Paneer Kolhapuri recipe with step by step photos. Paneer Kolhapuri as the name suggests is a paneer based dish that is adapted from the spicy Kolhapuri cuisine. This delicious Kolhapuri style paneer gravy is spicy and has complex flavors. It pairs very well with roti, naan, bhakri, paratha or steamed rice.
I never saw any paneer Kolhapuri being served in Kolhapur. But paneer Kolhapuri is served in the menu of many North Indian restaurants in metro cities.
Kolhapuri cuisine is best known for its spicy, hot and robust flavors. Another recipe that I have already shared from the Kolhapuri cuisine is Veg Kolhapuri.
This recipe of paneer Kolhapuri has been adapted from the veg Kolhapuri recipe I had posted a few years back. Unlike the restaurant versions, this paneer Kolhapuri recipe is not very spicy nor there is too much of oil floating on the top of the gravy.
I have used Kashmiri red chilies and not the Kolhapuri lavangi chilies to tone down the spice and heat factor. If you want a spicy hot taste, then you can use lavangi chilies. Otherwise add Kashmiri chilies or byadagi chilies.
This spicy paneer curry tastes best with chapatis or pudina paratha or butter naan or tandoori rotis. You can also serve with Bajra roti or Jowar roti. Even steamed rice goes very well with it.
How to make Paneer Kolhapuri
Preparing Kolhapuri masala
1. Listed below are all the ingredients for the pictorial purpose only. Please note if you don’t have stone flower (patthar phool) and cobra’s saffron (nagkesar) then it’s fine. You can also skip poppy seeds (khus khus) as it’s not available in some countries.
2. Heat a pan and dry roast the spices first:
- 1 inch cinnamon
- 3 cloves
- 4 to 5 black peppers
- 2 teaspoons coriander seeds
- ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 small stone flower
- 1 medium sized tej patta
- 1 nagkesar (cobra’s saffron)
- 5 Kashmiri red chilies
- 1 pinch nutmeg powder
- 2 green cardamoms
- 1 black cardamom seeds
- 2 single strands of mace
- 4 to 5 fenugreek seeds
3. Dry roast till the spices become fragrant on low heat, stirring often.
4. Once the spices become fragrant, then add 1 teaspoon poppy seeds and 2 teaspoons of sesame seeds.
5. Then add ¼ cup desiccated coconut.
6. Stir continuously non stop and dry roast till the coconut gets golden on low heat. Remove the pan from the heat. Also remove the dry ingredients to another plate or tray.
7. In the same pan, heat 2 tablespoons of oil and add ¾ cup of chopped onions.
You can use any neutral tasting oil or even peanut oil.
8. Begin to saute the onions on low to medium heat stirring often.
9. Saute the onions till light brown or golden. I stopped at light brown as I was using a steel pan and the onions can get burnt by the time I add the other ingredients.
10. Then add 2 teaspoons chopped garlic and 1 teaspoon chopped ginger.
11. Sauté for a few seconds or till the raw aroma of ginger-garlic goes away on low heat.
12. Then add ⅓ cup coriander leaves.
13. Mix very well and saute for half a minute. Then switch off the heat.
14. Remove the pan from the stovetop and let this onion mixture cool down.
15. First take the roasted whole spices in a grinder or blender jar.
13. Then add the sautéed onion mixture.
14. Add ½ to ¾ cup water and grind or blend to a fine and smooth paste without any chunks. Keep this Kolhapuri masala paste aside.
Making Paneer Kolhapuri
1. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in the same pan. Then add finely chopped tomatoes.
2. Stir and saute on low to medium heat till the tomatoes turn pulpy and soft. Oil should release from the sautéed tomatoes.
3. Now add the following spice powders:
- ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
- ½ teaspoon Kashmiri red chilli powder
- a pinch of asafoetida (hing)
4. Stir and mix the spice powders very well with the tomatoes.
5. Now add the Kolhapuri masala.
6. Mix again very well with the tomatoes.
7. Saute for 2 to 3 minutes on a low heat.
8. Add 1 to 1.25 cups of water. Instead of adding water directly to the pan, add some water to the grinder jar and rinse it very well, so that the remaining masala gets mixed with water. Then add this masala mixed water to the pan.
