Paneer do pyaza is a popular restaurant style curry with paneer and onions as main ingredients. Pyaz means onions in Hindi.
In this recipe soft paneer cubes are simmered in a rich delicious and creamy onion tomato gravy and finished with more sautéed onions.
Paneer curries are so popular in India that you have a paneer version for literally every popular non vegetarian curry. This paneer do pyaza is also no exception. It is the vegetarian variation for popular do pyaza recipes made with meat.
This is a very easy to make yet delicious, rich and flavorful curry made with paneer from Mughlai cuisine with some light variations. You can prepare this when you want a paneer dish different that paneer butter masala, palak paneer, shahi paneer, kadai paneer etc.
Read on to know more about this paneer curry, detailed recipe with step by step photos and variations.
What Is Do Pyaza?
Do means two and pyaz means onions. So the term literally means two onions. However there are different perceptions for this term. In some recipes twice the amount of onions is added and in few recipes two varieties of onions are used.
It is also believed that do pyaza recipes were first made by Mulla do pyaza, a courtier in Emperor Akbar’s court and named after him.
So to keep true to the name here I have used both twice the amount of onions and also two varieties 🙂 Though the do pyaza was initially made with meat, now we have various vegetarian versions like paneer do pyaza, bhindi do pyaza, mushroom do pyaza etc.
Authentic do pyaza recipes are made with yogurt but not tomatoes like many Mughal recipes. Here I am a sharing a very delicious restaurant style version which uses tomatoes. I have also mentioned few variations you can make in the base gravy.
Why This Recipe Works?
My recipe of restaurant style paneer do pyaza is really a good one and it yields one of the best curries. I got this recipe from a friend who made this during one of our get togethers.
This recipe uses a good amount of onions and has an amazing flavor. Here I have used two types of onions and it is added in two different stages.
- Finely chopped onions sautéed in the gravy. Instead of chopping finely you can puree the onion along with tomatoes.
- Onion petals fried and added as garnish. For garnishing I have used pearl onions, separated into petals.
The base gravy of paneer do pyaza is a rich and creamy tomato cashew paste. It is a very delicious, flavorful one at that.
Along with regular spice powders like garam masala powder, coriander powder, red chilli powder, we are also adding a dash of kasuri methi or dried fenugreek leaves for flavor.
The curry is finished with fresh cream which adds a wonderful rich taste, texture and balances the flavors too.
Serve paneer do pyaza with butter naan, roti or jeera rice. This curry also tastes good with plain rice. It is a wonderful side dish in any north Indian or mughlai spread. It is
delicious & flavorful
easy to make
restaurant style curry
delicious with naan
How To Make Paneer Do Pyaza Recipe?
Peel, rinse and cut 2 big onions into two. Blanch in hot water for 2 minutes. Separate the petals. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a pan. Fry the onion petals until crispy. Set aside the fried onions.
Next Puree two large tomatoes along with 15 cashews into a smooth puree.
Making Paneer Do Pyaza
Heat 4 teaspoons oil in a pan. To the pan add the whole spices. Fry the bay leaf, cloves, cardamom and cumin seeds well.
Add chopped onions and saute till soft.
Next add the slit green chillies and minced ginger garlic or 2 teaspoon ginger garlic paste. Saute till the raw smell of ginger garlic goes off.
Add the tomato puree.
Also add the spice powders- 1 teaspoon red chili powder,1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder, 1/2 teaspoon garam masala powder, 1/2 teaspoon cumin powder and coriander powder. Mix well and saute. Cook in medium flame till butter is released from the tomatoes.
Add 1.5 cups water and required salt. Mix well and simmer till the gravy thickens. Add cubed paneer or cottage cheese cubes and mix well. Simmer for 3-4 minutes.
Add kasuri methi, fresh cream and mix well.
Remove from flame. Add fried onions and chopped coriander leaves. Mix and serve paneer dopiaza with naan or phulka.
Instant Pot Method
You can make paneer do pyaza in instant pot in less than 20 minutes and it saves so much time. This method is particularly useful when you want to make this dish for a crowd. Here are the instructions.
Place the steel insert inside the instant pot and switch it on. Press SAUTE mode and once it displays hot, add 2 tablespoons oil and fry the onion petals until they turn soft. Remove to a plate.
In the same oil fry the whole spices, ginger garlic, green chillies.
Add finely chopped onions and saute until they turn soft. Next add the tomato puree, followed by spice powders. Mix well and cook for a minute.
Add 1.5 cups water, salt and mix. Cancel saute mode, close the IP and press pressure cook mode. Set timer for 5 minutes and pressure valve sealed.
