Paneer Pasanda Recipe ( Instant Pot Paneer)


Author: David

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Are you tired of the same old paneer recipes for your family dinners? Then it’s time for you to try the delectable Paneer Pasanda recipe! This mouthwatering dish consists of rich and creamy cashew-based gravy with a mélange of spices that cradles succulent paneer pieces.

This recipe is great for gatherings, house parties, and special occasions. Serve this gorgeous Paneer delicacy to your family and guests, and enjoy the exhilaration that takes over the ambiance!

Paneer Pasanda with rice and chilies

And the other one to join the list is the super delicious Instant Pot shahi Paneer Pasanda recipe that holds a special place in our hearts.

It is a rich, creamy, mildly-flavored, and generously spiced recipe of stuffed Paneer with gravy.

This ravisher, which reminds us of the imperial flavors of India, is one of the most popular Indian culinary creations that deliver ecstatical deliciousness in every bite.

Shahi paneer served with roti

What is Instant Pot Paneer Pasanda

Paneer is a kind of non-melting cheese made by curdling the milk and collecting the milk solids. It is used in a variety of delicious dishes across the Indian subcontinent. 

Paneer comes from the Persian word ‘panir,’ meaning cheese in Turkish and Persian languages. Paneer is a healthy ingredient, rich in protein and calcium, and is used extensively in dishes for its versatility to complement sweet and savory dishes. 

The word ‘pasanda’ hails from the Urdu word ‘pasande,’ meaning liking or preference. Together the name Paneer Pasanda means a cheese-based dish that is adorably delicious

The authentic dish was primarily served to the Mughal emperors, as evident – the richness and luxuriousness of its gravy and the ingredients that go into its preparation.

With a perfect medley of flavors and textures that it has, this paneer pasanda recipe is best relished with

Reasons You’ll ♡ Shahi Paneer Pasanda Recipe

For ardent Paneer lovers across the country, paneer Pasanda is a gorgeously creamy dish, and there are many reasons to fall in love with this recipe —

  • Super delicious and mouth-watering recipe
  • One of the best alternatives to meat protein
  • High in nutritional value
  • Versatile recipe
  • Can be turned vegan
  • A make-ahead recipe, and 
  • Scalable as per the requirement!

Difference between Paneer pasanda and Paneer Butter masala

Paneer Pasanda and Paneer Butter Masala are among the most loved paneer recipes in the Indian subcontinent. Although both the recipes sound similar and somewhat look identical because they are both gravy-style dishes, they are pretty different in their preparation. Here is how they differ from each other –

Paneer Butter Masala — The gravy for this dish is creamier and richer because of the butter used for cooking this luscious dish. Paneer Butter Masala (or Paneer Makhani/ Paneer Makhanwala) is mildly spicy, although it is aromatic and superbly flavorful.

The paneer is cut into cubes or length-wise for this recipe and simmered in a rich, creamy onion-tomato-cashew-based sauce. Butter and fresh cream are smeared over the prepared dish for garnishing and extra flavor.

Paneer Pasanda — The significant difference between the two recipes is the choice of paneer chunks. Paneer pasanda is prepared with the slices/ triangles of paneer stuffed with a mixture of grated paneer and nuts, which are then deep-fried or shallow-fried.

These stuffed paneer slices/ triangles are then simmered in a creamy and flavorful sauce prepared with onions, cashews, and tomatoes.

Gravy ingredient list

Instant Pot Paneer Pasanda Recipe Ingredient List

Paneer — Paneer is the primary ingredient for this recipe of Paneer Pasanda. Use fresh store-bought paneer for this recipe, as it will be easier to slice. You can cut the paneer into triangle pieces or lengthwise, just as you would want.

Onions — It forms the base for the gravy in this recipe and lends the Shahi paneer recipe its texture and a host of sweet, savory, and spicy flavors that make every morsel divinely appetizing!

Tomatoes — Add color and creamy texture to the gravy while also adding a hint of delightful tanginess. 

Ginger and Garlic The ginger-garlic combo renders the dish’s depth of flavor and unique delectability.

