Paneer Fry is a simple one pan recipe made with sweet onions, tangy tomatoes, flavorful herbs, fragrant spices and of course Paneer. Making this easy-peasy recipe does not need a lot of prep and the dish comes together in 25 minutes. Your best bet when you want to make a wholesome quick meal for weekend nights.
About Paneer Fry
This Paneer Fry recipe is one of the ways when you can have a delicious and satisfying meal on your busy, hectic days. It is because all the ingredients are usually available in a home kitchen, wherever you go in India. In addition to the cottage cheese (paneer), there’s onions, tomatoes, green chilies, ginger-garlic paste and other spice powders, which are all very basic.
I have adapted this recipe of Paneer Fry from my recipe of Goan style Mushroom Fry. This stir fry of paneer with other ingredients has flavors and texture, one which is not too oily, spicy or pungent. However, you can add or subtract the spices according to what your taste buds demand on a particular day.
This Paneer Fry also uses a variety of green chilies which are less on heat. But if you want a spicier profile in the dish, go for the green chilies which sit somewhere between medium to high on the Scoville scale. Scoville is the unit to measure the pungency of peppers/chilies and the likes.
My recipe calls for sautéing the ingredients and not actually deep frying the paneer. So while making the recipe, nothing is deep fried. The word “fry” is usually used for sautéed ingredients in the Indian lingo and thus the name of this recipe.
You are even free to use any variety of tofu in this recipe. That’s also a good substitute for paneer. Have Paneer Fry with paratha, roti, chapati or naan. Or use it as a stuffing for rolls, wraps and frankies, the choice is absolutely yours.
How to make Paneer Fry
Make Masala Fry
1. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a pan. Keep heat to medium-low and add 1.25 cups thinly sliced onions.
2. Mix the onions with the oil and begin to sauté them.
3. Onions take a lot of time to sauté. So, you can add a pinch of salt while cooking them.
4. Stirring often, sauté onions till they start to become light golden. Do not brown the onions.
5. Now, add 1 teaspoon ginger-garlic paste.
6. Sauté till the raw aroma of ginger-garlic goes away.
7. Then, add 3 to 4 slit green chilies.
Tip – Use green chilies which are not very spicy or hot.
8. Mix well and sauté for a minute.
9. Then, add ½ cup diced tomatoes.
10. Mix again and begin to sauté tomatoes. When sautéing tomatoes, if the masala mixture starts sticking to pan, sprinkle some water. Mix again and continue to sauté.
11. Sauté till the tomatoes soften.
12. Keep the heat to its lowest. Now, add the following listed spices:
- ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper powder
- ½ teaspoon Kashmiri red chili powder
- ½ teaspoon coriander powder
- ½ teaspoon cumin powder
- ½ teaspoon garam masala powder
You can add less or more spice powders as per your requirements.
12. Mix very well. If the mixture starts sticking to pan, sprinkle some water.
Make Paneer Fry
13. Season with salt as required. Mix again.
14. Add 200 grams cubed paneer.
15. Mix the paneer cubes with the masala.
16. Switch off the heat and add 2 tablespoons chopped coriander leaves.
17. Mix again.
18. Serve Paneer Fry with chapati, phulka, paratha, naan or bread.
- An alternative to paneer in this recipe is tofu. Press the tofu first to remove any liquids or moisture from it. You could also pan fry tofu cubes and mix with the cooked onion and tomato fry mixture.
- Use good quality paneer and make sure it is fresh and not rancid. Homemade paneer works best in this recipe.
- While sautéing onions, add a pinch of salt in them to fasten the process of cooking.
- Use green chilies that are not very hot. To make the dish spicier, use the ones that are medium to high on the spice meter.
- Sprinkle some water on the tomatoes, if they are sticking to the pan while sautéing. Then, mix and continue to sauté.
- You can add less or more of the red chilli powder, black pepper powder and green chillies as per your requirements.
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Paneer fry is a simple sautéed recipe made with paneer, onion, tomatoes and herbs-spices. The recipe comes together in 25 minutes and makes for a quick weeknight meal.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 25 mins
Making masala fry
Heat 2 tablespoon oil in a pan. Keep heat to medium-low and add thinly sliced onions.
Mix the onions with the oil and begin to sauté them.
Onions take a lot of time to sauté. So you can add a pinch of salt while cooking them.
Stirring often sauté onions till they start to become light golden. Do not brown the onions.
Now add 1 teaspoon ginger-garlic paste.
Sauté till the raw aroma of ginger-garlic goes away.
- Then add 3 to 4 slit green chilies. Tip – use green chilies which are not very spicy or hot.
Mix well and sauté for a minute.
- Then add diced tomatoes. Mix again well and begin to sauté tomatoes. When sautéing tomatoes, if masala mixture starts sticking to pan, then sprinkle some water. Mix again and continue to sauté.
Sauté till the tomatoes soften.
Keep flame to its lowest. Now add turmeric powder, black pepper powder, kashmiri red chili powder, coriander powder, cumin powder and garam masala powder.
Mix very well. If the mixture starts sticking to pan, sprinkle some water.
Making paneer fry
Season with salt as required. Mix again.
Add 200 grams paneer, chopped in cubes.
Mix the paneer with the masala.
Switch off heat and add 2 tablespoons chopped coriander leaves. Mix again.
Serve Paneer Fry with chapati, phulka, paratha, naan or bread.
- Either use homemade paneer or any good quality packaged paneer. Make sure that the paneer is fresh and not gone rancid or tasting sour.
- Alter the black pepper powder, red chilli powder and green chillies according to your spice and heat preferences.
- You could also some sliced capsicum (green bell pepper) if you like.
- Swap paneer with tofu. First press tofu between two heavy weighted objects to remove any extra liquids or moisture. Opt to pan fry tofu lightly before adding the onion-tomato fry mix.
Amount Per Serving
Calories 325 Calories from Fat 234
% Daily Value*
Saturated Fat 11g69%
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.4g
Monounsaturated Fat 8g
Vitamin A 331IU7%
Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) 0.04mg3%
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) 0.02mg1%
Vitamin B3 (Niacin) 0.3mg2%
Vitamin B6 0.1mg5%
Vitamin C 14mg17%
Vitamin E 4mg27%
Vitamin K 4µg4%
Vitamin B9 (Folate) 17µg4%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
This Paneer Fry recipe post from the archives first published in May 2018 has been republished and updated on 19 July 2022.