Paneer Gassi Recipe

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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.

paneer gassi served in a light blue rimmed white bowl with text layovers.

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.

A classic way of having it is to pair it with kori rotti or Neer Dosa or Malabar Parotta. However, chapatis, lachha paratha and even steamed rice is good with it.

Step-by-Step Guide

How to make Paneer Gassi

Frying spices

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.

coriander seeds and cumin seeds added to hot oil in a heavy pan.

2. Stir often and fry both coriander seeds and cumin seeds for 1 to 2 minutes on low heat.

frying coriander seeds and cumin seeds.

3. Both coriander seeds and cumin seeds should become fragrant before you proceed to the next step.

frying coriander seeds and cumin seeds till fragrant.

4. Then add the following ingredients:

  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • ¼ teaspoon mustard seeds
  • ¼ teaspoon whole black pepper
  • 5 to 6 fenugreek seeds
fennel seeds, mustard seeds, whole black pepper and fenugreek seeds added to the pan.

5. Mix well and fry for 1 minute on low heat. Stir often.

frying spice mixture for paneer gassi recipe.

6. Next, add 5 byadagi dried red chilies or Kashmiri dried red chilies and 15 to 16 curry leaves.

dried red chilies and curry leaves added to the pan.

7. Mix again and fry for 1 minute more. Stir often.

red chilies and curry leaves mixed well with the spice mixture.

8. Then, add ¼ cup chopped onions, 2 teaspoons chopped garlic and ½ teaspoon chopped ginger.

chopped onion, chopped garlic and chopped ginger added to the spice mixture.

9. Mix very well and begin to sauté the onions.

sautéing onions with the spice mixture for paneer gassi recipe.

10. Stirring often, sauté the onions till they become translucent.

sautéing onions with the spice mixture for paneer gassi recipe.

11. Then, switch off the heat. Add ½ teaspoon tamarind and ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder.

tamarind and turmeric powder added to the pan after switching off the heat.

12. Mix well and let this mixture cool.

ingredients mixed well with the spice mixture for paneer gassi recipe.

Making spice paste

13. Then, add in a grinder jar. Also, add ½ to ⅔ cup water.

fried spice mixture and water added to a grinder jar.

14. Grind or blend to a fine and smooth consistency.

ingredients ground to a smooth spice paste for paneer gassi recipe.

15. Remove the spice paste in a bowl. Keep aside.

prepared spice paste in a bowl for paneer gassi recipe.

Making coconut paste

16. In the same grinder jar, add 1 cup tightly packed fresh grated coconut and 1 cup water.

tightly packed fresh grated coconut and water added to the grinder jar for paneer gassi recipe.

17. Grind or blend to a smooth paste. Keep aside.

coconut ground to a smooth paste for paneer gassi recipe.

Making Paneer Gassi

18. Heat 3 tablespoons of oil in a heavy kadai or pan. Add ½ teaspoon mustard seeds.

adding mustard seeds to hot oil in a heavy pan.

19. Let the mustard seeds crackle on low heat.

mustard seeds crackling in hot oil.

20. Then, add ½ cup of chopped onions and 10 to 12 curry leaves (whole or chopped).

chopped onions and curry leaves added to the pan.

21. Mix and then begin to sauté onions on low to medium heat.

sautéing onions with the other ingredients for paneer gassi recipe.

22. Sauté stirring often till the onions turn translucent.

sautéing onions with the other ingredients for paneer gassi recipe.

23. Now, add the prepared spice paste.

prepared spice paste added to the onion mixture.

24. Stir and mix very well.

spice paste mixed well with the onions.

25. Stirring often, sauté the masala till you see some oil releasing from the sides. The masala will also thicken.

sautéing masala paste.

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.

jaggery powder and prepared coconut paste added to the pan.

27. Stir and mix very well.

jaggery powder and coconut paste mixed well with the masala.

28. Simmer the gravy for 3 to 4 minutes. Stir at intervals.

simmering gravy.

29. Then, add ½ cup water or add as required.

water added to simmering gravy.

30. Season with salt as per taste.

adding salt to the simmering gravy.

31. Mix very well and simmer the gravy for 4 to 5 minutes.

salt mixed well in the simmering gravy.

32. Then, add 200 grams of cubed paneer. Best to use soft and fresh paneer.

cubed paneer added to the gravy.

33. Mix gently and simmer for a few seconds.

cubed paneer mixed well in the simmering gravy.

34. Switch off the heat and add 2 tablespoons of chopped coriander leaves. Mix gently.

chopped coriander leaves added to the gravy.

35. Serve Paneer Gassi hot or warm with kori rotti, neer dosa, chapattis, parathas or steamed rice or malabar parotta.

paneer gassi served in a light blue rimmed white bowl with text layover.

More Paneer Recipes To Try!

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paneer gassi recipe

Paneer Gassi Recipe

This Mangalorean paneer gassi is delicious curry from the Mangalorean bunt cuisine. The gravy has complex and bold flavors. Lots of spices and coconut is used to make this aromatic curry.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Cuisine Karnataka, Mangalorean, South Indian
Course Main Course
Diet Gluten Free, Vegetarian
Difficulty Level Moderate
Servings 4
Units

Ingredients

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)

Instructions
 

frying spices

  • 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.

Notes

  • 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)

Nutrition Facts
Paneer Gassi Recipe
Amount Per Serving
Calories 393 Calories from Fat 306
% Daily Value*
Fat 34g52%
Saturated Fat 14g88%
Cholesterol 33mg11%
Sodium 612mg27%
Potassium 308mg9%
Carbohydrates 15g5%
Fiber 4g17%
Sugar 6g7%
Protein 9g18%
Vitamin A 785IU16%
Vitamin C 208mg252%
Calcium 300mg30%
Iron 2mg11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

This Paneer Gassi Recipe Post from the blog archives, first published in October 2017 has been republished and updated on December 2022.

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Welcome to Dassana's Veg Recipes. I share vegetarian recipes from India & around the World. Having been cooking for decades and with a professional background in cooking & baking, I help you to make your cooking journey easier with my tried and tested recipes showcased with step by step photos & plenty of tips & suggestions.

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5 from 2 votes (2 ratings without comment)

2 Comments

  1. This looks really good. I make it for Mexicans, and the coco and tamarind are simple to obtain. Is this ever made with vegetables and if so, which would be good? Is there a suitable raita to serve?

    1. thanks dodie. you can make with steamed veggies and even sautéed mushrooms. its also made with white chickpeas. so you can even just use chickpeas. paneer gassi is not traditionally served with a raita, but if you want you can make a simple onion-tomato raita and serve.