You’ll love this Restaurant style methi malai paneer recipe! The rich, creamy gravy is made from onions, cashews, almonds, and heavy cream. It has a hint of bitterness from fresh fenugreek leaves (methi) without getting overpowering.
This is one of my go-to paneer recipes and for good reason, it will always leave you craving more!
What is methi malai paneer?
Methi=fenugreek leaves, Malai=heavy cream, Paneer=Indian cottage cheese. If you put all these together, it means creamy, mild to medium spicy gravy with fenugreek leaves and paneer.
If you are not familiar, fenugreek leaves have a bitter taste. Every bunch of leaves has a different level of bitterness. So taste one leaf and decide. If yours are really bitter then follow this method to get rid some of the bitterness. Take washed leaves in a colander, sprinkle salt on it. Mix it lightly and let it sit for 10 minutes. Then squeeze out as much water as you can. Then chop and use in the recipe. Here in the USA, I never that bitter leaves. So I always skip this step.
- Made with dried fenugreek leaves (kasoori methi). I have seen many recipes online but never tried it.
- Made with fresh methi leaves. I am sharing this version today. I like this one better because it uses fresh greens. As you know fresh ones have better taste and flavor. I have also added dried ones (just a teaspoon) in this methi malai paneer recipe just like added in all the restaurant style gravies.
Step By Step Photo Instructions:
1). Soak almonds and cashews in warm water for 10-15 minutes. Meantime prep rest of the ingredients.
2) Then make a smooth paste of cashew-almonds. NOTE: I have kept the almond skin on, so you will see paste is not smooth. But in the end you will see, it won’t make much difference in curry consistency. So if you want you can peel the almonds. Yes, if I can skip the step without compromising, of course, I will skip it.
3) In a saucepan, take onion paste ingredients (onion, ginger, garlic, green chili, and water). Turn the gas on medium heat.
4) Let it simmer for 15-20 minutes or till onions turn soft.
5) Let it cool down a bit.
6) Then make a smooth puree out of it. If there is too much water then you can drain some out.
7) Now heat the oil in a pan on medium heat. Once hot add bay leaf, cinnamon stick, and cloves. Saute for a minute, you will get a nice aroma of spices.
8) Then mix in prepared onion paste, sprinkle some salt. Cook till all the moisture is evaporated and it starts to leave the sides of the pan. Do stir in between.
9) Add red chili powder, turmeric powder, and coriander powder.
10) Mix well and cook for a minute.
11) Add chopped methi leaves.
12) Mix well and cook for a minute.
13) Add water.
14) Let it simmer for 3-4 minutes, so methi leaves get cooked.
15) Add prepared cashew-almond paste.
16) Mix well and bring to a simmer.
17) Add garam masala and crushed kasoori methi. Mix well.
18) Mix in paneer pieces. let it simmer for 2-3 minutes. Add more water if needed to get your liking gravy consistency.
19) Lastly, add heavy cream.
20) Let it come to a simmer and then turn off the stove heat.
- The gravy itself is so delicious, if you skip adding methi leaves then the dish will be malai paneer. Of course, it will taste good.
- You can add boiled or steamed green peas instead of paneer. I already posted methi matar malai recipe which is mild compared to this recipe. So If you want your methi matar malai little spicier then use this recipe.
Did you try this methi malai paneer recipe? I’d love to hear about it! Leave a review in the comment section below.
Methi Malai Paneer Recipe (Restaurant style)
For cashew-almond paste:
- 5 Cashew nuts
- 5 Almonds
- 3-4 tablespoons Warm water
For onion paste:
- 1 medium or 1 cup Red onion sliced
- ½ inch Ginger chopped
- 1 clove Garlic chopped
- 1 Green chili slit
- ¾ cup Water
For methi malai paneer recipe:
- 2 tablespoons Oil
- 1 Bay leaf
- 2 Cloves
- ½ inch Cinnamon stick
- 1 ½ teaspoon Red chili powder
- ¼ teaspoon Turmeric powder
- 1 teaspoon Coriander powder
- Salt to taste
- 1 cup Fenugreek leaves (methi leaves) plucked, measured, washed and then chopped
- ½ cup Water
- ¼ teaspoon Garam masala
- 1 teaspoon Kasoori methi (dried fenugreek leaves) crushed
- 200 grams or 7 oz Paneer cut lengthwise or cubes
- ¼ cup Heavy whipping cream if using malai then use 2 tablespoons as malai is thick and rich compared to heavy whipping cream
Making the cashew-almond paste:
- Soak almonds and cashews in warm water for 10-15 minutes. Meantime prep all the ingredients.
- After that make a smooth paste out of it. If you want you can peel the almonds.
Making onion paste:
- Take onion paste ingredients in a pan. Turn the heat on medium heat.
- Let it simmer for 15-20 minutes or till onions turn soft.
- Let it cool down a bit. Then make a smooth puree out of it. If there is too much water then you can drain some out before grinding.
Making methi malai paneer recipe:
- Now heat the oil in a pan on medium heat. Once hot add bay leaf, cinnamon stick, and cloves. Saute for a minute.
- Then mix in prepared onion paste, sprinkle some salt.
- Cook it till all the moisture is evaporated and it starts to leave the sides of the pan. Do stir in between.
- Add red chili powder, turmeric powder, and coriander powder. Mix well and cook for a minute.
- Add chopped methi leaves. Mix well and cook for a minute.
- Add water. Let it simmer for 3-4 minutes, so methi leaves get cooked.
- Stir in the prepared cashew-almond paste. bring to a simmer.
- Add garam masala and crushed kasoori methi. Mix well.
- Mix in paneer pieces. let it simmer for 2-3 minutes.
- Add more water if needed to get your liking gravy consistency.
- Lastly, add heavy cream.
- Mix, let it come to a simmer and then turn off the stove heat.
- Pluck the methi leaves, wash really well and keep in the bowl or colander.
- Sprinkle salt over it and let it rest for 10 minutes.
- During this time leaves will ooze out the water. Squeeze it and remove excess water.
- Chop them and use in the recipe.