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Paneer Masala Dhaba Style | Restaurant style paneer masala

Paneer Masala Dhaba style is a spicy and delicious Indian paneer recipe. This lip smacking dhaba style gravy is made with fresh cottage cheese/ paneer dunked in rich masaledar onion-tomato thick gravy; perfect to be mopped with a tandoori roti or naan.
Prep Time8 mins
Cook Time35 mins
Course: dinner, lunch, Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine: Indian, North Indian
Keyword: dhaba wala paneer masala, homemade paneer masala, paneer masala, restaurant paneer masala
Servings: 4 people
Author: [email protected] Bong


  • large thick bottomed pan/ large Kadhai
  • mixer grinder


  • 250 grams Paneer/ Cottage cheese cubed
  • 1 large Onion (approx 1 cup) super finely chopped
  • 2 large Tomato pureed
  • 3 tbsp Yogurt (Greek/Natural) whisked
  • 2-3 Green chillies Chopped
  • 1/2 inch Ginger finely chopped
  • 3-4 large Garlic finely chopped
  • 1/4 tsp Turmeric powder plus 1/4 tsp for marinating the paneer cheese
  • 1 tsp Kashmiri chilli powder
  • 1 tsp Chilli powder
  • 1 tsp Cumin powder
  • 2 tsp Coriander powder
  • 2 tsp Kasoori methi
  • 1/2 tsp Garam masala
  • 1/2 tsp Sugar/ Sweetener optional
  • Salt (as per taste)
  • 1 tbsp Ghee
  • 2 -3 tbsp Veg Oil/ Sunflower oil


  • 1 inch Cinnamon sticks
  • 4-5 Green Cardamoms
  • 5-6 Cloves
  • 2 Bay Leaves
  • 2 Dried Red Chillies
  • 1/2 Cumin seeds
  • Pinch of hing (asofoetida)


  • Marinate the paneer cubes with salt and turmeric powder.
  • Heat 2 tbsp of oil in a large thick bottomed pan when hot add the marinated panner and fry until golden brown. Remove with a slotted spoon and keep it aside.
  • In the same pan add the ghee and the rest of the oil on medium heat and temper it with bay leaves, dried red chillies, cinnamon, cardamons, cloves, hing/asofoetida and cumin seeds.
  • Toss in the chopped onion and sauté for 8-10 minutes until golden brown.
  • Then add the chopped ginger, garlic and green chillies and continue sautéing for 2-3 minutes.
  • Sauté or Bhuno the masala really well on medium high heat stirring continuously it should be lovely and golden brown just like this before adding the tomato.
  • Now add the tomato puree along with some salt and sauté everything on medium high heat.
  • Cook until all the tomato juices are dried up and the masala is cooked through. You will see oil separating from the sides. it takes around 7-8 minutes.
  • Now add chilli powder, coriander, turmeric and cumin powder along with 2 tablespoon water and sauté for 1-2 minutes.
  • Next step is to add the yogurt to the masala so before adding the yogurt lower the heat lowest setting and slowly add 1 tbsp of yogurt to the masala mixing constantly. This will bring down the temperature instantly. Then slowly pour the yogurt, mixing continuously. This will make sure that the yogurt doesn’t get curdled and you get a lovely creamy sauce. If you are afraid of curdled yogurt then whisk in a teaspoon of gram flour/besan with the yogurt and then add it to the masaa
  • Sauté for 3-4 minutes until you see oil separating from the masala. Next add the garam masala and kasoori methi (dried fenugreek leaves) and sugar and sauté for another 2 minutes. Check the seasoning and add salt and sugar if required.
  • Now add 3/4 cup of water to the masala and bring it to a boil.
  • Add the fried paneer along sugar with in it and simmer for 5 minutes.
  • Adjust the consistency of the masala as per your liking. It is on a thicker side perfect to be mopped with roti or naan.
  • Garnish with coriander leaves and ginger juliennes and serve it hot with tandoori roti.