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Oh umm, hey! I made us some cheese… in a creamy indian sauce!!

Creamy Cashew Indian Butter Paneer...with Fried Paneer | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

No I literally made us some cheese. Well, not us, me, but you know.

My grocery store didn’t carry paneer (or they do, but they were out), so I decided to make my own. It was actually so incredibly easy and if you are interested, I used this recipe from The Kitchen. It only takes thirty minutes and it was actually kind of fun.  If you have the time, I would totally give it a try. It’s kind of cool saying you made your own cheese, or at least I think it is.

Creamy Cashew Indian Butter Paneer...with Fried Paneer | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

But this recipe isn’t for homemade paneer. Nope. Today I am telling all about how I fried the paneer in a skillet, made it crispy and then tossed it in a creamy cashew Indian butter sauce. I know, I know. The Indian food lovers are going insane right now.

It’s good stuff, semi healthy and actually a very simple, quick and easy recipe to make. Yeah!!

Creamy Cashew Indian Butter Paneer...with Fried Paneer | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

I used my Healthy Crockpot Indian Butter Chicken as a guide for this recipe. That Butter Chicken recipe is probably my most viewed and well liked recipe, it seems people really love it!! Which is kind of weird since I will not lie, no one in my family went head over heels for it. I mean, I loved both of these recipes, especially the sauce, but my family really doesn’t like Indian food. It’s such a bummer.

Oh well, more creamy cashew Indian butter paneer for me and you!!

Creamy Cashew Indian Butter Paneer...with Fried Paneer | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

But can we just talk about that crispy paneer? I mean, it is totally not necessary for you to do this step, but why wouldn’t you? It is so good and it gives that somewhat bland cheese such nice flavor and texture. Please try it!!

Oh and the sauce? I know it is not traditional to have cashews in butter chicken, but then again neither is swapping the chicken for paneer. So since I was already going all wild and crazy, I kind of thought, why not add just a little more creaminess and flavor to this sauce by adding cashews. It keeps the sauce so incredibly silky without actually have to add any cream, like in traditional butter chicken.

So really, we have a completely healthy and slimmed down version here. Nice!!

Creamy Cashew Indian Butter Paneer...with Fried Paneer | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

Honestly though, I do think the reason I made this recipe was just yet another excuse to have a creamy sauce to dip that naan into. That naan, ah, it is a VERY loved recipe around here!

Creamy Cashew Indian Butter Paneer...with Fried Paneer | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

Creamy Cashew Indian Butter Paneer...with Fried Paneer!

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings: 6 Servings
Calories Per Serving: 255 kcal

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.

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Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil or ghee or butter
  • 8 ounces paneer cheese cubed
  • 1 (14 ounce) can coconut milk lite or regular
  • 3/4 cup roasted cashews
  • 1 (6 ounce) tomato paste can
  • 1/4 cup greek yogurt or 1/4 cup more coconut milk for vegans
  • 1/2 a small sweet onion diced
  • 2 cloves garlic minced or grated
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger grated
  • 2 teaspoons spicy curry powder
  • 1-2 teaspoons thai red curry paste I used 2
  • 1-2 tablespoons garam masala I used 1
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper or to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon saffron optional
  • 1-2 cup broccoli florets
  • chopped cilantro for topping
  • steamed rice for serving
  • fresh naan for serving

Instructions

  • Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add 1 tablespoon coconut oil (or ghee). Once hot, add the cubed paneer in batches and cook about 2 minutes per side or until crisp. Remove from the heat and drain on paper towels. Repeat with any remaining paneer. Reserve the skillet and set the paneer aside.*
  • To a food processor or high powered blender, add the cashews and coconut milk. Blend on high until completely smooth and silky, about 3-4 minutes. Add the tomato paste, yogurt and 1/2 cup water. Blend until smooth. Set aside.
  • To the same skillet you fried the paneer, add the remaining tablespoon of oil. Once hot, add the onion, garlic and ginger, cook about 5-8 minutes or until the onion is soft and lightly caramelized. Add the curry powder, thai red curry paste, garam masala, turmeric, cayenne and salt. Cook one minute and then stir in the cashew/coconut mixture. Bring the sauce to a gentle boil and if it seems too thick for your liking, stir in water or coconut milk to thin. Once the sauce is at your desired consistency, stir in the crispy paneer and saffron if using. Add the broccoli and cook until warmed through and the sauce thickened slightly, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and serve over a bed of hot rice sprinkled with chopped cilantro. And don't forget the naan for dipping!

