Christmas Paneer Pasanda

Mallika Basu - Christmas Paneer Pasanda

Posted 24th December 2008


The pre-Christmas period has been relentless. Every time I heaved a sigh of relief and posted the last Christmas card I remembered someone else who slipped off the list. The venue for the big day changed, which meant more presents to buy last minute.

The man stopped work too. So he needed someone to play with in between crap movie fests. Not great for my writing plans.

And just when I thought it couldn’t get worse, I hurt my knee scrambling towards non-alcoholic mulled wine at the Christmas Fayre in Hyde Park. The curry Christmas Eve meal for eight would now have to be cooked with the most glamorous accessories of all – a hobble and knee bandage.

Still, I had promised a vegetarian Christmas curry option and here it is. Paneer Pasanda, a creamy and nutty cheese curry that is rich and decadent. If you ate this in an authentic restaurant, the paneer pieces would comprise slices sandwiched with cashew paste and fried in a gram flour batter before being layed in the pale curry. But I’m hoping you, like me, have better things to do that create paneer sandwiches for curry around Christmas.

Here is my quick version. Equally delicious and worth every effort. Happy Christmas and New Year to you and your family. If I’m missing in action for a few days, please forgive me. And don’t forget to have that extra alcoholic drink for me on New Year’s Eve, will you?

Feeds 4:

  • 250gm paneer
  • Half tsp coriander seeds
  • Quarter tsp methi seeds
  • 4 cloves
  • 1 inch cinnamon
  • 1 black cardamom
  • 150 gm thick natural yogurt
  • 5 skinless almonds and 5 cashewnuts
  • Quarter tsp chilli powder
  • 1 medium onion
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • Half inch ginger
  • Quarter flower whole mace
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1 tbsp single cream to decorate
  • Salt to taste


Dry roast all the whole spices apart from the black cardamom by placing under a hit grill for 5 seconds. Then powder in a food processor along with the ginger, garlic and a tablespoon of water.

Chop the onion finely and bring the oil to heat in a medium saucepan over a high flame. When it’s hot, add the black cardamom and as it sizzles, the onions. Fry the onions for about five minutes until pale golden and then add the spice paste.

Stir fry this for another five minutes and stir in the yogurt. Fry on a high heat for two minutes, then add a cup of hot water and leave to simmer for 10 minutes.

In the meantime, puree the almonds and cashewnuts into a paste with two tablespoons of hot water and stir them into the curry. When the simmering time is up, fish the black cardamom out and g straight into the pan with a hand blender and puree the masala into a smooth curry.

Now slice the paneer into 1 cm thick squares and lay them in the masala. Simmer the whole lot for a final 10 minutes until oil floats to the top. Finish by drizzling the tabelspoon of cream on top and serve hot.

19 responses to “Christmas Paneer Pasanda”

  1. Bharti says:

    This is the hubby’s favorite…the spices smell amazing. I have try out more of your recipes in the coming year. Wishing you an amazing 2009.

  2. RedChillies says:

    Merry Christmas Mallika. I hope your knee is better now. Like your version of paneer pasanda.
    Don’t worry, I will volunteer to have drinks on your behalf 😉 Take care girl and have a fab new year.

  3. Arundhuti says:

    am not very fond of paneer…but this one looks like a must try……..

    have a great year ahead!

  4. neha says:

    Nice recipe,i never tried almonds in the gravy.Looks like can try now. Hope u get well soon.

  5. Looks delicious! Happy Holidays to you and your family, Mallika!

  6. sra says:

    Happy New Year, Mallika!

  7. Rashmi says:

    thank you,for posting this quick,low fat(?)& posh sounding paneer dish
    A very Happy New Year to you

  8. Rashmi says:

    Hope your knee is better now..

  9. indosungod says:

    Happy New Year! Mallika.

    Paneer Pasanda does look delicious and hope your knee is feeling better now.

  10. tbc says:

    Wish you and your family a wonderful 2009, Mallika!

  11. sandeepa says:

    Happy New Year Mallika. Have a great year ahead with lots more of your delish food, fun and good health and everything else you wish for 🙂

  12. mandira says:

    The paneer pasanda with peshwari naan.. feasting during the holidays!

    happy new year to you and your family Mallika! Looking forward to many delicious posts in 2009.

  13. David says:

    looks taty, I haven’t come across this dish.

  14. N+D says:

    Wishing you a happy and tasty new year!

  15. Maria DaCosta says:

    I live in Oregon and there is not a huge Indian community here, so ingredients are hard to come by. But I’ve lived in England and I LOVE Indian food. What is paneer, and is there some sort of equivalent that is available in Oregon?

  16. notyet100 says:

    hppy newyr Mallika and tk cre,..will e waitin for ur yummy posts,.cee u soon,.

  17. Mallika says:

    Thanks everyone!

    Maria – Paneer is Indian cheese and it’s super simple to make at home. I don’t bother because I can buy it very easily ready made here in London.

    The best recipe I have found for paneer is here:

  18. Brian says:

    I am sure this is good, but based on looks… I would say no lol.

  19. libran says:

    I’m sorry but this is the worst looking paneer psanda i’ve ever seen!

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