What is “Dhaba Style Paneer”?
But before we get to that, let me tell you what “Dhaba Cuisine” is!
Dhaba is a roadside shack in India mostly located on state highways where they serve some amazingly delicious food.
Dhaba cuisine is loaded with fats like ghee or dalda (vegetable shortening), it is rusic and absolutely delicious! While travelling by car in India, I remember stopping at our favourite Dhabas and ordering the exact same thing on the menu every time. Back then I didn’t care how much ghee all those delicious dishes had and how many calories I need to burn off, all I cared about what all I could eat and be happy!
This Dhaba Style Paneer is rustic, comforting and absolutely delicious. It goes really well with rotis (flatbreads), naan or kulcha and rice too.
When I came back from my holiday all I wanted to eat is something spicy, something comforting and this is how this dish came about. I served this dish with Missi Roti, the combination was super. I also posted a full step by step story on Instagram and everyone loved it.
So here is a full recipe for this delicious dish. Do give this recipe a try, you won’t be disappointed!
- 1 small onion finely chopped
- ½ cup spring onions or scallions finely chopped
- 1 ½ cup tomato puree
- 1 or to taste red chilli finely chopped (optional)
- 1 inch ginger roughly chopped
- 2 small cloves of garlic chopped
- 1 tsp coriander powder
- 1 tsp or to taste red chilli powder or cayenne pepper
- 1 tsp kashmiri red chilli powder or paprika
- ½ tsp turmeric powder
- 1 tbsp coriander stalks and leaves
- 1 tsp dried fenugreek leaves/ kasoori methi
- ¼ cup sour cream or cream
- ½ tsp jaggery or brown sugar
- Salt to taste
- 1 small piece of cinnamon
- ½ tsp cumin seeds
- 3 cloves, 3 black peppercorns
- 1 tsp ghee
- 1 tbsp oil
Ingredients for paneer:
- 250g paneer or cottage cheese cut in cubes
- 1 tbsp yoghurt
- 1 tsp chickpea flour
- Salt to taste
- 1 tsp garam masala
- 1 tsp each coriander powder and Kashmiri red chilli powder or red paprika for colour
- ½ tsp black pepper powder
- 1 tsp each ghee and oil for cooking
Mix Paneer pieces in the mentioned ingredients. Keep it aside for 10 minutes. Heat oil and ghee mentioned for paneer together, add the marinated pieces and cook till they are golden brown in colour and yoghurt is completely cooked. Keep it aside.
Crush the whole spices (cinnamon, cumin seeds, peppercorns and cloves) using mortar and pestle.
In a pan or a wok heat ghee and oil together and add the crushed spices. Add in the onion, spring onion and garlic, saute till golden brown. Add in the ginger and chilli and fry till the onion is brown in colour. Add in all the spice powder, coriander stalk and leaves and saute for 2 minutes.
Add in the tomato puree and mix it well. Cover it and cook for 10 minutes on low-medium flame, till the oil floats on top.
Now add in the cooked paneer pieces with ½ cup of water. Mix it well, add in the dried fenugreek leaves and cook for 5 minutes.
Add in the sour cream or cream and jaggery, cook for another 2-3 minutes. Garnish with coriander if you desire.
Serve hot with rice or rotis (flatbread).