Dry Paneer Bhurji is a North Indian-style stir fry made using Indian cottage cheese (paneer), onions, tomatoes, and Indian spices. Make this protein-rich sabji in under 20 minutes and serve it for breakfast, lunch, or dinner (vegetarian, can be made gluten-free).
You might like some more paneer recipes – Lahsooni Methi Paneer, Paneer Tikka Masala, Punjabi Saag Paneer, Mughlai Paneer Korma, Paneer Masala, and Dhaba Style Matar Paneer.
About Paneer Bhurji
Paneer = Indian cottage cheese, and bhurji = scramble. Paneer Bhurji is a north Indian (Punjabi) dish that is essentially crumbled Indian cottage cheese stir-fried with onions, tomatoes, and a few spices.
It can be made dry or with gravy. In this post, I am sharing a dry version of this sabji.
Dry paneer bhurji is rich in protein and super easy to make. It comes together in under 20 minutes using pantry staples and can be served for breakfast, lunch, or dinner with any bread on the side.
Paneer burji is savory, spicy, tangy in taste, and very nutritious. It is an easy vegetarian version of the Indian-style egg bhurji (anda bhurji). You can make it vegan, too, by replacing paneer with tofu.
I have used a secret masala which gives this protein-packed paneer bhurji a very unique taste. Read along to know more 🙂
This dry paneer bhurji recipe is vegetarian and can be easily doubled or tripled.
You will get all the ingredients to make paneer burji in an Indian grocery store. Dry spices are available on Amazon too.
Paneer – Paneer is the hero ingredient of this recipe. Try to use fresh homemade paneer to make bhurji, as it will crumble nicely. If using store-bought paneer, grate it using the medium hole of a box grater or crumble it using your fingers.
If using frozen paneer, make sure to thaw it to room temperature.
Tip – Soaking the store-bought paneer in warm water for 10 minutes makes it very soft.
Ghee – I always make paneer bhurji in ghee as it gives a wonderful taste, but you can make it in oil or butter.
Spice powder – Apart from the basic spice powders like coriander powder, Kashmiri red chilli powder, turmeric powder, cumin powder, and garam masala powder, I also use a secret masala, and that is pav bhaji masala. It gives a very unique flavor to the bhurji.
You can also add goda masala, achari masala or kanda lasun masala in this bhurji.
Others – You will also need cumin seeds, asafetida (hing), fresh ginger, garlic, red onions, tomatoes, green bell peppers (capsicum), green chillies, and freshly squeezed lime juice.
You can also add kasuri methi to the ready bhurji.
How To Make Dry Paneer Bhurji
Heat 2 tablespoon ghee in a pan over medium-high heat.
Once the ghee is hot, add 1 teaspoon cumin seeds and ¼ teaspoon asafetida. Let them crackle for 3-4 seconds.
Add 1 cup finely chopped onions, 1 teaspoon finely chopped ginger, and 1 teaspoon finely chopped garlic, and fry until the onions are slightly browned (8-10 minutes), stirring frequently.
Now, add ½ cup finely chopped tomatoes, ¼ cup chopped green bell pepper, and 2 teaspoon finely chopped green chilies, and cook for another minute. Stir frequently while cooking.
Next, add 1 teaspoon coriander powder, ½ teaspoon turmeric powder, 2 teaspoon pav bhaji masala, and 1 teaspoon Kashmiri red chili powder, and cook for 30-40 seconds.
Crumble the paneer and add it to the pan along with ½ teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon cumin powder, ½ teaspoon garam masala powder, and 2 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice, and mix well. Cook for 2-3 minutes.
Do not overcook; otherwise, the bhurji will turn dry.
Check for salt and add more if needed.
Garnish with 2 tablespoon chopped cilantro (fresh coriander leaves) and serve hot.
Frequently Asked Questions
To make paneer at home, heat 1 liter of whole milk (full-fat milk) in a pan over high heat. Once the milk comes to a boil, switch off the heat. Add 2-3 tablespoon lime juice to the milk and stir once. The milk will curdle immediately. Let it rest for 5 minutes. Now line a large fine-mesh strainer with a muslin cloth and keep it over a large mixing bowl.
