Paneer Bhurji

5 from 14 votes

Paneer Bhurji is a vegetarian dish made with scrambled paneer (Indian cottage cheese) onions, tomatoes and spices. It goes well with flatbreads like paratha and is also great on a toast for quick breakfast.

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Paneer Bhurji is a popular Indian dish which has scrambled paneer (Indian cottage cheese) cooked with onion, tomatoes and spices! This easy and quick recipe gets done in less than 30 minutes and is great for breakfast or lunch. Paneer bhurji goes well with flat breads like roti and paratha or is great on toast as well.

Paneer is an integral part of Indian cuisine and we cook it in so many ways with palak paneer, matar paneer and paneer butter masala being the most popular. All these dishes are a bit elaborate so when you want your paneer fix quickly, there’s nothing better than paneer bhurji. It was actually one of the first paneer dishes that I learnt to cook, just because it was so simple.

Bhurji means scrambled so here the paneer is crumbled and then cooked with onion, tomato and spices. This dish gets done in less than 30 minutes, the only prep work you need is chopping the onions and tomatoes and crushing the ginger-garlic. The bhurji cooks super fast because paneer literally requires no cooking time.

It makes a filling, nutritious and protein packed vegetarian breakfast, lunch or dinner.

This Paneer Bhurji

  • is a great way to add protein to your diet (especially if you are a vegetarian).
  • gets done in less than 30 minutes.
  • is wonderfully spiced and pairs well with any flatbread.

I often top my toast with paneer bhurji for an easy and quick breakfast. My mom would sometimes also add green peas to it. Sarvesh however is not a fan of peas in his paneer bhurji. So, I usually avoid it. But it is a good addition in my opinion.

Ingredients

ingredients for making paneer bhurji arranged on a board

Paneer: you can make paneer bhurji with either homemade paneer or store-bought paneer. If using store-bought paneer, soak it in warm water for 20 minutes and then use in the recipe.

Spices: I don’t add a ton of spices here, just some coriander, turmeric and chili powder. However, there’s one spice which I love using in my paneer bhurji and it is the pav bhaji masala. Pav bhaji masala is a mix of spices used in making pav bhaji. You can use your favorite brand or find a recipe to make it at home here.

It’s not something that is traditionally used, but I love the flavor it gives to the bhurji. If you don’t have it, don’t worry, you can use garam masala in place.

Onion & Tomato: the base for the bhurji is made with onions, tomatoes, fresh ginger, garlic and chilies. I like to de-seed the tomatoes for this paneer bhurji recipe but that’s optional. Definitely use fresh ginger and garlic as that will make a difference to the final taste.

paneer bhurji served in a small pink pan and garnished with cilantro and lemon wedge

How to Make Paneer Bhurji- Step by Step Method

Crumble 250 grams of paneer and set it aside. If using store bought paneer, remember to soak it in hot water for 20 minutes before using in the recipe. Also crush 1-inch ginger, 4 to 5 large garlic cloves and 1 to 2 green chilies using mortar and pestle and set it aside.

1- Heat 1 tablespoon oil and 1 tablespoon ghee in a pan on medium heat. Once hot, add 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds and 1/4 teaspoon fennel seeds and let them sizzle for a few seconds.

2- Then add 1/4 teaspoon of hing (asafetida) and stir.

3- Add 1 medium red onion (chopped) along with crushed green chilies, ginger and garlic that you had prepared earlier and stir.

4- Cook for 5 minutes until light brown. You can add a pinch of salt here so that onions cook faster.

step by step pictures of making paneer bhurji

5- Add 2 medium chopped tomatoes (I de-seed them, this is optional) and cook for 3 minutes until softened.

6- Then add the following spices:

  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon pav bhaji masala
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder and
  • 1/4 teaspoon red chili powder (I usually use Kashmiri red chili powder which isn’t spicy).

Also add 3/4 teaspoon salt, stir and cook the spices for 30 seconds.

7- Then add the crumbled paneer and mix until everything is well combined.

