Paneer Lababdar (Paneer in a Creamy Cashew Curry)


We are cooking creamy paneer lababdar in minutes! This restaurant-style dish is perfect for a special occasion, yet simple enough to make on a weeknight.

Paneer Lababdar

Whenever I plan a menu for a get-together or Dinner Party, the first thing I think about is what vegetarian main dish to serve. I always have a couple of options, but there has to be one recipe on the table that stands out, a dish worthy of a special occasion.

In the past, Vegetable Korma or Veg Biryani have served as my go-to vegetarian entertaining recipes, but today, I’m sharing a dish that, while not quite as popular, is just as grand, if not more so.

Paneer Lababdar is the fancy vegetarian main dish you’ve been seeking. Impressive enough for any celebratory gathering and simple enough to make on a weeknight.

“Made this yesterday and it was divine! So tasty. Definitely one of my new favourite paneer recipes and so easy to make especially with the frozen onion masala.”

paneer lababdar

Paneer lababdar traditionally takes a long time to make, but my recipe is made in minutes and requires you to dirty just one pan. How’s this possible? My onion masala, of course. Make it once, and it’ll feed you for weeks, maybe months.

paneer lababdar

What is Paneer Lababdar?

At first glance, this north Indian dish might seem similar to other popular creamy tomato-based paneer recipes, like Paneer Makhani or Matar Paneer, but make no mistake, paneer lababdar is its own distinct dish.

It calls for ghee, cream, cashews, and – the main thing that differentiates this dish from the rest – the paneer, prepared two ways. This recipe calls for both shredded paneer and larger paneer pieces, preferably triangles.

how to cut paneer into triangles
paneer lababdar

Shredded Paneer?

It’s not every day that you see shredded paneer in gravy, but that’s what makes this paneer lababdar recipe inimitable (silly story: while writing this blog post, I asked my husband, who was sitting next to me, scrolling through his phone, if he knew another word for “stand out.” Without pause, he replied with “inimitable.” I asked him how in the world that word came to mind so quickly, and without answering me, he started playing the Hamilton song, “Wait for It,” and when I tried to interrupt the song to ask him what was happening, he told me to “wait for it.” 😂 I eventually heard the line, “I am inimitable, I am an original.” I just thought you should know this happened, lol).

If you’re familiar with paneer, then you know it’s a cheese that doesn’t melt. That means the shredded paneer mixes into the curry, adding texture so that you get a spoonful of cheese in every bite.

After you shred the paneer, you’ll want to slice the remaining paneer into either cubes or, to really make this a showstopper of a dish, take a few extra minutes and cut the paneer into triangles!

Here’s how to make paneer lababdar:

Melt ghee, add spices, then water, and onion masala. Simmer.

Add cashew powder and shredded paneer.

Stir in some heavy cream, dried fenugreek leaves, and the paneer triangles. Top with more shredded cheese, more cream, and cilantro leaves.

This creamy, mildly spiced, aromatic curry is sure to be a hit with kids and adults. It’ll be the star of your meal.

paneer lababdar

Paneer Lababdar (Paneer in a Creamy Cashew Curry)

paneer lababdar

Paneer Lababdar (Paneer in a Creamy Cashew Curry)

5 from 20 reviews
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Cuisine Indian


  • 1 14 ounce block of paneer
  • 2 tablespoons ghee
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds



  • 1 ½ cups water
  • ½ cup frozen onion masala 2 frozen cubes
  • 2 tablespoons cashew powder
  • 2 teaspoons crushed kasoori methi dried fenugreek leaves
  • 4 tablespoons heavy cream divided
  • Cilantro garnish


  • Cut approximately 1 inch (which is about 3 ounces) from a 14 ounce block of paneer and shred it using a hand grater. Set aside for now.
  • Cut the rest of the paneer into triangles that are ¼ inch thick OR whatever shape you’d like.
  • Melt ghee in a pan on the stovetop over medium heat and once hot, add cumin seeds and when they turn brown, add the spices all at once, quickly stir, then add the water and the onion masala and bring it to a simmer and let it cook together for 3-4 minutes, or until the onion masala melts.
  • Add the cashew powder and all but ¼ cup of the shredded paneer (reserve ¼ cup shredded paneer for garnish) and mix well.
  • Add 3 tablespoons of heavy cream, dried fenugreek leaves, and the paneer and cook for 1-2 minutes or until the paneer is warmed through.
  • Garnish with the ¼ cup shredded paneer, the remaining 1 tablespoon of cream, and cilantro.



  • To make cashew powder, add cashews to a blender or food processor and blend until finely ground (you do not want to turn the cashews into a paste). You can also find cashew powder on amazon.
  • To crush dried fenugreek leaves, you just crush it between your fingers.
Did you make this recipe?Tag @myheartbeets on Instagram and hashtag it #myheartbeets!

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Find out more about my cookbooks Indian Food Under Pressure and South Asian Persuasion.

About Ashley

Hi, I’m Ashley. Thanks for being here! I truly believe that food brings us closer together. Gather around a table with good food and good people, and you’ll have the ingredients you need to create some happy memories. My hope is that you find recipes here that you can’t wait to share with family and friends.


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  1. Deepa says

    5 stars
    Made this for Diwali, and it was amazing!! Adding it to my “party dinners” rotation. It couldn’t be easier to make – so fast! And it looks so fancy, tastes delicious, great vegetarian option, looks pretty – love it!!

  2. Nirupa says

    Hello Ashley. Late to this party! A mom of 2 and I recently started freezing your onion masala. Has been a game changer for me with my busy schedule and made Indian cooking much easier. I recently also froze some cashew paste. Would you please elaborate on why the cashew paste is not preferred over the powder.

  3. Larry Aldrich, Seattle WA says

    5 stars
    Oh my god… So good. Would you please post a Chicken Lababdar recipe as well. I love your site for easy to use recipes. You’ve help take me from a guy who loves Indian food to a guy who isn’t afraid to cook Indian food.

  4. Kiran says

    5 stars
    Made this yesterday and it was divine! So tasty. Definitely one of my new favourite paneer recipes and so easy to make especially with the frozen onion masala

  5. Laura says

    Hello. Can’t wait to try this recipe! To make a lower-fat version, would well-drained firm tofu (or plain pre-cooked tofu cutlets) work in place of the paneer?

  6. Upstairs Woman says

    5 stars
    Great recipe! I didn’t have cream, so I just added extra ground cashews and water, and it came out terrific. Love the flavors!

  7. Shelly says

    Hi! This recipe is a favorite for EVERYone in my family! Do you have any advice on doubling the recipe? Should I double everything, including the water, or just double the amount of paneer and masala?

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