Methi malai paneer, a luscious creamy paneer curry flavored with methi leaves is absolutely mind-blowing especially if you are not a dedicated spicy-food-lover! Even the methi-haters will be knocked out too!
Paneer i.e. cottage cheese is a popular name in Indian households irrespective of vegetarian or non-vegetarian food preferences. We, even being a dedicated meat-n-fish lover family, too love this milky goodness not only because it is supremely good for health but also because it makes enumerable varieties of delectable curries which make our meals utterly enjoyable! Today’s curry is another gem from Indian cuisine – methi malai paneer. Methi is the Fenugreek leaves, malai means cream and paneer as you already know is the cottage cheese.
This is a smooth and creamy curry loaded with flavors from Fenugreek leaves. Even if you do not love methi, still give this methi malai paneer a try; the mild bitterness of methi leaves perfectly balances the sweetness of the fresh paneer. I adapted this recipe of methi malai paneer from the popular North-Indian dish methi malai matar which is just the similar curry but instead of paneer, it is made with green peas only. The rich and creamy gravy of this methi-malai thingy appealed me a lot which pushed me to create my version of this curry but with paneer as only green peas didn’t excite me that much.
This methi malai paneer is not a spicy dish at all. It is more on the sweeter side. But even the spice lovers will like it, that’s a guarantee from me. The combination of methi and malai is ultimate in terms of flavors, texture and taste. You may be a bit worried about the calorie it comes with; but this is a dish for special occasions and not an everyday recipe. Delight your friends and family, vegetarians and non-vegetarians alike, with this delicacy and they will keep visiting you for long! I have quite a few paneer recipes in my blog which is not surprising as I have already mentioned that anything made of these soft milky cubes is quite a regular thingy in our home.
Paneer is also a very good source of calcium; just reminding you to give you another good reason to include it in your diet only if you are not lactose-intolerant. You can make this recipe of methi malai paneer replacing cottage cheese with firm tofu if you follow a dairy-free diet. And instead of khoya and regular milk, you can add more soy milk. This is a total win-win recipe and you can never go wrong with it. A perfect crowd-pleaser without much of a fuss. Do definitely try it in your next pot-luck and delight everyone with this masterpiece from our marvelous Indian cuisine! Enjoy!
- Onion – 1, large
- Ginger – 1 inch piece
- Green chillies - 2
- Cashew nuts – ¼ cup
- Grated khoya (milk solids) – ¼ cup
- Paneer (cottage cheese) – 300 gms
- Fresh methi (Fenugreek) leaves – 4 cups
- Ghee (clarified butter) – 2 tbsp
- Khoya – ¼ cup, grated
- Milk – 2 cups (or more if required)
- Cream – 2 tbsp
- Fenugreek leaves – 200 gms
- Sugar – 2 tsp
- Salt to taste
- Dried fenugreek leaves (kasoori methi) – 2 tbsp
- Boil the fresh fenugreek leaves in hot water for about 5 minutes and then drain all the water out. Let it cool and then squeeze out as much water as possible from the methi leaves. Set aside until further use.
- Cut the paneer into 1 inch cubes and add them to a pot of salted boiling water. Cover the pot and let the paneer cubes sit in it until required. This will ensure super soft paneer cubes in your gravy.
- Grind together the boiled onion, ginger, chillies and cashew nuts along with grated khoya in a grinder to make a smooth paste. Set aside.
- Heat the ghee in a skillet or wok. Once the ghee is hot, add the ground onion masala paste and the remaining khoya and sauté it for about 2-3 minutes until the ghee starts to separate from the onion paste. Saute it on low flame making sure the onion paste does not turn golden brown.
- Now add milk to the gravy and mix well. Let it cook for about 2 to 3 minutes more on low heat.
- Add the fresh cream to the gravy and mix well. Keep stirring on low flame.
- Now add the boiled and squeezed methi leaves and mix well making sure all the leaves are separated and mixed uniformly with the gravy.
- Season with salt to taste. Add sugar and dried fenugreek leaves i.e. kasoori methi. Add about a cup of water and stir well.
- Once the gravy starts to boil, drop in the paneer cubes (discard the water in which the paneer was being soaked). Check the consistency of the gravy and water if needed.
- Cover and cook on lowest heat for 5 minutes to let the paneer cubes infuse with all the flavors. Serve the rice, creamy & delicious methi malai paneer warm with naans or rotis! Enjoy!