Paneer with Traditional Malvani Masala


The standard cuisine of the Konkan region of Maharashtra and Goa, and some northern parts of West Karnataka goes under the mantle of Malvani cuisine. Although it cuisine is predominantly non-vegetarian, there are a lot of vegetarian delicacies too. Although it is an independent cuisine, it overlaps Maharashtrian and Goan cuisines. Malvanis cook food in their own distinct way. They use plenty of coconut in its various forms such as scraped, grated dried coconut, fried, coconut paste and coconut milk. Many masalas have dried red chilies and other spices like coriander seeds, peppercorns, cumin seeds, cardamom, ginger, garlic, etc. Some dishes also use kokum, dried kokam (amsul), tamarind and raw mango that not only add a delicious sourness to the food but also a distinct flavour. So here is the recipe of paneer malvani masala:


  • Cottage Cheese 300 grams
  • Dried Red Chillies 3 tablespoon
  • Black cardamom 2-3
  • Green cardamom 4-5
  • Cloves 3-4
  • Dried red chillies broken 4-5
  • Coriander seeds 1 tablespoon
  • Cumin seeds 1 teaspoon
  • Onion sliced 1 medium
  • Stone flower (dagad phool) 2-3
  • Cinnamon 1 inch
  • Ginger-garlic paste 1 tablespoon
  • Dried coconut ( khopra) grated ¼ cup
  • Tomato finely chopped 1 medium
  • Turmeric powder ½ teaspoon
  • Salt to taste
  • Star anise 2
  • Curry leaves 8-10
  • Onion finely chopped 1 medium
  • coriander leaves finely chopped 2 tablespoon
  • Coconut milk ½ cup
  • Fresh coriander sprigs for garnis


  1. Heat 2 tbsps oil in a non-stick pan, add black and green cardamom, cloves, dried chillies, coriander seeds and cumin seeds and sauté for a minute. Adds sliced onion, stone flower and cinnamon and sauté for 6-8 minutes.
  2. Add ginger-garlic paste and sauté for 2-3 minutes. Add dried coconut and tomato and mix well. Add turmeric powder and salt and mix well. Remove from heat, cool and add 4 tbsps water and grind into a smooth paste.
  3. Heat remaining oil in another non-stick pan, add star anise and curry leaves and sauté. Add chopped onion and sauté till translucent.
  4. Strain the ground mixture into the pan along with ½ cup water and mix well. Cook for 3-4 minutes.
  5. Cut cottage cheese into big cubes and add along with coriander leaves and coconut milk and mix well. Simmer for 2 minutes.
  6. Transfer the curry into a serving bowl, garnish with coriander sprig and serve hot.

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