The youngest chef in my Gurgaon kitchen, Haridashv Malhotra, was also my most reliable and dedicated employee before lockdown. I wanted to include my masala chicken cutlets in the menu and thought of serving them with a makhani sauce. But one day Hari suggested we ought to try it with a lababdar gravy. It made sense to my Chef de Cuisine Vardaan Marwah and me. After tasting it as a plate, we knew Hari had hit the flavour jackpot with the pairing. The menu was changed immediately, and Hari began making the Lababdar gravy instead of Makhani. This recipe from Hari will bring delicious pleasure to your palate and charm anyone you serve it to.

  • Serves


  • Cook Time



  • 1 kg onion
  • 1 kg tomato
  • 50 gm kaju
  • 50 gm pumpkin seeds
  • 12 gm ginger-garlic paste
  • 6 gm coriander seeds
  • 2 gm cumin seeds
  • 2 gm red degi mirch
  • 2 gm garam masala
  • 2 gm coriander powder
  • 2 gm cumin powder
  • 50 ml fresh cream
  • 15 ml lemon juice
  • 2 green chillies
  • 2 green cardamom
  • 2 black peppercorns
  • 2 coriander stems, chopped
  • 1 clove
  • 1 dried red chilli
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 black cardamom
  • Salt to taste
  • Oil as needed


  1. Pour oil in a cold saucepan and add the whole spices. Turn on the heat.
  2. When the spices start to crackle, add the ginger-garlic paste, followed by the onions and green chillies.
  3. Once the onions brown, add the coriander powder, cumin powder and red degi mirch.
  4. Next toss in the tomatoes and coriander stems and cook till the mixture thickens.
  5. Boil the cashew and pumpkin seeds, grind into a paste, strain and add to the tomato mix.
  6. Add the garam masala powder, followed by the cream and bring to a boil.
  7. Pour in the lemon juice at the end.
  8. The gravy is now ready. Add paneer cubes or tandoori chicken as per your preference to complete the dish. 
Suvir Saran

Suvir Saran

Suvir Saran, the Chef-Owner of The House of Celeste in Gurgaon, is Scroll Food’s Chef of the Month for August. A legend in New York’s food circles, Chef Suvir garnered a Michelin star at Devi, a first for Indian cuisine restaurants in North America. He is the chairman of Asian Culinary Studies for the Culinary Institute of America and has written three cookbooks: ‘Indian Home Cooking: A Fresh Introduction to Indian Food’, ‘American Masala: 125 New Classics from My Home Kitchen’ and ‘Masala Farm: Stories and Recipes from an Uncommon Life in the Country’. His fourth book, ‘Instamatic: A Chef’s Deeper More Thoughful Look into Today’s Instaworld’, released earlier this year. Chef Saran’s approachable style helped demystify Indian cuisine in the US and ultimately formed American Masala, his culinary philosophy that celebrates the best of Indian and American cooking.

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