Whether you’re making a weeknight dinner for the family or hosting a party, this easy-to-make Methi Paneer recipe can felicitously adorn any mealtime. Paneer and Methi amalgamate in a very distinctive combination that makes this dish healthy and a delectably rich savory that perfectly harmonizes with spices and flavors.
Since paneer is a coveted nutriment and a front runner in every vegetarian meal, you can find a variety of exquisite paneer dishes in Indian restaurants.
Whether it be Paneer butter masala, paneer pasanda, or tawa paneer – kids and grown-ups alike often request paneer dishes for dinner. And the next addition to the endless paneer dishes on the authentic North Indian cuisine is Methi Paneer gravy.
What is Methi Paneer
In its literal meaning, Methi is Fenugreek leaves, and Paneer is the Indian cottage cheese.
Methi Paneer is an Indian curry dish prepared with Methi leaves and Paneer cooked in a flavourful gravy that is a harmonious blend of onions, tomatoes, and yogurt that tastes more like a restaurant-style; and looks luscious!
Fenugreek leaves are available all year round but are more abundant in the winters. They are rich in iron, folate, and antioxidants and make a great reservoir of these nutrients in a delectable way.
Paneer is rich in protein and calcium and is a healthy addition to the dish.
Reasons You’ll ♡ Methi Paneer Recipe
This delicious and nutrition-packed flavourful curry is a gratifying dish that is –
- Overloaded with nutrition and fiber
- Bursting with flavor with each bite you take, and
- Ready in just 30 minutes.
Fresh methi leaves lend a soft texture to the gravy and Paneer as the succulent addition contributes to a rich and delicious dish. In short, Methi Paneer gravy is a perfect medley of flavors and textures.
Ingredient list for Methi Paneer Recipe
This simple to prepare gravy dish verifies that the most comforting meals can be prepared with basic ingredients available in the kitchen and they are —
Paneer — Also known as the ‘Indian Cottage Cheese,’ Paneer is one of the significant ingredients of this recipe. I have cut the paneer pieces diagonally for this dish. You can cut them lengthwise as well.
Methi Leaves — Fenugreek leaves, also called Methi leaves in India, are rich in nutrients and are the star ingredient of this recipe. They bring an incredible twist to the whole recipe.
Onions — Onions lend a sweet and pungent flavor to the dish and are used as a base ingredient for the gravy. Together with other ingredients, Onions help to define the taste of the recipe perfectly.
Ginger-Garlic paste — Use fresh ginger and garlic, as they are meant to enhance the recipe’s flavor.
Tomatoes — Tomatoes are used to add some tanginess and a lot more creaminess and color to our dish.
Yogurt — Thick curd is used in this recipe for a creamy texture and a mild tangy flavor. You can substitute curd with cashew paste if you want a vegan variation. Cashews are also known to render a mild taste and creaminess to the recipe.
Spices — Whole spices (black cardamom, cloves, cumin seeds, bay leaves) and spices like coriander powder, garam masala, deggi mirch, and turmeric powder give a punch of flavors to the recipe. Adding these will lift the character of the whole recipe.
Dried Methi leaves (Kasuri methi) — Dried methi leaves lend their unique, intense flavor and aroma to the recipe.
Cilantro — Chopped cilantro is used for garnishing.
How to make Methi Paneer Recipe
This section walks you through a detailed step-by-step recipe with pictures. For the FULL, printable recipe card, please scroll down to the bottom of this post.
Clean Methi Leaves — Pluck the methi leaves from their stems and set them in a bowl. Discard the stem. Transfer the leaves to a huge bowl. Fill it up with water and salt (the salt helps to remove any impurities). Stir the leaves around a bit to loosen the lingering dirt or other pollutants.
Allow the leaves to soak in this saltwater for 3-4 minutes. This will help in settling all the dirt at the bottom of the bowl. Now carefully lift all the soaked methi leaves from the top and transfer them to a fresh, clean bowl. Discard the dirt water in which the leaves were soaked.
Now wash the greens thoroughly under running tap water 3-4 times until the water runs clear. Transfer the clean methi leaves onto a kitchen towel to drain off the excess water. Using a sharp knife, coarsely chop methi leaves. Set aside.
Grill Paneer — Thinly slice paneer into rectangles. If using the store-bought one, soak it in water for some time to soften, then cut into slices. Heat and grease a griddle. Transfer the paneer pieces onto the hot griddle and cook until light brown from both sides. Once cooked, remove from heat and set aside.
Protip — Do not cut the paneer slices (in triangles) when hot, as they my crumble into pieces.
