Paneer Bhurji Recipe (Gravy & Dry)

Homemade Paneer Bhurji Recipe! Grated paneer or scrambled paneer sauteed with onion, tomato, bell pepper, and a few spices. This is how easily you make comforting North Indian food at home. 

Here I am sharing two methods:

  1. The traditional version, a dry paneer bhurji. It is homestyle and usually served with a toast as a breakfast or with roti as a lunch or dinner. 
  2. Restaurant-style, paneer bhurji gravy. It is served with naan or lachha paratha as a main meal.
Collage of 2 images showing paneer bhurji dry with bread toast and paneer bhurji gravy on right.

Why is it called bhurji? Bhurji means crumbled or scrambled. To make this dish, the paneer is not cut into cubes, but grated (or crumbled).

Ingredients used for both bhurji verity are almost the same. A couple of more ingredients like cream, and whole spices are added while making paneer bhurji gravy.

Adjust the amount of spices if making for kids (who don’t eat spicy food).

Find the expert tips in the recipe card itself for both versions.

Ingredient Notes

  • Paneer: Traditionally paneer bhurji (dry version) is made with homemade paneer. So for that, you just have to curdle the milk and drain the whey. No need to press or weigh it to make cubes. Just crumble the prepared paneer and it is ready to use.
    • But I don’t have extra time to make paneer at home so I use store-bought one.
  • Tomato: Always use ripe tomatoes.
  • Bell pepper: I have used a combination of green and red peppers. You can use only green or a mix of your choice.
  • Spices: All the spices used in this recipe are basic to indian cooking. Nothing fancy.

Recipe 1 – Paneer Bhurji Gravy

  • This is restaurant-style version where creamy, rich gravy is made from onion, tomato and whole spices.
  • This paneer bhurji gravy version is not common and you’ll find it in a few restaurants here in the USA. So I have tried to recreate and got a huge success.
  • This is rich and should be made on a special occasion or for guests. 

Serve paneer bhurji gravy with garlic naan or tandoori roti with a side of onion lachha and salted lassi to complete a meal.

Paneer bhurji gravu served in kadai serving bowl.

How To Make Paneer Bhurji Gravy? (With Pics)

1) To make tomato gravy, heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a pan on medium heat. Once hot add whole spices (bay leaf, dried chili, cloves, peppercorns, cardamom). Saute for a few seconds. You will get a nice aroma of spices.

2) Add roughly chopped ginger, garlic, and green chili and saute for a minute.

3, 4) Mix in roughly chopped tomatoes. Cook until tomatoes are soft. Let the mixture cool down slightly.

5) While it is cooling, grate the paneer.

6) Now make a smooth puree out of cooked tomatoes.

Collage of 6 images showing sauteing whole spices, ginger, garlic and tomatoes, grating paneer and grinding tomato mixture.

7) I have used the same pan. Wipe it clean using a paper towel. Heat remaining oil in a pan on medium heat. Once hot add cumin seeds. Let them sizzle.

8) Then add chopped onions and sprinkle a little salt to speed up the process. Cook until the onion gets light brown in color.

9) Add prepared tomato gravy and mix.

10) Cook until all the moisture evaporates. It may splutter a lot while cooking. So you can partially cover the pan with a lid. Do stir occasionally and make sure that gravy is not sticking to the bottom of the pan. It should start leaving the sides of the pan when cooked.

collage of 4 images showing cooking onion and simmering tomato gravy.

11, 12) Add red chili powder, coriander powder, and cumin powder. Mix well and cook for a minute.

13) Add green and red pepper and mix.

14) Add water to make gravy consistency. Let it simmer for 4-5 minutes. Meantime capsicum will get cooked.

Collage of 4 image showing adding and mixing spices, adding bell peppers.

15) Add garam masala and kasoori methi, mix. Crush kasoori methi between your palm to release its maximum flavor before adding.

16) Add grated paneer and stir. Simmer for 2-3 minutes only and adjust the gravy consistency by adding water if needed.

17) Add heavy cream.

18) Stir well and turn off the stove. Garnish with chopped cilantro and paneer bhurji gravy is ready to serve.

Collage of 4 images showing adding spices, grated paneer, cream into gravy.

