Paneer lababdar recipe – Delicious North Indian restaurant style paneer gravy made with onion, tomatoes, cashews, grated paneer and paneer cubes. Paneer lababdar is most commonly seen on the North Indian Restaurant menus. Though not as popular as the paneer butter masala & paneer makhani, it is a favorite among many who love paneer in rich and delicious spicy gravy.
If you are bored with the regular paneer dishes, then this is a great one to try as it tastes unique, very very flavorful, creamy and is exceptionally good. This would be a great addition to your weekend menu, parties, celebrations or during festivals.
You can also make the gravy ahead of time and refrigerate it. Just heat up the gravy and add the paneer before serving.
How paneer lababdar is different?
Wondering how is this dish different from the other paneer dishes? The ingredients used to make paneer lababdar is almost the same as paneer butter masala or paneer makhani.
But the way this is made is much different. So the taste, flavor and texture are all different here.
Texture: Since chopped onions and grated paneer is used, the gravy has a slight texture and is not super silky smooth like the paneer butter masala. So chopped onions and grated paneer is what gives this dish a unique texture.
Red chilies: The use of Kashmiri dried red chilies add a smoky and pungent flavor to the dish without making it very hot. They also impart a nice orange to red color to the gravy.
Whole spices: The use of whole spices like cloves, cardamoms and cinnamon add more aroma than the regular garam masala. The spice level & flavor is slightly higher in this dish than the paneer butter masala.
1. Pour ½ cup water to a pan or pot. Then add the following ingredients:
- 2 cups chopped tomatoes (about 350 grams)
- 4 dried kashmiri red chilies (or any low heat chilies)
- 14 cashew nuts
- 2 inch cinnamon stick
- 4 cloves
- 4 green cardamoms
2. Boil until tomatoes turn soft. To quicken process you can also cover and cook. Tomatoes are boiled to add volume to the gravy & spices are boiled to bring out the aroma.
Cool this completely. Add them to a blender jar along with the water that is left in the pot. Make a smooth puree and set this aside.
How to make paneer lababdar
3. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a pan. Then add 1 bay leaf. When the leaf begins to sizzle, add ½ cup fine chopped onions and fry until golden.
4. Add 1 tablespoon ginger garlic paste and saute till the raw smell goes off.
5. This may take 1 or 2 mins. Ginger garlic tends to get burnt quickly, so be cautious.
6. Pour the tomato puree to the pan. Add
- ½ teaspoon red chili powder
- 1¼ teaspoon coriander powder
- ½ teaspoon garam masala (I use this garam masala)
- ½ teaspoon salt
Mix everything well and saute for 2 to 3 mins.
7. Cook covered until the gravy thickens slightly.
8. Pour ¾ to 1 cup water to make the gravy.
9. Add ¾ teaspoon sugar. Mix well and cook covered until the gravy turns thick. You can also see traces of oil over the gravy. Taste test the gravy and add more salt if needed.
- ¾ to 1 teaspoon kasuri methi (crushed)
- 1 green chilli (slit)
- 2 tablespoons grated paneer
- 200 grams cubed paneer
Mix well. Cook for 1 to 2 mins on a very low flame.
11. Pour 2 to 3 tablespoons cream. Mix and turn off the stove. You can also add more grated paneer here along with coriander leaves. Keep covered for at least 5 mins for the flavors to be absorbed by the paneer.
Serve paneer lababdar with rice, naan, roti, phulka.
Ingredients (1 cup = 240ml )
To boil & puree
- 2 cups tomatoes chopped (3 large, about 350 grams)
- ½ cup water
- 15 cashews or skinned almonds
- 2 inch cinnamon
- 4 cloves
- 4 cardamoms
- 4 dried red chilies (less spicy variety like kashmiri or byadgi)
For the gravy
- 2 tbsps oil
- 1 bay leaf (tej patta)
- ½ cup onions very finely chopped (1 medium)
- 1 tbsp ginger garlic paste
- 1¼ tsp coriander powder
- ½ tsp garam masala
- ½ tsp red chili powder (kashmiri)
- ¾ tsp salt (adjust to taste)
- ¾ to 1 cup water (or as needed for the gravy)
- ¾ tsp sugar
- 1 green chilli slit
- ½ to ¾ tsp kasuri methi crushed or dried fenugreek leaves
- 200 grams paneer cubed (Indian cottage cheese)
- 2 to 3 tbsp cream (heavy cream/whipping cream or any)
- 2 tbsp coriander leaves
- 2 tbsps paneer fine grated
- Add 2 cups tomatoes, 4 dried red chilies, 15 cashews, 2 inch cinnamon stick, 4 cloves and 4 cardamoms to a pot or pan.
- Pour half cup water and cook covered until tomatoes turn soft and pulpy.
- Cool this and add to a blender. Blend well till you get a smooth puree. The puree has to be smooth. If needed you may add little water and blend.
How to make paneer lababdar
- Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a pan. Then add add bay leaf and saute for a min.
- Add ½ cup finely chopped onions and saute until they turn completely and uniformly golden.
- Next add 1 tablespoon ginger garlic paste and saute till the raw smell goes away. This takes about 1 to 2 mins.
- Pour the tomato and spice puree to the pan.
- Add ½ teaspoon red chili powder, ¾ teaspoon salt, 1¼ teaspoon coriander powder and ½ teaspoon garam masala.
- Mix and saute for about 2 to 3 mins. Cook covered for another 2 to 3 mins until the gravy thickens slightly.
- Pour ¾ to 1 cup water and add ¾ teaspoon sugar. Mix well. Cook covered on a medium heat until the gravy thickens and you see traces of oil over the gravy.
- Taste test and add more salt if needed. Take ¾ teaspoon kasuri methi to your palm, crush it and add it here. Also add 2 tablespoons grated paneer, 200 grams of cubed paneer and 1 slit green chili.
- Mix everything well and lower the flame completely. Cook just for 1 to 2 mins. Turn off the stove.
- Pour 2 to 3 tablespoons cream and mix. Add coriander leaves and mix.
- Keep the pan covered for 5 mins so paneer absorbs the flavors. Transfer to a serving bowl and garnish with coriander leaves. You can also garnish with more grated paneer & cream.
- Serve paneer lababdar hot with roti, garlic naan or rice.
NUTRITION (estimation only)
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.
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