Paneer aficionados, rejoice! Here’s the Tawa Paneer recipe that is superbly delicious and lusciously creamy, much like the one served at your favorite restaurant. This moderately spiced paneer dish is prepared in an exquisitely flavorful sauce that makes it irresistible!
Once you dig into this recipe, you will have everyone coming back for seconds. Vegan option included!
Paneer is a versatile ingredient that can be enjoyed in any number of dishes, including desserts. From family-favorite recipes like Matar Paneer and Methi Paneer to unique occasion dishes like Paneer tikka masala, and Paneer Chur-Chur Naan, paneer is a staple of Indian cuisine —and in my kitchen.
Paneer does not have a strong flavor; instead, it takes on taste from the other ingredients in the recipe to further intensify a dish. And that makes paneer a worthwhile addition to any meal and an easy ingredient to cook with.
What is a Tawa Paneer Recipe?
Tawa is a Hindi name for a flat skillet, and paneer is an un-aged fresh cheese that’s native to the Indian subcontinent. Whether you are craving a shahi gravy or a tikka masala recipe, paneer is a versatile dairy product that vegetarians can use in all kinds of dishes.
So basically, Tawa Paneer is a dish made up of Indian cottage cheese and cooked in a flat skillet.
In this dish, soft and succulent pieces of paneer dunked in the rich, creamy, flavorful sauce with subtle hints of spices make an exquisite combination that is loved for its deliciousness and irresistible aroma.
A heart-warming delicacy with an ambrosial taste, Tawa Paneer is one of the most cherished dishes served in almost all Indian restaurants worldwide!
Is Paneer and cottage cheese different?
Affirmative! But the steps involved in making paneer and cottage cheese are the same:
- curdle the milk,
- wash the curdled cheese or curd under water to remove the acidity, and
- then hang the cheese/curd in cheesecloth to drain all the excess whey.
The difference lies in the next step – pressing the curd.
Paneer is pressed hard in between two flat plates to form a nice and firm block. Whereas cottage cheese is drained but not pressed. Therefore, a small quantity of whey remains, and because of that, cottage cheese is soft and retains moisture.
It’s not firm like paneer and cannot hold its shape.
Reasons You’ll ♡ Tawa Paneer Recipe
This amazingly tasty recipe of Tawa Paneer is every paneer lover’s favorite indulgence. There are many reasons for you to love this superbly delicious recipe.
- Made with pantry staples
- Rich, creamy, and lip-smacking delicious
- Is moderately spicy, perfect for the entire family
- A perfect make-ahead recipe, and
- Paneer makes a perfect swap-out for tofu and chicken!
This tawa paneer masala recipe is a protein-rich alternative to other non-vegetarian recipes that elates your palate and pampers your gourmet soul.
Flavor-packed and drool-worthy in its appetizing looks, this recipe is gluten-free and can be turned into a vegan dish as well. You can serve this Tawa Paneer masala recipe to your family and also feed a crowd as it is scalable and unbelievably easy to prepare.
Enjoy each step of its preparation and the applauds that follow to make your culinary experience blissful.
Tawa Paneer Recipe Ingredient List
Paneer — As this is the star ingredient of the Tawa Paneer recipe, I prefer using homemade fresh and soft paneer. You can cut the paneer into thick cubes, long slices, or whichever shape entices you the most.
Yogurt — Thick hung curd/ yogurt is used as one of the main ingredients in the marinade. It helps the paneer absorb more flavors and adds tenderness to the pieces while lending a rich, creamy texture to the gravy.
Green chilies — Add chilies to this ambrosial recipe for the required heat.
Kasoori methi — Dried Kasoori methi is crushed and sprinkled at the end of cooking to give the Tawa Paneer recipe an exceptionally delectable flavor and an authentic taste to enjoy! But we need to add it moderately, as more of it than the required quantity can make the recipe taste bitter.
Mint leaves — Dried mint leaves add a touch of freshness to the flavors of this fantastic Tawa Paneer recipe.
Onions — They bring more depth of flavor to the recipe with the right amount of sweet, savory, and aromatic flavors!
Cashews — Contribute to the creaminess of the gravy and lend the recipe a delectable subtleness.
