Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Paneer Bhurji -- Scrambled Cottage Cheese

I am now on a paneer or cottage cheese trip. My last post was Paneer Bengali Style and this time it is Paneer Bhurji. It is something which I just rustled  up one day, it tasted good and now I make it quite often.

 Actually paneer bhurji entered my life quite accidentally. I had often seen this dish in the menus of restaurants but had never eaten it. I am a little vary of eating Indian food in restaurants mainly because I cannot digest spicy food, besides that, off late I have noticed there is an increasing tendency to use khoya (thickened milk) and cream in most Indian dishes and khoya when used in food  invariably plays havoc with my digestion. Thankfully it does not affect me when used in sweets. It so happened that one day I was ordering some food at a food court of a mall in Bombay. This particular outlet - Bombay Blue - has a chain of restaurants all over Bombay as well as outlets in all the major malls in the city. While ordering the food I noticed paneer bhurji at their counter. It did not look spicy and I was a little tempted to order it. I gave in to my temptation and I was not disappointed. I
am not too sure how they make it, but after tasting it this is how I make it.

Since I never buy paneer and always make it at home, I use the whey instead of water. However, those of you who buy ready-made paneer may use water. Although I have given the measurements I would suggest that you use your judgement, for this is one dish where your taste should determine the quantity of the ingredients.

I used two types of paneer that is paneer made from low fat milk and paneer made from full cream milk. I had a reason for doing this; the low fat paneer easily crumbles when you mash it, it  forms a sort of paste as you cook, while it is easy to get tiny pieces when you mash the full cream paneer. I did not use a knife to make the pieces as in the case of my previous recipe. What I did was I used a sort of spatula to mash the paneer while cooking and it automatically broke into small pieces. I therefore had this lovely mixture of tiny pieces of paneer as well as paneer paste.

This is one dish where I feel you can freely use your judgement when it comes to the spices. I have, however not made it too spicy. 


  • Approximately 300grams Paneer (cottage cheese)
  • One medium size onion
  • ¼ teaspoon cumin seed
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • Kashmiri  red chilli powder or any other red chilli powder to taste
  • 2 ½  to 3 level teaspoons of coriander and cumin mix powder
  • ¼ to ½ teaspoon ginger paste.
  • One or two small cloves of garlic ground to a paste.( If the clove of garlic is a thick or large one then just use one clove, it is better to use little garlic or else the flavour of garlic will overpower the dish. However if you do not mind that flavour you can just go ahead and add more garlic.) 
  • Salt and sugar to taste
  • Whey or water.


  • Chop the onion lengthwise into slivers. I used just one onion for I did not want too much of the onion flavour.
  •  Heat some oil in a vessel of your choice. I used little oil but again this is a matter of personal taste.
  • Add the cumin seeds. Once the seeds begin to splutter add the chopped onion.
  • Fry the onion till they are slightly brown.
  • Add the turmeric powder, chilli powder, coriander and cumin mix powder, ginger paste and garlic paste. You may add the salt at this stage or you can add it later. I prefer to add it at this stage.
  • Fry  well. When you find the oil separating from the spices add the cottage cheese( paneer)
  • You can mash the paneer with your hand before adding it to the fried masala (spices) or you can mash it with a spoon after adding it to the masala.
  • Stir well for a while and then add a little whey or water. If you make the paneer at home you can use the whey or else water will do as well. Do not add too much of whey or water just enough to help blend all the ingredients.
  • Cover and cook for a while. Now add a bit of sugar to balance the flavours.

Serve hot ; it goes very well with phulka rotis, puris, parathas and for that matter even bread.

Click here to see how to make paneer at home.


  1. hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmyum yum lip smacking recipe.

  2. Mmm, your recipe sounds very similar to the way I make it, though I don't add ginger paste or dhania-zeera powder: I just use zeera seeds, chopped onion, tomato, a little haldi and red chilli powder, and (just before serving) chopped green dhania.

    1. Well that should taste good too, okay I think next time I will try it your way.It's easier too.

  3. Yes, it's very easy. I'm a real lazy bum, so I'm always on the lookout for simple recipes that don't involve much grinding, and which are quickly made.


  4. very yummy and perfect ... looking awesome looks so inviting n tempting too..
    resturent menu order