Once the IP beeps, release pressure carefully and open it. Add paneer cubes and fried onion petals. Mix gently.
Simmer for 2 minutes in saute mode again, add kasuri methi, cream and mix. Switch off the IP and serve paneer do pyaza hot.
Make it vegan– to make this recipe vegan just use tofu instead of paneer and coconut cream instead of fresh cream
Bell pepper– To make the gravy base more flavorful and mostly to increase volume I sometimes add sautéed or slightly roasted red bell pepper or capsicums. I do this even for paneer makhani, veg makhanwala recipes. Just cut a small red pepper and saute in 1 teaspoon oil for few minutes. Grind along with cashews and tomatoes.
Almonds– Instead of cashews you can use blanched and peeled almonds too. Alternately you can just use tomato puree and add 1/2 cup thick almond milk along with fresh cream while making paneer dopiaza.
Add-ins– To make this paneer dish heartier you can add chopped mushrooms. Chop and saute along with onions. You can also add baby corns, sweet corn, cauliflower in this recipe.
Spice level– You can easily make this dish spicier or milder by varying the quantity of spice powders. Increase or decrease red chilli powder, green chillies to make it as per your taste. You can also use black pepper powder to make do pyaza paneer.
Pro Tips To Make Paneer Do Pyaza
Paneer– As with any paneer recipe, good quality ones is a must for this recipe too. I always favor and use homemade paneer. If you are using store bought paneer make sure to keep them soaked in warm water for 15 minutes, rinse well and then use in the recipe.
Onions are the star of this curry. Please do not reduce the quantity mentioned here to get the best flavor and taste. I have used red onions and pearl onions here but you can use white or yellow onions but the flavor will vary.
Tomatoes you use to make paneer do payaza should be ripe, red and not overly tart. I like to use big salad tomatoes for this compared to desi ones. If fresh tomatoes are not an option you can easily use canned ones too. For more intense color and flavor you can add 2 tablespoons tomato paste (I did not use)
The consistency of this do pyaza paneer can be easily varied. We like to have it semi gravy but you can make it drier or with more gravy as you like. Just add 1/2 cup more water to make more gravy.
To get the typical restaurant like flavor make sure to add good potent garam masala powder and kasuri methi.
Adding fresh cream balances the taste, flavor and lends a uniform smooth texture to the gravy. If you do not want to add cream you can use 1/2 cup milk or almond milk or 3 tablespoons cashew paste.
You can add 1/2 teaspoon sugar to balance the sourness of tomatoes but since we are adding whole lot of onions, which provides a mild sweet taste I have skipped sugar.
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PANEER DO PYAZA RECIPE
For fried onions
- 2 onions halved and petals separated
- 2 tablespoons oil
For paneer do pyaza curry base
- 1 cup tomatoes chopped
- 15 cashews
For the curry
- 200 grams paneer cubed
- 2 tablespoons butter or oil
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 green cardamoms
- 2 cloves
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 2 green chilies slit
- 1 teaspoon ginger garlic paste or minced
- 1 cup onions finely chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon garam masala powder
- 1/2 teaspoon coriander powder
- 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
- salt to taste
- 1 teaspoon kasuri methi
- 1/4 cup fresh cream
- 2 tablespoons chopped coriander leaves
- Peel, rinse and cut 2 big onions into two. Blanch in hot water for 2 minutes. Separate the petals. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a pan. Fry the onion petals until crispy. Set aside the fried onions.
- Next Puree two large tomatoes along with 15 cashews into a smooth puree.
Making Paneer Do Pyaza
- Heat 4 teaspoons oil in a pan. To the pan add the whole spices. Fry the bay leaf, cloves, cardamom and cumin seeds well.
- Add chopped onions and saute till soft.
- Next add the slit green chillies and minced ginger garlic or 2 teaspoon ginger garlic paste. Saute till the raw smell of ginger garlic goes off.
- Add the tomato puree.
- Also add the spice powders- 1 teaspoon red chili powder,1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder, 1/2 teaspoon garam masala powder, 1/2 teaspoon cumin powder and coriander powder. Mix well and saute. Cook in medium flame till butter is released from the tomatoes.
- Add 1.5 cups water and required salt. Mix well and simmer till the gravy thickens. Add cubed paneer or cottage cheese cubes and mix well. Simmer for 3-4 minutes.
- Add kasuri methi, fresh cream and mix well.
- Remove from flame. Add fried onions and chopped coriander leaves. Mix and serve paneer dopiaza with naan or phulka.