This Paneer Gassi Recipe is the vegetarian version of the famous Mangalorean dish kori gassi, which is basically a chicken curry. Just like the original dish, the gravy of this Paneer Gassi also has bold and complex flavors. Enough to bowl you over! A typical Mangalore style gassi also has a lot of spices and a good dose of coconut in it. These make the curry delicious and aromatic. The same is the case with this paneer gassi. Another USP of this vegetarian version is that it is gluten free too.
About Paneer Gassi
Paneer Gassi when translated in English, simply means an Indian cottage cheese (paneer) and curry (gassi). Traditionally, the recipe of gassi belongs to the Mangalorean bunt community. They are from the coastal districts of Karnataka and prepare this unique curry in their signature style.
This Paneer Gassi Recipe is a vegetarian variation that I have created at my home, by following my aunt’s recipe. She makes excellent bunt style food at home.
Since the day I had tasted her dishes, I had to recreate this particular curry in my home too. Since I did try it out successfully, I am sharing it here on my blog.
I must say that the Paneer Gassi is as delectable as its non-vegetarian counterpart. In fact, more only. I usually make this paneer dish on special occasions. Along with this, I also make the chana gassi sometimes with white chickpeas.
This dish is slightly sweet due to the jaggery and coconut used in it. But it is beautifully balanced by the other spices used in the curry.
Also, if the long list of ingredients is daunting you, then just stop stressing out. Its just that the list is long, but the procedure to make the Paneer Gassi Recipe is quite a hassle-free and easy one. It takes a bit of time, but the recipe is not difficult.
More on Paneer Gassi
As I said, I have added about a teaspoon of jaggery in the ground coconut paste. But it is completely optional and can be skipped. Apart from this, the Paneer Gassi also is a bit sour, which comes from the tamarind used in the spice paste. But again, it gets balanced well by the rest of the ingredients.
The Paneer Gassi Recipe is slightly spicy. For a spicier curry, increase the number of red chilies. Also, I have used byadagi red chilies that are usually less pungent and hot. You can use Kashmiri red chilies or Guntur chilies too.
This Paneer Gassi does take some time to get done fully as there’s some pre preparation involved in it. So, the best option is to save it for special days/celebrations or weekends.
How to make Paneer Gassi
1. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a heavy kadai or pan. Keep the heat to a low. Add 2 tablespoons coriander seeds and ½ tablespoon cumin seeds.
2. Stir often and fry both coriander seeds and cumin seeds for 1 to 2 minutes on low heat.
3. Both coriander seeds and cumin seeds should become fragrant before you proceed to the next step.
4. Then add the following ingredients:
- 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
- ¼ teaspoon mustard seeds
- ¼ teaspoon whole black pepper
- 5 to 6 fenugreek seeds
5. Mix well and fry for 1 minute on low heat. Stir often.
6. Next, add 5 byadagi dried red chilies or Kashmiri dried red chilies and 15 to 16 curry leaves.
7. Mix again and fry for 1 minute more. Stir often.
8. Then, add ¼ cup chopped onions, 2 teaspoons chopped garlic and ½ teaspoon chopped ginger.
9. Mix very well and begin to sauté the onions.
10. Stirring often, sauté the onions till they become translucent.
11. Then, switch off the heat. Add ½ teaspoon tamarind and ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder.
12. Mix well and let this mixture cool.
Making spice paste
13. Then, add in a grinder jar. Also, add ½ to ⅔ cup water.
14. Grind or blend to a fine and smooth consistency.
15. Remove the spice paste in a bowl. Keep aside.
Making coconut paste
16. In the same grinder jar, add 1 cup tightly packed fresh grated coconut and 1 cup water.
17. Grind or blend to a smooth paste. Keep aside.
Making Paneer Gassi
18. Heat 3 tablespoons of oil in a heavy kadai or pan. Add ½ teaspoon mustard seeds.
19. Let the mustard seeds crackle on low heat.
20. Then, add ½ cup of chopped onions and 10 to 12 curry leaves (whole or chopped).
21. Mix and then begin to sauté onions on low to medium heat.
22. Sauté stirring often till the onions turn translucent.
23. Now, add the prepared spice paste.
24. Stir and mix very well.
25. Stirring often, sauté the masala till you see some oil releasing from the sides. The masala will also thicken.
26. Now, add 1 teaspoon jaggery powder and the prepared coconut paste. Jaggery is optional and can be skipped.
Jaggery cannot be seen in the below picture as I added it first and mixed it with the masala.