Ghee — Preferably homemade pure ghee adds tons of flavor and irresistible aroma to the recipe.
Ginger- Garlic paste — The key ingredients to most savory Indian dishes, ginger and garlic, add spicy notes and a uniquely heavenly aroma to the recipe.
Tomato puree — This lends more creaminess and color to the recipe and also adds a hint of tanginess to our Tawa Paneer recipe.
Garam masala powder — A mix of the most flavorsome and aromatic Indian spices, garam masala powder is added to this delicious recipe for more prominent Indian flavors.
Cream — Fresh cream is added to the paneer tawa masala recipe for the creamier gravy that exudes richness and makes the recipe more enjoyable.
Scallions and cilantro — For garnishing our gorgeously prepared Tawa Paneer recipe!
Recipe Tips and Variations
Swap paneer for other proteins — You can replace paneer with different protein options such as tofu, chicken, lamb, or mushrooms and continue with the instructions to make this tawa paneer masala recipe.
Fresh paneer makes the best recipe — Homemade soft and fresh paneer is the best option for preparing this Tawa Paneer recipe, although you can use store-bought paneer too. When using the store-bought frozen paneer, ensure it is thawed well and soaked in warm water to bring it to its usual softness. However, please do not keep it soaked in water for too long, as it may start disintegrating upon cooking.
Marinating paneer overnight — When marinated and left in the refrigerator overnight, the paneer pieces absorb more flavors from the added spices. So, leave it in the fridge overnight if time permits.
Use thick curd for marinating — Thick, hung curd is best for marinating the paneer pieces as it facilitates marination by sticking properly to the paneer. If the curd is watery, it will not stick to the paneer pieces, thereby not marinating it well.
Turning the recipe vegan — The vegan variation of this recipe would have tofu or mushrooms replacing the paneer. This is already a gluten-free and vegetarian recipe, but if you want to make it vegan, just replace paneer with tofu, yogurt with any dairy-free yogurt, and ghee with oil. And you have the best vegan, gluten-free, pure vegetarian tawa tofu masala and tawa mushroom masala recipe ready to relish!
Easily customizable — You can easily customize your Tawa Paneer masala dish by adding veggies like bell peppers and corn or any other veggies of your choice. But make sure the veggies you plan to add complement well with other ingredients of this recipe.
Sub cashews — If you don’t have an affinity for cashews, skip them entirely, and feel free to add melon seeds instead. They go pretty well with this recipe.
Adjust spice level — This recipe for Tawa Paneer is mildly spicy. But if you want to scale the spice level, you can conveniently do that. To make it less spicy, skip adding any spices while preparing. To make it spicier, add more chilies to suit your preference.
Pureed tomatoes for more creaminess — When added to the recipe, tomato puree brings more creaminess to the gravy. But you can also add thinly chopped tomatoes that blend well into the sauce to make it creamy.
Add kasoori methi sparingly — Kasoori methi is an essential ingredient that delivers outstanding flavor to the paneer masala recipe that cannot be missed. However, do not go overboard adding kasoori methi to the recipe, as anything more than the required quantity will turn the dish taste bitter.
For the smoky taste — This recipe of Tawa Paneer can be rendered smoky flavor by resorting to the dhungar method, where a piece of charcoal is introduced to the cooked dish and covered for a while. The smoked charcoal imparts a subtle, smoke-filled flavor to the recipe and takes it to another level!
For making gravy out of this dry recipe — Primarily, Tawa Paneer is a dry dish just like Kadhai Paneer. But if you prefer to make some gravy, you can comfortably do that by adding water to it. Adding ¾ cup of water will be good enough to make a thick sauce kind of gravy. But if you want the gravy of thin consistency, add more water and bring it to a boil. You can easily adjust the consistency of the gravy by altering the quantity of water. Add ½ cup of water to the skillet for a saucier Tawa Paneer Masala and stir well. Then cover it and simmer for 10 mins. You have the gravy-style tawa paneer ready to devour!
Flavors from the spices — Green cardamoms and cloves infuse flavor in the dish and taste awesome in the curry. But if you feel the flavors overcasting other flavors, you can remove the spices after the gravy is cooked and the dish is ready for serving.