Notes

*You do not have to fry the paneer. If you wish, you can just add it directly to the sauce without frying.

Creamy Cashew Indian Butter Paneer...with Fried Paneer | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvestSo make the naan and the enjoy!

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Comments

    1. Hey Rachel,
      I have never tried freezing this recipe, but let me know if you give it a try! xTieghan

  1. 5 stars
    This was outstanding! I made a few modifications based on personal preference. I soaked raw cashews in hot water for 15 min instead of using roasted cashews. Drained them and puréed with the ingredients. I didn’t use Thai curry. Instead I used my spice mix of Garam masala, chaat masala, cumin, turmeric, chili powder (American), chili powder (Indian), paprika, cardamom, coriander and salt. Added 2 cans of chickpeas (serving a crowd) and more water to thin. No paneer because I made saag paneer to accompany. Will definitely make it again!

    1. Hey Laura,
      Happy Thursday! Thanks so much for making this recipe, I am delighted that it was enjoyed! Thanks for sharing what worked best for you! xTieghan

    1. Hey Julie,
      I am delighted that this recipe was enjoyed, thanks so much for making it! xxTieghan

  2. 5 stars
    This was AMAZING! I made the vegan version substituting coconut yogurt and tofu and it turned out beautifully! Your recipes never disappoint 🙂 Also, people in the comments need to chill out-this woman is sharing her recipes for free and if you don’t want to make them, then don’t! Anyways-thanks again, I’ll definitely be making this for the second time in the near future!

  3. This is not authentic Indian recipe. No butter chicken or paneer recipe will use coconut oil , or coconut milk , and definitely not Thai curry paste.

    It’s a fusion, and your own version of an Indian dish.

    1. Hi Vanita! Yes, it is definitely my version of an Indian dish. All of my recipes have a personal spin on them! I hope you try this and enjoy it! xTieghan

      1. Hi! I can’t wait to try this recipe! Do you cook the broccoli before adding it to the sauce?

        Thanks 🙂

        1. Hey Mel,
          Nope, you are going to cook the broccoli in step 3. I hope you love this recipe, please let me know if you give it a try! xTieghan

    1. Hi Margaret! I would suggest setting up a website through wordpress and uploading your recipes! xTieghan

  4. 5 stars
    Never did I think I could make Indian food like this at home. It’s so simple!
    I substituted cubed Buffalo Mozzarella for the Paneer and initially tried to fry it like you do with the paneer, but it just started melting so I quickly took it out of the pan. Instead I just added the Buffalo Mozz to the sauce right at the end.

    The broccoli was a great fresh addition
    Really good spice level, spicy without being overwhelming

    This makes a large portion, I’m still having leftovers (not complaining!).

  5. This recipe looks amazing! I want to make it for my mother but she can’t handle anything spicy. Any suggestions on how to make the dish super super mild?

    1. Hi Britt! I would just use a regular curry powder and tone it down on the cayenne! I hope she loves this recipe! Please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan

  6. Made this last night and it was really tasty. Loved the combo of the cashews and coconut milk. I had everything but the broccoli which I substituted with green beans. I fried the cheese in half butter half coconut oil which worked well. Question – do you have any tips for keeping the cheese from “popping” and splashing oil? I assume the popping comes from the water in the cheese. I did dry it off out of the package but it still had a few explosions. This recipe is a keeper.

    1. HI! So unfortunately, there is no avoiding the popping of the cheese. It’s just natural when cooking with oil. Please let me know if you have any other questions. So glad you love this recipe! Thank you! xTieghan

  7. Can’t wait to make this over the weekend! And I love the serving spoons too – I have the same ones, purchased in Kenya 20 years ago!

  8. 5 stars
    This was so delicious! And it came together really quickly, too. I loved the texture of the paneer with the creamy sauce. Will definitely make this again!

  9. Hi Tieghan! I love your recipes and the gorgeous photos!! I have a quick question regarding the quantity for the coconut milk (your write ” 1 ounce can coconut milk lite or regular, 14″) is it 1 ounce or 14 (you have the number 14 at the end)… and same for the tomato paste (” 1 ounce tomato paste 6 can”).. is is 1 ounce of 6. Thanks for clarifying and i cant wait to try!!! Val

    1. HI! So sorry for the confusion, recipe is all fixed!! It’s a 6 ounce can of tomato paste and 14 ounce of coconut milk. Please let me know if you have other questions. Hope you love this recipe! Thanks! 🙂

  10. I have read so many articles regarding the blogger lovers but this article is really a pleasant article, keep
    it up.

