When speaking of the world of curries in the Indian cuisine repertoire, Paneer Kali Mirch is one of the lesser-known ones. But don’t go by this, as it is equally a delicious onion-yogurt based gravy dish with Paneer or Indian cottage cheese in it. This is also the reason that a true-blue North Indian eatery will always feature it on its menu, even after it being a non-popular choice amidst restaurant goers. So, why wait to visit a restaurant to try it out. Here’s the perfect recipe for you try at home.
About Paneer Kali Mirch
So, you’re a paneer lover and wouldn’t mind eating it every day! But are also in a fix, because all the recipes that you know of paneer are just about over or are getting repetitive and monotonous.
This is exactly the time for you to try this Paneer Kali Mirch, which is going to be just the change that you’ve been looking for.
The dish may sound fancy, but is quite simple as it is just a paneer curry that is firstly accentuated with a good dose of black pepper, and the whole dish eventually enriched with the use of aromatic spices, flavorings and cream.
Sounds too good, right? Don’t wait. Just get your aprons on and go ahead with this recipe.
As obvious from the name, kali mirch/kali miri or black pepper is the highlight of this otherwise underrated dish. In this Paneer Kali Mirch recipe, you will be able to notice the presence of kali miri on its own, in a subtle way.
It doesn’t overpower the gravy with its pungency. The slight hint of black pepper in every bite does the trick for your palate.
About My Recipe
The addition of curd (yogurt) imparts a faint sour taste in the gravy and also balances the pungency that you have from the black pepper.
The gravy also has another flavor profile that comes from the fried onion paste. These are the sweet notes which gel really well with the rest of the flavors.
Making the Paneer Kali Mirch is quite easy inspite of the long list of ingredients that you have. Even for someone who’s an amateur or is new to cooking.
This recipe will give you a sumptuous restaurant style dish and the final result is absolutely going to be worth every effort. In the end, you will be really happy.
Since we are at this, here are some of the other popular rich paneer curries that we all love. You must try the Paneer Tikka Masala, Paneer Butter Masala and Paneer Makhani. Of course, whenever you want that much needed change, opt for this Paneer Kali Mirch.
Although Paneer Kali Mirch tastes best when had with Indian flatbreads like roti, phulka, paratha and naan. However, if you are a rice eater, then you can relish the flavors of this lovely dish with jeera rice, peas pulao or even a veg pulao.
How to make Paneer Kali Mirch
Make Onion Paste
1. Heat 1 tablespoon oil or ghee in a a heavy pan or kadai. Add 1 inch cinnamon, 2 green cardamoms, 2 cloves and 1 or 2 mace strands.
2. Sauté for a few seconds till the spices crackle.
3. Then, add ½ cup chopped onions.
4. Mix and begin to sauté the onion on low to medium heat, stirring often.
5. Sauté till the onions become light golden.
6. Then, add ½ teaspoon chopped ginger, ½ teaspoon chopped garlic, 1 chopped green chili (about 1 teaspoon chopped) and 10 to 12 whole cashews.
7. Mix well.
8. Stirring often, sauté till the onions turn golden.
9. Let this mixture become warm or cool down.
10. Then, add in a grinder jar or a small blender. Also, add ⅓ to ½ cup water.
11. Grind to a smooth and fine paste. Keep aside.
12. Take ½ teaspoon whole black pepper in a mortar-pestle.
13. Crush black pepper to a coarse powder. Keep aside.
14. Take ¼ cup fresh curd in a bowl and whisk it till smooth. Keep aside. Use full fat fresh curd. Curd made from toned milk or skimmed milk can curdle in the gravy.
15. Now, in the same pan in which we sautéed the onions, heat 2 tablespoons oil or ghee. Add 1 tej patta and ½ teaspoon caraway seeds (shahi jeera).
If you do not have shahi jeera, you can also use cumin seeds.
16. Sauté for a few seconds till the shahi jeera crackles and becomes fragrant.
17. Now, add the prepared onion paste.
18. Mix well and sauté the onion paste on low heat.
19. In the jar in which the onion paste was ground, add ½ cup water. Swirl and rotate the jar so that the onion paste sticking to the bottom and sides of the jar get mixed with the water.
We will add this onion paste mixed water, later in the gravy. So keep it ready.
20. Stirring often, sauté onion paste for 4 to 5 minutes on low heat.
21. Sauté till you see the oil or ghee separating from the sides of the paste.
22. Then, add the crushed black pepper.
23. Mix very well.
24. Sauté for 1 minute.
25. Next, add the following ground spices:
- ¼ teaspoon red chili powder or cayenne pepper
- ¼ teaspoon garam masala powder
- ½ teaspoon coriander powder (ground coriander)
26. Mix very well and sauté for a minute.
27. Switch off the heat. Remove the pan from the stovetop keep it on the kitchen countertop. Add the whisked curd (yogurt).
28. As soon as you add curd, quickly stir and mix it well with the onion paste.
29. Add ½ cup of the water from the grinder jar.
30. Mix again very well.
31. Now light the stovetop and keep the heat to low. Put the pan on heat and bring the gravy to a simmer.
32. When the gravy comes to a boil, season with salt as per taste. Mix again.
33. Continue to simmer the gravy for a few minutes till you see a few oil or ghee specks on the top. If the gravy becomes thick, you can add some water.
