Paneer Kali Mirch

A Jewel from the North Indian Cuisine made with Coorg’s Black Pepper – Cottage Cheese cooked in a Black Pepper based sauce that pairs with both flatbreads and rice.

Paneer Kali Mirch

Paneer Kali Mirch

One of the best part about my vacation experiences is that I reserve a day to visit the local markets and even vegetable markets at times. Local produce, spices etc always interest me. When we planned Coorg as our holiday destination, I was sure that I would end up with lot of local produce as Coorg is a spice hub of Southern India.

If you have gone through the Coorg Diaries – Part 1 Series on the blog, you must have seen the images of the lovely peppers growing all around Coorg. Peppers are creepers that grow on silver oak trees and they grow up to a great height and hence need the strong oak tree for support and strength. I was fascinated when I tasted the green pepper which was juicy, peppery (obviously) and spicy too. The shops sell green pepper pickles but since we couldn’t take the risk of carrying glass bottles on flight, I had to skip that and instead settled for the black pepper that I could definitely make the most in the kitchen. Thankfully, its winters in Mumbai and coming back home to use the black pepper was just what I was really looking forward too.


Once back in my kitchen, I decided to cook Paneer Kali Mirch, which I believe honours and highlights the key produce “Pepper” and makes it stand out. Also, since its winters, including pepper in your diet does great wonders to the body too. The gravy is not extremely creamy nor does it have ground cashew nuts for a change. Its subtle and not the spicy red gravy as I have not used a single pinch of red chilli powder. The spice factor is from the black pepper and when it is fresh like the ones I have, the aroma generated from the kitchen during preparation, is something else. We paired these with some bright red carrots along with hot whole wheat oil free phulkas.

Do read the extremely simple recipe of Paneer Kali Mirch and try the same at home.

Paneer Kali Mirch 2.jpg

If you are looking to try some other Paneer based recipes from the blog, you may want to check out Paneer Bhurjee, Capsicum and Paneer in Cashew Gravy and Capsicum Paneer Rice.

Recipe for Paneer Kali Mirch (Cottage Cheese cooked in a Black Pepper based sauce)

Prep Time – 15 mins

Cook Time – 30 minutes

Serves – 2 nos.


  1. Paneer – 150 gms cut into cubes
  2. Kali Mirch or Black Pepper – 1 tblsp coarsely ground + 12 whole peppercorns
  3. Onions – 2 nos. medium sized sliced
  4. Cinnamon Stick – ½ inch stick
  5. Clove – 2 nos.
  6. Bay Leaf – 2 nos.
  7. Jeera or cumin seeds – 1 tsp
  8. Curd – ½ cup (thick)
  9. Cream – 1 tblsp
  10. Butter – 2 tblsps
  11. Garam Masala Powder – 1 tsp
  12. Corriander Powder – 1 tsp
  13. Roasted Jeera Powder – ½ tsp
  14. Water – 1 tblsp to grind the paste + few tblsps to adjust the thickness of the gravy
  15. Salt as per taste

Method –

  1. Heat a non-stick kadhai or heavy bottom pan and add 1 tblsp of butter. Once the butter melts, add jeera or cumin seeds. Roast it slightly.
  2. Now, add the cinnamon stick, bay leaf, clove, 6 pepper corns and saute for few seconds and then add the sliced onions.
  3. Saute the onions until slightly brown in colour. Switch off the flame and cool the masala before grinding it into a thick paste by using 1 tblsp of water.
  4. Now, heat the pan and add butter, add the remaining pepper corns and then pour the ground masala paste. Cook this mixture over low heat until the raw smell vanishes and the masala turns slightly thick and golden.
  5. If you feel the masala turns a bit dry while cooking, add a tblsp of water and cook the mixture.
  6. Now, add the thick curd to the masala / gravy mixture along with coriander powder, roasted cumin powder and stir well. Then add salt, pepper powder ½ tblsp and stir the mixture.
  7. Let the curd incorporate with the masalas say about 5 minutes of cooking time, then add the cubes of paneer, the remaining ½ tblsp of pepper powder and salt as per taste.
  8. Cook this mixture on low flame until a thick gravy is formed. Add a tblsp of cream along with garam masala powder and stir the mixture once again. Adjust the gravy consistency as per your taste and preference by adding water accordingly, in case you find it too thick.
  9. Switch off the flame and serve it hot with parathas, phulkas etc.

