Home Curries Dhaba Style Paneer Masala | Masala Paneer Recipe

Dhaba Style Paneer Masala | Masala Paneer Recipe


Dhaba Style Paneer Masala is an aromatic and flavorful curry made with roasted spices and Indian cottage cheese. ‘Dhaba‘ or ‘Punjabi Dhaba‘ is a roadside restaurant you will find on highways. It’s like a rest stop eatery for truck drivers or people on long road trips. They serve best local cuisine and have their own way of cooking certain dishes. They particularly have rustic and sharp flavors. Dhaba style dishes have good amount of fat and spices which make them stand out.

Punjabi cuisine makes use of Paneer (Indian cottage cheese) a lot in their gravies. I have shared several restaurant style Paneer recipes earlier. You can check them below.

  • Kadhai Paneer
  • Palak Paneer

This is my first dhaba style recipe. Unlike other recipes this one has one special ingredient which is roasted gram flour (besan). It gives thickness to the gravy. Kasuri methi sprinkled at the end also balances the flavors.

It’s versatile and goes well with any type of Indian flatbread; paratha, naan, tandoori roti etc. You can eat it with jeera rice too if you like. This recipe makes use of ghee more than butter. I have used combination of oil and ghee (clarified butter). Ghee enhances the taste of this dish.

I am sure you will love this recipe. Let’s look at what we need and how to make it, with step by step pictures.

Step by Step Recipe of Dhaba Style Paneer Masala:

  • We need below ingredients.
  • First of all, we need to marinate paneer cubes. Take them in a bowl and add turmeric, red chili powder and salt. Keep aside for 20 min.
  • Next add chopped tomatoes to blender and blend coarsely. We don’t want to a smooth puree.
  • Heat oil in a pan. Add bay leaf. Then add cumin seeds, asafoetida and red chilies.
  • Then add red chili powder, cumin powder, coriander powder and garam masala. Fry all the spices well.
  • Add in gram flour and roast it along with spices.
  • Once spices are roasted, add chopped onion. Saute and cook.
  • Once onion is slightly cooked, add ginger garlic paste.
  • After raw smell of ginger garlic paste goes away, add coarsely ground tomato puree along with green chili.
  • Saute and mix everything well. Cook for few minutes.
  • Add water in the gravy and let it boil.
  • Meanwhile, shallow fry paneer cubes in another pan.
  • Sprinkle kasuri methi on the gravy and mix well.
  • Then add shallow fried paneer cubes to the gravy.
  • Combine well. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves.
  • Serve hot with bread of your choice.

Dhaba Style Paneer Masala
Prep Time
15 mins

Cook Time
40 mins

Total Time
55 mins


An aromatic and flavorful curry made with Paneer and variety of spices.


Main Course


dhaba, paneer

  • 1
    Bay leaf
  • 2
    Dry Red Chilies
  • 20
    Paneer cubes
  • 2
    Green chili
  • 2
  • 1+2
  • 1
    Ginger Garlic Paste
  • 1/4
  • 1
    Red Chili Powder
  • 1
    Cumin Powder
  • 1
    Coriander Powder
  • 1
    Garam Masala
  • 1
  • 1
    finely chopped
  • 3
    finely chopped
  • 2
    Gram Flour
  • 1
    Kasuri Methi
  • 1
    Coriander leaves
    finely chopped
  • ¾
    or as desired
  • Salt
    per taste

  1. Take paneer cubes in a bowl. Add turmeric, red chili powder and salt. Gently toss so as to coat paneer cubes with spices. Keep aside.

  2. Heat oil and ghee in a pan. Add bay leaf, asafoetida, cumin seeds and red chilies.

  3. Then add cumin powder, coriander powder, red chili powder and garam masala. Saute the spices. Don't let the spices burn.

  4. Add gram flour and roast it with the spices for few minutes.

  5. Now add chopped onion. Saute and cook until onions are half way cooked.

  6. Later add ginger and garlic paste. Saute until raw smell goes away and onions are fully cooked.

  7. Add pureed tomato and green chili. Add little salt. Mix well and cook again until tomatoes are mushy.

  8. Add water and let the mixture boil.

  9. Meanwhile, shallow fry the paneer cubes.

  10. Add shallow fried paneer cubes to the gravy. Add kasuri methi. Combine everything well.

  11. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves and serve hot with paratha.

Recipe Notes
  • Do not overcook paneer as it becomes rubbery.
  • You can skip green chilies and reduce amount of spices to make it less spicy.

I would love to hear your feedback in the comments below! Don’t forget to Subscribe and get notified of the latest updates 🙂

You may also like

Leave a Comment