Paneer Lababdar The Simple Curry With Dynamite Flavor – Here’s How To Make It

Paneer Lababdar
Image credits: Nick Fewings via Unsplash

Lababdar is a dish from the Indian subcontinent. It is a type of curry that has been cooked in oil. The dish is made with paneer, potatoes, tomatoes, onions and spices. Today we want to dive into some of the aspects that make paneer lababdar unique and, of course, share the tasty recipe.

Where Did Paneer Lababdar Come From?

Some historical insights to the making of paneer lababdar recipe. 

The paneer lababdar dish originates from the Indian subcontinent, which has been around for centuries. 

The dish’s origins are unclear, but the cuisine was and continues to be loved in many Indus homes worldwide. Even if you weren’t Indian and just looking for something flavorful and vegetarian, this paneer might just become your favorite. 

How To Make Paneer Lababdar

The dish has many variations, and it is super versatile. You can make paneer lababdar with different types of cheese or vegetables. It can also be served as a side dish or as an appetizer.

Paneer lababdar is one of the popular recipes made in a pressure cooker. You can make lababdar using an instant pot or any other pressure cooker. It takes about 15 minutes to make from start to finish. That is time well spent and something delicious to eat in a jiffy. 

There are few things as delicious as making paneer and any food for that matter, the way it is made in a restaurant. So we’ve come up with the tasty version of paneer lababdar restaurant style


  • 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons of butter 
  • ½ teaspoon of cumin seeds
  • 2 green cardamoms 
  • Cinnamon stick 
  • A tablespoon of fine crushed ginger and garlic (you can use the paste)
  • 1 onion (chopped)
  • 2 teaspoons of green chillies (chopped)
  • 3 tomatoes (chopped) or one cup
  • 10 cashew nuts (soaked in hot water before using it)
  • 2 teaspoons coriander powder
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • ½ teaspoon garam masala powder
  • 2 teaspoons Kashmiri red chilli powder
  • Salt to taste 
  • 300g paneer (cut into small cubes)
  • 100g grated paneer
  • 300 ml milk
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoons lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons Kasuri methi


Now time to make the actual paneer lababdar tikka. We love this recipe, and we’re certain that you will too.

In a pan, heat the oil plus butter in a pan using high heat. Next, add cumin seeds, cardamom and cinnamon sticks, listen for it to crackle.

Next, add the onions and fry them until they’re soft. After 6 minutes and continuous stirring of the onions and dry spice, add the ginger and the garlic and continue to fry until the onions turn brown.

Next, add chillies, tomatoes and the cashews and fry these along with the rest for about 3 minutes. Take it off the heat and allow the mixture to cool down.

Transfer the fried now cooled mix to a blender to create a paste texture. 

After that, transfer the blended paste mixture to the pan you used to fry these ingredients. Add the dry spices (turmeric, kashmiri, coriander, garam masala, and salt) to taste on medium heat. Toast the spice without burning it for another 2 minutes.

Add a bit of water if you notice the spice is starting to burn to the pan.

Next, add the paneer and cover it with the masala mixture in the pan. Fry the paneer in this mixture for 2 minutes. Frying paneer too long can ultimately dry it out or make it go rubbery in texture or hard.

Add the honey, kashuri methi, lime juice and cream and let it cook a tiny bit. 

If the curry is too thick, add some water. Also, add salt to taste if needed. 

Serve the curry hot with flatbreads or steamed rice. Some people like basmati rice with their curries too.

Note: Some people also make paneer lababdar with cornstarch, vegetable broth and whole milk yoghurt.

Making Dhangar For Restaurant Style Paneer Lababdar – It’s Easy 

1- Heat some coal (food grade) on a gas stovetop. If you don’t have a gas stove, heat the coal until it burns red. It may take longer if it isn’t in contact with direct fire. 

2- Next, take the hot charcoal and put it in a metal bowl. Use tongs to handle the coal from one point to the other. The metal bowl might also be hot, and you can also use the oven gloves for that. 

3- Put the metal bowl with the hot coal in it into the pan where the curry is completed. Add some oil or ghee over the coal and you’ll see the smoke immerse from the coal. 

4- Cover the pan’s lid with the metal bowl still under and let it steam.

Nutritional Value For Making Paneer Lababdar

Calories 442Kcal, carbohydrates 18g, protein 14g, fat 35g, 

Saturated fat 22kg, cholesterol 72mg, sodium 207mg, potassium 336mg. 

Fiber 3g, sugar 9g, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, calcium, iron 1.3mg.

Advantages of Eating Paneer Lababdar

Paneer is a type of cheese that can be made from milk or water. Many people also use cottage cheese to make paneer from scratch. The milk-based paneer is more popular and has more health benefits.

Paneer is an excellent source of protein, calcium, and vitamin B12. It also has high levels of riboflavin, niacin, and vitamin A. Paneer is low in cholesterol and contains no lactose or gluten

  • The dish is vegetarian and can be adapted to vegan.
  • Paneer lababdar is wholesome and delicious 
  • It is easy to recreate this restaurant style paneer lababdar 
  • You can enjoy the meal with anything like rice, chapatis or naan. 
  • Paneer is packed with calcium and vitamin D as well as other minerals. 
  • Eating paneer is a good substitute to help you get your dietary protein intake.

Quickfire Tips

Tip #1 – To make a vegan version of paneer lababdar, substitute the dairy full-fat milk for coconut, almond or other plant-based milk. You can also use tofu instead of cottage cheese or other chee-based paneer. 

Tip #2 – If you’re using kasuri methi, you can swap this for dried fenugreek leaves and vice versa. You don’t have to use both ingredients. 

Tip #3 – You can also adapt this paneer lababdar recipe to exclude garlic and onion by using hing (asafoetida). 

Tip #4 – Always use a bit of water when frying spices, especially when it looks like it is starting to burn. Spices dry or powdered versions are prone to sticking and quickly burn if they’re not watched. 

Tip #5 – If you want the ultimate paneer lababdar restaurant style experience, you’ll have to add the dhungar smoking technique into the process. 


Instead of cashews, what can we use to make paneer lababdar?

We recommend using some seeds. Sunflower seeds are quite nice roasted.

For how long can you store paneer lababdar? 

You could store the paneer in the freezer for later use. You can also refrigerate the paneer and marinate it the day before. Set the paneer in the refrigerator and later on do the frying. Storage time for paneer lababdar is one to two days. Eating it fresher is better.

What goes well with paneer lababdar?

You can enjoy paneer lababdar with naan bread, chapatis or rice.

How many calories are there in paneer lababdar? 

There are about 250kcal and more calories in lababdar and it all depends on how many and what ingredients you use. This recipe contained butter, oil, paneer and cream and is estimated at over 400kcal.

Conclusion To Making Paneer Lababdar

Paneer lababdar is loved and passed on from one generation to the next. But it’s easy to see why this recipe wins so many tummies and taste buds over. As a bonus, the ingredients are relatively inexpensive and most Indus homes already have those ingredients in their pantries. 

Have you had a chance to make restaurant style paneer lababdar? We would like to hear all about your version and easiness rating.