Scalable recipe — This recipe for Tawa Paneer is easily scalable and can be doubled or tripled according to your requirement. And once you create this exquisite delicacy, enjoy watching your guests smacking their lips and running for another serving!
LET ME KNOW WHAT YOU THINK!
A must-try recipe for your next potluck or social gathering is a lusciously creamy, delicious, and super easy recipe of Tawa Paneer.
The juicy paneer pieces drenched in the savory saucy gravy are sure to delight the taste buds. And what’s the best part? Well, this recipe comes together in less than an hour.
So, isn’t it a good idea to dive into the preparation and pamper your taste buds with a savory treat like this? Oh, sure it is!
Should you make this paneer tawa masala recipe, please let me know your thoughts by sharing your comment below. And don’t forget to share it with your family and friends.
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Follow the step-by-step instructions to make the best Paneer Tawa Masala Recipe
Tawa Paneer Recipe
- 2 teaspoons Oil
- 1 small Red onion thinly sliced
- ⅓ cup Cashews
PREPARE THE BASE SAUCE
- 1½ teaspoons Ghee
- ¾ teaspoon Cumin Seeds
- 4 – Cloves
- 2 – Green Cardamom
- ½ teaspoon Garlic paste
- ½ teaspoon Ginger paste
- 1 small Red Onion finely chopped
- 2 small Green Chilies
- ½ cup Homemade tomato puree
- – – Salt to taste
- ½ teaspoon Garam Masala Powder optional
- 1 teaspoon Kastoori methi/ dried fenugreek leaves
- 3 tablespoons Cream
- – – Scallions
- – – Chopped cilantro leaves
- Cut paneer into little cubes (about 3/4-inch each). Feel free to cut any size you like – long rectangles, or triangles.
- Start by marinating paneer cubes. In a bowl, whisk the yogurt with a few spices. Always use hung curd (the thick kind) for marination.
- Whisk until all the ingredients are well combined.
- Add the paneer cubes to this marinade and toss it gentky to coat.
- Cover and place the paneer in the refrigerator and marinate for at least 20 minutes.
- After the resting time is over, cook the paneer in a skillet until brown.
- Transfer it to a plate and set it aside.
- Heat oil in a tawa/flat skillet. Add onions and cook for 3-4 minutes until slightly golden.
- Stir in raw cashews and cook for another 2-3 minutes.
- Remove from heat and allow it to cool comfortably. Transfer the onion-cashew mix to a blender and blend until smooth. Set it aside.
PREPARE THE BASE SAUCE
- Heat ghee to the tawa.
- Add cumin seeds, green cardamom, and cloves.
- As the whole spices start to crackle, stir in the ginger-garlic paste. Cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Stir in the chopped onions and green chilies.
- Cover and cook for 2-3 minutes or until the onions are translucent.
- Add tomato puree to the onions and mix to combine. Stir in all the spices.
- Cover and cook for another 3-4 minutes.
- Stir in the onion-cashew paste, the one that we had prepared earlier. Mix it well into the cooking sauce.
- Stir in the cream and mix until blended. Allow it to simmer for 3-4 minutes until the oil leaves the pan.
- Stir in cooked paneer pieces into this thick and creamy simmering sauce. Add kasoori methi.
- Mix (gently) until the paneer is coated well into this thick sauce. Cook for another 2-3 minutes until paneer soaks up all the richness from the curry.
- Garnish with chopped green scallions and cilantro leaves. Serve hot.
Frequently Asked QuestionsCan I store the leftover Tawa Paneer? The leftovers of this recipe can be stored in the refrigerator to be devoured the next day. Transfer the recipe leftovers to an air-tight container and slide it into the fridge. It stays perfect for the next 2- 3 days. You can reheat this delicious Tawa Paneer in a microwave or on a stovetop and serve it hot to your family. If reheating in the microwave –
- Transfer the Tawa Paneer to a bowl and sprinkle some water over it.
- Reheat at about 30 seconds intervals, giving a stir in-between.
- Serve when perfectly heated.
- Add the Tawa Paneer to a pan and sprinkle some water over the recipe.
- Set the heat to medium and stir continuously until the paneer is perfectly heated through.
- Jeera Rice ( if you make a little gravy by adding water)
- Tandoori Garlic Roti
- Chur chur Paneer Naan and any other sides as you prefer!