Thursday, September 2, 2010

Paneer Bhurji

Paneer is an Indian cheese. According to Wikipedia " It is a fresh cheese of Indian origin. It is unaged, acid-set, non-melting farmer cheese or curd cheese made by curdling heated milk with lemon juice or other food acid."
" Unlike most cheeses in the world, the making of paneer does not involve rennet as the coagulation agent, thus making it completely lacto-vegetarian and providing a source of protein for vegetarian hindus. " Thanks to Wikipedia for that !

Yesterday was one of those days, I woke up late and then everything was a mad dash after that. In all this hurry I had to think of what to make today. One of the biggest questions of my life, what to cook today? What can I make that is quick, nutritious and tasty. Well luckily I had some paneer chilling in the fridge and everybody in our house loves paneer. Now the quickest dish with paneer is the Paneer Bhurji. There are various variation of this dish, but this is the way I love it. I have kept the dish simple so as to allow the flavors of the onions, tomatoes and paneer to shine through.

Try this recipe and I assure you that you will not be disappointed, it is a quick and simple and not to mention so tasty that even your pickiest eater will love it.

Paneer Bhurji

Serves 4-6


400 gm / 14 oz ready-made paneer block, grated ( available in any Indian foods store )
1 big onion, chopped
2 tomatoes, chopped
2 tbsp cilantro, finely chopped
1/4 tsp cumin seeds, jeera
1/4 tsp turmeric powder, haldi
1/2 tsp - 1 tsp red chili powder ( depending on how spicy you want it )
1/ 4 tsp garam masala
2 tbsp oil
salt, to taste

  1. Grate the block of paneer on your box grater. I prefer to use the side with the big holes, so that the resulting bhurji does not look like a homogeneous mass and will retain some visual appeal, once cooked.
  2. Heat the oil in a medium saucepan and add the cumin seeds to the hot ( but not smoking ) oil. When the cumin seeds start turning a little brown ( which is instantaneous in the hot oil ) add the chopped onions. Saute the onions till it turns translucent and then add the tomatoes, turmeric powder, red chili powder and garam masala.
  3. Saute the tomatoes and the spices for 3-4 minutes or till the tomatoes are done.
  4. Add the grated paneer to the tomato mixture stir till all is uniformly mixed. Add salt and check for seasonings. Remove from the fire after one minute. Garnish with chopped cilantro and serve with hot rotis or naans.

Grate Paneer using the side with the big holes.