Paneer or cottage cheese is loved by vegetarians and nonvegetarians alike. Paneer is a very versatile ingredient that is used for not just for making amazing starters and snacks like paneer tikkas and garlic paneer, it can be used to make delicious gravies like paneer makhani or butter paneer masala.
Paneer can be easily bought from shops, but its best to make them at home. Homemade paneer is deliciously soft and free of chemical additives and preservatives. Palak paneer, shahi paneer, kadai paneer and Kashmiri style paneer are some of most famous paneer dishes in Indian cuisine.
Though most of these dishes are inherently keto friendly, some versions of the recipes may call for ingredients that can end up pushing you out of ketosis. Here we have compiled the best 5 classic Indian keto paneer recipes for those following a keto diet plan.
A velvety tomato based gravy that is subtly laced with aromatic spices, paneer butter masala is the king of all paneer gravy dishes.
To make this Keto Paneer Butter Masala dish follow below recipe:
- Make a tomato puree using 8 tomatoes. One of the easiest methods to do this is to put the washed tomatoes in a pan of boiling water and keep covered for five minutes. The tomato skin will crack open and it can then be peeled off easily. Chop up the pulpy tomato in chunks and puree them in a blender.
- Heat 2 tbsp oil in a pan and add cumin seeds, bay leaf, dried red chillies, cardamoms and then some ginger garlic paste.
- Add 3 tbsp of butter and when this melts add 3 onions that have been minced finely.
- Cook the onion on medium flame until light golden.
- Now add the tomato puree and cook covered for 15 minutes. Stir occasionally to prevent burning the dish.
- Add 2 tbsp of Kashmiri red chili powder and a teaspoon each of garam masala and cumin powder.
- Crush a spoonful of kasoori methi in-between your hands and then sprinkle them over the curry.
- Add a cup of water when the spices are cooked. Mix in 2 tbsp of chopped coriander and 200 grams of cubed paneer. Drizzle as much fresh cream as you wish to elevate the dish to a whole new taste level.
The roasted spices, especially the whole coriander seeds, dry red chillies and the fennel are what creates that unique kadai flavour. Roasting and grinding these along with other spices is one step you cannot omit if you wish to make authentic tasting keto kadai paneer.
To make this Keto Kadai Paneer dish, follow below recipe
- Take 2 cardamoms, 2 cloves, 3 dry whole red chilli, 1 tbsp coriander seeds, 1 small stick cinnamon and a tsp each of fennel seeds and cumin seeds dry roasted and then made into a fine powder.
- Heat 2 tbsp of oil and fry 2 finely chopped onions until golden brown.
- Add a tbsp of ginger garlic paste and saute until the raw smell vanishes.
- Add 2 coarsely ground tomatoes, the previously roasted and ground spice powder, a teaspoon of red chilli powder, 2 green chillies slit lengthwise and some salt.
- Cook for a few minutes and then toss in the paneer cubes. Continue to cook covered till the oil starts separating.
- Add diced green capsicum and cook for a few more minutes while stirring gently. Serve this hot garnished with coriander leaves.
Shahi paneer has its origins in the Mughal rule of India. Lightly spiced with rich nuts and cream gravy, Shahi paneer imparts a luxurious royal flavour. Go easy on your portions with this dish as it’s extremely high in calories. It’s more of a once awhile indulgence.
Saffron, cashews and almonds are the highlights of this keto paneer recipe. You can interchange the yogurt with tomatoes to adjust the tanginess of the dish to your taste.
To make this Keto Shahi Paneer dish, follow below recipe:
- Heat a teaspoon of oil and then add 15 whole cashew nuts, 7 almonds and four green cardamom pods. Roast them for a couple of minutes till the cashews are lightly browned. Remove them from the pan and keep aside.
- Saute a cup of roughly chopped onions in another teaspoon of oil, till it becomes translucent.
- Remove from heat and allow it to cool.
- Grind the onions, 3 teaspoons of water and the roasted nut mix in a blender to make a smooth paste.
- Heat a tablespoon of ghee in the same pan and add cumin seeds, bay leaves, cloves, star anise, black cardamom and mace.
- Saute for a minute and then add the blended onion-nut paste.
- Add salt, cumin powder, garam masala, turmeric and coriander powder and saute for another 2 minutes.
- Now add a spoonful of thick yogurt and mix well.
- Add 8 strands of saffron and a half teaspoon of Kashmiri red chilli powder.
- After sauteing for two minutes, add the cubed paneer.
- Take off the heat and mix in 2 tablespoons of full-fat fresh cream.
This is obviously a very healthy dish, rich in protein, fatty acids, fibre, minerals and plenty of vitamins. The silky green gravy is made with palak or Indian spinach.
The palak is put in boiling water or steamed over the boiling water in an open pan for just a few minutes. Covering the pan causes the palak to lose that lovely green shade and take on a dirty brown color. The cooled palak is ground up into a fine paste in a blender. The paneer pieces can be shallow fried till it start to change colour. This step is optional, but it prevents the paneer from breaking up in the curry.
To make this Keto Palak Paneer dish, follow below recipe:
- Saute a chopped onion and ginger garlic paste in a tablespoon of oil till the onion becomes translucent.
- Add a chopped tomato, ½ teaspoon coriander powder, ½ teaspoon chilli powder and salt to taste.
- Add the spinach paste and a little water after the tomatoes are well cooked.
- Cook on a medium flame till a light sheen of oil is visible on the palak.
- Add the paneer cubes and take off the flame. Serve garnished with a drizzle of fresh cream.
Kashmiri cuisine usually has rich gravies made with whole spices. This Kashmiri style keto paneer recipe has toasted paneer cubes soaked in a yogurt and tomato gravy.
They use a special trick to prevent the toasted paneer from becoming rubbery. After shallow fry the paneer pieces until golden brown, they are put into a bowl of warm water to retain moisture and soften them up.
To make this Keto Kashmiri style paneer masala dish, follow below recipe
- Add cinnamon, bay leaf, shahi jeera and cardamom to hot oil in a pan.
- After a minute, add 3 teaspoons of tomato puree, ½ teaspoon Kashmiri red chilli powder,½ teaspoon dry ginger powder a teaspoon of fennel powder.
- Cook for a few minutes till well blended.
- Add some water to make a gravy. Simmer for 5 minutes or till the gravy get well cooked and thick.
- Add crushed saffron strands and ¼ cup of yogurt. Cook on low flame for a few more minutes.
- Squeeze away the water from the soaked paneer and add them to the gravy.
- Sprinkle a pinch of garam masala. Serve garnished with chopped coriander leave.
Let us know about your goto paneer keto recipe! Happy Ketoing 🙂