Nawabi Paneer
Nawabi Paneer
5 from 1 vote
Nawabi Paneer, a classic dish, offers an exquisite blend of flavours and spices. This recipe, easy to follow, transforms everyday ingredients into a delightful meal. Ideal for both beginners and seasoned cooks, it's a gateway to traditional Indian cuisine.
Nawaabi Paneer

Nawabi Paneer, a dish as regal as its name, hails from the royal kitchens of India. Its origins are as rich as its flavours, tracing back to the Mughal era, known for its luxurious and aromatic cuisine.  

This recipe holds a special place in the hearts of paneer lovers, captivating with its creamy texture and a symphony of spices. 

Crafting Nawabi Paneer isn’t just about following steps; it’s an art of balancing flavours. The level of difficulty lies in the finesse needed to blend spices and yogurt without curdling. But fear not, as this dish is quite forgiving and allows room for experimentation. 

Variations of Nawabi Paneer across regions add to its charm. Some prefer a tangier taste with added tomatoes, while others enjoy a richer version with cream. Each variation holds its uniqueness, yet they all share the heart of this delightful dish. 

Engaging in the preparation of Nawabi Paneer is like taking a trip through India’s culinary heritage. The golden fried onions, the aromatic garlic and ginger, and the soft paneer cubes drenched in a spiced yogurt sauce, all speak of the richness of Indian cuisine.  

Every ingredient in this recipe plays a crucial role, from the paneer providing a soft, chewy texture, to the spices that offer depth and warmth. 

The blend of cumin, coriander, turmeric, and red chilli powder creates a vibrant colour and a taste that is both earthy and slightly hot. The addition of garam masala towards the end elevates the dish to a royal status, offering a hint of sweetness and warmth.  

The yogurt, whisked to creamy perfection, not only adds to the texture but also balances the spices, ensuring the dish is not overpoweringly hot. 

As I guide you through the preparation of Nawabi Paneer, you will find that each step is an opportunity to experience the magic of Indian cooking. Whether you’re a beginner or an expert in the kitchen, this dish promises a delightful cooking experience and an even more delightful eating experience. 

Remember, the secret to a great Nawabi Paneer lies in the quality of the paneer and the balance of spices. So, gather your ingredients, and let’s embark on this culinary journey. 

The result will be a dish that not only looks appealing with its rich, creamy sauce and vibrant colours but also tastes like a piece of Indian royalty on your plate. 

Expert Tip: For a richer flavour in Nawabi Paneer, try frying the paneer lightly in oil before adding it to the sauce. This step enhances the texture and taste, giving the paneer a slight crispiness. 

What Ingredients to Use & Why

Before we start breaking down the ingredients, let’s remember that each one adds its unique touch to Nawabi Paneer, making the dish rich in flavour and texture. 

Paneer: The main component, paneer, is crucial for its mild, milky flavour and firm yet soft texture. It absorbs the spices beautifully, becoming the highlight of the dish. If paneer is not available, firm tofu can be a good alternative, offering a similar texture. 

Onions: Onions bring a natural sweetness and depth when caramelized. They form the base of the sauce, imparting a rich, golden hue. For a milder taste, shallots can be used as they are sweeter and less pungent. 

Garlic and Ginger: These aromatics are key in Indian cooking. Garlic adds a pungent depth, while ginger offers a warm, zesty note. If fresh garlic or ginger is not handy, powdered versions can be used, though the fresh ones are preferable for their vibrant flavours. 

Plain Yogurt: Yogurt gives the dish its creamy texture and slight tanginess, balancing the spices. Greek yogurt can be used as an alternative for a thicker, richer sauce. 

Ground Cumin and Coriander: These spices offer earthy and floral notes, essential in creating the dish’s signature taste. Cumin provides warmth, while coriander brings a slight citrusy touch. If unavailable, a general curry powder can be a substitute, though it will slightly alter the taste. 

Ground Turmeric: Turmeric is important for its colour and mild, woody flavour. It has health benefits as well, being an anti-inflammatory agent. 

Red Chilli Powder: This spice adds heat to the dish. It can be adjusted according to taste or substituted with paprika for a milder version. 

Garam Masala: This blend of spices adds a hint of sweetness and warmth, completing the dish’s flavour profile. Each garam masala blend is unique, so it adds a personal touch to the dish. 

Cooking Oil: A medium for cooking, it brings everything together. Vegetable oil is commonly used, but ghee can be substituted for a richer flavour. 

Salt: Salt is essential for enhancing all the other flavours in the dish. It should be adjusted according to taste. 

