Mangalore Style Paneer Ghee Roast

5 from 1 vote

Paneer Ghee Roast is a fiery red and spicy curry, a vegetarian version of the popular Mangalorean chicken ghee roast. This dryish curry is best served with neer dosa, dosa, or lachha paratha (gluten-free, vegetarian).

Paneer ghee roast served in a bowl.
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About Paneer Ghee Roast

You must have heard about the popular Mangalorean chicken ghee roast (Kundapur roast) or its various versions, such as prawns ghee roast or mutton ghee roast. In this post, I am sharing a vegetarian version of this recipe using paneer: Paneer Ghee Roast.

Marinated soft paneer dunked in a fiery red and spicy yogurt-based gravy loaded with ghee; this curry is a treat to your tastebuds. I find paneer ghee roast to be a little unique, and when I am bored with my usual paneer curries, I always go for this one.

This curry gets most of its flavor from the freshly roasted masala with dry red chilies and some of my favorite whole spices. This is unique, as it has a tangy-sweet flavor from tamarind and jaggery. Spicy, sweet, and tangy, all 3 flavors in one curry; what else do you need?

You can also serve this dish as an appetizer. Just keep the gravy a little less.

I love to serve it with soft neer dosa, flaky laccha paratha, or appams, but it tastes great with almost everything. You can serve it as a starter if you make it a little dry.

This curry is vegetarian and gluten-free. You can double or triple the recipe as per your need.

If you want to try more paneer curries, I have many options.

Ingredients

To Marinate The Paneer

You will need just 3 ingredients – paneer, lime juice, and salt.

You can make your paneer or buy it from an Indian store nearby. If you use store-bought paneer, soak it in warm water for about 5 minutes before use.

Paneer is available in the refrigerator section of an Indian store or the Asian aisle in the supermarket.

Use freshly squeezed lime juice for the marination.

For The Ground Masala Paste

To make the fresh masala paste, you will need Kashmiri dry red chilies, whole coriander seeds, cumin seeds, fennel seeds (saunf), fenugreek seeds (methi dana), cloves (laung), and black peppercorn (kali mirch).

To make the curry spicier, you can use Thai chilies (or Indian Guntur chilies) instead of Kashmiri red chilies.

For The Curry

To make the curry, you will need ghee, red onions, ginger garlic paste, tamarind pulp, plain yogurt (dahi, curd), jaggery (gud), turmeric powder, and curry leaves.

Do not substitute ghee (clarified butter) with oil, as ghee is the main ingredient of this dish.

Tamarind pulp adds a perfect tangy taste; to complement it, add a little jaggery for sweetness.

Curry leaves add that perfect South Indian touch and a delightful flavor.

How To Make Paneer Ghee Roast

Marinate The Paneer

Cut 1 lb (500 g) paneer into small pieces. I cut it into triangles, but you can cut it however you like. If using store-bought paneer, soak it in warm water for 5 minutes. This will make the paneer soft and chewy.

Mix

  • 1 lb paneer (cut into pieces)
  • 2 tablespoon lime juice
  • 2 teaspoon salt

in a medium-sized mixing bowl and set aside for 20 minutes.

Paneer pieces mixed with salt and lime juice.

Make The Masala Paste

Remove the stalk of 10-12 whole dried Kashmiri red chilies. Dry roast on medium heat for 3-4 minutes and remove on a plate.

Dry red chilies roasting in a pan.

Dry roast

  • 1 tablespoon whole coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • ¼ teaspoon fenugreek seeds
  • 3-4 whole cloves
  • 8-10 whole black peppercorns

for 1 minute or until fragrant, stirring frequently.

Coriander seeds, fennel seeds, cumin seeds, fenugreek seeds, cloves and peppercorns roasting in the pan.

Add the roasted ingredients to the small jar of a blender along with ¼ cup water and make a smooth paste.

Roasted ingredients added to a blender along with some water.
Smooth paste made.

Make The Ghee Roast Curry

Heat ¼ cup ghee in a pan over medium-high heat.

Fry the paneer pieces from all the sides and keep them aside.

Paneer fried in ghee.

Add ½ cup chopped red onions and cook until slightly browned (7-8 minutes), stirring frequently.

Onions added to hot ghee in the pan.

Add 2 tablespoon ginger garlic paste and cook for 2-3 minutes.

Ginger garlic paste added to the pan.

Add

  • ground masala paste
  • 2 teaspoon tamarind pulp
  • ½ cup whisked plain yogurt
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric powder

to the pan and mix everything.

Ground masala paste, yogurt, tamarind paste and turmeric powder added to the pan.

Now add 2 teaspoon Kashmiri red chili powder and mix well.

Chilli powder added to the pan.

Reduce the heat to low.

Cover the pan and cook for 10-12 minutes.

Pan covered with a lid.

