• July 19, 2022

Paneer Fry

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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.

paneer fry served in a white bowl with a spoon kept on the left side, chapattis and onion rings kept on a white plate on the top side and text layovers.

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.

Step-by-Step Guide

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.

thinly sliced onions added to hot oil in pan.

2. Mix the onions with the oil and begin to sauté them.

onions mixed with the oil.

3. Onions take a lot of time to sauté. So, you can add a pinch of salt while cooking them.

sautéing onions in the pan.

4. Stirring often, sauté onions till they start to become light golden. Do not brown the onions.

sautéing onions in the pan to make paneer fry recipe.

5. Now, add 1 teaspoon ginger-garlic paste.

ginger-garlic paste added to the onions.

6. Sauté till the raw aroma of ginger-garlic goes away.

ginger-garlic paste mixed with the onions and sautéing.

7. Then, add 3 to 4 slit green chilies.

Tip – Use green chilies which are not very spicy or hot.

slit green chilies added to the onions.

8. Mix well and sauté for a minute.

green chilies mixed with the onions and sautéing.

9. Then, add ½ cup diced tomatoes.

diced tomatoes added to the onion mixture.

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.

sautéing onion-tomato mixture in the pan.

11. Sauté till the tomatoes soften.

sautéing onion-tomato mixture in the pan.

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.

spice powders added to the onion-tomato mixture.

12. Mix very well. If the mixture starts sticking to pan, sprinkle some water.

spice powders mixed well with the onion-tomato mixture to make paneer fry recipe.

Make Paneer Fry

13. Season with salt as required. Mix again.

salt added to the spiced onion-tomato fry mixture.

14. Add 200 grams cubed paneer.

paneer cubes added to the spiced onion-tomato mixture.

15. Mix the paneer cubes with the masala.

paneer cubes mixed well with the masala.

16. Switch off the heat and add 2 tablespoons chopped coriander leaves.

chopped coriander leaves added to the paneer fry.

17. Mix again.

coriander leaves mixed with the paneer fry.

18. Serve Paneer Fry with chapati, phulka, paratha, naan or bread.

paneer fry served in a white bowl with a spoon kept on the left side, chapattis and onion rings kept on a white plate on the top side and text layovers.

Expert Tips

  1. 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.
  2. Use good quality paneer and make sure it is fresh and not rancid. Homemade paneer works best in this recipe.
  3. While sautéing onions, add a pinch of salt in them to fasten the process of cooking. 
  4. 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.
  5. Sprinkle some water on the tomatoes, if they are sticking to the pan while sautéing. Then, mix and continue to sauté.
  6. You can add less or more of the red chilli powder, black pepper powder and green chillies as per your requirements.

More Easy Paneer Recipes To Try!

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paneer fry recipe

Paneer Fry

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.

5 from 15 votes

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.

Nutrition Facts

Paneer Fry

Amount Per Serving

Calories 325 Calories from Fat 234

% Daily Value*

Fat 26g40%

Saturated Fat 11g69%

Polyunsaturated Fat 0.4g

Monounsaturated Fat 8g

Cholesterol 44mg15%

Sodium 371mg16%

Potassium 177mg5%

Carbohydrates 12g4%

Fiber 3g13%

Sugar 5g6%

Protein 11g22%

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%

Calcium 344mg34%

Vitamin B9 (Folate) 17µg4%

Iron 1mg6%

Magnesium 12mg3%

Phosphorus 29mg3%

Zinc 0.2mg1%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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This Paneer Fry recipe post from the archives first published in May 2018 has been republished and updated on 19 July 2022.


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