Here is a very easy paneer masala recipe for those sudden paneer cravings. It takes exactly 20 minutes from start to finish to prepare this easy paneer curry. If you want to have Indian cottage cheese aka paneer but not the indulgent fare like kadai paneer, paneer butter masala, palak paneer or shahi paneer, this rustic paneer masala will be your best bet. Goes absolutely well with rice and flatbread. Here is how to make easy paneer masala at home!
Like most of the kids I know, my kid also loves paneer and she can have it everyday. I am only happy as I always make paneer at home with good quality milk. I usually make a block of paneer and use it with in three days. Along with making curries, I add paneer in pasta, fried rice or pulao too.
I have a set of recipes like this easy paneer masala that I can whip in less than 20 minutes for quick dinner. This curry takes just 20 minutes, no grind and tastes absolutely delicious. Most importantly you don’t need a very elaborately stocked pantry for this. We need regular spice powders and the recipe is very adaptable.
Soft cottage cheese cubes tossed and sauteed in a quick yet very flavorful masala in this recipe. We just love it with piping hot phulka, jeera rice, peas pulao and sometimes I wrap in tortilla or make fajita too with this.
Depending upon the time and availability of the ingredients you can make this paneer masala as simple or as rich as you want. Do check the variations mentioned below.
This Paneer Masala Recipe
Is quick, easy and delicious
Takes 20 minutes from start to finish
Required very simple pantry staples
Vegetarian & gluten free
Kids favorite, protein packed
For all my paneer recipes I prefer to use homemade paneer. Whenever I make paneer I store it as cubes and use with in three days. The taste and texture of homemade paneer is second to none and of course the freshness.
If using store bought paneer get fresh ones with not many preservatives. If you are going to use refrigerated cottage cheese, thaw it for 2-3 hours, then keep the cubed paneer in hot water till adding to the masala.
Apart from paneer you will need some onions, tomatoes, chili powder, garam masala powder in this recipe. I have also added chopped vegetables to up the taste and nutrition but it is optional.
What Veggies Go Well In This Paneer Masala?
All the veggies that you add in kadai vegetables or pulao like carrot, bell pepper, corn, cauliflower go well here. Avoid using okra, eggplants etc. You can also add halved mushrooms.
This is a no grind recipe and only time consuming task is chopping the vegetables. Once you have chopped veggies ready, this curry comes together in minutes.
How To Make Paneer Masala Curry?
1. Place the cubed paneer in hot water, keep it closed till use.
2. Heat 3 teaspoons oil in a pan. Temper with cumin seeds. Add minced ginger garlic and slit green chilies. Saute well for 1-2 minutes.
3. Add finely chopped onions and saute till the color changes slightly. Add chopped bell peppers if using. Mix and saute well.
4. Add chopped tomatoes, cut baby corns and mix well. Add salt, chili powder and garam masala powder.
5. Mix well and saute.
6. Cook well till the tomatoes turn mushy and leave out oil for about 6-8 minutes.
7. Drain the cubed paneer from hot water and add to the cooked masala.
8. Mix and toss well.
9. simmer for 2 minutes.
10. Add crushed kasuri methi, mix well and remove from flame
11. Serve paneer masala hot with roti/naan.
Variations With Paneer Masala
Though this is a very simple recipe, it tastes wonderful and you can make more special by some variations.
With Cream – Add 2 tablespoons fresh cream and mix well before removing the curry from flame.
With Kaju or Cashews– Soak 6 whole cashews in warm water. Grind to a smooth paste with 2 tablespoons water and add this cashew paste after sauteing the tomatoes. Proceed with the recipe.
With curd- If you want to give a sight tangy taste to your paneer masala you can add some yogurt or curd. Add 1/4 cup well whisked fresh curd after sauteing the tomatoes.
With Palak or Spinach– To improve the health quotient you can add some spinach greens or methi leaves. For the given recipe you can add 3/4 cup to 1 cup cleaned and chopped spinach leaves. Add along with vegetables.
Vegan Paneer Masala- Use tofu cubes instead of paneer.
Serve paneer masala as side dish with butter naan, kulcha, paratha, poori or jeera rice
You can use this as filling for dosa
This masala can be used as filling for sandwich, tacos, fajita too
You can also make wrap with this masala.
Also you can make a quick paneer rice by mixing cooked and cooled rice to this curry.
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I hope you will try this easy paneer masala recipe and enjoy as much as we did.
Paneer Masala Recipe
Paneer Masala Recipe
1 CUP = 250 ml
- 3 teaspoons oil
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 teaspoon ginger garlic minced
- 2 green chilies slit
- 1 onion finely chopped
- 2 large tomatoes finely chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon garam masala powder
- 1/2 cup chopped baby corn optional
- 1/4 cup chopped green bell pepper optional
- 2 cups cubed paneer
- 1/2 teaspoon kasuri methi
- Place the cubed paneer in hot water, keep it closed till use.
- Heat 3 teaspoons oil in a kadai. Temper with cumin seeds. Add minced ginger garlic and slit green chilies. Saute well for 1-2 minutes.
- Add finely chopped onions and saute till the color changes slightly. Add chopped bell peppers if using. Mix and saute well.
- Add chopped tomatoes, cut baby corns and mix well. Add salt, chili powder and garam masala powder.
- Mix well and saute well till the tomatoes turn mushy and leave out oil for about 6-8 minutes.
- Drain the cubed paneer from hot water and add to the cooked masala.
- Mix well and toss well, simmer for 2 minutes. Add crushed kasuri methi, mix well and remove from flame. Serve paneer masala hot with roti/naan.
- Paneer- In the absence of homemade paneer use good quality fresh ones from the stores. Do not deep freeze the paneer. Thaw the chilled paneer before adding to the curry for 15 minutes.
- Vegetables- Vegetables like carrots are optional in this curry . if using chop the in uniform size for even cooking.
- Scaling up- You can double or triple the recipe