Paneer Lababdar Recipe: A popular north Indian gravy recipe using cottage cheese in a creamy and rich tomato and onion gravy It is typically served with roti or naan, but it can also be served with jeera rice. The flavour is similar to paneer butter masala.
Richness and creaminess are hallmarks of north Indian curries and gravies. Typically, it is made with a combination of vegetables and paneer that has been tossed and cooked in a cashew-based tomato onion base.
Paneer lababdar is a popular paneer gravy dish that can be found on many Indian restaurant menus.
With the addition of onions, tomatoes, cashews, and spices, my paneer lababdar recipe is more Punjabi than Mughlai. It does not rely heavily on a large amount of nuts, dried fruits, or seeds. The only nuts used in the recipe are cashews.
Paneer lababdar is a dish that you will always want to make for special occasions or festivals. Its richness, creaminess, and deliciousness will leave you speechless every time. This recipe is ideal for festive or special occasions.
The paneer lababdar recipe is very similar to the paneer butter masala or paneer makhani recipes. In fact, the latter’s recipe is much simpler and can be made in an instant. The lababdar recipe is complex, requiring the boiling of tomatoes and spices in water, which is then converted into flavoured tomato puree. Essentially, this adds a lot of flavour and aroma to the puree, which is then combined with the curry base. The butter masala recipe is simple and consists of sautéing onion and tomatoes, which are then blended into a fine paste.
For beginners, the paneer lababdar recipe can be intimidating, but if you follow these tips and suggestions, it should be simple. First and foremost, the recipe is a two-step process that begins with preparing the base and ends with the addition of paneer cubes and spices. The point I’m making here is that you can make the base ahead of time and deep freeze it to use as needed. Second, I used moist and soft fresh homemade paneer cubes for this recipe. You can use store-bought paneer, but make sure it’s fresh and moist before you buy it. Finally, as the gravy cools, it will thicken. As a result, before reheating and serving, add some water to keep the consistency.
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Paneer Lababdar Recipe Card:
Paneer Lababdar Recipe
To Make Puree:
- 1 cup water
- 2 tomato (cube)
- 2 clove garlic
- 1 inch ginger
- 4 cloves
- 15 cashew / kaju
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 tsp butter
- 2 tsp oil
- 1 bay leaf / tej patta
- 1 inch cinnamon
- 1 chilli (slit)
- 1 tsp kasuri methi / dry fenugreek leaves
- 1 onion (finely chopped)
- 1/4 tsp turmeric
- 1/2 tsp kashmiri red chilli powder
- 1/2 tsp coriander powder
- 1/2 tsp cumin powder / jeera powder
- 1 cup water
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 15 cubes paneer / cottage cheese
- 2 tbsp paneer / cottage cheese (grated)
- 2 tbsp cream / malai
- 1/4 tsp garam masala
- 2 tbsp coriander (finely chopped)
- First, combine 1 cup water, 2 tomatoes, 2 garlic cloves, and 1 inch ginger in a large mixing bowl.
- 2 cardamom pods, 4 cloves, 15 cashews, and 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Cook, covered, for 10 minutes, or until the tomatoes are soft and mushy.
- Cool the mixture completely before blending it into a smooth puree. Set aside.
- Heat 2 tsp butter and 2 tsp oil in a large kadai.
- 1 bay leaf, 1 inch cinnamon, 1 chilli, and 1 tsp kasuri methi sautéed until aromatic
- additionally, add 1 onion and sauté until the onions turn golden brown.
- Add 1/4 tsp turmeric, 1/2 tsp chilli powder, 1/2 tsp coriander powder, and 1/2 tsp cumin powder while the heat is low. Cook until the spices become aromatic.
- Mix in the prepared tomato puree thoroughly.
- Cook for 10 minutes, covered, stirring occasionally to prevent burning. Cook until the masala paste releases its oil.
- 1 cup water, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and mix well as needed, adjust consistency
- Add 15 cubes paneer and 2 tbsp grated paneer as well. Combine thoroughly.
- Cover and cook for 5 minutes, or until the paneer absorbs the flavour.
- Turn off the heat and stir in 2 tablespoons cream. Mix until the cream is thoroughly combined.
- 1/4 teaspoon garam masala and 2 tablespoons coriander combine thoroughly
- Finally, serve paneer lababdar alongside roti or chapati.
- First and foremost, adding cream is optional. It does, however, help to get the restaurant flavour.
- Cook until the oil is released from the masala paste. This contributes to the flavour.
- In addition, adding grated paneer to the gravy makes the curry richer and creamier.
- Tomatoes: Instead of fresh tomatoes, blend 1.5 cups canned tomatoes with the cashews. The canned tomatoes do not need to be cooked with cashews. You can also use 34 cup tomato puree when sautéing the cashew paste. If you’re using tomato puree, you only need to make the cashew and spice paste.
- Kasuri Methi (Methi): If you don’t have dried fenugreek leaves, leave them out.
- Paneer: In place of paneer, use extra firm or firm tofu.
- You can omit the cream or use coconut cream instead. Malai, or clotted cream that collects on top of boiled milk, can also be added after it has been whipped to a smooth, flowing consistency.
- When sautéing the tomato-cashew paste, substitute 1 pinch asafetida or hing (if you have it) for the onion and garlic.
- Dhungar Method: Adding dhungar gives the paneer lababdar a truly smoky restaurant flavour.
- Make-ahead and storage: My paneer lababdar recipe can be easily scaled. It keeps well in the freezer for about a month. It will keep in the refrigerator for a couple of days.
- Vegan options include: Instead of butter, use a neutral-flavored oil. Paneer can be used in place of firm tofu, seitan, or tempeh. Replace the cream with coconut cream if you don’t want to add it at all.
- Finally, to make paneer lababdar, use moist and fresh homemade paneer.
- Paneer labadar pairs well with Indian flatbreads such as roti, naan, and pudina paratha. This creamy gravy goes well with jeera rice or vegetable pulao.
Can I use canned or pureed tomatoes?
Without a doubt. While blending the cashews, add 1.5 cups of canned tomatoes. The canned tomatoes do not need to be cooked with cashews. When sautéing with the cashew paste, add 34 cup tomato puree directly. If you use tomato puree, you only need to make the cashew and spice paste.
What can I substitute for kasuri methi?
Kasuri methi is made from dried fenugreek leaves. If you don’t have them, just leave them out.
Is it possible to make paneer lababdar without onion and garlic?
Without a doubt! To get the mild flavours of onion and garlic without actually using them in the recipe, sauté the tomato-cashew paste with 1 pinch asafetida or hing (if you have it).
Can I omit the cream?
Yes, you can easily omit the cream.
Is it okay if I use malai?
Before adding malai, which is the clotted cream that collects on top of boiled milk, it must be whipped to a smooth, flowing consistency.
What can I use in place of cashews?
Add blanched almonds that have been blanched in hot water for 30 minutes, peels removed.
Is it possible to apply the dhungar method to this paneer lababdar?
You certainly have the ability to do so. The Dhungar method will give your paneer lababdar smoky restaurant-style flavours.
How do I make a vegan paneer lababdar recipe?
Paneer can be used in place of firm tofu, seitan, or tempeh. Replace the cream with coconut cream if you don’t want to add it at all. Instead of butter, use a neutral-flavored oil.
Is it possible to make a large batch and freeze it?
Yes, you most certainly can. My recipe is easily scaleable. Paneer lababdar gravy can be frozen for up to a month. It will keep in the refrigerator for a couple of days.
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