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4.67 from 6 votes

Paneer Lababdar (Make restaurant style simple paneer recipe at home)

Paneer lababdar is a rich and creamy Punjabi curry with paneer and homemade cashew tomato gravy.  A low carb Indian Vegetarian recipe that is easy enough to make in an Instant Pot. 
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Resting time10 mins
Total Time40 mins
Course: lunch/ dinner
Cuisine: Indian - Punjabi
Servings: 6
Calories: 227kcal
Author: Khushboo


  • 1.5 tablespoon Ghee divided ou may use cooking oil too.

For making the gravy paste -

  • ¼ cup chopped onions
  • 1 green chili chopped optional or deseed to reduce heat
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon grated ginger
  • 4 ripe Roma tomatoes roughly chopped use medium size tomatoes
  • ½ cup water to cook the mixture
  • ½ cup chilled water additionally for grinding the paste
  • Salt to taste

Whole Spice used-

  • 2 dried red chilies bydagi or kashmiri for less heat.
  • 2 peppercorns
  • 2 cloves
  • 2 green cardamom
  • 2 black cardamom Badi elaichi
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 1 tablespoon melon seeds
  • 14 raw whole cashews
  • 1 Bay leaf
  • 1 mace flower
  • ½ “ cinnamon stick
  • ½ teaspoon cumin seeds jeera

To add later

  • 1 cup water
  • ½ teaspoon red chili powder
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon kasoori methi crushed with fingers
  • 1 teaspoon sugar or honey
  • 1/3 rd cup grated paneer
  • 250 grams paneer cubes approx. 1.5 cups
  • 3 tablespoon Fresh cream heavy cream
  • Handful of Chopped Cilantro


For Instant Pot

  • Gather all the ingredients for making the gravy.
  • Heat ½ tablespoon ghee in the IP.
  • After 10 seconds start roasting all whole spices for 20 seconds.
  • Add in onions and roast for half a minute.
  • Press cancel. This is to avoid burning of whole spices. Add in the ginger garlic paste.
  • The heat after pressing CANCEL is enough to cook the paste for 20 seconds.
  • Add in tomatoes, green chili  and ½ cup water.
  • Add in salt to taste .
  • Close the IP with its lid, the black knob being on SEALING position.
  • Press MANUAL 3 minutes HIGH PRESSURE.
  • Meanwhile grate and chop the paneer.
  • Once the IP beeps place a dish cloth over the black knob and carefully perform QUICK RELEASE with back of a spoon.
  • Once the silver pin drops down open the IP.
  • With help of IP mitts or dish cloth take out the inner bowl from the Instant Pot and let it rest to cool down on a pot holder.
  • Pour in ½ cup chilled water to quicken the process.
  • It should take around 10 minutes to cool down.
  • Now grind the mixture in a blender to form a smooth paste. ( After it’s completely cooled down.)
  • Wash the Inner pot of the IP and pat it dry.
  • Place it back in the Instant Pot.
  • Keep 1 cup of water by your side which we will use while cooking the paste .
  • Press Sautee mode.
  • Add in 1 tablespoon of ghee.
  • After 10 seconds add in chili powder, turmeric , the prepared mixture and stir continuously for 30 seconds as the mixture is going to splatter .
  • Pour in 1 cup water. And give it a good stir.
  • Cover the pot with any other lid as we are going to cook the gravy on Saute mode so it won’t be under pressure.
  • Cook it for a minute.
  • The gravy splatters quiet a bit so feel free to press cancel button at anytime.
  • Now add in heavy cream, grated paneer, paneer cubes, Kasoori methi and give it a quick stir .
  • And Press Sautee again when you are all set.
  • Cook for a minute and press Cancel.
  • The residual heat is enough to cook the Paneer and make it soft.
  • After a minute open the lid and add in chopped cilantro and sugar.
  • Give it a quick stir.
  • Taste test and adjust seasoning if needed.

For Stove top

  • For gravy part , boil the ingredients in the pan loosely covered for 10-15 minutes until soft. Or you may use stovetop pressure cooker and cook the gravy ingredients for 2 whistles and let the pressure come down naturally. 
  • Stir occasionally so that the water doesn’t overflow.
  • Rest follow as per Instant Pot method. Instead of Instant Pot use a wide pan or kadai.


The gravy will thicken considerably as it cools down.
Roasting whole spices doesn’t take long. If you don’t have them, substitute it with 1.5 teaspoon of kitchen king or garam masala plus ½ teaspoon extra red chili powder.
The spice level of this curry is 4 on 5. 5 being hot.
Adjust spices to your heat level.
If you do not have melon seeds substitute it with additional 4 cashews.
Looking for easy paneer recipes then have a look at the one’s below-
Badami Paneer – ready under 20 minutes
Pepper Paneer in yogurt gravy- something different than paneer tikka masala
Paneer masala for dosa sandwiches wraps and more
Lush Green Palak Paneer
For more Instant Pot recipes click here- Instant Pot Pressure Cooker Recipes 


Calories: 227kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Cholesterol: 47mg | Sodium: 23mg | Potassium: 194mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 645IU | Vitamin C: 28.4mg | Calcium: 221mg | Iron: 0.9mg