Paneer Bhurji Recipe (Gravy Version)

4.84 from 37 votes
Paneer bhurji gravy in kadai serving bowl with raw grated paneer sprinkled on top.
Here grated or crumbled cottage cheese is simmered in spicy tomato gravy. This is a restaurant-style paneer bhurji recipe that goes well with paratha or naan.
Kanan
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Serving Size 3

US measuring cups are used (1 cup = 240 ml)

Ingredients

To Make Tomato Gravy:

  • 1 tablespoon Oil
  • 1 Bay leaf
  • 2 Dried red chilies, broken and stem, seeds removed
  • 3 Cloves
  • 3 Black peppercorns
  • 2 Green cardamoms
  • ½ inch Ginger, chopped
  • 2 cloves Garlic, chopped
  • 1 Green chili, chopped
  • 3 medium or 2 cups Tomato, roughly chopped

Rest Ingredients:

  • 200 grams or 1 ½ cups or 7 oz Paneer, grated
  • 2 tablespoons Oil
  • 1 teaspoon Cumin seeds
  • ½ cup Red onion, chopped finely
  • 1 teaspoon Red chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon Coriander powder
  • ½ teaspoon Cumin powder
  • Salt, to taste
  • cup Capsicum (Green bell pepper), chopped finely
  • cup Red pepper, chopped finely, can be replaced with green pepper
  • ½ to 1 cup Water
  • 1 teaspoon Kasoori methi (dried fenugreek leaves), crushed between your palm
  • ½ teaspoon Garam masala
  • 2 tablespoons Heavy whipping cream or fresh cream or malai
  • 2 tablespoons Cilantro or coriander leaves, finely chopped

Instructions

  • To make tomato gravy, heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a pan on medium heat. Once hot add whole spices (bay leaf, dried chili, cloves, peppercorns, cardamom). Saute for a few seconds. You will get a nice aroma of spices.
  • Add roughly chopped ginger, garlic, and green chili and saute for a minute.
  • Mix in roughly chopped tomatoes. Cook until tomatoes are soft. Let the mixture cool down slightly.
  • While it is cooling, grate the paneer.
  • Now make a smooth puree out of cooked tomatoes.
  • I have used the same pan. Wipe it clean using a paper towel. Heat remaining oil in a pan on medium heat. Once hot add cumin seeds. Let them sizzle.
  • Then add chopped onions and sprinkle a little salt to speed up the process. Cook until the onion gets light brown in color.
  • Add prepared tomato gravy and mix. Cook until all the moisture evaporates. It may splutter a lot while cooking. So you can partially cover the pan with a lid. Do stir occasionally and make sure that gravy is not sticking to the bottom of the pan. It should start leaving the sides of the pan when cooked.
  • Add red chili powder, coriander powder, and cumin powder. Mix well and cook for a minute.
  • Add green and red pepper and mix.
  • Add water to make gravy consistency. Let it simmer for 4-5 minutes. Meantime capsicum will get cooked.
  • Add garam masala and kasoori methi, mix. Crush kasoori methi between your palm to release its maximum flavor before adding.
  • Add grated paneer and stir. Simmer for 2-3 minutes only and adjust the gravy consistency by adding water if needed.
  • Add heavy cream. Stir well and turn off the stove.
  • Garnish with chopped cilantro and paneer bhurji gravy is ready to serve.

Notes

  • I always recommend grated paneer instead of crumbling. Because it looks more appetizing and presentable with grated paneer.
  • To get a nicely grated paneer without breaking or crumbling the paneer. Use refrigerated or chilled paneer to grate paneer. Room temperature paneer may get break or fall apart.
  • Dried red chilies are used while grinding the tomato. Also, we are using the red chili powder in gravy later on. So adjust the chili powder quantity based on the spiciness of whole dried chilies.
  • For a less spicy taste use Kashmiri dried red chilies.

Nutrition

Calories: 407kcal (20%) | Carbohydrates: 13.2g (4%) | Protein: 14.4g (29%) | Fat: 33.6g (52%) | Saturated Fat: 4.1g (21%) | Cholesterol: 14mg (5%) | Sodium: 807mg (34%) | Potassium: 446mg (13%) | Fiber: 2.8g (11%) | Sugar: 5.7g (6%)

Recipe 2 – Dry Paneer Bhurji Recipe

Many people call this paneer bhujia or paneer bharta.

Super quick to make: Dry version recipe takes just 20 minutes. 

Different Ideas For Serving Paneer Bhurji:

  • Perfect protein-riched breakfast to make on busy mornings. If so I recommend chopping veggies a day before and keeping them ready in the fridge. Enjoy with bread toast or pav.
  • Pack into the lunchbox with roti or paratha. It makes a filling and delicious meal.
  • Wrap: spread some cilantro chutney on chapati or paratha or store-bought wrap, stuff with bhurji, add sliced onions or onion lachha and roll it.
  • Dosa: spread 2-3 tablespoons of bhurji as stuffing into your plain dosa.
  • Sandwich: Spread butter and coriander chutney on both bread slices. Use bhurji as stuffing and grill or toast the sandwich as you like.
Paneer bhurji served with toasted bread.