Make Paneer Kali Mirch
34. Add 200 grams cubed paneer.
35. Mix well and switch off the heat. At this step, you can add 2 tablespoons cream, if you want.
36. Lastly, add 1 teaspoon kewra water (pandanus water). Mix again. You can use 1 teaspoon of edible rose water instead of kewra water.
37. Serve Paneer Kali Mirch with flatbreads like roti, chapati, paratha, naan or cumin rice, ghee rice or veg pulao. While serving, garnish with some crushed black pepper, mint leaves or coriander leaves (cilantro).
- Ensure to use fresh full fat curd. Toned milk or skimmed milk curds can curdle in the gravy while cooking.
- You can use the usual cumin seeds, if you don’t have caraway seeds (shahi jeera).
- In case you feel the gravy has become too thick, add some water to get it to a consistency that is desired.
- I have not added cream in this dish. Cream gives a richer and smoother finish to the gravy and you can add it if you prefer.
- If you have edible rose water at home instead of the kewra water (pandanus water), use it.
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Paneer Kali Mirch Recipe
Paneer Kalimirch is one of the lesser-known but equally tasty gravy based dish made with paneer or Indian cottage cheese. Kalimirch or black pepper is the highlight of this dish.
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Prevent your screen from going dark while making the recipe
Making onion paste
Heat 1 tablespoon oil or ghee in a a heavy pan or kadai. Add the cinnamon stick, green cardamoms, cloves and mace strands.
Sauté for a few seconds till the spices crackle.
Then add the chopped onions.
Mix and begin to sauté the onion on a low to medium heat till they become light golden.
When the onions become light golden, then add chopped ginger, garlic, green chilies. Also add cashews.
Mix and stirring often sauté till the onions turn golden.
Let this onion mixture become warm or cool down.
Then add the onion mixture in a grinder jar or a small blender.
Add ⅓ to ½ cup water and grind to a smooth and fine paste. Keep the onion paste aside.
Making paneer kali mirch
Now in the same pan in which the onions were sautéed, heat 2 tablespoon oil or ghee. Add 1 tej patta and ½ teaspoon shahi jeera (caraway seeds).
Sauté for a few seconds till the caraway seeds crackle and become fragrant.
Now add the onion paste.
Mix very well and on a low heat sauté the onion paste for 4 to 5 minutes.
- In the jar in which the onion paste was ground, add ½ cup water. Swirl and rotate the jar so that the onion paste sticking to the bottom and sides of the jar gets mixed with the water. This onion paste mixed water we will add later in the paneer kalimirch gravy. So keep it ready.
Sauté onion paste till you see the oil or ghee separating from the sides of the paste.
Then add the crushed black pepper.
Mix very well and sauté for 1 minute.
Next add the following spice powders – red chilli powder, garam masala powder and coriander powder.
Mix very well and sauté again for a minute.
Switch off the heat. Keep the pan on the kitchen countertop and then add the beaten or whisked curd (yogurt).
As soon as you add curd then quickly stir and mix it very well with the onion paste.
Add ½ cup water from the grinder jar. Mix again very well.
Now light the stove-top. Keep the heat to a low and then keep the pan on it.
Bring the kali mirch gravy to a simmer.
Then add salt as per taste. Mix again.
Continue to simmer the gravy for a few minutes till you see a few oil or ghee specks on the top. If the kali mirch gravy becomes thick, then you can add some water.
Then add paneer cubes.
Mix well and switch off the heat. At this step you can add 2 tablespoons cream if you want.
Lastly add 1 teaspoon kewra water. Mix again.
Serve Paneer Kali Mirch with roti, chapati, phulka, naan or jeera rice. While serving garnish paneer kalimirch with some crushed black pepper, mint leaves or coriander leaves.
- Remember to use fresh full fat curd or yogurt made with whole milk. Toned milk or skimmed milk yogurt can curdle in the gravy while cooking.
- Swap cumin seeds, with caraway seeds (shahi jeera).
- In case if the gravy looks too thick, add some water to get it to your desired consistency.
- I have not added cream in this dish, but you can add it if you like.
- Use rose water instead of kewra water.
- The recipe cannot be scaled as is. If you plan to scale it, then you will have to gauge and add the ingredients eyeballing them or using the Indian method of andaaz.
Paneer Kali Mirch Recipe
Amount Per Serving
Calories 375 Calories from Fat 297
% Daily Value*
Saturated Fat 14g88%
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 10g
Vitamin A 191IU4%
Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) 0.05mg3%
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) 0.1mg6%
Vitamin B3 (Niacin) 0.2mg1%
Vitamin B6 0.1mg5%
Vitamin B12 0.1µg2%
Vitamin C 5mg6%
Vitamin D 0.1µg1%
Vitamin E 4mg27%
Vitamin K 5µg5%
Vitamin B9 (Folate) 9µg2%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
This Paneer Kali Mirch recipe from the archives first published in October 2017 has been republished and updated on November 2022.