Saffron Infused Cheese (Paneer) with Onion Gravy

The sweetness of the onions, the mellowness of the yoghurt, the liveliness of the spices and the fragrance of the saffron…are all a dance on your tastebuds. My love for saffron and wholes spice come from growing up in a cross culture cuisine of North India where the cuisines are decidedly different as you move through the states.

This vegetarian cheese(Paneer) dish actually comes from flavors that are used in meat dishes. You can use homemade cheese which is softer and preferred. I used the block I bought from the local Asian store which is firmer. 

Saffron  Paneer with Onion Gravy
Saffron Paneer with Onion Gravy


Here is what you need:

A block of Paneer ( cheese) cut in cubes ( about 3 cups). Marinated for an hour in a smooth blend of the following:

  • 1/2 cup yogurt
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1tsp red chili or paprika ( paprika will give some color)
  • 1/2 onion crushed
  • 4 cloves of garlic crushed
  • 1 tsp cumin pwd
  • salt

Other Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp ghee or oil
  • 2 large onions sliced
  • 2 inch cinnamon stick
  • 4 green cardamons
  • 1 black cardamon
  • 4 cloves
  • 4 whole peppercorns
  • 1 tsp turmeric pwd
  • 1 -2 green chillies
  • 1 tablespoon coriander pwd
  • 2 tsp fresh garlic ginger paste
  • a pinch of saffron soaked in warm water

Putting it together:

Let the cheese marinate for an hour. Use a mortar and pestle to crush cinnamon, cardamons, cloves, peppercorns.

Add ghee to a heavy bottomed pan and add the crushed spices. Add the onions and fry everything until soft and browned. Add garlic ginger paste, green chili, turmeric and coriander. Add the marinated paneer and let it all cook until the oil separates on the sides. Add saffron water and turn off the heat in a minute or two.

Serve with rice or naan.

Saffron  Paneer with Onion Gravy
Saffron Paneer with Onion Gravy

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