Achari Paneer Recipe
Achari paneer recipe – Spicy, hot and flavorful paneer curry that goes well with plain basmati rice, roti or paratha. Achaar or achar is a term in Hindi & some regional languages meaning pickle. Achari dishes are made with the same spices used to make Indian pickles. Hence the name achari.
There are a few popular achari dishes like achari chicken, achari gohst & achari paneer. One can find these mostly on North Indian restaurant menus.
This achari paneer recipe, inspired from Chef Sanjay thumma is one of the best I made in the recent times. This recipe yields a gravy that is not too pungent or too spicy.
It tastes very delicious, mildly hot & spicy with unique flavors. As there are no cashews or cream used it is on the lighter side. There is yogurt used in the recipe which lends a slight tang to the dish.
If you like to make paneer at home, you can check this post on how to make paneer.
This is best to serve during the monsoon or winters. You can serve it with Jeera rice, ghee rice or even with plain basmati rice.
For more Paneer Recipes, check
Paneer butter masala
Paneer do pyaza
Preparation for achari paneer masala
1. Add coriander seeds, red chili, fennel/ saunf, jeera/ cumin, methi seeds and mustard. Make sure you use only 1/2 tsp of mustard and a pinch of methi seeds. Using more can make the gravy bitter.
2. Make a fine powder. Set the powder aside.
3. Add capsicum and tomato to the same jar.
4. Make a fine puree.
How to make achari paneer masala
5. Heat mustard oil & any other oil in a pan. Add kalonji seeds.
6. Add hing / asafoetida.
7. When they splutter, add finely chopped onions.
8. Saute them until golden brown. Then add ginger garlic paste. Saute just until the raw smell goes away. Do not over fry as it may make the curry bitter.
9. Lower the heat & add the achari masala. Saute well just for 1 to 2 mins until the aroma comes out from the spices. Make sure you do not over fry it as it may make the dish bitter.
10.Pour in the pureed capsicum and tomato. Saute this until all the moisture evaporates.
11. Add turmeric, red chili powder, salt and sugar.
12. Saute this until the mixture leaves the pan. Make sure you do not do it at a high flame or for long time.
13. Lower the flame/ heat completely. Add half of the curd and mix it well until combined with the spice mixture. Make sure the curd is at room temperature and is whisked well.
14. Add the other half and repeat mixing. Using too much curd in a recipe usually causes acidity so I have used only 1/3 cup. I added 1 tbsp of lemon juice just before serving.
15. Saute this till the mixture leaves the pan on a medium flame.
Making achari paneer gravy
16. Add water as needed.
17. Make a gravy.
18. Cover and cook till the gravy thickens.
19. You see traces of oil on top. Mix everything well and add paneer. I have also used little ginger at this stage.
20. Cook covered for 2 mins on a low heat. Add coriander leaves. Do not overcook or leave it on the stove as it will make the paneer hard.
Transfer achari paneer masala to a serving bowl. Keep covered until serving. Add some lemon juice if you prefer the dish to be more tangy.
Achari Paneer Recipe
For best results follow the step-by-step photos above the recipe card
Ingredients (US cup = 240ml )
- 1 tbsp coriander seeds or daniya
- 2 red chilies (less spicy variety)
- 1 tbsp fennel seeds or saunf or sombu
- 1 tsp cumin or jeera
- ½ tsp mustard or rai (use yellow if you have)
- Pinch methi seeds
other ingredients for achari paneer
- 1/3 to ½ cup tomatoes chopped ripe(1 large)
- 1/3 to ½ cup green capsicum cubed
- 1 ½ tbsp mustard oil (or replace with any oil)
- 1 to 1 ½ tbsp oil
- ½ tsp kalonji or onion seeds (skip if you do not have)
- 1/8 tsp asafoetida or hing
- ½ cup onions finely chopped
- 1 tsp ginger garlic paste
- 1/8 tsp turmeric or haldi
- 1 tsp chilli powder
- 1 tsp sugar
- ½ tsp salt or little more
- 1/3 cup fresh curd or dahi or yogurt (refer notes)
- ¾ cup water
- 200 grams cubed paneer
- Handful coriander leaves
- Shredded ginger little (optional)
- Lemon juice (optional to add if desired)
- Add red chilies, coriander seeds, fennel seeds, cumin, mustard and methi seeds to a spice jar. Make a fine powder set aside.
