Restaurant Style Paneer Korma (Post 4: Paneer Series)

Bring those restaurant flavors at home. This creamy and luscious Paneer Korma is also sure to impress your guests at your next get-together.

Paneer is one of my favorite dish to order whenever I visit an Indian restaurant. Back in 2019, on my visit to India, we went to a local Indian restaurant. Paneer was on the menu too so I had to order that. It was incredibly delicious: having the right balance of spices and aromas, the creamy texture and the flavors. The taste stayed with me.

Recipe Trials

I wanted to recreate those flavors, and so the recipe trials began. Initially, I tried 2 recipes simultaneously using different ingredients. The flavors were good but it wasn’t the same as the one I had at the restaurant. After we were done with our meals, we had some leftovers from both curries. What I did was mix both into one bowl for easier storing. When I tried the mixed curry, I was surprised. It was just the taste I was looking for. And so, our paneer korma was born.

Ingredients at a glance

The ingredient list might look extensive, but do not get overwhelmed looking at it. We prepare our spice mix in advance which saves time and stress while cooking. Read notes below if you are not sure where to find the ingredients.

Notes:

  • Green cardamom powder: You can make your own at home by removing the cover of green cardamom and grinding the seeds using a grinder or a mortar and pestle.
  • Deghi red chili powder: You will find it at Indian stores. It’s usually available in a boxed container. You can also replace it with Kashmiri red chili powder or cayenne pepper. If using cayenne pepper, the color of the curry will differ.
  • Full fat yogurt: Do not use skimmed yogurt. Full fat yogurt gives the curry a nice creaminess and also helps to cook the spices by rendering its fat.
  • Kewra water: This ingredient gives the curry the typical restaurant taste. You can find it at Indian stores.
  • Kasuri methi: These are dried fenugreek leaves. Available at Indian stores in a boxed container.
  • Garam Masala: I prefer to use my homemade garam masala. If you do not have home made, use a good quality store bought one.
  • Paneer: I usually make my paneer at home following this recipe. It’s creamier and more flavorful than store bought. But if you do not have time to make your own paneer, you can buy it from the fridge/freezer section on an Indian store as well. If using frozen paneer, make sure to thaw it before frying.
  • Cream: I use whipping cream (known as Schlagsahne in German) which has 30% fat. Do not use fat reduced cream as it will affect the texture of the recipe.

Watch the video instruction to easily follow the recipe:

Restaurant Style Paneer Korma

Bring the restaurant flavors at home with this rich and creamy paneer korma.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Servings 4 persons

Equipment

  • Blender or stab mixer

Ingredients
  

  • 1 big white onion
  • 1-2 green chilies (adjust to preferred spice level)
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 5 cm piece of ginger

For the spice mix:

  • 1 cup (200 grams) Full fat yogurt
  • ½ tsp green cardamom powder
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • tsp cinnamon powder
  • tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp deghi/ Kashmiri red chili powder
  • ¼ tsp white pepper powder
  • tsp salt

Other ingredients:

  • 1 tsp + 1 Tbsp ghee (separated)
  • 300 grams paneer
  • 10 pieces (20 grams) cashew nuts
  • 2 cups (500 ml) water
  • ½ tsp kasuri methi
  • ¼ tsp garam masala
  • 1 cup (200 grams) cream with 30% fat (schlagsahne)
  • 1-2 tsp brown sugar (optional)
  • 1 tsp kewra water

Instructions
 

Preparation: 10 minutes

  • Peel and roughly dice the onion, garlic and ginger. Slice the green chili. Cut the paneer into bite-sized cubes.
  • Mix all the ingredients listed under 'spice mix' together to make a homogenous mixture. Keep aside.

Cooking: 30 minutes

  • Put a big, non-stick pan on medium heat and add 1 tsp of ghee into it. Once hot, place the paneer pieces all over and fry until golden brown on at least 2 sides. Transfer to a plate and keep aside.
  • Put the pan back on medium heat and add 2 Tbsp of ghee. Once its hot, add the chopped onion, chili, ginger and garlic. Saute for 2-3 minutes on medium heat until the onion starts to develop brown edges. (Do not fully brown the onion).
  • Add the prepared spice mix. Saute and cook on medium heat for 4-5 minutes until all liquid evaporates.
  • Once the liquid has evaporated and the mixture looks glossy, add the cashews along with 500 ml of water. Cover and let cook for 5 minutes.
  • Once 5 minutes are up, transfer to a bowl and let it cool down. Once it slightly cools put into a blender and blend until smooth. (If using a stab mixer you don't have to wait for the mixture to cool down).
  • Transfer the blended mixture back to the pan and turn heat on low. Once it starts to bubble, add the cream, kasuri methi and garam masala. Mix well.
  • Add the fried paneer and mix gently. Do a taste check at this point and adjust the seasoning or add more chili or garam masala if needed. Optionally, you can also add some sugar at this point to balance out the flavors. Let cook on low heat for 2 minutes, then turn off heat.
  • Add the kewra water and mix gently to combine.
  • Sprinkle some kasuri methi for garnish and serve with naan, chapati or rice.

Notes

You can make this dish ahead of time. In that case store the paneer (after frying) and the prepared curry sauce separately. Before serving heat the curry and add the paneer. Cook for 2-3 minutes, then serve. 
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