Paneer bhurji gravy is a spiced and easy to prepare scrambled cottage cheese in a gravy or curry base. This flavorful gravy is made with onions, tomatoes, spices, herbs and curd (yogurt). The recipe comes together in 25 minutes and makes for a quick breakfast, lunch or dinner. Pair with roti, paratha, naan or bread to mop up this delish savory gravy.
Generally the classic Paneer Bhurji is a dry or semi dry dish. This gravy or curried variation is less popular and made slightly differently. The recipe is fairly simple, easy and you don’t need to grind or puree any veggies.
I share my mom’s recipe of making this bhurji with a gravy or curry (also known as tari or rassa in a few Indian languages).
What sets apart this paneer bhurji gravy recipe is the frying of whole spices first and this is what gives the dish an aromatic flavor. Fresh curd (yogurt) is also included in the curry that adds a touch of creaminess and a slight tang.
I also use butter for sautéing, but you can use oil. We also add green peas to this recipe at times. Wherever possible, I have mentioned substitutes in the notes section of recipe card.
Serve this paneer bhurji gravy with roti or paratha. This spiced curry also goes very well with bread or pav (dinner rolls).
How to make Paneer Bhurji Gravy
1. Crumble 200 to 250 grams paneer/cottage cheese and set aside. If possible use fresh homemade paneer for best results.
For frozen paneer, follow the instructions of prepping paneer listed on the pack.
2. Heat 2 tablespoons butter or any neutral tasting oil in a pan. You can also use ghee.
3. Add the whole spices – 1 inch cinnamon, 3 cloves, 2 green cardamoms, 5 to 6 black peppercorns and 2 small tej patta or 1 medium to large tej patta.
Fry until the spices become aromatic and splutter.
4. Add ½ cup finely chopped onions.
5. Stir and mix very well.
6. Sauté the onions until light golden on medium-low to medium heat.
7. Add 1 green chili (finely chopped) and 1 teaspoon ginger-garlic paste.
8. Saute for a few seconds or until the aroma of ginger-garlic goes away.
9. Now add ½ cup finely chopped tomatoes.
10. Mix very well.
11. Sauté stirring often till the tomatoes soften, become mushy and you see oil releasing from the sides of the masala.
12. Add the following spices:
- 1 teaspoon coriander powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin powder
- ½ teaspoon red chili powder
- ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
- ¼ teaspoon garam masala powder
This recipe does not make for a very spicy gravy. For a more spicy taste, add more green chillies or red chilli powder.
13. Mix the spice powders very well with the rest of the ingredients and sauté for a minute on a low to medium-low heat.
14. Lower the heat or switch off the heat. Now add 3 tablespoons fresh curd (yogurt). You can choose to skip curd if you don’t have it handy.
Make sure to use fresh curd and not sour tasting curd.
15. As soon as you add curd, stir quickly and briskly till all the curd is incorporated with the rest of the onion-tomato masala.
16. Then add ½ cup water and mix well. For a thicker gravy, add less water.
17. Add 1 tablespoon chopped coriander leaves. You can add about 1 tablespoon chopped mint leaves at this point.
18. Mix and stir again.
19. Bring the curry or gravy to a simmer on a low to medium heat.
20. When you see the gravy simmering, add the crumbled paneer.
21. Add salt as required.
22. Mix very well and simmer for about 1 minute on low heat until the paneer is cooked. Do not cook for long or else the paneer will become chewy.
23. Switch off the heat and add 2 tablespoons chopped coriander leaves and 1 teaspoon ginger julienne.
24. Mix again and serve paneer bhurji gravy with chapati, roti, paratha or bread.
Enjoy the dish as soon as it is made and while still hot or warm. Reheating the dish can make the paneer chewy or dense.
