Paneer Kali Mirch | Black Pepper Paneer

Paneer Kali Mirch recipe is a delicious onion-curd-based gravy dish made with paneer. You will easily find this recipe on the menus of some North Indian restaurants.

Paneer Kali Mirch Recipe

When served with Roti or Phulka, the gravy has subtle hints of Kali Mirch. Curd present in the gravy provides a faint sour taste while also balancing the pungency of the black pepper. The fried onion paste adds a sweet note to the gravy and helps in producing a thick gravy.

Cubes of paneer are tossed in a creamy sauce seasoned with freshly ground black pepper.

Because we use a lot of black pepper in this recipe, you might think it’s spicy. But honestly, it’s hot, but not at all scorching hot. Paneer Kali Mirch has just the right flavors to enjoy the flavor of black pepper without it overpowering the dish.

For preparing this recipe, I highly recommend using freshly ground black pepper. Only with the freshly ground black pepper, you can enjoy the real flavor of Paneer Kali Mirch. I tried to balance the spiciness of black paper with fresh cream, which also gives it a Punjabi touch much liked in north India. But you can also use coconut milk you love to enjoy south Indian flavor.

Aside from the peppercorns, the recipe also calls for cashews, cream, and yogurt to make it creamy and tangy.

So, here is a paneer recipe to try today if you are looking for some new flavor at your home. I am confident you will not be disappointed at all.

Paneer Kali Mirch

Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: North Indian, Punjabi
Servings: 3
Author: Punam Paul


  • 200 grams Indian cottage cheese (पनीर) cut into 1-inch cubes

For Onion Paste

  • 1 inch cinnamon stick (दालचीनी)
  • 2 green cardamom (छोटी इलायची)
  • 2 cloves (लौंग)
  • 1 or 2 single strands of mace (जावित्री)
  • 1 medium to large chopped onion (कटा हुआ प्याज)
  • ½ inch finely chopped ginger (बारीक़ कटा हुआ अदरक)
  • 2 to 3 medium size chopped garlic cloves (कटा हुआ लहसुन का लौंग)
  • 1 chopped green chili (कटा हुआ हरी मिर्च) or 1 teaspoon chopped green chilies
  • 10 to 12 cashew nut (काजू)
  • ⅓ to ½ cup water (पानी) for grinding

For Crushed Black Pepper

  • ½ teaspoon black pepper (काली मिर्च)

Other Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons clarified butter (घी) or oil
  • 1 small Indian bay leaf (तेज पत्ता)
  • ½ teaspoon caraway seeds (शाह जीरा)
  • ¼ cup whisked curd (फेटा हुआ दही) use full-fat fresh curd
  • ¼ teaspoon red chili powder (लाल मिर्च पाउडर)
  • ¼ teaspoon garam masala powder (गरम मसाला पाउडर)
  • ½ teaspoon coriander powder (धनिया पाउडर)
  • ½ cup water (पानी) or add as required
  • salt to taste (नमक स्वाद अनुसार)

For garnishing

  • 2 tablespoons fresh cream (ताजा क्रीम) - optional
  • 1 teaspoon kewra water (केवरा पानी) or rose water (गुलाब जल)
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed black pepper (कुचली हुई काली मिर्च)
  • some fresh mint leaves (पुदीना पत्ता) or chopped fresh coriander leaves (ताजा काटा हुआ धनिया पत्ती)


How to Cook Paneer Kali Mirch

  • Cut the paneer into 1-inch cubes.
  • In a heavy-bottomed pan or Kadai, heat 1 tablespoon oil or clarified butter.
  • Once hot, add 1 cinnamon stick, 2 green cardamoms, 2 cloves, 1 or 2 strands of mace. Sauté for a few seconds, or until the spices begin to crackle.
  • Then, stir in 1/2 cup chopped onion. Begin sautéing the onion on low to medium heat, frequently stirring, until they turn a light golden color.
  • Now add 1/2 teaspoons chopped ginger, 1/2 teaspoon chopped garlic, 1 chopped green chili, and 10 to 12 cashews in it and combine thoroughly.
  • Stirring frequently, allow the onions to turn golden. Then switch off the flame and allow this mixture to cool down at room temperature.
  • Add this in a grinder jar to grind it, adding 1/3 to 1/2 cup water. Make a smooth and fine paste. Set aside.
  • Further, in a mortar, grind 1/2 teaspoons of black pepper. Make a coarse black pepper powder and set it aside.
  • Also, whisk 1/4 cup fresh curd until smooth set aside. Always use full-fat curd. As curd prepared from toned milk or skimmed milk has the potential to curdle in gravy.

How to Make Paneer Kali Mirch Gravy

  • In the same pan in which we have fried the onions earlier, heat 2 tablespoons of oil or clarified butter. In it, add 1/2 teaspoon shahi jeera and 1 Indian bay leaf and caraway seeds. If you don't have shahi jeera, you can replace it with cumin seeds.
  • Sauté for a few seconds, or until the shahi jeera begins to crackle and becomes fragrant.
  • Now stir in the onion and spice paste.
  • Mix thoroughly and sauté the onion paste on low heat.
  • Add 1/2 cup water in the grinder jar in which the onion paste was ground. Swirl and rotate to clean the onion paste stuck to the bottom and sides of this Jar. We will add this onion paste-water mixture later to the paneer Kalimirch gravy. So keep it on hand.
  • Keep sauteing the onion paste, constantly stirring for 4 to 5 minutes on a low flame. Cook until the oil or ghee separates from the sides of the paste.
  • Then, add the crushed black pepper to it and mix thoroughly.
  • Sauté for a minute. Then, stir in 1/4 teaspoon red chili powder, 1/4 teaspoon garam masala powder, and 1/2 teaspoon coriander powder.
  • Mix it thoroughly again and sauté for another minute, turn off the flame, and add the beaten curd.
  • Quickly stir to thoroughly combine the curd with the onion paste.
  • Now add 1/2 cup water from the grinder jar and again mix thoroughly.
  • Now, turn on the stove again, keep the flame low, and let the Kali Mirch gravy simmer until you see it gently boiling.
  • When the gravy reaches a boil, season it with salt to taste, mix again.
  • Let the gravy simmer till you see specks of oil or ghee on top. If the gravy becomes too thick in this process, add some water to get the desired consistency.
  • Then, add the paneer cubes in the gravy and mix thoroughly and turn off the heat. You can also add 2 tablespoons of cream at this point if you desired.
  • Finally, add 1 teaspoon of kewra water (pandanus water) or rose water according to your personal preference and mix once more.
  • Serve paneer Kali Mirch with flatbreads such as Rotis, Chapati, Paratha, Naan, Cumin Rice, Ghee Rice, or Vegetable Pulao. Garnish with crushed black pepper, mint leaves, or coriander leaves before serving.


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