Dairy · Indian · Main Course · North Indian · Punjabi · Sides · Starters · Vegetarian

Paneer/Cottage Cheese Tava Masala…

I was wondering what to cook…I just could not decide.. Called K on his way to work..  & asked him what he would like to eat for dinner when he got back.. instantly the answer was Paneer.. If you have been following y blog.. you would know from my earlier Paneer posts that I’m quite fond of Paneer & K loves Paneer..

When we were dating there was this small Punjabi restaurant in the vicinity where I used to live, in Bangalore; & he continued asking me make Paneer in the manner similar to the kind we used to eat in that restaurant. Now he put me in a spot. 😀 I began to mentally savour the Paneer dishes we had eaten there, since I did not quite eat the Paneer dishes much as I always ordered their yummy chicken when we visited that restaurant for a meal. This recipe is solely based on the taste that I remembered from that restaurant. Also please note that they used a Tandoor to chargrill the chicken, since I don’t have a tandoor & since I had ready cut cubes of Paneer I could not grill them in the oven.

Paneer/Cottage Cheese Tava Masala...

Tip: If you plan to chargrill the Paneer for this dish then use big chunks of Paneer that would easily go into a skewer without breaking. The pieces I had were too small for a skewer.

Ingredients: (Serves 2)     Preparation Time: 15-20 mins
Paneer/Cottage cheese: 250 – 300 gms, cut into cubes
Red Onion – 1 small-sized, cut into cubes
Peppers – 1 cup, cubed, use different colours
Tomatoes – 3 medium-sized blanched, skin removed & puree’ed or use 200 ml ready tomato puree
Garlic – 3 cloves, finely chopped
Ginger – 1 inch piece, finely chopped
Kalonji/Nigella seeds – 1/2 tsp
Cumin Seeds – 1 tsp
Chilli powder – 1 tsp or more based on how hot the chilli powder you use is
Turmeric powered – a pinch
Coriander powder – 1 tsp
Garam Masala – 1/2 tsp
Cooking oil – 1.5 tbsp
Salt to taste

Heat 1/2 tbsp oil in a deep bottom fry pan, set heat to high. When the oil is hot, add the cubed red onions & sauté them with a pinch of salt till they begin to get slightly burnt, immediately add the cubed peppers & a pinch of salt fry these till they look half-cooked but they get slightly burnt, as shown. Take them off the fry pan & transfer them over a paper towel if they look too oily. This dish should be a little on the oiler side hence I did not use the paper towel.

Stir fried Peppers & red onion..

Now add 1 tbsp of oil to the fry pan. Set heat to medium. Add cumin seeds & let it sizzle, when it begins to change colour add Kalonji seeds, sauté it for a few seconds. Next add the chopped ginger & garlic, sauté them till for a few seconds. Don’t let the garlic change colour. Now add the paneer cubes & toss them around till they start to change colour. Immediately add the tomato puree & reduce heat to low. Add the different powders – Turmeric, red chilli, garam masala & coriander powder & a wee bit water if the puree is too thick. Add salt to taste. Cover & cook till the raw flavours vanish & the oil begins to separate.

Let the sauce cook till the oil separates & the raw flavours fade away...

Tip: You can make this with more sauce or gravy if you want it as an accompaniment with rice; all you need to do is after adding the tomato puree, add water, based on the consistency you require . As this is a recipe that’s eaten as a starter or to go with Indian breads this has very little sauce.

But make sure your around & the sauce does not begin to burn when the water evaporates. Now turn off the heat, add the stir fried peppers & onions kept aside. Mix well.

Serving Suggestions:
Serve hot as a starter or with Indian breads of your choice. Enjoy your weekend.. 🙂

Paneer/Cottage Cheese Tava Masala...

If you liked this recipe, you may also like – Paneer Methi Malai Kali MirchPalak Paneer , Paneer Enchiladas/Cottage cheese Enchiladas infused with Indian flavours etc.


16 thoughts on “Paneer/Cottage Cheese Tava Masala…

      1. 🙂 Glad you liked it… ! I don’t have too many veggie starters in my blog.. working on that.. 🙂 Soon there should be many different dishes for you to try out..!


  1. Superb recipe… Tried this as a starter for the guys weekend party.. Everyone loved it.. Thanks Anitha 🙂
    Viggi loves Paneer.. So pls post more Paneer recipes.. Pls pls.. 🙂


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