutes till you see a few oil or ghee specks on the top. If the kali mirch gravy becomes thick, then you can add some water.
  • Then add paneer cubes.
  • Mix well and switch off the heat. At this step you can add 2 tablespoons cream if you want.
  • Lastly add 1 teaspoon kewra water. Mix again.
  • Serve Paneer Kali Mirch with roti, chapati, phulka, naan or jeera rice. While serving garnish paneer kalimirch with some crushed black pepper, mint leaves or coriander leaves.

Notes

  • Remember to use fresh full fat curd or yogurt made with whole milk. Toned milk or skimmed milk yogurt can curdle in the gravy while cooking.
  • Swap cumin seeds, with caraway seeds (shahi jeera).
  • In case if the gravy looks too thick, add some water to get it to your desired consistency.
  • I have not added cream in this dish, but you can add it if you like.
  • Use rose water instead of kewra water.
  • The recipe cannot be scaled as is. If you plan to scale it, then you will have to gauge and add the ingredients eyeballing them or using the Indian method of andaaz.

Nutrition Info (Approximate Values)

Nutrition Facts
Paneer Kali Mirch Recipe
Amount Per Serving
Calories 375 Calories from Fat 297
% Daily Value*
Fat 33g51%
Saturated Fat 14g88%
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 10g
Cholesterol 58mg19%
Sodium 477mg21%
Potassium 162mg5%
Carbohydrates 11g4%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 3g3%
Protein 12g24%
Vitamin A 191IU4%
Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) 0.05mg3%
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) 0.1mg6%
Vitamin B3 (Niacin) 0.2mg1%
Vitamin B6 0.1mg5%
Vitamin B12 0.1µg2%
Vitamin C 5mg6%
Vitamin D 0.1µg1%
Vitamin E 4mg27%
Vitamin K 5µg5%
Calcium 383mg38%
Vitamin B9 (Folate) 9µg2%
Iron 1mg6%
Magnesium 30mg8%
Phosphorus 72mg7%
Zinc 1mg7%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Like what you see?

Stay up to date with new recipes and ideas.

This Paneer Kali Mirch recipe from the archives first published in October 2017 has been republished and updated on November 2022.

Share This Recipe:

PinWhatsAppPrintShares562

Meet Dassana

Welcome to Dassana's Veg Recipes. I share vegetarian recipes from India & around the World. Having been cooking for decades and with a professional background in cooking & baking, I help you to make your cooking journey easier with my tried and tested recipes showcased with step by step photos & plenty of tips & suggestions.

Get My Secrets to Great Indian Food
Sign up for my FREE Beginners Guide to Delicious Indian Cooking