Paneer Masala | Dabha style Paneer

Paneer Masala is yet another scrumptious panner recipes that is a must try. Some simple ingredients from the pantry can turn into this stunning meal which will leave you craving for more. Paneer Masala Dabha style is not your typical of paneer dishes, rich with cream or cashew paste but the roasted spices and gram flour gives it a wonderful texture and creaminess.

Paneer Masala can be paired with rotis, flatbreads or rice. It can even can be used as Pizza sauce.

Fresh homemade panner works perfect with this dish but store bought paneer also works. Store bought paneer ca be slightly hard so to get the soft texture from store bought paneer, completely soak it in hot water and let it sit for 15-20 mins. This allows the panner to resumes it’s softness and soaks the masala well.

Another tip to get bright red color apart from adding kashmiri chili powder you can also Grind red capsicum, along with tomatoes, carrots, ginger and garlic to a smooth puree. Since there is no cream and cashew paste, gram flour gives the smooth texture and creaminess. Ensure to roast the gram flour till the raw smell is gone.

Dabha style food is known for it’s richness but it is also the most rustic and flavorful. I first tasted Dabha food in my teens and the ambiance and he food left a great mark on me. It’s real food and there is nothing fancy about it.

There are no dabhas around where I live now but I make sure to get the same taste and flavors can be created right at home. Hope you enjoy this dish as much as I did. Now on to the recipe.

Paneer Masala | Dhaba Style Paneer

Paneer Masala is yet another scrumptious panner recipes that is a must try. Some simple ingredients from the pantry can turn into this stunning meal which will leave you craving for more.
Course Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine Global, Indian
Keyword Dhaba food, paneer
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings 4
Author ramyaanagu


  • 1.5 cup Paneer
  • 1 large onion
  • 2 tsp Gram flour
  • 1 tsp fennel/sunf
  • 1 tsp Jeera/cumin
  • 1 no Javitri flower
  • 1/2 inch cinnamon
  • 4-5 nos Coves
  • 2 nos green cardamom
  • 4 tbs oil or equal amount oil + butter
  • 2 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp spicy chlli powder adjust to taste
  • 1 tsp garam masala powder

To Grind

  • 1/2 red capsicum for color and flavor , optional
  • 5-10 small carrot optional
  • 2 med Tomatoes
  • 1 inch ginger
  • 2-3 cloves garlic
  • 1 kashmiri chilli you can also use bedegai chilli for color


Prep Paneer

  • Cut paneer into rectangle pieces and transfer it to a bowl.
  • Add salt, turmuric, red chilli powder, coriander and cumin powder and let it marinate till the gravy is ready.
  • Once its marinated, fry the paneer in little oil until its fried on all sides and set it aside.

For Gravy

  • Grind tomatoes, red capsicum, carrots, ginger and garlic to a smooth puree and set aside.
  • In a pan add oil and butter and let it heat. Once it is hot, add in the dry spices – fennel, jeera, javitri, cinnamon, Coves, green cardamom
  • Once the spices splutter, and starts releasing aroma, add in chopped onion and let it cook till translucent.
  • Once it's well cooked add in all the dry powders – Gram flour, coriander, cumin, chili and garam masala powder.
  • Let all this cook till the raw smell of the Gram flour is gone. Takes about 5-6 mins in low flame.
  • Then add in the tomato puree and let the mixture cook for 10 mins covered. Keep low flame to avoid bring.
  • Once the oil separated and the tomato is cooked and well incorporated.
  • Add up to 1 to 2 cups of water to adjust consistency and let it simmer for 3-5 mins
  • Add in the fried paneer and mix well. cook it in the gravy for another 2-3 mins and remove from heat.
  • Garnish with coriander and serve wth rice or roti or naan.

If you find Dabha style recipes and try this recipe, drop a word to let me know how you liked it. You can follow me on Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram for more such recipes and food photography. Don’t forget to comment and rate the recipe here.

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  1. This was fantastic! I made it custom to my dietary needs… no oil, dairy or meat. I used tofu and no oil. It was perfect! I follow Dr. Ornish lifestyle program. Thanks so much for sharing your recipe!

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