Recipe Notes

  • Curd should be thick and fresh. Not at all tangy else it will spoil the taste of the gravy.
  • Hung curd is not required.
  • No nut paste is used to prepare this gravy as the taste of pepper mixed in curd gravy, really stands out.
  • If you feel the quantity of black pepper to be slightly more, you can reduce the same. However, the dish demands the taste and flavor of pepper to really stand out.
  • I have used Salted Butter, you can opt for ghee or clarified butter too. However, won’t recommend using oil.

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Vidya Narayan

Views: 907

Vidya Narayan

Hi Everyone, I am Vidya Narayan & Welcome to my blog MasalaChilli. Born in a Traditional Palakkad Iyer (South Indian) Family with strong value systems to an exceptionally strong and independent Single Mom, spent most of my childhood studying well (as most Iyer girls do).

This Post Has 42 Comments

  1. Love the flavour of pepper…and love the pairing with paneer… definitely my kinda curry…need to try sometime !

    1. I loved it too dear. Do try, I am sure you will enjoy it. Thank you so much.

  2. Beautiful & delicious paneer curry !

  3. Absolutely love this recipe Vidya. And it looks rich but is so healthy too. One of my favorite things to do on vacation is to go to the local markets too. I bet that fresh black pepper smelled heavenly!

    1. The freshness of the black pepper made me come up with this dish actually as I really wanted the aroma to shine through the gravy so added quite a lot but it didn’t turn out to be very spicy. I tried this with curd gravy instead of usual cream etc to give it a healthy twist. Thanks dear. Glad you liked it.

  4. This looks absolutely delicious. Can’t wait to try this soon. 🙂

  5. Looks so amazing, dear 🙂 This is one of my recent favorites! I love this paneer dish for a change from the regular onion-tomato based masalas.

    1. Absolutely right Freda… I was really looking for a change from the usual and wanted to minimize the use of cream etc so opted for a curd based gravy here which really went well with the crushed black pepper. Thanks dear.

  6. Hi Vidya, paneer and pepper. Judava 3 🙂
    Loved the combination. I always keep searching for the recipes which replace green chilli as my daughter is not supposed to have green chilli. Now it’s perfect entry in my pepper list.

    1. ha ha… Love that Judwaa 3 funda! I hope you love trying the recipe. Do share your feedback, especially if your daughter likes it. Cheers my dear!

  7. Awesome Vidhya, you tours have rewarded you well and now you make us drool over the yummy paneer.

    1. Haha.. It has indeed rewarded me with fine spices that I intend to make full use of in the coming months on the blog. Thank you so much my dear.

  8. The gravy looks quite creamy even without the addition of too much of cream and flavor of pepper must have done wonders to the gravy

    1. Absolute wonders in both flavour and taste. I prefer to make dishes as healthy as possible with minimum use of oil and cream and this dish really stood up in all those aspects. Thank you for stopping by.

  9. I love to use black pepper in my cooking a lot, and kali mirch paneer is one of our favourite too!

  10. Kali mirch paneer is one of our family favourite! Getting fresh pepper corns is awesome ! especially green ones are my favourite! Coorg is a fantastic place! My BIL and my brother both have estates in coorg!

    1. Thank you dear. I couldnt get the green ones as baggage restrictions plus they selll that in glass bottles which might break in travel, though i really wanted them. I agree about Coorg and wish to visit again someday. Nice to know about the estates, do you visit them? Must be nice.

  11. Such a flavorful recipe! Never tried this before. Definitely a change from the regular panner butter masala and other paneer based gravies.

    1. Thank you and glad you liked it. Do try it, am sure you will like it.

  12. This is looking absolutely scrumptious…Will try this for sure !!

  13. Very tasty subzi!This will be sensational with pulao/biryani and hot naan!Yumm!

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