Whole Spices — Aromatic and most flavorsome whole spices like bay leaves, whole black cardamoms, green cardamom, cloves, and cumin seeds add more deliciousness to this fantastic paneer pasanda recipe.

Turmeric/ Haldi — Lends this recipe a beautiful yellow color that entices the eyes.

Red chili powder — Kashmiri red chili powder adds stunning red color to the recipe without adding much heat. 

Garam Masala powder — Adds more intense flavors and spiciness to the paneer pasanda recipe. 

Kasuri Methi — A vital ingredient added to the recipe by the end of preparation, Kasuri methi magically adds distinctive flavors to the recipe. Take care not to add more than needed, as it can make the recipe taste bitter.

Cashews — Cashew paste lends more creaminess and subtleness to this recipe of Paneer Pasanda. Cashews can be substituted with coconut cream, melon seeds, almonds, or poppy seeds if you don’t prefer to use them. 

Expert Tips and Variations

Use the paneer crumbs —You may be left with a few paneer crumbs while cutting the paneer pieces. Do not discard these, as they will be used up when preparing the paneer stuffing.

Do not add milk all at once —Add milk slowly to the paneer stuffing/ mixture. If you add it all at once, you may have a runny stuffing/ mixture, and we don’t want that.

Cornflour slurry for sealing the paneer squares —Stuffed paneer squares need to be sealed before they are placed into the oil for frying. If not closed, they may open up in the oil, and the stuffing will disintegrate.

Avoid the ‘burn’ message —After the cooking is done, deglaze the Instant Pot insert for any bits of the mixture which might have stuck to the bottom. Scrape everything correctly from the base to prevent the burn message on your Instant Pot.  

Selection of paneer —You can use homemade paneer or store-bought paneer for this recipe. I have used store-bought paneer as the soft homemade paneer may crumble while slicing. To use the store-bought paneer in this recipe, rinse the paneer properly under tap water and pat it dry with a kitchen towel. Now, place the paneer block into lukewarm water for about 5 minutes to let it soften. Avoid soaking it for long; otherwise, it will crumble while slicing.

When using frozen paneer —Frozen paneer needs to be thawed over the kitchen counter to soften before it is sliced. After thawing, place it in a warm water bath for about 10 minutes. Remove it from the water and pat it dry with the kitchen towel. It is ready for slicing now.

Frying options —You can pan-fry or deep fry the paneer cubes as per your choice. Pan-fried paneer cubes will turn out to be softer and succulent, while deep-fried paneer cubes will be more intense in flavor.

Instant Pot Paneer Recipe

Use ripe tomatoes for best results Ripe tomatoes add their subtle sweetness and slight tanginess to the recipe, just as perfectly as we want. You can use fresh ripe tomatoes for a creamy sauce or store-bought canned tomato puree to make the creamiest gravy. 

Prepare a smooth paste for the ultimate texture —Smooth textured gravy is the characteristic of this amazingly delicious recipe of Paneer Pasanda. To make the gravy smooth and stunningly luscious, grind the onion-tomato-cashew mix to a fine paste. You could even sieve the grainy paste through the wire mesh to render it a super smooth texture that takes the recipe to another level!

To add a vibrant hue —This recipe of Paneer Pasanda gets its beautiful color from the Kashmiri red chili powder added to it, although it does not make the dish too spicy. If you prefer a more vibrant color like the restaurant-style Paneer Pasanda recipe, you may add a pinch of an orange tint to the gravy and enjoy the drool-worthy hue!

The magic of Kasuri methi Dried Kasuri methi is crushed and added to the gravy by the end of the preparation, which brings magical flavor to the best paneer pasanda recipe.

Cashews take care of the creaminess The creaminess and lusciousness of the gravy are rendered by the cashew paste added to the shahi paneer recipe. Therefore, there is no need to add cream to the dish. However, if you still want to add cream to the prepared Paneer Pasanda dish, swirl it towards the end when you are about to serve this recipe. 

If substituting mawa — You can replace mawa with unsweetened desiccated coconut for this recipe. You can skip adding both if you don’t have a penchant for either. 

