Dhaba Style Chatpata Paneer Recipe

Dhaba Style Chatpata Paneer Recipe

30 mins
2-3 people
20 mins



Hey there, fellow foodies! Allow me to whisk you away into the vibrant world of Indian cuisine, where every dish tells a story and every flavor leaves an indelible mark on your palate. Today, I want to share with you a recipe that holds a special place in my heart - the Dhaba Style Chatpata Paneer.


I still vividly remember the first time I experienced the tantalizing flavors of this dish. It was during a road trip through the rustic landscapes of North India, where we stumbled upon a quaint roadside dhaba (eatery). The aroma wafting from the kitchen drew us in, and with one bite of their signature Chatpata Paneer, I was hooked. From that moment on, I knew I had to recreate this culinary masterpiece in my own kitchen.


Now, let's embark on a culinary adventure together as I share with you the secrets to recreating this iconic dish.




Recipe of Dhaba Style Chatpata Paneer




For Onion Tomato Masala:

  • 4 tbsp Oil
  • 5 Onions, chopped
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 4 tsp Ginger Garlic Paste
  • 1 tsp Turmeric Powder
  • 1 tsp Deggi Mirch Powder
  • 2 tsp Coriander Powder
  • 1 cup Yogurt
  • 4 Tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 tsp Garam Masala Powder
  • 2 tsp Kasoori Methi, soaked
  • 1 cup Tomato Puree

For Dhaba Paneer Finishing:

  • 1 tsp Oil
  • 1 Capsicum, diced
  • 4 Green Chillies, halved
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Coriander Powder
  • 1 tsp Garam Masala Powder
  • 3 Onions, cut into quarters
  • 1 tbsp Butter
  • 250 g Paneer, diced
  • 1 tbsp Chopped Coriander
  • Salt to taste





For Onion Tomato Masala:

  1. Heat oil in a pan, add chopped onion, and cook till golden brown.
  2. Add salt to expedite the onion cooking process.
  3. Add ginger garlic paste dissolved in water and cook briefly.
  4. Add turmeric powder and cook for a while, then add chili powder and coriander powder. Cook on medium flame for 4 minutes.
  5. Reduce the flame and add whipped thick yogurt. Stir continuously till oil separates from the pan.
  6. Add chopped tomato and cook further.
  7. Add garam masala powder and tomato puree. Cook till oil floats on top.
  8. Add a little water to achieve a gravy-like consistency. Set aside soaked kasoori methi for further use.

Finishing of Dhaba Paneer:

  1. Heat oil in a pan and add capsicum dices. Also, add halved green chillies and toss on high flame.
  2. Reduce the flame, add salt, coriander powder, and garam masala powder. Cook further.
  3. Add diced onion and continue cooking on high flame.
  4. Add a blob of butter for a smoky flavor, then add 2 ladles of prepared gravy.
  5. Add soaked kasoori methi and paneer. Gently toss everything together.
  6. Adjust salt and sprinkle garam masala. Add chopped coriander.
  7. Transfer the paneer to a serving dish, garnish with coriander sprigs, and enjoy with your favorite Indian breads or rice.




About the Recipe:


Indulge in the rustic charm of Indian roadside dhabas with this Dhaba Style Chatpata Paneer recipe. Bursting with bold flavors and aromatic spices, this dish is a true testament to the rich culinary heritage of North India. Originating from the bustling streets of Punjab, this recipe captures the essence of traditional Punjabi cuisine with its hearty gravy and succulent chunks of paneer (Indian cottage cheese).


The key to achieving the authentic dhaba-style taste lies in the careful selection and balance of spices, along with the slow cooking process that allows the flavors to meld together beautifully. Whether enjoyed with piping hot naan bread or fluffy basmati rice, this Chatpata Paneer is sure to transport your taste buds to the bustling streets of Punjab.



Cooking Tips:


  1. Use Fresh Paneer: Opt for fresh, soft paneer to ensure a creamy texture and maximum flavor absorption.
  2. Slow-Cooking is Key: Allow the onions and tomatoes to cook down slowly until they form a rich, caramelized base for the gravy.
  3. Balancing Spices: Adjust the amount of spice according to your preference, but don't skimp on the garam masala and kasuri methi for that authentic flavor.
  4. Finish with Fresh Herbs: Garnish with freshly chopped coriander leaves and a squeeze of lemon juice for a burst of freshness.
  5. Experiment with Capsicum: Add diced capsicum for a colorful twist and extra crunch in your paneer gravy.



Pairing Guide:


  • Breads: Serve with hot naan, roti, or paratha for a classic dhaba-style experience.
  • Rice: Pair with steamed basmati rice or jeera rice for a comforting meal.
  • Accompaniments: Enjoy with a side of cooling cucumber raita and tangy pickles to balance the flavors.




10 Frequently Asked Questions about Dhaba Style Chatpata Paneer:


  1. What is Dhaba Style Chatpata Paneer?

    • Dhaba Style Chatpata Paneer is a popular North Indian dish featuring paneer cooked in a spicy and tangy gravy, reminiscent of the flavors found in roadside dhabas (eateries).
  2. Can I use store-bought paneer for this recipe?

    • Yes, you can use store-bought paneer, but fresh homemade paneer will yield the best results in terms of taste and texture.
  3. How spicy is this dish?

    • The spiciness can be adjusted according to personal preference by altering the amount of green chilies or red chili powder used in the recipe.
  4. Can I make this dish vegan?

    • Yes, you can substitute paneer with tofu to make a vegan version of this dish. Use vegan yogurt instead of dairy yogurt in the gravy.
  5. How long does it take to cook Dhaba Style Chatpata Paneer?

    • The cooking time may vary, but on average, it takes about 30-40 minutes to prepare this dish from start to finish.
  6. What spices are essential for this recipe?

    • Essential spices include cumin seeds, coriander powder, garam masala, turmeric powder, and kasuri methi (dried fenugreek leaves).
  7. Can I make this dish ahead of time?

    • Yes, Dhaba Style Chatpata Paneer can be made ahead of time and reheated before serving. However, fresh is always best for optimal flavor.
  8. What can I serve with Chatpata Paneer?

    • This dish pairs well with a variety of Indian bread like naan, roti, or paratha, along with steamed rice or pulao.
  9. Can I freeze leftovers?

    • Yes, you can freeze leftover paneer curry in an airtight container for up to 2-3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight before reheating.
  10. Is Dhaba Style Chatpata Paneer a spicy dish?

    • While it does have some heat from the spices, the level of spiciness can be adjusted to suit individual preferences.