Prepare Gravy — Combine yogurt, chopped tomatoes, and tomato puree in a bowl. Stir in all the spices. Mix until well blended. Set it aside.
Now, heat oil in a heavy-bottomed wide pan. Add whole spices, and as they start to crackle, add in ginger-garlic paste. Sauté for a minute.
Add onion paste and sauté until the onions are light brown in color. Stir in the tomato mixture and cook for 3-4 minutes on a medium-low flame or until the oil separates the masala.
Assemble Methi Paneer Recipe — Add in fresh methi leaves and dried methi leaves. Give it a good mix and cook for additional 2 minutes over medium-low heat. Add water to the cooked methi mix and bring it to a boil. Allow it to boil for 2-3 minutes on a medium flame.
Cut paneer into triangles and add them to the simmering gravy. Mix the pieces gently in the methi gravy. Adjust the seasonings and take them off the flame. Cover the pan and allow the paneer to soak in all the flavors.
Serve hot garnished with freshly chopped cilantro leaves.
Methi Paneer goes perfectly well over a plate full of steaming hot rice. However, You can also serve this with a side of homemade plain paratha or roti. Here are some other suggestions to serve Methi paneer with —
Storage and Reheating!
You can store the leftover Methi Paneer. Transfer it to an airtight container, and it will stay good for 2-3 days in the fridge.
When you want to reuse it, reheat it in the microwave or transfer to a skillet and place it on the cooktop to heat. Just make sure to add a little water to the gravy before heating as it may have thickened in the refrigerator.
Expert Tips & Variations
Substitute — Though fresh methi is available adequately in winters, but it can be hard to find at certain places. In that case, substitute frozen methi leaves for fresh ones if you can not find the fresh Methi leaves.
Can use dried methi — You can use dried methi leaves instead of fresh ones if there is an unavailability of the latter. Dried methi leaves (Kasuri methi) have a more intense flavor than the fresh ones, so it is better to use them in lesser quantities. A good ratio is 1:3, where 1 part of dried leaves is equivalent to 3 parts of fresh methi leaves.
Adjust the thickness of the methi paneer gravy as per your preference. You may prefer thick gravy, in which case, add ¾ cup of water, and it will be good. For thin gravy, however, you can add more water and bring it to a boil.
Substitute for paneer — Tofu can be substituted for paneer if you want a completely vegan recipe.
Substitute for curd (yogurt) — Yogurt is added to the dish to bring in a pleasing creaminess. For a vegan version, curd can be conveniently replaced with cashew paste that renders richness and creaminess to the gravy. Roast the cashews and blend them with tomatoes and add to the methi paneer gravy to get the creamiest texture. Always use fresh yogurt as sour yogurt will spoil the taste of the dish.
Can use Spinach instead of methi — Methi leaves are readily available in the winter season, but if you can’t find methi at your place, you can use spinach leaves instead. Although it will be quite different in taste ( Methi is slightly bitter, while spinach is not), the recipe will still taste great and will be highly nutritious.
Fresh homemade paneer is my first preference, but just in case you are using the store-bought one, soak it in water for some time to soften.
Using the leftover curry — You can go smart while using the leftover curry. Toss the leftover Methi Paneer with rice to make Pulao as another exquisite dish to delight your loved ones!
Add the cream — To finish off the dish with a more creamy texture, swirl some fresh cream over the methi paneer dish when ready to serve.
Customize your dish by adding veggies — You can add veggies like peas, corn, and potatoes or other veggies of your choice to the recipe. The main idea is to make the dish more nutritious and flavourful, and therefore go on to add any veggies that complement well with the other ingredients of the recipe.
May use ghee/ butter — Ghee/ butter is a secret weapon of sumptuous Indian cuisine! Ghee is known to take a dish to another level. You may also use ghee or butter to prepare this delicacy and take its flavor a notch up.
Fry the paneer pieces for more flavor — You may add paneer pieces to the methi wala paneer gravy just as they are or deep fry them for an added flavor and firmness.
Add some sugar to balance the bitterness — Methi leaves have a distinct bitter taste and, when added to the dish, may give some bitterness to the dish. To overcome this, you may add a little amount of sugar or honey that perfectly balances the taste.
Let me what you think!
This Methi Paneer recipe will undeniably become the hot favorite in your home.
As a bonus, if you are a picky eater parent or find trouble convincing your kids to eat their greens, then this paneer recipe with methi leaves will be an ideal way to lure them!
Should you make this recipe, please let me know your thoughts by sharing your comment below. And don’t forget to share it with your family and friends.