Fresh Coriander Leaves: Used as a garnish, they add a fresh, herbal note, contrasting the creamy texture of the dish. 

Expert Tip: To ensure the spices don’t burn while cooking, add a splash of water when sautéing them. This helps in releasing their flavours more effectively and prevents them from sticking to the pan. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I make Nawabi Paneer ahead of time? 

Absolutely! Nawabi Paneer can be prepared in advance. If you’re planning to serve it later, just reheat it gently before serving. Be cautious not to overheat as the paneer can become hard. 

What can I serve with Nawabi Paneer? 

Nawabi Paneer pairs beautifully with naan, roti, or steamed rice. Its creamy sauce complements the softness of bread or the fluffiness of rice, making for a balanced meal

How can I make my Nawabi Paneer more flavourful? 

For an even more flavourful dish, consider marinating the paneer in a mix of yogurt and spices for a few hours before cooking. This allows the paneer to absorb the flavours deeply. 

Is there a vegan alternative for paneer in this recipe? 

Yes, for a vegan version, you can replace paneer with firm tofu. It’s a great substitute as it has a similar texture and soaks up the flavours just like paneer. 

Can I adjust the spice level in this recipe? 

Certainly! Feel free to adjust the amount of red chilli powder to suit your taste. If you prefer a milder dish, reduce the chilli powder or use paprika instead. 

How do I store leftover Nawabi Paneer? 

Leftover Nawabi Paneer can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Just ensure it’s cooled to room temperature before storing. 

Is Nawabi Paneer suitable for children? 

Nawabi Paneer can be a great dish for children, just make sure to adjust the spice levels to make it more kid-friendly. You might want to reduce the chilli powder and garam masala. 

How can I make Nawabi Paneer creamier? 

If you prefer a creamier texture, you can add a bit of cream or coconut milk towards the end of cooking. This will give the dish a richer, more luxurious feel. 

Expert Tip: Always use fresh ginger and garlic for Nawabi Paneer. The freshness of these ingredients significantly uplifts the overall taste and aroma of the dish, making a noticeable difference. 

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Nawaabi Paneer

Nawabi Paneer

by Nabeela Kauser
Nawabi Paneer, a classic dish, offers an exquisite blend of flavours and spices. This recipe, easy to follow, transforms everyday ingredients into a delightful meal. Ideal for both beginners and seasoned cooks, it's a gateway to traditional Indian cuisine. 
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine Indian, Pakistani
Servings 4
Calories 297 kcal


  • 250 g Paneer cubed
  • 2 Onions finely chopped
  • 2 cloves Garlic minced
  • 1- inch Ginger grated
  • 150 g Yoghurt
  • 1 tsp Cumin Powder
  • 1 tsp Coriander Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Turmeric Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Chilli Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Garam Masala
  • 2 tbsp Oil
  • Salt to taste
  • Coriander for garnish


  • In a bowl, whisk the yogurt until smooth and set it aside.
  • Heat the cooking oil in a pan over medium heat. Add the chopped onions and sauté until they turn golden brown.
  • Add the minced garlic and grated ginger to the pan. Sauté for another 2 minutes until the raw smell disappears.
  • Reduce the heat to low and add the ground cumin, ground coriander, ground turmeric, red chilli powder, and salt. Stir well for 2-3 minutes until the spices are well combined.
  • Add the whisked yogurt to the spice mixture and continue to cook, stirring constantly, until the oil separates from the yogurt. This may take around 5-7 minutes.
  • Gently add the cubed paneer to the yogurt and spice mixture. Stir carefully to coat the paneer with the sauce. Cook for an additional 5 minutes, allowing the paneer to absorb the flavours.
  • Sprinkle garam masala over the Nawaabi Paneer and give it a final stir.
  • Garnish with fresh coriander leaves.
  • Serve hot with naan or steamed rice.


Nutritional facts:
The provision of nutritional information is done so merely as a courtesy and should not be taken as a guarantee.


Calories: 297kcalCarbohydrates: 10gProtein: 11gFat: 24gSaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 0.03gCholesterol: 46mgSodium: 41mgPotassium: 178mgFibre: 1gSugar: 4gVitamin A: 119IUVitamin C: 5mgVitamin D: 0.04µgCalcium: 371mgIron: 1mg
Keyword Cheese, Cooking, Curry, Food, Paneer, Recipe, Vegetarian
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Cook with Nabeela

Hi, I'm Nabeela!

I love to cook! I want to share with you my favourite, delicious family-friendly recipes. I want to inspire you to create fantastic food for your family every day.

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