A Paneer Recipes collection that will help you to decide what to make with a block of paneer. Find 90 Indian Paneer Recipes ranging from breakfast, snacks, sweets and main course. From these extensive list of paneer recipes, choose the recipe that you want to make depending on the availability of ingredients and the time you have.
Paneer is a fresh, non-aged cheese that is made by curdling hot milk with a food acid like lemon juice or vinegar. The curdled and coagulated milk particles are collected in a muslin to drain the extra whey. Either the muslin bundle is kept under a heavy weighted object or it is hung over a hook or the kitchen sink faucet handle for the whey to be drained.
Once all the whey is drained what you get is a block of fresh cheese which you can cut into cubes. Paneer does not melt on cooking. Paneer is firm and can be cut into blocks or cubes or any shape that you prefer. It can also be grated, shredded or scrambled.
In the Indian cuisine, you will find many dishes where paneer is either added in cubes, triangles, squares or other shapes. You will also find recipes made with scrambled or grated paneer.
Being a versatile ingredient it can be added to any recipe for some protein boost. In most of these recipes paneer is the hero ingredient. Paneer is included in the meals as it is a good source of calcium and protein for many vegetarians.
Paneer is also known as Indian cottage cheese. Though it has a different texture than the cottage cheese that is available outside India.
While paneer is easily available in stores, making it at home is super easy and gives you the best homemade paneer without any added fillers, preservatives or additives.
I list some paneer substitutes below that you can sub when you are out of paneer. Do note that with a few of these substitutes some modifications or changes will be needed in the recipe.
- Cottage Cheese:
- Paneer can be swapped with cottage cheese where the paneer has been scrambled and added to the dish. But cottage cheese can be swapped with paneer only in some recipes where grated or scrambled paneer is used.
- Ricotta Cheese:
- The other substitute for paneer is ricotta cheese which works well in many recipes. Remember to drain the ricotta cheese well before using it in the recipe.
- For a vegan substitute, firm or extra firm tofu is the best option in these recipes. Tofu works well as it does not melt or disintegrate while cooking. Simply press and remove the extra water or moisture from the tofu by keeping a heavy weight on it. You could also pan fry tofu before adding in the dish.
- Plant based Options:
- Though not exactly a substitute, Button Mushrooms and unripe Jackfruit also work well in some recipes, where a soft meaty texture is needed. So you can take a call when making these recipes and replacing paneer cubes with button mushrooms or raw unripe jackfruit. Though for jackfruit you have to cook them prior to adding in the dish. So you can either steam, sauté or boil them. For some recipes, you may have to cook the mushrooms earlier by sautéing or stir-frying them before adding to the dish.
Featured Paneer Recipe
One of the most popular and a favorite Indian paneer recipe is Paneer Butter Masala. A smooth, velvety, creamy tomato based gravy with soft and succulent paneer cubes. The dish is a vegetarian take on Butter Chicken but fairly easy to make than butter chicken. This paneer recipe is so popular that is often included in the menu of many Indian restaurants.
Paneer Butter Masala Recipe
Paneer Butter Masala is one of India’s most popular paneer recipe. This recipe with Indian cottage cheese cubes in a creamy tomato sauce is a best one that I have been making for a long time.
For cashew paste
- ▢18 to 20 whole cashews
- ▢⅓ cup hot water for soaking cashews
For tomato puree
- ▢2 cups diced tomatoes or 300 grams tomatoes or 4 to 5 medium size – pureed
For ginger-garlic paste
- ▢1 inch ginger
- ▢3 to 4 medium -sized garlic cloves
- ▢2 tablespoon butter or 1 tablespoon oil + 1 or 2 tablespoons butter
- ▢1 tej patta (Indian bay leaf) – optional
- ▢½ to 1 teaspoon kashmiri red chili powder or deghi mirch or ¼ to ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper or paprika
- ▢1.5 cups water or add as required
- ▢1 inch ginger – julienned, reserve a few for garnish
- ▢1 or 2 green chili – slit, reserve a few for garnish
- ▢200 to 250 grams paneer (Indian cottage cheese) – cubed or diced
- ▢1 teaspoon kasuri methi (dry fenugreek leaves) – optional
- ▢½ to 1 teaspoon garam masala or tandoori masala
- ▢2 to 3 tablespoons low-fat cream or half & half or 1 to 2 tablespoons heavy cream – optional
- ▢¼ to 1 teaspoon sugar – optional, add as required depending on the sourness of the tomatoes
- ▢salt as required
- ▢1 to 2 tablespoons chopped coriander leaves (cilantro ) – optional
- ▢a few ginger julienne
- ▢1 tablespoon low fat cream or 1 tablespoon heavy cream – optional
- ▢1 to 2 teaspoons butter – optional