Paneer as you know is the crowd pleaser ingredient for vegetarians. There are so many ways and recipes in which you can use paneer -right from starters to sides, to even desserts. Some of the paneer dishes doesn't even need any introduction such paneer dishes are either cooked at home or eaten at a dhabha as Mutter Paneer, Paneer ButterMassala and Palak Paneer.
Then are some paneer dishes that you always eat at a restaurant such as Kadai Paneer, Achaari Paneer, Paneer Tikka Massala and Paneer Kofta. Today I shall talk about Paneer Bhurji. What is Paneer Bhurji? Paneer Bhurji is a popular north Indian dish made with cottage cheese, with spices (massala) and with or without veggies. It is eaten with roti, paratha, naan, puri, kulcha, bhatura, bread, pav or as a side dish. It is also used as a stuffing for sandwiches, kathi roll, frankies, pitta bread, paratha and bread rolls.
Is paneer healthy? Can we eat paneer every day? Is paneer good for weight loss? After a quick google search and speaking to a friend who is a dietician and a nutritionist I have come up to the conclusion that paneer is a power house of protein, healthy fats and is very low on carbohydrates. It is recommended for weight loss only if you make it in a healthy way that is not by deep frying and also using lots of vegetables in the process.
When I initially started cooking paneer bhurji, I saw so many recipes and videos of Sanjeev Kapoor, Ranveer Brar, Harpal Singh etc but slowly I understood that you need to decide as an individual what you want in your paneer bhurji. Paneer Bhurji is one such paneer dish that is super healthy and can be altered in so many ways. You can use onions garlic or not. You can use capsicum (I love to use) or not. Some people like it with gravy, I just prefer it dry. You can add veggies like corn, peas, spinach etc to make it even healthier.
You can put together fresh paneer from scratch for this recipe, I like to use store brought ones. In the market you will find two types of paneer-one will be soft white paneer and other will be slight yellowish paneer (bit hard, that looks like a block of cheddar cheese) -use that hard one for paneer bhurji recipe. Reason, because hard paneer is easy to grate and when it cooks it doesn't become a mushy mess. Also if you are using frozen paneer, give a good boil in the pan full of water, when it cools down-grate and use.
I use very basic daily spices and powders to make this. Also I don't like to use tomatoes as well. so Let's see how to make paneer burji.
1 cup grated paneer
1 medium sized onion chopped
2 cloves of garlic grated
1/2 capsicum chopped
1 green chilli chopped
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons oil
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon kasturi methi
1/4 teaspoon hing
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 tablespoon coriander powder
1/4 teaspoon garam massala
Red chilli powder as per taste
Salt as per taste
Coriander leaves for garnish
1/4 cup water
Heat oil in a pan, when it is hot add in hing and cumin seeds. Let it splutter.
On a slow heat add in garlic and onion. Cook till there is now raw smell and onions become soft.
Add in capsicum and cook it till it turns soft.
Add in grated paneer. Mix in all the spices-salt, red chilli powder, coriander powder and turmeric powder. Also throw in green chilli. Mix well.
Add in water and lemon juice. Cover and cook for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes and mix in kasturi methi and garam massala. Mix and let it cook for another 2 minutes.
Garnish with coriander leaves and serve.
If you want to have gravy, after onions, garlic and capsicum is cooked add in 2 chopped tomatoes. When tomatoes are done follow the remaining steps and paneer bhurji with gravy will be ready.
Some recipes call for pav bhaji or kitchen king massala, I just feel that these massala over powers the actual taste so I avoid using it. Feel free to add if you wish.
You can make stuffed parathas with this bhurji and also use it as stuffing for sandwiches and rolls.