Handi Paneer Recipe

Handi Paneer

Handi Paneer

Handi Paneer is a North Indian delicious mildly spiced paneer cooked in a tomato, onions and cashew nut gravy, slow cooked in a ‘handi’.
‘Handi’ is a copper or earthen clay pot used for cooking in India. This paneer recipe is traditionally cooked in a clay pot hence the name ‘Handi’ Paneer. If you do not have a ‘handi’ this recipe can be cooked in any heavy bottom pan.

Sometimes in restaurants ‘handi’ dishes are cooked in a pre-cooked gravy. I am sharing my recipe for making Handi Paneer from scratch without using a pre-cooked gravy base. You can cook it at home easily by following the steps in my easy recipe.
Paneer is a vegetarian powerhouse of protein and perhaps one ingredient that I cannot do without. I cook paneer at least once a week if not more. While we all gush about paneer recipes like Paneer Tikka, Paneer Butter Masala, Paneer Bhurji, this mildly spiced paneer recipe can compete with all the paneer main recipes and also with its non- vegetarian counterparts.

Delicately spiced Paneer Handi is perfect to be served with Indian Breads such as Naan, Chilli Garlic naan and Tandoori Lachha Paratha or with rice recipes like Jeera Rice or Plain Rice.
Other recipes you might like to try are Paneer 65, Paneer Jalfrezi, Methi Lasuni Paneer, Matar Paneer with no Onion, Paneer Kali Mirch to name a few.


1 tablespoon oil
1-2 bay leaf
½ inch cinnamon stick
1-2 cloves
1 black cardamom
2-3 green cardamom
1-2 dried red chillies
5-7 black pepper corns
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
2 finely chopped onions

For Paste
3-4 garlic cloves
1 inch roughly chopped ginger
2-3 tablespoons unsalted cashew nuts

Other Ingredients
1 cup tomato puree
Salt to taste
1 teaspoon coriander powder
½ teaspoon turmeric powder
1 teaspoon Kashmiri Red Chilli
1 teaspoon kasuri methi
½ cup water
½ teaspoon garam masala
200 gm paneer (cut in triangles)
1 diced onion
½ diced green pepper
3-4 slit green chillies
2 teaspoons finely chopped coriander



Heat oil in a handi or heavy bottomed pan and add the bay leaf, cinnamon stick, cloves, black cardamom, green cardamom, dried red chillies, black pepper corns and cumin seeds.

Once the cumin seeds begin to splutter add the onion and cook on medium heat for 3-4 minutes or until the onion is golden brown.


Soak the cashew nuts for 30 minutes in hot water. Grind the soaked cashew nuts with garlic and ginger to a fine paste. You can add 2-3 tablespoons of water as needed while grinding.


Once the onions are cooked and golden brown, add the cashew nut paste, tomato puree, salt, turmeric, coriander powder, Kashmiri red chilli, kasuri methi and water. Cover and cook for 5-6 minutes on medium heat.


Once the gravy has cooked add the garam masala, paneer, onion, green peppers, green chillies and coriander and mix. Cover the handi with a foil or a tight lid and cook on low heat for 7-8 minutes.

Serve hot!

Tips & Variations

  1. For this recipe I would highly recommend either using a clay pot or a heavy bottom pot like a cash iron pan.
  2. I have cut the paneer into triangles, but it can be cut in any shape.
  3. Instead of Paneer you can use hard tofu, sweetcorn, mini potatoes, baby corn or some boiled mixed vegetables too.
  4. Adjust the consistency of the final dish using warm water or milk. The final dish should be medium consistency and all paneer pieces should be coated with gravy.
  5. Use vine-ripened fresh tomatoes for tomato puree.