Customizable recipe This recipe for Paneer Pasanda is completely customizable; therefore, you can scale it up or down to suit your preferences. 

Turn it vegan — You can turn this Paneer Pasanda into a vegan recipe by making a few changes – 

  • Substitute the paneer with vegan tofu.
  • Swap the butter with oil.
  • Replace the regular milk with coconut cream

How to add a smoky flavor to Paneer Pasanda?

This recipe can be rendered with a beautiful smoky flavor that seduces the taste buds. The process of smoking the food is called the ‘dhungar’ method, which is quite prevalent in India. This is how dhungar is processed —

  • Two pieces of charcoal briquettes are heated over the fire until red hot.
  • They are then carefully lifted with the help of a pair of tongs and dropped into a steel bowl/ Katori.
  • Two teaspoons of ghee are drizzled over these burning charcoal briquettes.
  • As soon as the charcoal starts emitting smoke, it is transferred to a bowl (prepared for the Paneer Pasanda recipe) and covered with a lid for about 6- 8 minutes. At this time, the paneer soaks up all the smoky flavors.
  • The lid is then removed, and the steel bowl/Katori is lifted from the dish.
  • The smoky-flavored Paneer Pasanda is ready to devour.

Paneer pieces dunked in pasanda gravy


This lusciously rich and sinfully mouthwatering recipe of Paneer Pasanda is always a winning recipe. I bet this will make a huge hit with your family and guests too.

If you are ready to surprise your loved ones with this comforting and decadent dish, let us begin with the recipe immediately, without further delay.

Should you make this recipe, please let me know your thoughts by sharing your comment below. And don’t forget to share it with your family and friends.


Follow the step-by-step instructions to make the best Instant Pot Paneer Pasanda Recipe


  • Steps: 1-4 — Melt ghee over medium heat in a heavy-bottomed pan. Once the ghee starts to melt, add chopped onions to the pan. Sauté until the onions turn translucent. Add ginger and garlic to the onions. Sauté the ginger and garlic for 1-2 minutes or until fragrant.

  • Steps: 5- 8 — Add cashews to this mix. Cook cashews for 2-3 minutes over medium heat, stirring intermittently.

  • Steps: 9-12 —Now add chopped tomatoes to the pan. Sauté the tomatoes with onions + cashews. Set the flame to the lowest setting and cover the pan. Allow the mixture to simmer over low heat until the tomatoes are soft and tender.Once the tomatoes are soft, uncover the pan. Take it off the heat and allow the masala to cool.Once cooled, transfer this mix to a blender. Puree the cooled masala in the blender until smooth and creamy. Set aside. 
  • Steps: 13-16 —Heat a heavy-bottomed pan or Kadai over medium heat. Add butter and oil to it. As the butter starts to melt, add bay leaf, cinnamon, green cardamom, black cardamom, and cloves to the pan. Sauté for a few seconds until the whole spices are fragrant. Now add Kashmiri red chili powder to the whole spices. Mix until fully combined. Do not cook for long or the chilies will burn. Next, add the butter gravy back to the pan.
  • Steps: 17-20 —Mix until the sauce is fully blended.It’s time to season our masala. Add the coriander powder, turmeric, sugar, garam masala powder, and salt to the masala.
  • Stir around a while until the spices are well blended in the gravy. Cook for another 1-2 minutes on medium heat. Keep stirring. Now add water to the butter masala gravy. Depending on the consistency you like, add water slowly. If you prefer a thick gravy, add less water than recommended in the recipe. 
  • Add the paneer triangles to the simmering gravy. Cover and cook for another 3-4 minutes or until the paneer is soft. Garnish with chopped cilantro leaves and serve hot with jeera rice. 


  • Turn the Instant Pot to ‘Saute mode.’ Once it displays ‘hot,’ add oil to the insert.

  • Add bay leaves, cumin seeds, green cardamom, cloves, and whole black cardamom. Sauté for a minute or until fragrant.

  • Add garlic pods and ginger slices to the Instant Pot.

