The hot and spicy tawa paneer is easy to pull together and it’s every spice-lovers’ dream! Not for the faint-hearted though!
I am back with yet another delicious recipe from my kitty! My apology for being missing in action for quite a long period which was all because of my primary profession. But now I am back and back with a bang! Today’s recipe – tawa paneer – is a stir fry dish made with succulent cubes of cottage cheese with loads of spices to tantalize your taste buds! Tawa paneer is best served with butter naan every scoop of which is a delight to our mouth! Tawa is basically a flat griddle made of cast iron and best suited for Indian spiced stir fry dishes. It adds to the smokiness of the dish taking it to the next level of deliciousness.
Unfortunately I don’t own an iron tawa, but since the time I discovered this recipe, I could not wait until I buy one! So I made it in my trusty stainless steel saute pan. But I do urge you to use a tawa or cast iron pan for this recipe!
This recipe of tawa paneer is very versatile and can be customized for many other ingredients. You can use this same recipe to make your version of tawa chicken. If you want to be more adventurous with your dish, then do check out my Indian spiced chicken stir fry. For all my veggie lovers out there, you can make tawa veggies using this same recipe with your choice of assorted veggies. Trust me it will be a complete crowd-pleaser!
I hope the step by step slideshow helps you recreating this delicacy easily in the comfort of your home. Do let me know if you want to see any specific recipe in this space and I promise that your demand will be my command!
- Paneer/cottage cheese – 200 gms, cut into small cubes
- Tomato – 2, large, cut into 4 pieces each
- Chat masala – ½ tsp
- Coriander powder – 1 & ½ tsp
- Kashmiri chili powder – 2 tsp
- Pav bhaji masala – 1 & ½ tsp
- Garlic – 4 to 6 cloves
- Sugar – ¾ tsp
- Onion – 1 large (about ¾ cup finely chopped)
- Capsicum / green bell pepper – 1, medium, finely chopped
- Paneer – 400 gms
- Heavy/double cream – ¼ cup
- Butter – 2 tbsp (preferably unsalted)
- Lemon – ½
- Fresh coriander leaves – 2 tbsp
- Kasoori methi – 1 tsp, crushed
- Fresh mint leaves – 6 to 8
- Green chili – 2, slit lengthwise
- Ajwain/carom seeds – ½ tsp
- Cumin seeds – 1 tsp
- Salt to taste
- Heat a tawa on medium heat. If you don’t have a tawa, simply use a frying pan. Add the butter to the hot tawa and let it melt.
- Add ajwain/carom seeds and cumin seeds. Sauté them for few seconds until they are fragrant.
- After about half a minute, add the chopped onion and saute it on medium heat until they turn golden brown. This would take about 10 to 15 minutes on low-medium heat.
- While the onions are sautéing, prepare a spice paste. Add the chopped tomatoes into a blender jar and add the coriander powder, salt, sugar, pav bhaji masala, chat masala, Kashmiri red chili powder and the garlic cloves. Blend them together until you get a smooth paste. You won’t need to add any water as the tomatoes themselves have a high water content. Keep the spice paste aside until needed.
- After the onions turn golden brown, add the chopped capsicum to the tawa and sauté them for just a minute and not too long.
- Next add the prepared tomato-spice paste to the tawa and sauté it for 5 minutes on medium heat or until the oil starts to separate and the spice paste turns almost dry. Add about half a cup of water at this stage to deglaze the tawa and continue stir frying them for couple of minutes more.
- Then add the slit green chilies, crushed kasoori methi and the paneer cubes. Mix everything thoroughly to coat each paneer pieces with the masala.
- Add the chopped coriander leaves, mint leaves and squeeze the juice of half a lemon to the paneer.
- Finally drizzle the heavy cream on top and mix well. Check and adjust for seasoning if needed. Cook it for another 2 minutes and then it is ready to serve. Adjust the consistency of the dish as per your liking, but ideally the paneer tawa masala does not have a thin gravy; it has a thick masala which clings to the paneer pieces.
- Serve the hot and spicy paneer tawa masala with roti, paratha or naan. Enjoy!