Zafrani Malai Paneer

For the benefit of my non-Indian friends, Zafrani Malai Paneer refers to Indian cottage cheese cubes cooked in a delicate cashew and cream based gravy infused with the richness of saffron.

It sounds grand. I know. It is meant to.

This amazing recipe has the power to be a showstopper on your menu especially when having people over. I often use it as a ‘lift me up’ when I want to enjoy a special meal at home.

The secret lies in the boiled onions.

Zafrani Malai Paneer

Level of Cooking: Medium
Serves: 4
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes


400gms Paneer, cubed
2 medium Onions, boiled and blended
a handful of cashews, blended in half a cup of water to form a paste
2 tablespoons Vegetable oil
2 Green chillies, slit in the middle
1 teaspoon Ginger paste
1 teaspoon Garlic paste
1/2 cup Yogurt
1/2 cup Cream
3 Cloves
4 Black peppercorns
1 inch Cinnamon stick
1 Bay leaf
A pinch of Saffron (kesar)
1/4 teaspoon Cardamom powder
1/4 teaspoon Garam Masala powder
salt to taste


1. Heat oil in a non-stick pan and add cloves, peppercorns, cinnamon and bay leaf. Once they splutter, add the boiled onion paste and cook on low heat for 2 minutes.

2. Continue to keep on low flame. Add green chillies, ginger paste and garlic paste, and cook for 2 more minutes.

3. Add yoghurt and saffron. Cook for 5 minutes on high flame or till oil starts to separate.

4. Next add cardamom powder, garam masala, salt, cream and cashew paste. Let the flavours combine for a minute on low flame.

5. Lastly, add the paneer cubes and gently swirl. Enjoy with naan.


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