Make this delicious Punjabi paneer bhurji (spicy scrambled paneer) using Indian cottage cheese and a few spices in under 20 minutes. This protein-rich vegetarian dish can be served for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.
About This Recipe
Paneer = Indian cottage cheese and bhurji = scramble. Paneer bhurji is a Punjabi dish that is essentially crumbled Indian cottage cheese cooked with onion, tomato, and a few spices.
This North Indian 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.
This bhurji is savory, spicy, and tangy in taste, and very nutritious. It is an easy replacement for egg bhurji for vegetarians. You can make it vegan too by replacing paneer with tofu.
I have used a secret masala which gives this paneer bhurji a very unique taste. Read along to know more 🙂
Paneer – Paneer is the hero ingredient of this recipe. Try to use 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.
Ghee – I always make paneer bhurji in ghee as it gives a wonderful taste to it but you can definitely make it in oil or butter.
Spice powder – Apart from the basic spice powders like coriander powder, red chili powder, turmeric powder, cumin powder, and garam masala powder, I also use 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, fresh ginger, garlic, onions, tomatoes, green chilies, and lime juice.
How To Make Paneer Bhurji
Make The Paneer
Start by making the paneer. If you are using the store-bought paneer, then skip this process. Just grate the slab using the medium hole of a box grater and use.
To make paneer, heat 1 liter of whole (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 wash 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.
Make The 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).
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.
Next, add 1 teaspoon coriander powder, ½ teaspoon turmeric powder, 2 teaspoon pav bhaji masala, and 1 teaspoon red chili powder and cook for 1-2 minutes.
Crumble the paneer and add it to the pan along with salt to taste, ½ teaspoon cumin powder, ½ teaspoon garam masala powder, and 2 tablespoon lime juice, and mix well. Cook for 2-3 minutes.
Garnish with 2 tablespoon chopped cilantro (coriander) and serve hot.
Frequently Asked Questions
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 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 and add them to the bhurji along with the paneer. You can also use spinach 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 a couple of eggs along with paneer and scramble them in the masala.
Peas – Peas or matar makes 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 they are tender and then use them. You can also use corn in place of peas.
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.
I sometimes make a little gravy and serve it with rice too.
It tastes delicious with pav, toast, or bread slices.
Make a sandwich, wraps, or a kathi roll from the leftover paneer bhurji. Just add some green chutney and finely sliced onions inside, for more flavor and a beautiful crunch.
You can also stuff it inside a dosa or bread roll.
Paneer bhurji will keep well in the refrigerator for 2-3 days. It doesn’t freeze well though.
You Might Also Like
Paneer Bhurji Recipe
- 2 tablespoons ghee (you can also use oil or butter)
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- ¼ teaspoon asafetida
- 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 red chili powder
- 1 and ½ cups crumbled paneer (homemade is best, but you can use grated store-bought paneer too)
- salt to taste
- ½ teaspoon cumin powder
- ½ teaspoon garam masala powder
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro (coriander)
- 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).
- Now, tomatoes, green bell pepper, and green chilies and cook for another minute.
- Next, add coriander powder, turmeric powder, pav bhaji masala, and red chili powder and cook for 1-2 minutes.
- 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.
- Garnish with cilantro (coriander) and serve hot.