- Puree tomatoes and capsicum. Set this aside as well.
How to make achari paneer
- Heat oil in a pan. Add kalonji seeds. When they splutter add hing. Immediately add finely chopped onions and saute until golden.
- Add ginger garlic paste and saute till the raw smell goes away. Lower the flame and add in the achari spice powder.
- Saute till a nice aroma comes out just for 1 to 2 mins. Do not over fry to prevent bitterness. Pour the tomato capsicum puree.
- Saute till the moisture evaporates. The mixture turns thick. Add red chili powder, turmeric, salt and sugar.
- Mix and fry on a low heat for 2 mins. The masala leaves the pan by now. Add half of the curd to the pan. Mix well with spice masala.
- Add the other half and repeat it. Cook until the masala leaves the pan. Pour water and make a gravy.
- Cover and cook until the gravy thickens. At this stage you will see traces of oil on top. Mix everything well. Add paneer and ginger.
- Mix and cover the pan. Cook on a low heat for 2 mins. Add coriander leaves and turn off the heat.
- Transfer achari paneer masala to a serving bowl. If you prefer more tang, then add lemon juice.
Alternative quantities provided in the recipe card are for 1x only, original recipe.
For best results follow my detailed step-by-step photo instructions and tips above the recipe card.
NUTRITION INFO (estimation only)
© Swasthi’s Recipes
I’m Swasthi Shreekanth, the recipe developer, food photographer & food writer behind Swasthi’s Recipes. My aim is to help you cook great Indian food with my time-tested recipes. After 2 decades of experience in practical Indian cooking I started this blog to help people cook better & more often at home. Whether you are a novice or an experienced cook I am sure Swasthi’s Recipes will assist you to enhance your cooking skills.
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Delicious achari paneer! I use this recipe to make eggplants and bhindi as well. Perfect and tasty.
Thank you so much Mridula. Glad to know it works with veggies too.
Tried today and turned out very tasty. Thanks for the change in taste and flavor from the regular ones. Definitely capsicum adds a different flavour.
Glad to know!
Thank you so much for letting me know.
Hi, your recipe was awesome but how many people does it serve?
Thank you. It makes 3 servings
superb recipes ..i like your recipes and they are easy to make..thanku so much
Glad to know.
Tried this today, it was fantastic. Thank you very much. One question, what do you mean when you say “mixture leaves the pan”?
Glad it turned out good. The masala when cooked thoroughly leaves the sides of the pan – meaning most of the moisture evaporates so the masala turns to a mass and is non-sticky. Hope this helps
Found this recipe trying to find something new for paneer (I am low-carb and paneer is PERFECT for my diet!), and this really hit the spot! I make this probably once a month now! Very delicious, easy instructions, and clear pictures and video to help!! Thanks!
You are welcome! Glad you like the recipe. Thanks much for the comment!
Hi Swati, I try most of your receipes and they have delicious, lip smacking, I really like whatever I have tried
Glad you like the recipes. Thank you!
Hi Swasthi – I follow your recipes on a regular basis (nearly weekly). You are my go-to! I have a coffee grinder that we use as a spice grinder, but it is less than ideal. Which brand do you use? It seems to grind very well.
Thank you so much. I use various brands of grinders as one works well for something but not for the other. I use ULTRA heavy duty mixer grinder, preeti steel and national panasonic. In this post I have used the preeti (steel) mixer. It should be available online. You can just go with any that has the highest watts as they grind well.Hope this helps
Thank you! Your response is very helpful.
Thank you so much swasthi ji.
Tried achari panner for the first time. The aroma of speices and the taste was amazing. Keep posting more recipes.
Hi Swati kumari,
You are welcome. Thank you. Glad your achari paneer turned out good. Yes will keep sharing more recipes.
Swasthi.. I can’t tell u how big a life saver u are.. it recipes are all easy to make and rate super delicious. I love the way u have small steps for each portion and then assemble the overall dish. I am hardly a good cook and ur recipes save my entire family especially now that we are not in home country.. thanks a lot.. keep posting ur recipes
You are welcome.
Very happy to know the recipes are useful.Yes will surely keep posting. Thanks a lot for the lovely comment.
Can we skip capsicum?
You can skip but capsicum brings a lot of good flavor in this recipe.
Very nice. I made this. it turned out superb.
This turned out damn good. My guests loved it.
Thanks for trying