  • Add cubed onions to the insert. Sauté until the onions turn translucent.

  • Add soaked cashews and chopped tomatoes to the pot. Sauté for 3-4 minutes. 

  • Add green chilies to the pot and give the ingredients a good stir. Turn the Instant Pot off. Close the lid and seal the pot. Press the Manual or pressure cook button and cook the masala for 5 minutes on HIGH.Tip — It will take about 10 minutes for the pressure to build before the actual cooking time.
  • Once the cooking time has elapsed, turn the steam valve to the venting position to quickly release the pressure. When the pin drops, carefully open the lid. Discard the bay leaves and whole black cardamom pods.

  • Allow the onion mixture to cool completely. 

  • Once cooled, transfer the onion mixture to a blender.

  • Blend until smooth. 

  • Turn the Instant Pot to ‘Saute mode.’ Once it displays ‘hot,’ add ghee to the insert. Add Kashmiri red chili powder and turmeric powder to the insert.

  • Sauté for a few seconds. 

  • Add the ground mix to the insert. Sauté for 4-5 minutes on LOW.

  • Add spices to the simmering gravy. Give it a good stir. 

  • While the gravy is simmering, slice the fried stuffed paneer into triangles.

  • Add the paneer triangle to the simmering gravy.

  • Cook for another 3-4 minutes or until the paneer is soft. 

  • Add water to adjust consistency to your liking.

  • Garnish with chopped cilantro leaves and serve hot with jeera rice. 


Frequently Asked Questions

Why is my paneer chewy?
There are a couple of reasons for the Paneer to become chewy.
The store-bought paneer can become chewy and rubbery after being cooked. So, it is best to soak it in warm water for about 10 minutes and then use it in the recipe.

Paneer can also become chewy on being cooked for a prolonged time, as heat can remove the moisture from the paneer, making it dry and chewy.
Therefore, it is best to cook it for just a sufficient time.
Can I make this recipe in advance? 
This recipe can be prepared ahead of time and assembled later into a beautiful dish to serve your loved ones. This is all you need to do 

  • Prepare the paneer cubes two days in advance.
  • Shallow fry them, cool them, and store them in an air-tight container and place it in the fridge.
  • Similarly, prepare the gravy and cool it. Transfer it to an air-tight container and store it in the fridge.
  • When ready to serve, heat the gravy in a heavy-bottomed wide pan and bring it to a boil. Add the triangle-cut pieces of Paneer to the gravy, cover the pan and let it simmer for about 3- 4 minutes.
  • Your delicious Paneer Pasanda recipe is ready to be devoured.

Storing Leftovers!
You can store this dish’s leftovers for later. Cool it completely and transfer it to an air-tight container. Slide it in the fridge to store for 3- 4 days.
To reheat – 
When ready to serve, reheat the recipe in the microwaveable bowl, adding a little water to the thickened gravy. You can also reheat it in a skillet on the stovetop and serve it hot.
This recipe is entirely freezer-friendly! You can transfer the Paneer Pasanda to a freezer-safe container and freeze it for up to 2 – 3 months. Thaw it over the countertop before reheating it.
You can reheat it in a skillet, adding water to adjust the consistency. You can also reheat it in the microwave in a microwave-safe bowl and serve it hot.

Calories: 209kcal | Carbohydrates: 16g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 30mg | Sodium: 86mg | Potassium: 253mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 519IU | Vitamin C: 9mg | Calcium: 168mg | Iron: 1mg

The nutritional information provided above is approximate. Variations may exist due to the ingredients/brands used. These numbers should be considered estimates, as they are not calculated by a registered dietician.


About Author


Welcome to my incredible food paradise! If you are passionate about food, this is the right place to explore exquisite recipes. From tasty starters, delicious meals, and blissful sweet delights, here you will find everything to please the gourmet in you. 

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Welcome to my incredible food paradise! If you are passionate about food, this is the right place to explore exquisite recipes. From tasty starters, delicious meals, and blissful sweet delights, here you will find everything to please the gourmet in you. ❤

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