9. Season with salt as required. Salt in this recipe has to be right. If less salt is added, you do not get the flavor of the spices.
10. Bring the gravy to a simmer on a low to medium heat for 7 to 8 minutes. In between do stir, so that the masala does not stick to the base of the pan.
11. You should see some specks of oil floating on the gravy. This means the gravy is done. Then add paneer cubes (200 grams). I recommend using soft and fresh homemade paneer.
12. Mix and then switch off the heat. Don’t cook the paneer for more time or else they become chewy and rubbery.
Serve Paneer Kolhapuri hot or warm with chapati or phulka or paratha or naan or bhakri. Garnish with some coriander leaves while serving. Accompany the paneer Kolhapuri and roti combo with some sliced onions and lemon wedges.
You can also serve it with steamed basmati rice or jeera rice.
If you are looking for more Paneer recipes then do check:
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Paneer Kolhapuri is a spicy and delicious curry made with Indian cottage cheese, lot of spices, coconut, onions and tomatoes. The recipe is from the spicy Kolhapuri cuisine.
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 50 mins
For making kolhapuri masala
Making kolhapuri masala
Heat a pan and dry roast all the whole spices first on a low flame – cinnamon, cloves, black peppers, coriander, cumin, stone flower, tej patta, nagkesar (cobra’s saffron), red chilies, nutmeg powder, green cardamoms and black cardamom seeds.
Dry roast till the spices become fragrant on a low heat, stirring often.
Once the spices become fragrant, then add poppy seeds, sesame seeds and desiccated coconut.
Stir continuously non stop and dry roast till the coconut gets golden on low heat. Remove the pan from the heat. Also remove the dry ingredients in another plate or tray.
In the same pan, heat 2 tablespoons oil and add ¾ chopped onions.
Saute on low to medium heat stirring often till light brown or golden.
Then add chopped garlic and ginger. Sauté for a couple of seconds or till the raw aroma of ginger-garlic goes away on low heat.
Then add coriander leaves. Mix very well and saute for half a minute. Then switch off the flame. Let this onion mixture cool down.
Take the roasted whole spices and sautéed onion mixture in a grinder jar.
Add ½ to ¾ cup water and grind to a smooth paste. Keep aside.
making paneer kolhapuri
Heat 2 tablespoons oil in the same pan.
Then add finely chopped tomatoes.
Stir and saute till the tomatoes turn pulpy and soft. Oil should release from the sautéed tomatoes.
Now add the spice powders – ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder, ½ teaspoon kashmiri red chilli powder and a pinch of asafoetida.
Mix the spice powders very well with the tomatoes.
Now add the kolhapuri masala.
Mix very well with the tomatoes and saute for 2 to 3 minutes on a low heat.
Add 1 to 1.25 cups water. Instead of adding water directly to the pan, add some water in the grinder jar and rinse it very well, so that the remaining masala gets mixed with water. Then add this masala mixed water in the pan.
Season with salt as required. Salt in this recipe has to be right. If less salt is added, you do not get the flavor of the spices.
Bring the gravy to a simmer on a low to medium heat for 7 to 8 minutes. In between do stir, so that the masala does not stick to the base of the pan.
You should see some specks of oil floating on the gravy. This means the gravy is done. Then add paneer cubes (200 grams).
Mix and switch off the heat.
Serve this spicy paneer kolhapuri with chapatis or phulkas or bhakri. Garnish with some coriander leaves while serving. Accompany it with some sliced onions and lemon wedges.
- You can add less or more red chilies as per your preferences. If using lavangi chilies, then add 2 or 3 chilies.
- Depending on the type of chilies used, the color of the gravy will vary.
- Skip poppy seed, nagkesar and stone flower if you do not have them
- Instead of paneer, you can also use tofu.
Amount Per Serving
Calories 373 Calories from Fat 288
% Daily Value*
Saturated Fat 12g75%
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 12g
Vitamin A 937IU19%
Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) 1mg67%
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) 1mg59%
Vitamin B3 (Niacin) 1mg5%
Vitamin B6 1mg50%
Vitamin C 88mg107%
Vitamin E 6mg40%
Vitamin K 17µg16%
Vitamin B9 (Folate) 26µg7%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
This Paneer Kolhapuri post from the archives first published in Dec 2016 has been republished and updated on 28 June 2022.