  11. I was excited when I read this recipe. I need it for a dinner party, and unfortunately I was very disappointed. The Thai red curry paste was very overwhelming in this recipe. It was all we could taste. It made it very unlike any cashew curry (korma) ive ever had. 🙁

  12. This is the closest thing I have ever made that smells and tastes like Indian food from a restaurant! It’s incredible!! I made my own Garam masala because it’s not always easy to find. Have any more Indian recipes?

    1. So happy you lived this!! Yes I have tons of Indian recipes, just search Indian in the search bar at the top of that page. Thank you!!

  13. I am indian. I was looking for a paneer recipe and found this one on the web. I had all the ingredients on hand so thought of trying it. I can’t say enough about how much I liked it. I know indian flavors really well and this tasted exactly like it would if it came from a very good indian restaurant. Thanks!

  14. This recipe looks delicious! And not intimidating which is a must because I have tried making butter chicken a few times before and was always disappointed. I will try making this recipe but with chicken instead of the paneer. I do have one question: Could I substitute ground almonds (almond meal) for the cashews? Thank you for your lovely posts!

    1. Hey Jillian,

      I actually do not think that would work that well. If you would prefer not to use cashews, they can easily just be left out. Let me know if you have other questions.

      Thanks!!

  15. Any suggestions on how you would modify the sauce to be nut-free? I have family coming into town and everyone loves Indian food, but one of my nieces has a nut allergy and I would hate for her to be left out. That said, I’m making my own paneer this weekend no matter what! Mmmmm!

  16. Made this last night for dinner and have to say that is was really delicious. Picked up some paneer and pratha at the local indian market. Next time I will try my hand at homemade paneer and naan. This recipe is a keeper.

  17. Made this tonight. I followed the recipe exactly (as is my tendency the first time I make something, modifications come on the next making) and this was absolutely PERFECT! So thick, rich, and creamy! What a treat! Thanks for the recipe!

  18. Oh… my… gawd! This looks absolutely incredible!!! I love paneer, but fried paneer?! Sign me up!

  19. Paneer is a creamy curry is basically my FAVORITE thing in the whole world. I always order mattar paneer when we go out and over eat cause I have 0 control over my passion of indian food!
    Will be making ASAP!
    Lovely photos as usual.

  20. i think it is fair to say you nailed it. i don’t know if i have ever wanted Indian food before 8am until now. xo

  21. Love butter paneer and I always always try to go for crispy skillet fried paneer when making any paneer based dish cause the FLAVORS!! Yummm!! Girl love your photography!!

  22. I am trying to hold myself back from licking the computer screen right now! So making this tonight! Thanks for a great blog!

  23. Well I know what is on the menu for this weekend! I looove Indian food. I will probably make it with some sort of yogurt marinated chicken instead of paneer though. I’m a bit too lazy to make my own cheese or try to find it here. 😛

  24. OMG. OMG. Omg. “The Indian food lovers are going insane right now.” ME, HERE, RIGHT NOW. This looks so, SO, SO good, Tieghan!! I can’t EVEN. Frying the paneer first is literally making my heart go pitter-patter. Too, too amazing!

  25. Oh boy, this dish would be my downfall!! Seriously, this has “I ate the whole pan of food” written all over it 😛

  26. Where is the “bow-down” emoticon when you need it? Seriously this recipe is the pinnacle of comfort! And of course you made your own paneer, because you’re awesome! Can’t wait to try this out!

  27. My daughter and I just made paneer this past weekend! It was so easy and they say it also freezes. We haven’t tested out our frozen batch yet. Can’t wait to try this recipe.

  28. My boyfriend and I love Indian food. I usually make some sort of curry at least every week! This will HAVE to go on the list for next week. It looks absolutely scrumptious! Thanks for solving one dinner for me 😉

  29. I love garlic naan but I have not tried paneer but after seeing these pictures I will have to try it–looks so good.

  30. Wow, that looks really good. Creamy and delicious.

    Can never say no to paneer. And don’t think many people bother to fry paneer. It goes straight into the curry, or straight into the mouth before it even makes it to the curry. 😉

    1. I’ve never heard of paneer! Now I have to look into it. Was so excited when you used the phrase you made “us” some cheese. Then you corrected yourself. Ha. I love it when people cook for me…..or give me a little help. Naan is wonderful too!