If you are looking for more Paneer Recipes then do check:
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Paneer Bhurji Gravy
- 200 to 250 grams Paneer (cottage cheese) – crumbled
- 2 medium onion or 1 large onion, finely chopped or ½ cup finely chopped onion
- 2 medium tomatoes or 1 large tomato, finely chopped or ½ cup finely chopped tomatoes
- 1 green chili – finely chopped or ½ teaspoon, finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon Ginger Garlic Paste
- 1 teaspoon Coriander Powder (ground coriander)
- 1 teaspoon cumin powder (ground cumin)
- ½ teaspoon red chili powder
- ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
- ¼ teaspoon Garam Masala
- 3 tablespoon Curd (yogurt)
- ½ cup water
- 1 tablespoon chopped coriander leaves (cilantro)
- 1 tablespoon chopped mint leaves – optional
- 2 tablespoon chopped coriander leaves to be added later
- 2 tablespoon butter or oil
- 1 inch ginger – julienne for garnish
- salt as required
- 1 inch cinnamon
- 3 cloves
- 2 green cardamoms
- 5 to 6 black peppercorns
- 2 small tej patta or 1 medium tej patta (Indian bay leaf)
- Crumble 200 to 250 grams paneer and keep aside.
- Chop the onions, tomatoes and green chillies. Keep aside.
- Crush the ginger garlic in a mortar pestle and keep aside.
- Also remove the whole spices and spice powders and keep aside.
Making paneer bhurji gravy
- Heat butter or oil in a pan.
- Add the whole spices – 1 inch cinnamon, 3 cloves, 2 green cardamoms, 5 to 6 black peppercorns and 2 small tej patta or 1 medium to large tej patta. Saute till the spices become aromatic.
- Then add the finely chopped onions. Mix and stir very well.
- Sauté the onions till light golden stirring often on medium-low to medium heat.
- Add the chopped green chilies and ginger-garlic paste.
- Saute for a few seconds or until the aroma of ginger-garlic goes away.
- Now add the finely chopped tomatoes. Mix very well.
- Saute till the tomatoes soften and you see oil releasing from the sides of the masala.
- Add coriander powder, cumin powder, red chili powder, turmeric powder and garam masala powder.
- Stir the ground spices well and sauté for a minute on low to medium-low heat.
- Keep the flame to its lowest, and now add the fresh curd (yogurt). Ensure that the curd is not very sour. It should be fresh curd.
- As soon as you add curd, stir quickly and briskly.
- Then add water and mix well.
- Add 1 tablespoon chopped coriander leaves and mix again.
- Bring the curry or gravy to a simmer on low to medium-low heat.
- Then add the crumbled paneer. Also add salt according to taste.
- Stir very well and simmer for about 1 minute till the paneer is cooked. Do not cook for long as then the paneer becomes chewy.
- Switch off and add 2 tablespoons of chopped coriander leaves.
- Mix and serve paneer bhurji gravy with roti, paratha, naan or bread.
- Swap 200 to 250 grams paneer with 200 to 250 grams of tofu
- Swap 2 tablespoons butter with 2 tablespoons oil (any neutral flavored oil) or 2 tablespoons ghee
- Choose to skip curd (yogurt) completely or swap 3 tablespoons curd with 2 tablespoons buttermilk or use 3 tablespoons cashew yogurt or almond yogurt. You could also skip adding any yogurt and drizzle some lemon juice on the gravy while eating.
- Swap ½ teaspoon red chili powder with ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper or paprika.
- For a spicy gravy, add more green chillies or red chilli powder.
- For more richness, you can add 1 to 2 tablespoons of cooking cream (light cream or low-fat cream) or 1 tablespoon of whipping cream.
- Ensure that the paneer is fresh and not rancid. Best is to make this recipe with homemade paneer. If using frozen paneer, follow the package instructions to prep it.
- For a more thicker gravy, add less water.
- You can omit adding coriander leaves (cilantro) and add mint leaves instead or use both.
- The recipe can be scaled up to make for more servings.
Nutrition Info (Approximate values)
This paneer bhurji gravy recipe post from the archives (June 2015) has been republished and updated on 8 July 2021.