HUNGRY FOR MORE FAMILY-FAVORITE RECIPES, TRY THESE-
Methi Paneer Recipe
FOR THE GRAVY
- 2 pieces of Moti Eliachi (Black cardamom)
- 2 pieces of Bay leaves (Tej patta)
- 3 pieces of Cloves (Laung)
- ½ teaspoon Cumin seeds
- 1 medium Onion pureed
- 1 teaspoon Ginger paste
- 1 teaspoon Garlic paste
- 1 small Tomato chopped
- ¾ cup Tomato puree or freshly grated tomatoes
- 4 tablespoons Yogurt thick curd
- ½ teaspoon Haldi (Turmeric powder)
- ¾ teaspoon Deggi Mirch
- 1 teaspoon Coriander powder (sukha dhaniya)
- 1 teaspoon Garam Masala Powder
- 1 medium bunch of Fresh Methi leaves
- ⅓ cup Dried Methi leaves (if no fresh leaves available use 1 cup of dried leaves)
- 250 grams Paneer or Tofu (vegan)
- – – Chopped cilantro leaves
CLEAN METHI LEAVES
- Pluck the methi leaves from their stems and set them in a bowl. Discard the stem. Transfer the leaves to a huge bowl. Fill it up with water and salt (the salt helps to remove any impurities). Stir the leaves around a bit to loosen the lingering dirt or other pollutants.
- Allow the leaves to soak in this saltwater for 3-4 minutes. This will help in settling all the dirt at the bottom of the bowl. Now carefully lift all the soaked methi leaves from the top and transfer them to a fresh, clean bowl. Discard the dirt water in which the leaves were soaked.
- Now wash the greens thoroughly under running tap water 3-4 times until the water runs clear. Transfer the clean methi leaves onto a kitchen towel to drain off the excess water. Using a sharp knife, coarsely chop methi leaves. Set aside.
- Thinly slice paneer into rectangles. If using the store-bought one, soak it in water for some time to soften, then cut into slices.
- Heat and grease a griddle. Transfer the paneer pieces onto the hot skillet and cook until light brown from both sides.
- Once cooked, remove from heat and set aside. Do not cut the paneer slices (in triangles) when hot, as they may crumble into pieces.
- Combine yogurt, chopped tomatoes, and tomato puree in a bowl.
- Stir in all the spices.
- Mix until well blended. Set it aside.
- Now, heat oil in a heavy-bottomed pan. Add whole spices, and as they start to crackle, add in ginger-garlic paste. Sauté for a minute.
- Add onion paste.
- Sauté until the onions are light brown in color.
- Stir in the tomato mixture.
- Cook for 3-4 minutes on a medium-low flame or until the oil separates the masala.
- Add in fresh methi leaves and dried methi leaves.
- Give it a good mix and cook for additional 2 minutes over medium-low heat.
- Add water to the cooked methi mix and bring it to a boil. Allow it to boil for 2-3 minutes on a medium flame.
- Cut paneer into triangles and add them to the simmering gravy.
- Mix the pieces gently in the methi gravy. Adjust the seasonings and take them off the flame.
- Cover the pan and allow the paneer to soak in all the flavors.
- Garnish with chopped cilantro leaves and pair it with your favorite dal for a complete meal tonight.
Frequently Asked QuestionsHow to add a smoky flavor to the Methi Paneer? ‘Dhungar’ is the term used in India for the process of smoking food. You can easily lend a smoky flavor to your Methi Paneer too. All you have to do is: – Heat 2 pieces of charcoal briquettes over the flame until red hot. – Place the burning charcoal pieces into a small steel bowl or Katori while holding firmly with tongs, and place this bowl in the middle of the dish. -Drizzle 2 tsp of ghee over the burning charcoal. -As soon as the charcoal starts giving off smoke, cover the dish with a glass lid. Leave as it is for 6-8 minutes for the dish to incorporate the smoky flavor. -Lift the lid after 8 minutes and carefully remove the hot bowl. -Your smoky Methi Paneer is ready to relish! Garnish with chopped cilantro leaves and serve. How to reduce the bitterness from methi leaves? Methi leaves are known for their distinctive bitter taste that is loved by most but also avoided by many. The methi leaves that I buy from the local Indian store are not as bitter as we get in India. So I rinse them and add them directly to the dish. But if you are reluctant to use methi leaves for their bitter taste, I can suggest a way to reduce its bitterness. Chop the leaves and toss some salt over them. Mix well and set aside for about 5- 10 minutes. Finally, rinse them thoroughly under running tap water and use them as instructed. How to make Methi Paneer Vegan? This is how you can quickly transform your Methi Paneer into its vegan version:
- Substitute Tofu for Paneer
- Replace butter/ ghee with coconut oil
- Add cashew paste instead of curd
- Skip adding cream to the ready dish