Paneer Lababdar is an Indian dish consisting of Paneer as the main ingredient. It is made from tomato and cashew-based gravy sauteed with onions, spices, and herbs together.


This dish is quite popular and is on the menu of many restaurants. It is originally a Mughlai dish and is presented in Punjabi style most of the time in restaurants. It is another dish that the members of the royal court enjoyed. However, since it is rich in flavours, ingredients, and texture, it is mainly reserved for occasions and festivals.

Ingredients For Paneer Lababdar

You will find the list of ingredients a bit long. But you not worry. Despite the number of ingredients, this recipe is less fussy because we further divide them for ease.

Oil – We are using regular cooking oil. You can use any oil, and it will not have much difference in taste. One can even substitute it with butter or ghee.

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For Paste

  • Cashews – This will bring richness to the recipe. Also, it will provide thickness in the gravy.
  • Spices – Cardamom, bay leaf, cloves, cinnamon, cumin seeds, and black pepper are the spices we are using here, giving the recipe flavours and aroma. Apart from this, we are using both green and red chilli to provide some spiciness.
  • Tomato & Onion – These two ingredients are also a part of the gravy. You can adjust the amount of them you want to use.

For Gravy

  • Spices – Ginger, coriander powder, turmeric powder, red chilli powder,  garam masala, and salt will provide flavours of the gravy. We are also using chopped coriander in it. Adjust the spiciness in it as we are going to use heavy cream as well.
  • Cheese – It is not part of the authentic recipe initially in the recipe. But just for more fun, we have included it. Regular cheese is more suitable for it as it will melt and emulsify in the gravy.
  • Heavy Cream – Since it is a royal recipe, using heavy cream is given. It will ass more richness to the gravy.
  • Paneer – The base ingredient of this dish. To suit the recipe, Paneer with a silkier texture will be preferable.

Preparation of Paneer Lababdar

First, we are going to make the paste for the gravy. For that, we will heat oil in a pan. Then, add cumin seeds, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, black pepper, garlic, red chilli, green chilli, bay leaf cashews, and onions. Saute till it turns aromatic.

After that, add tomato and saute again for 1-2 minutes. Add water to the pan. Cover it and cook for 5-7 minutes. Now, transfer them to a mixer jar and grind to paste. Keep it aside for the time being.

And it is time to prepare the gravy. Again heat oil in a pan. Add ginger, coriander powder, turmeric powder, red chilli powder, garam masala, salt, and coriander. Saute them until the oil separates.

Now add the paste and mix it. Also, utilize the puree from the jar by adding water, shaking it well, and adding that to the mixture.

If you do not want to make the paste separately, grind tomatoes and cashews into puree and directly add them. Then, cook the remaining ingredients as it is and cook the onions until they are golden brown.

Now comes the turn of cheese and Paneer. Grate the cheese and place the Paneer in the pan. Cover the pan and cook until the paneer is soft. Lastly, we will be adding heavy cream. We do not need to cook the cream. Therefore, we will be adding it at the very last. Mix everything, and your dish is ready.

Notes:

  • Sometimes sugar is added as well to get a slightly sweet taste in the dish.
  • If you want, you can add sesame or melon seeds to make the paste.
  • Almonds are not recommended to be used in this recipe, unlike we sometimes use in shahi paneer.

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