27. Stir and mix very well.
28. Simmer the gravy for 3 to 4 minutes. Stir at intervals.
29. Then, add ½ cup water or add as required.
30. Season with salt as per taste.
31. Mix very well and simmer the gravy for 4 to 5 minutes.
32. Then, add 200 grams of cubed paneer. Best to use soft and fresh paneer.
33. Mix gently and simmer for a few seconds.
34. Switch off the heat and add 2 tablespoons of chopped coriander leaves. Mix gently.
35. Serve Paneer Gassi hot or warm with kori rotti, neer dosa, chapattis, parathas or steamed rice or malabar parotta.
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Paneer Gassi Recipe
for spice paste
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 2 tablespoons coriander seeds
- ½ tablespoon cumin seeds
- 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
- ¼ teaspoon mustard seeds
- ¼ teaspoon black peppercorns
- 5 to 6 fenugreek seeds (methi dana)
- 5 byadagi red chilies or kashmiri red chilies
- 15 to 16 curry leaves
- ¼ cup chopped onion
- 7 to 8 medium garlic cloves or 2 teaspoons chopped garlic
- ½ inch ginger or ½ teaspoon chopped ginger
- ½ teaspoon tamarind (ground turmeric)
- ¼ teaspoon turmeric
- ½ to ⅔ cup water for grinding
for coconut paste
- 1 cup tightly packed fresh grated coconut
- 1 cup water for grinding
other ingredients for paneer gassi
- 3 tablespoons oil
- ½ teaspoon mustard seeds
- ½ cup chopped onion
- 10 to 12 curry leaves
- 1 teaspoon jaggery powder or grated jaggery optional
- ½ cup water or add as required
- salt as required
- 200 grams Paneer (cottage cheese) – cubed
- 2 tablespoons chopped coriander leaves (cilantro leaves)
- Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a heavy kadai or pan. Keep the flame to a low.
- Add 2 tablespoons coriander seeds and ½ tablespoon cumin seeds.
- Stir often and fry both coriander seeds and cumin seeds for 1 to 2 minutes on a low flame.
- Both coriander seeds and cumin seeds should become aromatic before you proceed to the next step.
- Then add 1 teaspoon fennel seeds, ¼ teaspoon mustard seeds, ¼ teaspoon whole black pepper and 5 to 6 methi seeds.
- Mix well and fry for 1 minute on a low flame. Stir often.
- Next add 5 byadagi red chilies or kashmiri red chilies and 15 to 16 curry leaves.
- Mix again and then fry for 1 minute more. Stir often.
- Then add ¼ cup chopped onion, 2 teaspoons chopped garlic and ½ teaspoon chopped ginger.
- Mix very well and stirring often saute the onions till they become translucent.
- Then switch off the flame and add ½ teaspoon tamarind and ¼ teaspoon turmeric (haldi).
- Mix well and let this mixture cool.
making spice paste
- Then add the spice mixture in a grinder jar. Also add ½ to ⅔ cup water.
- Grind to a smooth paste.
- Remove the masala paste in a bowl. Keep aside.
making coconut paste
- In the same grinder jar, add 1 cup tightly packed fresh grated coconut.
- Add 1 cup water.
- Grind to a smooth paste. Keep aside.
making paneer gassi
- Heat 3 tablespoons oil in a heavy kadai or pan.
- Add ½ teaspoon mustard seeds and let them crackle.
- Then add ½ cup chopped onion and 10 to 12 curry leaves (whole or chopped).
- Mix and then begin to saute onions on a low to medium flame till they turn translucent.
- Now add the spice paste. mix very well.
- Stirring often saute the masala till you see some oil releasing from the sides. The masala will also thicken.
- Now add the coconut paste and 1 teaspoon jaggery. mix very well.
- Simmer the gravy for 3 to 4 minutes. Stir at intervals.
- Then add ½ cup water or add as required. Season with salt as per taste.
- Mix very well and simmer the curry for 4 to 5 minutes.
- Add 200 grams cubed paneer. Mix and simmer the gravy for few seconds.
- Switch off the heat and then add 2 tablespoons chopped coriander leaves. Mix.
- Serve paneer gassi hot or warm with kori rotti, neer dosa, chapatis, plain paratha or malabar paratha or lachha paratha or steamed rice.
- Use fresh soft paneer as it is the star ingredient.
- The addition of jaggery is optional. But I recommend adding jaggery as it will balance the flavors.
Nutrition Info (Approximate Values)
This Paneer Gassi Recipe Post from the blog archives, first published in October 2017 has been republished and updated on December 2022.