Tawa Paneer

Tawa Paneer is a spicy semi-dry paneer dish which is made on a flat griddle (tawa), hence the name tawa paneer.

It has small cubes of paneer cooked with onions, tomatoes and lots of spices. Makes a great accompaniment to naan and paratha.

spiced paneer topped with green onions served in a black bowl

I am back with yet another paneer recipe. Yes, this is never going to end!

We seem to have a love affair with paneer (me and you guys) and so the new recipes involving paneer will just continue to appear on the blog.

Today’s recipe happens to be one of my favorite paneer recipes. This tawa paneer is inspired from a paneer dish that my house help in India used to make all the time.

We were big fans of that recipe, and I couldn’t be happier to re-create the same dish in my kitchen. I had to share this with you guys as soon as I made it.

Usually I work on the blog in advance but this recipe I made just last week and it was so good that I had to share it this week itself.

Sarvesh declared it one of the best paneer dish he has ever had, he said it’s even better than my kadai paneer!

What is Tawa Paneer

Tawa refers to a flat griddle that is used in Indian cooking.

It’s used to make roti, dosa, paratha and in this case to cook this paneer.

Of course you can make this dish in wok or kadai or any pan. But the dish gets its name from the fact that it’s cooked on a tawa.

You would often find this dish on the menu of restaurants. In India, it’s also very common on the menus of roadside dhabas.

In this recipe, paneer is first marinated with yogurt and few spices and then cooked along with onion, tomatoes and more spices. It’s kind of semi-dry curry, it doesn’t have much water but a very tasty and rich masala.

Some people also add bell peppers to it, I did not add it to mine but that’s definitely an option.

Which tawa to use: since, this recipe is made on a flat tawa, I have used a flat dosa tawa that I have.

This tawa I got from India and it’s rectangular in shape. It’s quite big and so it was easy to cook on it.

You can use any flat griddle, those rectangular double burner griddle will also work great.

Ingredients

Paneer: I have used store-bought paneer for this recipe. As always, I first soaked the paneer in warm water for 20 minutes and then used in the recipe.

A lot of you have problems with the paneer turning chewy. Well if you are using store-bought paneer then do soak in first.

Also, never over-cook your paneer, that makes it chewy. And if you make it at home, then use straight away since that’s very soft and nice to begin with.

Tomato puree: Other than pureeing 2 medium tomatoes, I have also used store bought tomato puree here.

The store bought tomato puree not only gives the dish a nice color but also adds to the rich taste and flavor.

I highly recommend not skipping it.

Onion: this recipe used red onion as well as green onion. The green onion give this dish a lot of flavor.

I use them towards the end but if you want you can add some of it in the beginning along with the red onion.

Green chilies: they add spice to the dish. You can add more or less of the chilies according to your preference.

When I write green chilies for Indian recipes, I am referring to thai green chilies.

You can use serrano peppers or jalapeños if you do not have access to these thai chilies.

Spices: the recipe uses coriander powder, garam masala for the flavor, there also amchur (dried mango powder) which gives the dish a slight tang.

I love using kasuri methi (dried fenugreek leaves) in paneer recipes, adds such a nice flavor and aroma. For this recipe, I have used it in the marinade and also in the curry.

Kashmiri red chili powder used here is used mainly for color, it is not hot. So do not replace it with regular chili powder else the dish will become very hot.

Cream: I use a splash of cream in the end, it is just 1 tablespoon so if you want you can skip that.

It is not going to make or break the dish. It helps balance the flavors that’s why I add it.

Making it Vegan

You can easily make this recipe vegan. Here are the substitutions.

paneer: substitute with extra-firm tofu.

plain yogurt: substitute with plain almond milk yogurt.

cream: you can either skip it or substitute with coconut milk.

Serving Suggestions

Serve this tawa paneer with these spinach puri or plain puri.

It will also be so nice with plain paratha.

 

Method

Before you begin, when using store bought paneer, soak it in warm water for 20 minutes. Then drain the water, pat dry the paneer and cut it into small cubes.

1- To a bowl add yogurt (make sure it’s thick yogurt, if you don’t have thick yogurt, drain yogurt using a strainer for few hours and then use in the recipe) and mix until smooth using a whisk.

Add 1 teaspoon kashmiri red chili powder, 1 teaspoon kasuri methi and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Mix everything.

2- Add the small paneer cubes to the marinade and mix until all the paneer pieces are coated with the marinade.

Cover and refrigerate the bowl for 15 to 20 minutes.

3- After 15-20 minutes, heat 1 tablespoon oil on a tawa/flat griddle on medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add the marinated paneer pieces in a single layer.

4- Cook for around 5 minutes until very lightly browned, you don’t want to make the paneer hard so don’t over- brown it. Remove on a plate.

step by step picture collage of making tawa paneer

5- To the same tawa, now add remaining 1 tablespoon oil and then 1 tablespoon unsalted butter.

Once the butter melts, add the onion and cook for around 5 to 6 minutes until onion starts becoming golden brown.

6- Then add the ginger and green chili and cook for 2 minutes.

7- Add the pureed tomato and store bought tomato puree and mix. Cook for around 5 to 6 minutes until the tomatoes cook completely.

Since we are cooking on a flat tawa, the masala flows to the side, keep scrapping the masala with a spatula from the sides and pushing it to the center.

8- Once tomatoes are done, add the spices- coriander powder, garam masala, kashmiri red chili powder and amchur. Also add the salt. Stir and cook for 30 seconds.

step by step picture collage of making tawa paneer

9- Then add 1/2 cup water, mix it with the masala. Push the water towards the center using a spatula if it flows towards the sides.

