Tawa paneer masala recipe. Tawa paneer masala is a semi-dry curry with bell pepper, onions, paneer cubes and tomatoes cooked on tawa or on a hotplate. A popular restaurant side dish.
This is one of the easiest and fastest paneer recipes you can make. This semi-dry curry can be made in less than 30 minutes. So easy that you can make them when you have unexpected guests at home or want to cook something easy for dinner after a day of hard work.
The best part is that you can easily serve the tawa paneer masala with brown bread or pav or wheat bread. You don’t need to do chapatis or parathas. Of course, you can do chapati or parathas, if you have the time and are not too tired.
The entire recipe is made on a tawa / tava – a round, concave-shaped pan used in Indian homes to make various Indian flatbreads like parathas and rotis. Even dosa and cheela (pancakes with chickpea flour) are made on the tawa. They are also used for shallow deep frying snacks like aloo tikki and for dry roasting spices, nuts and seeds.
If you don’t have a tawa, you can easily use a frying pan or a medium skillet. If you are using a tawa, use a medium or large size tawa, so that food does not spill out to the sides while cooking.
To make this recipe you will need paneer / cottage cheese, bell pepper, onion, tomatoes, and regular Indian herbal spices. I made a tomato puree. However, you can simply chop them finely and add them to the dish.
While serving the paneer tawa masala, drizzle with lemon juice and garnish with cilantro leaves. Serve with a side salad.
How to make tawa paneer masala
1. Add the chopped tomatoes (3 medium tomatoes or 180 to 200 g) in a blender and make a smooth puree. Set aside.
2. Melt 2 tablespoons of butter on a tawa or pan.
3. Add ½ teaspoon of carom / ajwain seeds and fry for a few seconds or until aromatic.
4. Add 1 large chopped onion (about 100 to 120 grams) and sauté until translucent.
5. Add the ginger-garlic paste (1 inch ginger + 4-5 medium garlic), 1 chopped green chili, 1 medium finely chopped bell pepper / green pepper and sauté for about 3 minutes.
6. Then add ¼ teaspoon of red chili powder, ¼ teaspoon of turmeric powder, 1 teaspoon of coriander powder and 1 teaspoon of pav bhaji masala. If you don’t have pav bhaji masala, add garam masala + achur powder / dry mango powder. Stir and sauté for about a minute.
7. Add the tomato puree and stir.
8. Season with salt and sauté, stirring at intervals.
9. Sauté until you see butter coming off the sides and the masala has thickened a bit. It takes about 8-10 minutes on a low flame. If the masala tomato seems dry, add 1 or 2 tablespoons of water and continue to sauté.
10. Add the paneer cubes (200 to 250 grams) and mix well so that the masala is covered evenly on the paneer cubes.
11. Bake the paneer for 1 to 2 minutes. Then add ½ teaspoon of crushed kasuri methi (dried fenugreek leaves). Stir very well and turn off the flame.
12. Garnish with coriander leaves and serve the tawa paneer masala with chapatis, naan or bread or pav. Serve a few wedges with lemon slices that can be drizzled over the tawa paneer and an accompanying onion salad.