I love paneer recipes of all kinds, dry curried or with gravy, deep-fried or grilled, baked and sautéed with anything or everything. It could be spicy tikka like these or a stir fry like this, it doesn’t matter, it gets my attention when paneer is served. There’s a mellow, sweetish bite which soft morsels of paneer lend to the dish. I can eat it up anytime and in any form.
For good five years of my corporate life, I packed a paneer,onion & ketchup sandwich in my dabba (lunchbox) each and everyday,talk about crazy! Undoubtedly, it was my favorite food growing up. And now when I see how my little girl tries to chew it,I get all excited,I can barely tell.
Paneer is a popular protein equivalent for vegetarians in India, any restaurant you go to, all those tikka masalas, tandoori, butter chickens & koftas would be having a paneer equivalent in the vegetarian menu.
Once you start living in northern parts of India, particularly Delhi or Punjab, it would be difficult to resist those paneer filled dosas (rice crepes) or tiny bits of paneer in pav- bhaji, paneer batons tossed with chowmein on street sides or for that matter there was a samosavalla near my house who popped small pieces of paneer in the potato filling,need I say how much I loved it? Serious foodies may be annoyed at such weird combinations but Delhi belly that I can fondly talk about for hours is so comforting for such foods.
I am not very strict about making paneer at home all the time. I make my own (should share a recipe sometime) or buy it as time & occasion permit. Unlike India, store-bought paneer is not really soft here, but for this bhurji you are anyhow going to crumble it plus all those tomatoes in the masala make it very mushy & gooey. So go for it.
In India, bhurji is a word used for dishes which are sorta spicy, scrambled with vegetables, poultry or dairy. Any kind of bhurji you make, you barely need spices but lots of fresh herbs & chillies.Here, crumbled up paneer is quickly tossed with lots of onions & tomatoes and spices to form a saucy mash. I like this bhurji with triangle paratha (flatbread), but served up with a side of bread slice,this is a wholesome breakfast for most north indians.I always plan leftovers because your can make some crazy delicious paneer bhurji puffs for brunch or dinner the next day.Serve those puffs along side some soup and done!
Crumbled Indian Cheese tossed with lots of fresh spices & herbs.Can be served as an easy breakfast with few slices of baguette or a quick side dish.Use tofu in place of paneer for a vegan version.
Ingredients (Serves 2-3)
- 8 oz (about 250 gms) paneer, at room temperature
- 1 very small boiled potato
- 4 tbsp mustard oil
- 1/3 cup onions, finely chopped
- 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
- 3/4 cup tomatoes, finely chopped
- 2-3 Thai green chillies, finely chopped (adjust to tolerance)
- 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
- 1/2″ fresh ginger, minced
- 1 heaping tsp kasuri methi (dry fenugreek leaves)
- 1/4 tsp garam masala
- pinch of chaat masala (optional)
- Salt to taste
- 1 tbsp fresh lime juice (or to taste)
- Chopped Fresh Cilantro – for garnish
Note – You could add up some flavorful stock (up to 1/4 cup) to this recipe and simmer for few extra minutes if you feel that its on the dry side. This depends on how soft/watery your paneer variety is. You might or might not need it at all.
Crumble up or roughly grate the paneer depending on how chunky you like it. I just use my fingers to break little bits. Set aside.
Peel the boiled potato & finely grate it. Set aside
In a medium saute pan/kadhai, heat up the oil. If using mustard oil, heat up till smoky & then let cool off for 2 minutes or so.Once the oil has cooled, on medium heat add the onions and garlic, sauté till soft and starting to turn light brown.About 3-5 minutes.
Add the tomatoes next along with the green chillies.Also add the turmeric powder and a pinch of salt.Cook till tomatoes soften and you see oil separating on the sides. About 3-5 minutes.
Add the grated potato & ginger at this point along with kasuri methi. Stir thoroughly and cook for another 2 minutes. You will start smelling the aroma of ginger & methi.
Lower the heat and add the crumbled paneer next along with salt to taste, garam masala & chaat masala (if using). Saute everything for another 1-2 minutes on low heat till the paneer just about softens, put the stove off. Add lemon juice and combine.
Serve warm garnished with cilantro with bread slices or paratha.
Enjoy & Thanks for stopping by!