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South Indian Chettinad Paneer Curry

Shivangi Rao
By Shivangi Rao
Course Entrees, Vegetarian Dishes
Servings 4


  • 1 tsp poppy seeds
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1/2 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp whole peppercorns
  • 2 green cardamom pods
  • 2 cloves
  • 1/2 inch cinnamon stick or 1/2 tsp cinnamon powder
  • 2-3 whole dried red chilies or 1 tsp cayenne powder
  • 1/4 cup shredded coconut
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 14 oz package of organic paneer chopped into cubes
  • NOTE: You may use chicken tofu, or mushrooms in this dish as well. All will taste delicious!
  • 2 tbsp ghee or oil of choice
  • 1 large yellow onion chopped
  • 10-12 curry leaves
  • 2 medium tomatoes chopped and blended or 1/2 a can of crushed tomatoes
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1- inch ginger grated
  • 4 pieces of garlic grated
  • 1 tsp salt


  • Blend chopped tomatoes in a blender. Set aside. Otherwise, use crushed tomatoes per ingredient above.
  • Place a pan on low heat. Add in all dry spices (poppy seeds, coriander seeds, fennel seeds, cumin seeds, peppercorn, cardamom, cloves, cinnamon, dried red chilies) and dry roast on the pan for 5-6 minutes until fragrant. Be sure to not let spices burn - make sure you move the spices around on the pan constantly.
  • Add in shredded coconut once spices are fragrant.
  • Transfer everything to a blender with 1/4 cup water and blend until paste forms. This is your Chettinad masala paste.
  • On a separate pan on medium heat, add oil and onions and saute until cooked down.
  • Add in curry leaves, and then tomatoes, salt, and turmeric and continue to saute.
  • Add in the masala paste and saute more until well combined. You should have a saucy curry at this point.
  • Add in paneer cubes and mix well with curry sauce. Let everything heat through well.
  • Taste and adjust salt and spice as needed.
  • Serve immediately and enjoy!
Tried this recipe?Mention @raodyrecipes if you like it!