Paneer Ghee Roast recipe with step by step photos. A simply delicious and flavorful recipe of Mangalorean style vegetarian ghee roast that can be served as a starter snack or a side dish with steamed rice, roti, paratha or with Neer Dosa.
About Paneer Ghee Roast
Sharing a vegetarian version of the popular Mangalorean chicken ghee roast. Paneer ghee roast was requested by a few readers.
Hence thought of sharing the recipe. The original chicken ghee roast recipes originated in Kundapur which is a town near Mangalore.
Mangalorean food is not new to me. I have grown up savoring Mangalorean food delicacies in the family as well at family functions, weddings etc.
Thanks to my aunt who makes excellent Mangalorean bunt style food at home. Her recipes have been made by us many times adapting to our vegetarian lifestyle.
This recipe of paneer ghee roast is too good. Usually paneer ghee roast is dry and served as a starter snack.
Here I have made a slight thick gravy since I was serving it with chapatis. Later we had it with rice. Both with rice and chapatis the ghee roast tasted great and makes for a good combo.
If preparing for a starter or snack, then you can just cook paneer and nicely pan fry them without adding any water. However, do not cook paneer for too long or else they will become dense.
The kind of red chilies used determines some of the flavor profile in the recipe. Usually a mix of 2 types of chilies are used – the larger variety is low in heat and gives a good color. The second type are chilies which are small in size and hot in nature.
I have used a mix of Kashmiri red chilies and guntur chilies. You can also use just one type of red chili.
Though byadagi chilies are used, but instead of these, you can use Kashmiri red chilies. For less spiciness, just use byadagi or Kashmiri red chilies.
The taste of the roast to a large extent depends on the type of chilies used. For best results, use either Kashmiri red chilies or byadagi chilies along with guntur chilies.
With this combination of red chilies, you do get a spicy and tasty paneer ghee roast. Also follow the recipe exactly using all the ingredients and do not skip any.
For a vegan alternative, you can use tofu and mushrooms instead of paneer. Substitute oil for ghee and cashew curd or almond curd for dairy curd (yogurt).
If using mushrooms, then do not marinate for 30 minutes. Just mix with the spice paste and then cook till the mushrooms are done.
Paneer ghee roast can be served as a starter snack. You can also serve it as a side dish with chapatis, neer dosa, dal-rice, sambar-rice or veg pulao or steamed rice.
How to make Paneer Ghee Roast
Prepare Ghee Roast Masala
1. Heat 1 tablespoon ghee in a thick bottomed pan or kadai or a cast iron skillet. Use a well seasoned pan.
2. Once the ghee melts, add all the spices:
- 2 teaspoon coriander seeds
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- ¼ teaspoon fennel seeds
- ¼ teaspoon whole black pepper
- 20 fenugreek seeds
- 4 Kashmiri red chillies (or byadagi red chillies)
- 2 guntur red chillies (or hot red chillies)
Note that you can adjust spice levels according to your taste.
3. On a low heat stirring often roast the whole spices till they become aromatic. I have used a cast iron griddle and roasted the spices for about 4 minutes.
Time will vary with the thickness and material of the pan along with the intensity of the flame.
4. Take care while roasting, so that the spices do not burn. Ensure that the spices and red chilies are roasted well as we are not going to cook them further much.
5. Once the spices are roasted well and aromatic, add 3 medium garlic cloves and 1 teaspoon tightly packed tamarind. Mix well and switch off the heat. Let this spice mixture cool.
6. Take all of the roasted spice mixture in a small grinder jar or chutney grinder.
7. Add 6 tablespoons of water and grind or blend to a smooth paste. Do not make the ground paste too thin. If you make the paste thin, then skip adding water later.
8. Take all of the masala paste into a mixing bowl.
9. Add 2 tablespoons of fresh curd (yogurt) and salt as per taste. Make sure that the curd is not sour.
10. Stir and mix very well.
11. Next add 1 teaspoon lemon juice. Mix again very well.
12. Add 200 grams of paneer cubes. I suggest to use homemade soft and fresh paneer.
13. Gently mix the paneer cubes with the masala so that the paneer cubes are well coated with the masala.
Cover the bowl and marinate the paneer cubes for 30 to 45 minutes. If keeping for a longer time, then refrigerate.
14. In the grinder jar, add ¼ cup of water and just swirl the jar, so that the masala paste which is stuck to the sides and bottom of the jar gets mixed with the water.
You can also use a spatula or steel spoon to mix. Keep aside.
15. Here’s the marinated paneer after 45 minutes.
Make Paneer Ghee Roast
16. Heat 2 tablespoons ghee in the same pan.
17. Add ⅓ cup chopped onion. Next add 10 to 12 curry leaves – kept whole or roughly chopped and ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder.
18. Stir and mix very well. Sauté stirring often for 3 to 4 minutes or till the onions turn translucent on a low to medium-low heat.
19. Now add all of the marinated paneer mixture. Also add all the masala scraping the bowl.
20. Mix gently very well.
21. Add ½ teaspoon jaggery powder and mix again.
22. Add ¼ cup of water. For a very thick gravy, choose to skip water or add about 1 to 2 tablespoons of water.
23. Stir again and mix very well.
24. Simmer the gravy for about 1 to 2 minutes on a low to medium-low heat. Do not overcook the paneer as then the cubes will become dense and hard.
Once done, then switch off the heat. The paneer ghee roast gravy will thicken and you will see specks of ghee on top.
Serve paneer ghee roast hot or warm garnish with some fried curry leaves or coriander leaves.
You can choose to serve paneer ghee roast without any garnish. Accompany onion slices and lemon wedges.
You can also serve it as a side dish with your Indian meals.
