Mughlai Paneer (Cottage Cheese in Rich Onion-Tomato Gravy)

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Mughlai Paneer

This recipe is very, very dear to my heart for sentimental reasons.

The first cookbook I ever bought on my own (that is, not with my mother in tow) was Nita Mehta’s Paneer Recipes. I was fascinated by the range of recipes she had in the book. More importantly, it was a very affordable book, yet was glossy enough with lots of pictures et al. 🙂 You see I was an Engineering student with limited funds.

The first dish I every tried from this book was Mughlai Paneer. This is a recipe that is adapted from that recipe.

This dish has a sweetish taste because of the onion gravy that is its base but is very light on spices. The recipe calls for fried paneer, but I prefer not to fry the Paneer but that adds to the sweetish taste of the dish.


  1. Paneer or Cottage Cheese – 250 gms
  2. Onions – 5 Large
  3. Tomato – 2 Large
  4. Dahi or Yoghurt – 1/2 Cup
  5. Khus Khus or Poppy Seeds – 1 tbsp
  6. Cashew Nuts – 12
  7. Chilli Powder – 1/2 tsp
  8. Garam Masala – 1 tsp
  9. Oil – 5 tbsp
  10. Salt to Taste


  1. Soak the khus khus in 3 tbsp of water for 30 mins.
  2. Cut the Paneer into 3/4″ cubes.
  3. Blanch the Tomatoes.
    1. Boil 1/2 litre of water.
    2. Drop the tomatoes in the hot water.
    3. Cover and let rest for 5 minutes.
    4. Remove the tomatoes from the hot water.
  4. Peel the blanched tomatoes and puree.
  5. Peel and slice the onions.
  6. In a shallow pan, heat 2 tbsp oil.
  7. Shallow fry the paneer till golden brown.
  8. Remove from the oil and set aside.
  9. To the same pan, add 1 tbsp oil.
  10. Add the sliced onion and 1/2 tsp salt.
  11. Fry till golden brown.
  12. Remove the onion from the oil and grind to a smooth paste.
  13. Add back to the oil and fry till light brown.
  14. Grind the soaked khus khus and cashews to a fine paste.
  15. Add to the onion paste and fry for 5 minutes.
  16. Add the tomato puree and fry till light brown.
  17. Beat the yoghurt till it is smooth and add to the onion-tomato paste.
  18. Fry till brown.
  19. Add the chilli powder and garam masala.
  20. Fry for a minute.
  21. Add enough water to make a thick gravy.
  22. Add the fried Paneer and simmer for 5 minutes.
  23. Serve hot with rotis.

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