Pour the curdled milk into a fine-mesh strainer and let most of the water drip down. Now rinse the paneer with water to get rid of the lime flavor. You can now bring the ends of the cloth together and make a knot at the top. Then hang the cloth over your sink to let the excess water drip down. Or you can keep the strainer back over the bowl and let the water drip down in the bowl.
It will take 30 minutes for the excess water to drip down. We need moist paneer to make the bhurji. Once the paneer is ready, crumble it using your fingers and keep it aside.
To make a Jain version of this bhurji, do not add onion, ginger, and garlic to the recipe. Add ½ cup of fresh tomato puree instead.
Replace paneer with firm tofu. Do not use silken tofu. Also, use oil in place of ghee to make the curry.
Yes, it is a great vegetarian option for people following a keto diet. Add some shredded cheddar cheese along with paneer to make it even better.
Methi – Chop fresh methi leaves (fenugreek leaves) and add them to the bhurji along with the paneer. You can also use spinach (palak) in place of methi.
Cheese – Top the warm paneer bhurji with shredded cheddar cheese and cover the pan for 10 minutes. The cheese will melt and create a gooey layer on top of the bhurji.
Egg – You can add eggs along with paneer and scramble them in the masala.
Peas – Green peas (matar) make a great addition to this recipe. If using frozen peas, wash them and add them along with the paneer. If using fresh peas, cook them until tender and then use them. You can also use corn in place of peas.
Other Veggies – You can add finely chopped carrots, beetroot, cauliflower, etc to it.
In Makhani Gravy – You can make a makhani gravy-like paneer butter masala, and instead of adding paneer cubes, add crumbled paneer.
This dish is great to serve for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.
Paneer bhurji can be served with Indian bread such as tandoori roti, tawa paratha, laccha paratha, roti, poori, or naan.
Serve it with any Indian bread, salad, chutney, and raita for a complete meal.
It tastes delicious with pav, toast, or bread slices.
Make sandwiches, wraps, bread rolls, or kathi rolls from the leftover paneer ki bhurji. Add some green chutney and finely sliced onions inside for more flavor and a beautiful crunch.
You can also stuff the leftover bhurji inside a dosa or bread roll.
Paneer bhurji can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.
Avoid using plastic containers as they tend to absorb the flavors of the food and may cause the dish to spoil faster.
If you plan to store the paneer bhurji for longer than 3-4 days, it’s better to freeze it. Place the bhurji in a freezer-safe container and store it in the freezer for up to 1 month.
When you’re ready to consume the frozen paneer bhurji, let it thaw in the refrigerator overnight. Then, reheat it in a pan on medium heat until it’s warmed through.
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Dry Paneer Bhurji Recipe (Indian Style Scrambled Cottage Cheese)
- 2 tablespoons ghee (you can also use oil or butter)
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- ¼ teaspoon asafetida (hing)
- 1 cup finely chopped onions
- 1 teaspoon finely chopped ginger
- 1 teaspoon finely chopped garlic
- ½ cup finely chopped tomatoes
- ¼ cup chopped green bell pepper
- 2 teaspoons finely chopped green chilies (adjust the amount as per your liking)
- 1 teaspoon coriander powder
- ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
- 2 teaspoons pav bhaji masala (I used Everest brand.)
- 1 teaspoon Kashmiri red chili powder
- 1 and ½ cups crumbled paneer (homemade is best, but you can use store-bought paneer too)
- ½ teaspoon salt (or to taste)
- ½ teaspoon cumin powder
- ½ teaspoon garam masala powder
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
- 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro (fresh coriander leaves)
- Heat ghee in a pan over medium-high heat.
- Once the ghee is hot, add cumin seeds and asafetida. Let them crackle for 3-4 seconds.
- Add onions, ginger, and garlic, and fry until the onions are slightly browned (8-10 minutes), stirring frequently.
- Now, add tomatoes, green bell pepper, and green chilies, and cook for another minute. Stir frequently while cooking.
- Next, add coriander powder, turmeric powder, pav bhaji masala, and Kashmiri red chili powder, and cook for 30-40 seconds.
- Crumble the paneer and add it to the pan along with salt, cumin powder, garam masala powder, and lime juice, and mix well. Cook for 2-3 minutes.
- Do not overcook otherwise the bhurji will turn dry.
- Check for salt and add more if needed.
- Garnish with chopped cilantro and serve hot.
Did you make this recipe? Let me know!