Add the fried paneer to the pan along with ½ cup water and cook for 10 minutes, stirring a few times in between.

Fried paneer and water added to the pan.

Add 1 teaspoon crushed jaggery and 20-25 curry leaves and cook until ghee starts to ooze from the sides (5-6 minutes).

Crushed jaggery and curry leaves added to the pan.

Check for salt and add more if needed.

Garnish with more curry leaves and serve hot.

Ready paneer ghee roast.

Frequently Asked Questions

What can be used instead of paneer in this recipe?

You can use tofu or vegetables such as cauliflower, mushroom, or other vegetables you like to experiment with.

How to make it vegan?

To make it vegan, replace
1. Regular yogurt with coconut yogurt or any other vegan yogurt
2. Paneer with tofu
3. Ghee with coconut oil

Serving Suggestions

Serve paneer ghee roast along with flaky Lachha Paratha or Kerala Parotta. I also love serving it with soft Appams, Neer Dosa, or Ghee Roast Dosa.

It tastes great with Phulka, Plain Tawa Paratha, Steamed Rice, and Ghee Rice.

You can make it dry and serve as an appetizer.

Storage Suggestions

You can refrigerate the curry in an airtight container for 2-3 days.

Reheat it in a microwave or a pan before serving. You can add some water while re-heating if the curry has thickened.

Freeze this curry for up to 2 months. Thaw and heat before serving.

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Paneer Ghee Roast is a fiery red and spicy curry that is a vegetarian version of Mangalorean chicken ghee roast. This dryish curry is best served with neer dosa, dosa, or lachha paratha.
5 from 1 vote

Mangalore Style Paneer Ghee Roast Recipe

Paneer Ghee Roast is a fiery red and spicy curry that is a vegetarian version of the popular Mangalorean chicken ghee roast. This dryish curry is best served with neer dosa, dosa, or lachha paratha.
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 30 minutes
Total: 40 minutes
Servings: 6 people

Ingredients 

For The Marination

  • 1 pound paneer (500 g)
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons salt

For The Dry Roast Masala Paste

  • 10-12 whole dry Kashmiri red chilies (stalks removed)
  • 1 tablespoon whole coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds (saunf)
  • ¼ teaspoon fenugreek seeds (mathi dana)
  • 3-4 whole cloves (laung)
  • 8-10 whole black peppercorns (kali mirch)

For The Curry

  • ¼ cup ghee
  • ½ cup chopped red onions
  • 2 tablespoons ginger garlic paste
  • 2 teaspoons tamarind pulp (or a marvel-sized ball soaked in ¼ cup water)
  • ½ cup plain yogurt (dahi, curd) (whisked)
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 2 teaspoons Kashmiri red chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon crushed jaggery (gud)
  • 20-25 curry leaves
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Instructions 

Marinate The Paneer

  • Cut the paneer into small pieces. I cut it into triangles but you can cut it how you like. If using store-bought paneer, then soak it in warm water for 5 minutes. It will make the paneer soft and chewy.
  • Mix paneer, lime juice, and salt in a medium-sized mixing bowl and set aside for 20 minutes.

Make The Masala Paste

  • Dry roast dry red chilies on medium heat for 3-4 minutes and remove on a plate.
  • Dry roast coriander seeds, fennel seeds, cumin seeds, fenugreek seeds, cloves, and black peppercorns for 1 minute or until fragrant, stirring frequently.
  • Add the roasted ingredients to the small jar of a blender along with ¼ cup water and make a smooth paste.

Make The Curry

  • Heat ghee in a pan over medium-high heat.
  • Fry the paneer pieces from all the sides and keep them aside.
  • Add onions and cook on medium-high heat until slightly browned (7-8 minutes), stirring frequently.
  • Add ginger garlic paste and cook for 2-3 minutes.
  • Add the ground masala, tamarind paste, yogurt, and turmeric powder to the pan and mix everything.
  • Now add chili powder and mix well.
  • Reduce the heat to low.
  • Cover the pan and cook for 10-12 minutes.
  • Add the marinated paneer to the pan along with ½ cup water and cook for 10 minutes.
  • Add jaggery and curry leaves and cook until ghee starts to ooze from the sides (5-6 minutes).
  • Check for salt and add more if needed.
  • Garnish with curry leaves and serve hot.

Notes

If you want to make the curry spicier, you can use Thai chilies (or Guntur chilies) in place of Kashmiri red chilies.
If you want a thin curry, then add some water. 
If you want to serve this dish as an appetizer, then add a little less water.

Nutrition

Calories: 655kcal, Carbohydrates: 20g, Protein: 22g, Fat: 56g, Saturated Fat: 33g, Cholesterol: 144mg, Sodium: 1233mg, Potassium: 502mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 10g, Vitamin A: 1448IU, Vitamin C: 267mg, Calcium: 704mg, Iron: 2mg
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