8- Cook the paneer for 2 to 3 minutes. Do not overcook else it will become rubbery and chewy. Add in 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro. Squeeze in some fresh lemon juice and paneer bhurji is ready to be served. You can also sprinkle some garam masala or pav bhaji masala on top before serving.

step by step pictures of making paneer bhurji

Serving Suggestions

Personally, I love to eat it with plain paratha. It think it makes the best combination. However, you can also eat it with roti or tandoori roti. Another great way to eat it is to on top of a toast. Makes a very filling and nutritious breakfast or lunch.

You can even pair it with avocados or a side of salad for a healthy lunch or serve as a side with chana dal or dal tadka and jeera rice.

Tips & Notes

  • The spice levels can be adjusted to taste. To make this paneer bhurji recipe spicier, add more green chilies and also add more of the red chili powder. I would skip the Kashmiri red chili powder and use the hot red chili powder in place.
  • Remember to not overcook the paneer, it will turn chewy if you overcook it. The bhurji made from fresh paneer is softer than the one made with store-bought paneer.
  • You can add veggies to this bhurji like green peas, carrots, spinach, red peppers, these all will make the dish more filling.
  • If you don’t have pav bhaji masala, you can use garam masala in place.
paneer bhurji served along side 3 plain parathas and sliced onions

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This post has been updated from the recipe archives, first published in 2016.

Paneer Bhurji

5 from 14 votes
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 15 minutes
Total: 25 minutes
Servings: 4
Paneer Bhurji is a vegetarian dish made with scrambled paneer (Indian cottage cheese) onions, tomatoes and spices. It goes well with flatbreads like paratha and is also great on a toast for quick breakfast.

Ingredients 

  • 250 grams paneer crumbled, around 2 cups crumbled paneer
  • 1 inch ginger crushed using a mortar-pestle
  • 4-5 large garlic cloves crushed using a mortar-pestle
  • 1-2 green chilies crushed using a mortar-pestle
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil 15 ml
  • 1 tablespoon ghee 15 ml
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon hing asafoetida
  • 1 medium red onion chopped
  • 2 medium tomatoes de-seeded & chopped
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon pav bhaji masala
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon red chili powder or to taste (I usually just use kashmiri red chili powder)
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt or to taste
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro chopped
  • lemon juice

Instructions 

  • Start by crumbing the paneer with your hands and then set it aside. Also crush the ginger, garlic and chilies using a mortar and pestle and set aside.
  • Put a pan on medium heat and add the oil and ghee to it. Add the cumin seeds and fennel seeds and let them sizzle and then add the hing and stir.
  • Now, add the chopped onion, along with crushed green chilies, ginger and garlic. Stir and cook for 5 minutes until it turns light golden brown in color.
  • Add the chopped tomatoes and cook for 3 minutes until softened.
  • Now, add all the spices- coriander powder, pav bhaji masala, turmeric and red chili powder. Also add the salt, mix and cook the spices for 30 seconds.
  • Add the crumbled paneer and mix until the paneer is mixed well with rest of the masala. Cook the paneer for 2 to 3 minutes only. Do not overcook else it will become rubbery and chewy.
  • Add in freshly chopped cilantro and squeeze in some fresh lemon juice and serve paneer bhurji with paratha or on a toast!

Video

Notes

  1. Do not over-cook the paneer, it will become rubbery and chewy.
  2. Use fresh homemade paneer for best results. If using store-bought paneer, remember to soak it in hot water for 20 minutes and then use in the recipe.
  3. If you don’t have pav bhaji masala, you can use garam masala in place.

Nutrition

Calories: 278kcal, Carbohydrates: 8g, Protein: 10g, Fat: 23g, Saturated Fat: 14g, Cholesterol: 50mg, Sodium: 496mg, Potassium: 197mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 3g, Vitamin A: 565IU, Vitamin C: 12.8mg, Calcium: 318mg, Iron: 0.5mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Sides
Cuisine: Indian
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Hi, I’m Manali!

Bringing you easy, delicious vegetarian & vegan recipes! Eating veggies can be fun, you just need to get creative in the kitchen with the right set of ingredients!


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