Pan fried paneer cooked in a curry flavored with lemongrass and coconut milk!
This Paneer Lemongrass Coconut Curry is easy to make, has so much flavor and pairs well with jasmine rice or brown rice.
I love the flavor of lemongrass in my chai, have you guys ever tried it?
So, whenever we visit an Asian store, I make sure to buy bunch of lemongrass and then use it in my tea throughout the week.
However, the amount is usually much more than I would need for my chai and so I end up using it in my recipes.
Few weeks back, I had this block of paneer that I wanted to use in a recipe and so I combined the lemongrass with paneer and came up with this Paneer Lemongrass Coconut Curry.
It turned our really well, in fact it won’t be wrong to say that it was one of my personal favorite recipes that I have made in my kitchen recently.
This Paneer Lemongrass Curry
✔makes a flavorful weeknight curry which is packed with flavor.
✔is gluten-free and can be made vegan.
✔has the perfect balance of sweet and savory flavors.
✔pairs so well with jasmine rice.
The flavor of this recipes comes from a paste made with lemongrass, cilantro, garlic, ginger, chili and yogurt.
I used a bit of this paste to marinade the paneer and then stirred the remaining in the curry.
It not only gives the curry a green color but also adds to the depth of flavors. Marinating the paneer is also important since paneer absorbs the flavors by doing so.
Other than the paste, the curry also has curry leaves, cumin powder, coriander powder, dried red chilies, cilantro and coconut milk.
The coconut milk forms the base of this curry along with lemongrass. It gives texture to the curry and also gives it a subtle sweet taste. I would highly recommend not replacing the coconut milk here.
My choice of coconut milk is always Chaokoh coconut milk and I used their full fat can. You may use the low fat coconut milk here but that would make the curry less creamy so my recommendation would be to stick with the full fat.
The only prep time for this recipe is when you marinade the paneer and set it aside for 20 minutes. Once that’s done, this is a pretty easy curry to put together.
A squeeze of lime juice in the end brings all the flavors together so do not skip on that.
Adding More Veggies
So, this curry only has paneer but if you want, you add more veggies to it to make it more wholesome.
Like you can add broccoli, peppers, green peas, snap peas etc.
You can even add some boiled chickpeas here, that would make it even more protein packed.
Making It Vegan
You can easily make this curry vegan with the following substitutions.
– Use plain almond milk yogurt in place of whole milk yogurt in the marinade.
– Use extra-firm tofu in place of paneer. If using tofu, first press it with a heavy object for 20 minute to remove excess moisture from it and then cut into cubes and then marinade it.
It’s important to do this step so that the tofu absorbs the flavors better.
I loved mine with brown rice but this paneer lemongrass coconut curry will also pair well with white jasmine rice or even quinoa.
If you have this block of paneer and you are bored with the usual paneer dishes, then give this paneer lemongrass coconut curry a try. I am sure you won’t be disappointed!
Paneer Lemongrass Coconut Curry
For the paste
- 2 stalks lemongrass chopped, 25 grams, measured after removing the hard outer parts
- 1/2 cup cilantro
- 1.5 inch ginger roughly chopped
- 4-5 large garlic cloves roughly chopped
- 1 green chili
- 2 tablespoons oil 30 ml, I used avocado oil
- 2 tablespoons yogurt plain whole milk yogurt
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 200 grams paneer
- 3 tablespoons oil divided, I used avocado oil
- 2 whole dried red chilies
- 7-8 curry leaves
- 1 teaspoon chopped ginger
- 1 teaspoon chopped garlic
- 1 medium onion quartered and petals separated
- 1 green chili sliced
- 1 cup water divided, 8 oz
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
- 1/2 teaspoon coriander powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt adjust to taste
- 1.5 cups coconut milk 12 oz
- 1-2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
- 1/2 lime juice of
- To a blender, add the ingredients for the marinade- lemongrass, cilantro, ginger, garlic, green chili, 2 tablespoons oil, 2 tablespoons yogurt and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Blend to a smooth paste.
- Add paneer cubes to a bowl, now take 1 tablespoon from the prepared marinade and add it to the bowl with paneer. Mix well until all paneer cubes are coated with the marinade. Set the paneer aside for 20 minutes.
- After 20 minutes are up, heat 1 tablespoon oil in a skillet on medium heat. Pan fry paneer pieces (in a single layer) until golden brown from both sides, around 3 to 4 mins on each side.Remove fried paneer on a plate and set aside.
- Heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil on medium heat in another skillet (or you can use the same skillet in which you had fried the paneer). Once the oil is hot, add dried red chilies and curry leaves. Saute for few seconds and then add the chopped ginger and garlic. Cook for 1 minute.
- Add the onion petals, sliced green chili, stir and cook for 3 minutes until the onions soften.
- Add the remaining prepared marinade to the pan and mix well. Cook 2 minutes.
- Then add 1/2 cup water to the pan and mix. I added the 1/2 cup water to the blender in which I had blended the paste, and gave it a pulse and added that water to the pan. This way all the remaining marinade sticking to the blender would also come out.
- Add cumin powder, coriander powder and 1/2 teaspoon salt and cook for 1 more minute.
- Add in the coconut milk and remaining 1/2 cup water. Mix and let the curry come to a low simmer and let it be like that for around 5 minutes.
- Then add the pan fried paneer and stir. Simmer 2 to 3 minutes.
- Add cilantro, lime juice and remove pan from heat.
- Serve paneer lemongrass coconut curry with a side of rice.
- To make the curry spicier, you may add more of the green chilies to the paste while blending it.
- Add more veggies to the curry to make it more wholesome.