Dhaba style paneer masala

Dhaba style paneer masala is a spicy cottage cheese gravy made with well roasted onion and tomato based masala with yoghurt and chickpea flour.

‘Dhabas’ are a road side 24 hours restaurant popular in the northern part of Indian Subcontinent. Precisely Punjab region.
They are usually found on the highways and serve the local food around that area for the travelers and truck drivers commuting those highways.

The Dhaba style food is so popular as it has a unique taste to it. If you ask a South Indian he can relate it to “road side kadai” to North Indian dhabas.

Dining at a dhaba restaurant is a unique experience. Some of them bring the closest feel to dining in a dhaba using wooden and thread woven furnitures. serving is traditional brass ware or steel thalis (Plates).

how to make Dhaba style paneer masala

Another popular dhaba style recipe are tandoori recipes. Which is a clay oven pit in which marinated chicken or meat is cooked.

This Dhaba style paneer masala is one of those recipes inspired by all the yummy Dhaba style gravies I had eaten at a restaurant and I hope some day, I get to taste the authentic Dhaba food.

So, if you have frequented indian restaurants you may realize that dhaba style recipes are widely popular all over the world.

How to make Dhaba style paneer masala

I have tried making paneer masalas in many ways and when researching, I realized that all Dhaba recipes have roasted chickpea flour in it.

Which adds a lovely thickness to the gravy. So how is it different from Paneer Butter Masala ? Is that it doesn’t use cashews in it. Instead uses yoghurt and roasted chickpea flour to bring the creamy masala texture.

Dhaba style recipes usually involves well roasting the spices and the onions and tomatoes which adds to the tastes. Also beware it is a recipe which uses oil generously.

how to make Dhaba style paneer masala

Check out other paneer recipes

Chilli Paneer

Kadai Paneer | How to make kadai paneer

Palak Paneer | How to make palak Paneer

Paneer Butter Masala

Tomato Paneer Pulao

Ingredients required

  • Onion finely chopped (medium Sized)
  • Tomatoes puréed (medium sized)
  • Ginger garlic paste 
  • Chickpea flour or besan 
  • Oil 
  • Ghee 
  • Cumin seeds
  • Bay leaf 
  • Cloves 
  • Cinnamon stick 
  • Salt (to taste)
  • Red chilli powder 
  • Corriander powder 
  • Cumin powder 
  • Garam Masala 
  • Turmeric powder 
  • Water 
  • yoghurt 
  • Kasuri methi 

To marinate :

  • Red chilli powder 
  • Turmeric powder 
  • Salt
  • Garam masala 
  • Cumin powder 
  • Paneer

Prep work before you begin

Puree the tomatoes

Take the time and finely chop the onions or grate it.

Make Ginger Garlic paste.

Tips

Skip besan if you want but most dhaba style recipes have chickpea flour and adds a nice thickness to the gravy 

The final dollop of ghee adds a nice taste to the gravy. Don’t skip it.

Vegan Version

You can make a completely vegan version out of by replacing paneer with firm tofu and yoghurt with dairy free yoghurt. Add olive butter in the place of ghee.

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Shelf life

Stores well for uptown 3 days.

Pictorial recipe (step by step)

Firstly, marinate the paneer pieces in turmeric powder, salt, red chilli powder, Cumin powder, garam masala and let it rest for 15 minutes.

Heat a pan, add some oil about 2 tbsp and add the marinated paneer pieces and cook on all sized until the paneer is slightly roasted and soft.  

Measure the water and add it to the curry base and cook it until the curry thickens a little. This will take about 10 minutes on medium flame. 

Check for salt and adjust if needed. 

Finally add ghee, roasted paneer pieces, hand crushed kasuri methi or dried fenugreek leaves and keep the flame on low and cover and simmer for 5 minutes. 

Turn off the flame and serve it hot with rice or your favorite indian bread. 

Heat another pan and add chick pea flour to it. Roast it well, until aromatic and remove it to a bowl. 

Clean the same pan and keep ready to use again.

Heat the pan to medium flame, add oil, cumin seeds, cloys, bay leaf, cinnamon stick and saute for a few seconds. 

Add finely chopped onions, add some salt to cook the onions until slightly browned.

Next, add the roasted chickpea flour to the pan and mix it in. 

After that add, the ginger garlic paste, the spice powders – red chilli powder, coriander powder, garam masala, turmeric powder, cumin powder and mix it in and roast it well in the onion mixture until well in the oil. 

Next add the pureed tomatoes and cover and cook for about 10 minutes on medium flame or until the tomatoes are well cooked and oil starts to separate on the sides. 

Add yoghurt and mix it in. 

how to make Dhaba style paneer masala

How to eat

Serve this dhaba Style paneer masala with pulao or rot or homemade naan.

how to make Dhaba style paneer masala
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Dhaba style Paneer Masala

Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time35 mins
Total Time50 mins
Course: Main Course, Main Dish
Cuisine: Indian, North Indian, Punjabi
Keyword: aloo side dish, Dhaba style, Paneer Recipes, vegetarian
Servings: 4 people

Equipment

  • Pans with a lid

Ingredients

  • 2 medium sized Onion (finely chopped)
  • 3 medium sized Tomatoes (puréed)
  • 1 tsp Ginger garlic paste
  • 1 tbsp Chickpea flour or besan
  • 4-5 tbsp Oil
  • 1 tsp Ghee
  • 1 tsp Cumin seeds
  • 1 small Bay leaf
  • 3-4 no.s Cloves
  • 1 inch Cinnamon stick
  • Salt (to taste)
  • 1 tsp Red chilli powder
  • 1 tsp Corriander powder
  • 1 tsp Cumin powder
  • 1 tsp Garam Masala
  • 1/2 tsp Turmeric powder
  • 3/4 cup Water
  • 3 tbsp yoghurt
  • 1 tbsp Kasuri methi
  • To marinate :
  • 1 tsp red chilli powder
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 200 gms Paneer

Instructions

  • Firstly, marinate the paneer pieces in turmeric powder, salt, red chilli powder, Cumin powder, garam masala and let it rest for 15 minutes.
  • Heat a pan, add some oil about 2 tbsp and add the marinated paneer pieces and cook on all sized until the paneer is slightly roasted and soft.
  • Heat another pan and add chick pea flour to it. Roast it well, until aromatic and remove it to a bowl.
  • Clean the same pan and keep ready to use again.
  • Heat the pan to medium flame, add oil, cumin seeds, cloys, bay leaf, cinnamon stick and saute for a few seconds.
  • Aadd finely chopped onions, add some salt to cook the onions until slightly browned.
  • Next, add the roasted chickpea flour to the pan and mix it in.
  • After that add, the ginger garlic paste, the spice powders – red chilli powder, coriander powder, garam masala, turmeric powder, cumin powder and mix it in and roast it well in the onion mixture until well in the oil.
  • Next add the pureed tomatoes and cover and cook for about 10 minutes on medium flame or until the tomatoes are well cooked and oil starts to separate on the sides.
  • Add yoghurt and mix it in.
  • Measure the water and add it to the curry base and cook it until the curry thickens a little. This will take about 10 minutes on medium flame.
  • Check for salt and adjust if needed.
  • Finally add ghee, roasted paneer pieces, hand crushed kasuri methi or dried fenugreek leaves and keep the flame on low and cover and simmer for 5 minutes.
  • Turn off the flame and serve it hot with rice or your favorite indian bread.

Also check out other similar recipes

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Hi, I am Divya !
Hi, I am Divya !

 I am the author of this blog Soulsomecooking. Thank you for visiting my site. I love to share practical and easy to make recipes here. 

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