More Paneer Recipes
- Gassi Recipe – Delicious paneer curry from the Mangalorean bunt cuisine
- Paneer Kolhapuri
- Methi Paneer
- Chilli Paneer
- Paneer Manchurian
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Paneer Ghee Roast
For the ghee roast masala
- 1 tablespoon Ghee
- 2 teaspoons coriander seeds
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- ¼ teaspoon fennel seeds
- ¼ teaspoon whole black pepper
- 20 fenugreek seeds
- 4 kashmiri red chillies or byadagi red chillies
- 2 guntur red chillies or any variety of spicy and hot red chillies
- 3 garlic cloves – medium-sized
- 1 teaspoon tightly packed tamarind – seeds removed
- 6 tablespoons water for grinding or add as needed
Other ingredients for marination
- 2 tablespoons Ghee
- ⅓ cup chopped onions
- 10 to 12 curry leaves – kept whole or roughly chopped
- ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
- ¼ cup water
- ½ teaspoon jaggery powder or add as required
- salt as required
Preparing ghee roast masala
- Heat 1 tablespoon ghee in a thick bottomed pan or kadai or a cast iron skillet. Use a well seasoned pan.
- Once the ghee melts, add all the spices – coriander seeds, cumin seeds, fennel seeds, black peppercorns, fenugreek seeds, kashmiri red chillies (or byadagi red chillies) and guntur red chillies (or other Indian varieties of spicy and hot red chillies).
- On a low heat stirring often roast the whole spices till they become fragrant.
- Once the spices are roasted well and fragrant, add the garlic cloves and tamarind. Mix well and switch off the heat. Let this spice mixture cool.
- Take all of the roasted spice mixture in a small grinder jar or chutney grinder.
- Add 6 tablespoons water and grind to a smooth and fine paste. Do not make the ground paste too thin. If you make the paste thin, then skip adding water later.
- Take all of the masala paste in a mixing bowl.
- Add fresh curd (dahi or yogurt), 1 teaspoon lemon juice and salt as per taste.
- Add paneer cubes. Mix very well.
- Gently mix the paneer cubes with the masala so that the paneer cubes are well coated with the masala.
- Marinate paneer for 30 to 45 minutes. If keeping for a longer time, then refrigerate.
- In the grinder jar, add ¼ cup water and just swirl the jar, so that the masala paste which is stuck to the sides and bottom of the jar gets mixed with the water. You can also use a spatula or steel spoon to mix. Keep aside.
Making paneer ghee roast
- Heat 2 tablespoons ghee in the same pan.
- Add chopped onions.
- Next add the curry leaves (kadi patta) – kept whole or roughly chopped and teaspoon turmeric powder (haldi).
- Mix very well and sauté for 3 to 4 minutes or till the onions turn translucent on a low to medium-low heat. Do not brown the onions.
- Now add all of the marinated paneer mixture. Also add all the masala scraping the bowl.
- Mix gently but very well. Add ½ teaspoon jaggery powder and mix again.
- Add ¼ cup of masala mixed water or plain water. Mix again very well.For a very thick gravy, choose to skip adding water or add about 1 to 2 tablespoons of water.
- Simmer the gravy for about 1 to 2 minutes on a low to medium-low heat. Do not overcook the paneer as then the cubes will become dense and hard.
- Once done, then switch off the heat. The gravy will thicken and you will see specks of ghee on top.
- Serve paneer ghee roast hot garnish with some fried curry leaves or coriander leaves. You can also just serve paneer ghee roast without any garnish. Accompany onion slices and lemon wedges.
- You can use tofu and mushrooms instead of paneer.
- Choose to substitute oil for ghee and cashew yogurt or almond yogurt for curd (yogurt) and use tofu instead of paneer to make a vegan version. Press the tofu first to drain any extra moisture from it.
- If using mushrooms, then do not marinate for 30 minutes. Just mix with the spice paste and then cook. No need to add water while cooking mushrooms.
- Red chilies can be added less or more as per your preferences.
Nutrition Info (Approximate Values)
This Paneer Ghee Roast post from the archives first published in January 2017 has been republished and updated on 26 June 2022.
I am 40 yrs old and had never done cooking in my life till a few days back (when I decided to make Paneer Ghee Roast). Craving desperately for some new food amidst lockdown, my wife recommended your site and I decided to give it a try.
My family was just bowled over by the dish I made – not just in presentation but the taste as well. Everyone unanimously agreed that it’s way better than the one we get at the restaurant.
All thanks to you that they liked my food. Your explanation is so simple and clear that anyone can understand. I have even downloaded your app and am eagerly looking forward to cook the next dishes. You are doing a great job. Keep it up.
Thanks a lot for the super feedback on the recipe. Glad to read and know that the explanation is helpful. Thanks again and happy cooking.
I prepared it… Taste came out nicely… But masala pungent taste was still there so cooked for some more time but paneer became hard… Any suggestions to avoid this
thanks. paneer ghee roast masala has a pungent taste. alternatively, instead of marinating masala with the paneer, you can saute it after onions are added and then add paneer. so it is better to cook the masala first and then add the paneer. hope this helps.
Really a very tasty recipe, just tastes like a restaurant one. I made mushroom ghee roast as per your your recipe and it came out amazingly yummy.
Welcome Subbu. Glad to know this. Thanks for sharing this positive feedback. The masala is very good, so it can be used to prepare any veggie ghee roast.
tried this also, tasted godd but the colour wasn’t this orange red mayb bcoz i didn’t have Kashmiri mirch. it was all brown, hai he dhaniya seeds must bw reduced as it was giving a more dhaniya taste.
Pratima, kashmiri red chillies give good color and taste also. Dhaniya has to be roasted well.
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