How To Make Paneer Bhurji Recipe? (Dry)

1) Heat the oil in a pan on medium heat. Once hot add cumin seeds and let them sizzle a bit.

2) Add chopped onion and sprinkle a little salt to speed up the cooking process, mix.

3) Saute until onions are soft and bout to get light brown in color.

4) Add ginger paste, garlic paste, and green chili. Mix and saute for a minute or until the raw smell of ginger garlic goes away.

Collage of 4 image showing cooking onion and sauteing ginger, garlic, chili.

5, 6) Add chopped tomatoes. Cook until tomatoes are soft (not mushy).

7, 8) Add green and red peppers. Cook for 4-5 minutes or until peppers is almost soft.

Collage of 4 images showing cooking tomato and cook peppers.

9, 10) Add remaining salt, red chili powder, turmeric powder, coriander powder and garam masala powder. Mix and cook for a minute. You’ll notice oil starts to separate from the sides.

11, 12) Add crumbled paneer. Mix and cook for 2-3 minutes. Do not overcook otherwise paneer will turn chewy.

13) Lastly, squeeze fresh lemon juice and mix.

14) Garnish with freshly chopped cilantro and enjoy dry paneer bhurji.

Collage of 6 images showing adding spice powders, adding grated paneer, lemon juice and cilantro.
Paneer bhurji with toasted bread triangles in a plate with a cup of coffee.

Did you try this paneer bhurji recipe? If yes, which one? I’d love to hear about it! Comment here to leave a review.

Paneer Bhurji Recipe (Dry Version)

4.92 from 23 votes
Paneer bhurji served with toasted bread.
This homestyle paneer bhurji gets ready in just 20 minutes. Enjoy it as a breakfast with bread toast or pav. It can be served as a main meal with roti or paratha.
Kanan
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Serving Size 2

US measuring cups are used (1 cup = 240 ml)

Ingredients

  • 1-2 tablespoons Oil
  • ¼ teaspoon Cumin seeds
  • ½ cup Red onion, chopped
  • 1 Green chili, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon Ginger paste or freshly grated or crushed
  • 1 teaspoon Garlic paste or freshly grated
  • ½ Tomato, finely chopped
  • ½ cup Capsicum (Green bell pepper), chopped
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 teaspoon Red chili powder
  • ¼ teaspoon Turmeric powder
  • ½ teaspoon Coriander powder
  • ½ teaspoon Garam masala
  • 150 grams Paneer, crumbled
  • 1 teaspoon Lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon Cilantro or coriander leaves, finely chopped

Instructions

  • Heat the oil in a pan on medium heat. Once hot add cumin seeds and let them sizzle a bit.
  • Add chopped onion and sprinkle a little salt to speed up the cooking process, mix. Saute until onions are soft and bout to get light brown in color.
  • Add ginger paste, garlic paste, and green chili. Mix and saute for a minute or until the raw smell of ginger garlic goes away.
  • Add chopped tomatoes. Cook until tomatoes are soft (not mushy).
  • Add green and red peppers. Cook for 4-5 minutes or until peppers is almost soft.
  • Add remaining salt, red chili powder, turmeric powder, coriander powder and garam masala powder. Mix and cook for a minute. You’ll notice oil starts to separate from the sides.
  • Add crumbled paneer. Mix and cook for 2-3 minutes. Do not overcook otherwise paneer will turn chewy.
  • Lastly, squeeze fresh lemon juice and mix.
  • Garnish with freshly chopped cilantro and enjoy.

Notes

  • Keep the store-bought paneer in warm water for 15-20 minutes. So it gets soft and then it can be crumbled easily.
  • Do not cook paneer for more than 2-3 minutes after adding into the onion tomato masala. Overcooked paneer results in a chewy texture.
  • To get dhaba style smokey flavor, add ½ teaspoon of smoked paprika along with other spices. Or use the dhungar method using charcoal.

Nutrition

Calories: 326kcal (16%) | Carbohydrates: 12g (4%) | Protein: 12g (24%) | Fat: 26g (40%) | Saturated Fat: 12g (60%) | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 50mg (17%) | Sodium: 697mg (29%) | Potassium: 247mg (7%) | Fiber: 3g (12%) | Sugar: 4g (4%) | Vitamin A: 708IU (14%) | Vitamin C: 42mg (51%) | Calcium: 389mg (39%) | Iron: 1mg (6%)
4.84 from 37 votes (15 ratings without comment)

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