Methi Malai Paneer is a mildly sweet, creamy gravy recipe with a hint of bitterness from fenugreek leaves. This recipe calls for fresh fenugreek leaves, which I do recommend using. But if you can’t find them, you can substitute them with dry fenugreek leaves or Kasuri Methi. The soft paneer cubes bring a lot of texture to it.
The methi leaves we get here aren’t particularly bitter. As a result, I add them to the dish directly. If you get very bitter Methi leaves, then to reduce the bitterness of fenugreek leaves, try the following method:
Tip to reduce bitterness in fenugreek leaves:
Cut the methi leaves into small pieces. Sprinkle some salt on top of them and mix it thoroughly. Then keep it aside at room temperature for 15 to 20 minutes. Then, using your hands, squeeze the methi leaves before adding them to the recipe. You can remove much of the bitterness from Methi leaves in this manner.
Pluck methi leaves from its stem before proceeding with the recipe. Rinse them thoroughly in water, then chopping them finely. I usually buy one or two bunches at the market. Pluck the leaves from the stem in my free time, and store them in an airtight container in my refrigerator. The leaves are edible for about 10 days. Then before adding to the recipe, I simply rinse, chop them. Preparing any dish from Methi becomes very easy and less time-consuming this way.
This Methi malai paneer is ideal for children who refuse to eat greens such as Methi. So, let us start cooking it.
Methi Malai Paneer Restaurant Style
For Masala Paste
- 1.5 cups chopped onion (कटा हुआ प्याज)
- ¼ cup chopped tomato (कटा हुआ टमाटर)
- 2 teaspoons chopped ginger (कटा हुआ अदरक)
- 1 teaspoon chopped garlic cloves (कटा हुआ लहसुन का लौंग)
- 1 teaspoon chopped green chili (कटा हुआ हरी मिर्च)
- 3 tablespoon finely chopped cashews (बारीक कटे हुए काजू)
- ½ teaspoon cumin seeds (जीरा)
- 1 tablespoon oil (तेल)
Other Ingredients For Methi Malai Paneer
- 200 to 250 grams Indian cottage cheese (पनीर) - cut in cubes or squares
- 1 cup fresh fenugreek leaves (मेथी का साग) tightly packed - or 2 tablespoon dry fenugreek leaves (कसूरी मेथी)
- ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder (हल्दी पाउडर)
- ½ teaspoon Kashmiri red chili powder (कश्मीरी लाल मिर्च पाउडर)
- ½ teaspoon coriander powder (धनिया पाउडर)
- ½ teaspoon garam masala powder (गरम मसाला पाउडर)
- 1 cup water (पानी) - approx
- ¼ cup fresh cream (ताजा क्रीम)
- 2 tablespoon oil (तेल)
- ½ teaspoon sugar (चीनी) - approx
- salt to taste (नमक स्वाद अनुसार)
Methi Malai Paneer Recipe
Preparing Masala Paste
- Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a pan or wok. When hot, add 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds to it.
- Stir and cook until the cumin seeds change color and start to crackle.
- Now add 1.5 cups chopped onions and stir. Shake well and cook on low to medium heat. Cook till it becomes light brown.
- Then, add 2 teaspoons chopped ginger, 1 teaspoon garlic, 1 teaspoon chopped green chilies, and 10 to 12 cashews (chopped).
- Stir and cook until the raw smell of ginger and garlic disappears.
- Now add 1/4 cup chopped tomatoes. Mix everything very well. Cook until tomatoes are soft. Then turn off the gas and take out this mixture in a cup with a wide mouth. Allow this mixture to cool to room temperature.
- When the onion-tomato mixture has cooled down, put it in a grinder jar. Add 1/4 to 1/3 cup water and make a smooth paste and keep aside.
Making Methi Malai Paneer
- Now add 2 tablespoons of oil to the same pan. Add 1 cup tightly chopped fenugreek leaves or 2 tablespoons dry fenugreek leaves (Kasoori Methi) to it.
- If using Kasuri methi, fry them in oil for a few seconds. For fresh fenugreek, fry it on low to medium flame until they wilt. Remove and keep aside.
- Reduce the heat and add 1/4 tsp turmeric powder, 1/2 tsp Kashmiri red chili powder, and 1/2 tsp coriander powder.
- Mix the spice powder well with roasted fenugreek leaves and add the previously prepared ground masala paste.
- Shake vigorously to mix all the ingredients well.
- Fry the entire mixture on low heat for 7 to 8 minutes. Stir continuously and cook so that the masala does not stick in the pan.
- When you notice that the oil is seeping from the edges, add 3/4 to 1 cup of water.
- Mix well once again and add salt as per taste.
- Boil fenugreek spices on low to medium flame for 3 to 4 minutes.
- Now add 1/4 cup fresh cream. You can use low-fat cream or whipping cream. Mix the cream well with fenugreek spice gravy.
- Now add paneer pieces and 1/2 tsp garam masala powder to it.
- To cure the bitterness of fenugreek, add 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of sugar to it. You can increase or decrease the amount of sugar as per your choice.
- Simmer for 1 to 2 minutes or until the Paneer cubes get cooked.
- Serve Methi Malai Paneer garnished with grated paneer with tandoori roti, naan, or chapati. This creamy gravy matches very well with cumin rice, saffron rice, and Kashmiri Pulao.
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