shahi vs lababdar

Paneer Lababdar Vs Shahi Paneer: Everything You Need To Know

Paneer is a staple ingredient in every Indian restaurant-style dish. Every paneer curry dish is usually curated in flavorful spices and immersed in a creamy sauce. Just like every other dish, paneer lababdar vs shahi paneer is a well-known comparison in the food community. Let’s get into the nitty-gritty of each of these two paneer recipes. 

What Is Paneer Lababdar? 

Paneer Lababdar is an authentic Punjabi dish that is cooked in heavy cream-based gravy. As one of the most common dishes to find in Indian restaurants, paneer lababdar tastes as delicious as it sounds. 

The mildly tangy yet sweet flavor is reminiscent of other paneer malai dishes like paneer butter masala and Kadai paneer. The explosion of flavors in each of these dishes is what makes restaurant-goers think twice before ordering one particular paneer dish. So, to get acquainted with the different paneer styles, here is a comparison of paneer lababdar vs paneer butter masala and paneer lababdar vs kadai paneer. 

What Is Shahi Paneer? 

An example of the finest dishes created in the Mughal era, Shahi paneer is a mouthwatering homemade paneer recipe that infuses aromatic spices and grounded powders. 

The cream-heavy dish is a delight to your eyes and a welcome treat for your taste buds too. Among the appetizing recipes in the Mughlai cuisine, Shahi paneer is the most celebrated dish that has a variation of some kind in every region. Since Shahi paneer is a malai-based dish, check out this link on “malai paneer vs paneer: which is better” in terms of nutritional content and calorie count. 

Paneer Lababdar Vs Shahi Paneer: What Are The Similarities? 

Both paneer lababdar and shahi paneer are concocted in a creamy, smooth gravy. The homemade paneer is cut into cubes and immersed in a pot full of aromatic spices and creamy onion or tomato gravy that instantly appeals to your taste buds. 

The overpowering signature-style aroma is almost identical in both dishes due to the use of the same spices and the paneer cubes are always immersed in the gravy at the end. 

Shahi paneer

What Is The Difference Between Paneer Lababdar and Shahi Paneer

The main paneer lababdar vs shahi paneer differences are not many as compared to other paneer curries. The difference between paneer lababdar and shahi paneer is evident in its taste, texture, and smell. 


The word ‘lababdar’ means something that is very rich, which alludes to the regal Mughal dynasty. Just like every other Mughlai paneer dish, paneer lababdar contains a mix of ingredients that are reminiscent of the Mughal court kitchens. 

On the other hand, shahi paneer is a scrumptious Mughlai dish that literally tastes like royalty. The term “shahi” refers to the royal title of Shahanshah from the Mughal empire. The fusion of all the flavors mixed with the mellow, soft paneer cubes makes for an unforgettable feast. Another famous dish that often gets compared to shahi paneer is mutter paneer. Here are some of the shahi paneer vs mutter paneer facts. 


Paneer lababdar is immersed in a creamy tomato gravy that tastes similar to paneer butter masala, only spicier. If we compare the paneer lababdar vs shahi paneer tastes, paneer lababdar has a mildly creamy and spicy flavor as compared to shahi paneer which is generally made with a sweeter gravy. 


Paneer lababdar has a distinctively curry-like smell that is slightly tangy. On the other hand, shahi paneer has a signature sweet aroma. 


While lababdar gravy is prepared with a smooth paste of onions, tomatoes, spices, cashew nuts, and melon seeds, shahi paneer is cooked in a cream-based gravy. Paneer lababdar has a slightly coarse texture, while shahi paneer has a thinner consistency. 


One serving of paneer lababdar gives 115 calories as compared to shahi paneer, which provides a total of 349 calories. 

Method of Preparation 

Paneer lababdar is an extremely versatile dish that is usually served on special occasions. A step-by-step recipe of the same is given below. 

  • Firstly, gather the following ingredients for the smooth paste: 2 cups chopped fresh tomatoes, 4 dried Kashmiri red chilies (depending on your spice level tolerance), 14 cashew nuts, 2-inch cinnamon sticks, 2 gloves, and 4 green cardamoms. 
  • In a pot or pan, boil ½ cup of water and add all the ingredients. 
  • Cool this mixture temporarily and add it to a blender. Make a smooth puree of this and set it aside. 
  • Heat oil over a medium flame. Add onions and a bay leaf. Fry until golden, then add one tablespoon of ginger garlic paste. 
  • Now add the tomato puree along with ½ teaspoon red chili powder, 1 ¼  teaspoon coriander powder, ½ teaspoon garam masala, and ½ teaspoon salt. 
  • Soon the masala will thicken, so add ¾ to 1 cup of water. 
  • Add ¾ to 1 teaspoon Kasuri methi, 200 grams paneer cubes, and 1-2 chilies. 

Cook for 1-2 minutes over medium heat and serve with jeera rice. 

Paneer lababdar

Shahi paneer is the sweetened version of paneer lababdar. Learn how to make shahi paneer in a few easy steps. Alongside, watch the video showing the method of preparation. 

  • ​​Firstly, soak your store-bought paneer in water for 15-20 minutes. 
  • Heat one tablespoon of ghee on a pan over medium heat. Add 10-12 cashew nuts, almonds, and 3-4 green cardamoms. Saute this and add one cup of onions. 
  • Cook until the onions turn soft and transfer it to a food processor. Make sure this gets blended into a smooth paste. 
  • In the same pan, heat 1-2 tablespoons of ghee over medium heat and add ½ teaspoon cumin, 2-3 cloves, and 1 cinnamon. Saute the whole spices for a minute, then add the onion paste, 1 teaspoon ginger-garlic paste, ¼ teaspoon red chili powder, and garam masala. Stir well and add yogurt. 
  • Now add ¾ cup of water and cook the gravy until it thickens. Add a pinch of saffron. 
  • Lastly, add the paneer cubes, 2 to 4 drops of kewra water, and 3 tablespoons of cream. 

Serve with rice or Indian flatbread such as Lachha paratha and butter naan. 

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