10- Then add kasuri methi, cream and cook for 1 minute.

11- Add the pan-fried paneer and green onions.

12- Cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Do not over-cook the paneer at this point, else it will turn chewy.

step by step picture collage of making tawa paneer

Garnish with more green onions and serve tawa paneer hot with parathas, roti or puri.

spiced paneer topped with green onions served in a black bowl with a bowl of chili powder and a plate of rotis in the background

More Paneer Recipes

Kali Mirch Paneer

Paneer Lemongrass Coconut Curry

Paneer & Veggies in Peanut Sauce

If you’ve tried this Tawa Paneer Recipe then don’t forget to rate the recipe! You can also follow me on FacebookInstagram to see what’s latest in my kitchen!

Tawa Paneer

Manali
Cubes of marinated paneer are cooked with a spicy masala made with onions and tomatoes. This Tawa Paneer goes best with puri and paratha!
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Resting Time 20 mins
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Indian
Servings 3
Calories 412 kcal

Ingredients
  

Paneer marinade

  • 225 grams paneer cut into small cubes
  • 3 tablespoons plain yogurt thick yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon kashmiri red chili powder this chili powder is used mainly for color and is not hot
  • 1 teaspoon kasuri methi
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Curry

  • 2 tablespoons oil divided
  • 1 tablespoon butter unsalted
  • 1 medium red onion chopped
  • 1 inch ginger chopped
  • 1-2 green chilies chopped, adjust to taste
  • 2 medium tomatoes pureed using a blender
  • 2 tablespoons tomato puree store bought
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1/2 teaspoon kashmiri red chili powder this chili powder is used mainly for color and is not hot
  • 1/2 teaspoon amchur
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt or to taste
  • 1/2 cup water 4 oz
  • 1 teaspoon kasuri methi
  • 1 tablespoon cream
  • 2-3 stalks green onions chopped
  • pinch cardamom powder

Instructions
 

  • Before you begin, when using store bought paneer, soak it in warm water for 20 minutes. Then drain the water, pat dry the paneer and cut it into small cubes.
    To a bowl add yogurt (make sure it's thick yogurt, if you don't have thick yogurt, drain yogurt using a strainer for few hours and then use in the recipe) and mix until smooth using a whisk.
    Add 1 teaspoon kashmiri red chili powder, 1 teaspoon kasuri methi and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Mix everything.
    yogurt with spices in a bowl
  • Add the small paneer cubes to the marinade and mix until all the paneer pieces are coated with the marinade.
    Cover and refrigerate the bowl for 15 to 20 minutes.
    paneer cubes marinated with yogurt and spices in a bowl
  • After 15-20 minutes, heat 1 tablespoon oil on a tawa/flat griddle on medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add the marinated paneer pieces in a single layer.
    Cook for around 5 minutes until very lightly browned, you don't want to make the paneer hard so don't over- brown it. Remove on a plate.
    marinated paneer pieces being cooked on a griddle
  • To the same tawa, now add remaining 1 tablespoon oil and then 1 tablespoon unsalted butter.
    Once the butter melts, add the onion and cook for around 5 to 6 minutes until onion starts becoming golden brown.
    Then add the ginger and green chili and cook for 2 minutes.
    onion, ginger and green chili being cooked on a griddle
  • Add the pureed tomato and store bought tomato puree and mix. Cook for around 5 to 6 minutes until the tomatoes cook completely.
    Since we are cooking on a flat tawa, the masala flows to the side, keep scrapping the masala with a spatula from the sides and pushing it to the center.
    pureed tomato with onion being cooked on a griddle
  • Once tomatoes are done, add the spices- coriander powder, garam masala, kashmiri red chili powder and amchur. Also add the salt. Stir and cook for 30 seconds.
    Then add 1/2 cup water, mix it with the masala. Push the water towards the center using a spatula if it flows towards the sides.
    spices being added to a onion-tomato masala on a griddle
  • Then add kasuri methi, cream and cook for 1 minute.
    kasuri methi and cream drizzled on a onion tomato masala on a griddle
  • Add the pan-fried paneer and green onions. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Do not over-cook the paneer at this point, else it will turn chewy.
    paneer and green onions with masala and spices on a griddle
  • Garnish with more green onions and serve tawa paneer hot with paratha or puri.
    bowl of spiced paneer topped with green onions

Notes

  1. To make it vegan, use extra-firm tofu in place of paneer. Use plain almond milk yogurt in place of milk yogurt and either skip the cream or use a splash of coconut milk.
  2. Adjust the spice levels to taste. This dish is generally spicy but I haven't used a lot of chilies here. You can also add regular chili powder for more heat. I have only used kashmiri red chili powder which isn't hot but is used mostly for color.
  3. If you do not have a tawa or flat griddle, make this dish in a regular pan.

Nutrition

Calories: 412kcalCarbohydrates: 13gProtein: 13gFat: 35gSaturated Fat: 16gCholesterol: 69mgSodium: 723mgPotassium: 361mgFiber: 3gSugar: 6gVitamin A: 1324IUVitamin C: 18mgCalcium: 407mgIron: 1mg
Keyword tawa paneer
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4 thoughts on “Tawa Paneer

      1. You can bookmark it in your browser and later if you need it back, then just go to your browser’s bookmark. In chrome, click on the three dots on top right hand side and click on the star to bookmark. Hope that helps 😀

  1. 5 stars
    I made this one few days back and it was very good. I liked the spring onions part the most hehe. Thank you for this recipe.

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