Paneer Bhurji Recipe
Paneer Bhurji is a popular North Indian dish made with Indian cottage cheese aka paneer, herbs and ground spices. It can be eaten with Roti, Chapati, Paratha, Poori, Bread or Pav. This Punjabi Paneer Bhurji can also be used as a filling/stuffing in Kathi rolls, Sandwiches and Bread rolls. I make this bhurji in numerous ways. Here I have shared the simplest way that can be made just under 15 mins if you have the paneer ready. If you want to make a paneer bhurji gravy, I also have the instructions for that.
About Paneer Bhurji
Paneer is Indian Cottage Cheese and Bhurji means scrambled in Hindi. So as the name says, Paneer Bhurji is spiced scrambled paneer, cooked in North Indian Style. It is a dish where a spicy onion tomato masala is made first and then soft crumbled paneer is added to it.
This is made much similar to the Egg Bhurji, which is also a popular street food served with Pav and goes by the name Bhurji Pav. You can also create a vegetarian version with this paneer bhurji. Simply serve it with butter toasted pav. Lately we have been loving this combo.
Paneer Bhurji is one of those sides that is made very often at my home for our breakfast or lunch box. My kids love this stuffed in the palak paratha or even in rotis, wraps, kathi rolls and grilled paneer sandwiches.
I always make paneer bhurji with fresh homemade paneer as the taste, texture & flavor is best with the homemade one. Most times store bought paneer really doesn’t taste that good to make paneer bhurji.
So in this post I have also shared how to make paneer just enough for this paneer bhurji recipe. But if you prefer to use store bought, soak the crumbled paneer in some hot milk or water. This makes a huge difference to your dish.
Ingredients & Substitutes
Paneer is easily available in the Indian stores or make your own following my steps below. Substitute it with tofu for a vegan option or with soya granules for a vegetarian meat option.
Onions & Tomatoes form the base of this dish. Apart from adding flavor and aroma they also add volume to the dish.
Ginger Garlic Paste is simply crushed fresh ginger and garlic. If you do not have paste, you can grate them with a fine grater and use. Substitute it with ground dry ginger and garlic powder.
More Paneer recipes,
How to Make Paneer Bhurji (Stepwise photos)
Making paneer – Skip this section if you already have paneer.
1. Bring milk to a boil in a pot.
2. Add lemon juice to the boiling milk and stir. You can also use vinegar.
3. When you see the milk begins to curdle. Switch off the stove and let it sit for 2 to 3 minutes.
4. Place a muslin or cheese cloth over a colander. Pour the curdled milk to the cloth. Rinse it well under running water. Bring all the edges together and squeeze the paneer to drain off excess whey.
Make a knot and hang it for about 10 to 15 minutes until you prepare the onions and tomatoes.
5. We need moist paneer with no dripping whey from it.
Make Onion Tomato Masala
6. Pour oil to a hot pan. Add cumin and allow to crackle.
7. Transfer finely chopped onions and fry until they turn pink or golden.
8. Then add ginger garlic paste and fry until the raw smell disappears.
9. Add finely chopped tomatoes, turmeric and salt. Saute until the tomatoes turn mushy and soft. If needed you can cover and cook.
10. Next add garam masala, red chili powder and kasuri methi. If using amchur add it now.
11. Mix everything well and continue to cook till the mixture smells good. The raw smell of the masala has to go away.
Optional Tip to make Bhurji Gravy: If you want to make Paneer Bhurji gravy simply cool this and blend to a paste with little water. Heat 1 tsp oil and add a bay leaf, 2 cardamoms and half teaspoon cumin. When they splutter, add the paste and pour ½ to ¾ cup water. Cook until you see traces of oil on top then proceed.
Make Paneer Bhurji
12. If using capsicum or peas, add them at this stage and saute until soft. Add Crumbled paneer. Mix and stir well. Cook for just 2 to 3 minutes till the raw smell from paneer goes off. Do not over cook.
13. Lastly add coriander leaves and lemon juice.
Serve paneer bhurji with bread, roti or paratha.
- To make Paneer Bhurji gravy cool the onion tomato masala after sautéing the onion, tomatoes and spices. Blend to a paste with little water. Heat 1 tsp oil and add a bay leaf, 2 cardamoms and half teaspoon cumin seeds. When they splutter, add the onion tomato paste and pour ½ to ¾ water. Cook until you see traces of oil on top then proceed with the next steps.
- Homemade paneer is the best to make soft mouth melting bhurji. If using store bought paneer soak the crumbled paneer in some hot water or hot milk for about 20 mins. This helps to keep the paneer soft in the bhurji. If you use milk, pour the milk too to the pan along with paneer.
- To make it healthier just add some veggies like carrots, peas, capsicum
& make mixed veg paneer bhurji. Some times I also use greens like methi & palak to make the paneer palak bhurji.
- I known some people love scrambled eggs in their paneer bhurji. You can also scramble the eggs first and then add the crumbled paneer to it to make the paneer egg bhurji.
Paneer Bhurji Recipe
For best results follow the step-by-step photos above the recipe card
Ingredients (US cup = 240ml )
- 200 grams paneer crumbled (or 4 cups milk, 2 tsps lemon juice)
- 1½ tablespoon oil or as needed
- ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 medium onion (½ cup chopped finely)
- 1 green chilli chopped (skip for kids)
- 1 teaspoon ginger garlic paste (or minced, fine chopped)
- 1 medium tomato (⅓ cup chopped finely)
- ¼ cup capsicum or green peas (optional)
- ⅛ teaspoon turmeric
- ¼ teaspoon salt (adjust to taste)
- ½ to ¾ teaspoon red chilli powder
- ¾ teaspoon garam masala powder (adjust as needed)
- ½ teaspoon kasuri methi (dried fenugreek leaves)
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 2 tablespoon Coriander leaves finely chopped
To make paneer – skip this section if you have it
- Pour 4 cups milk to a pot and bring it to a boil.
- Add 1 tbsp vinegar or lemon juice and Stir.
- When the milk begins to curdle well, turn off the stove.
- If the milk does not curdle then add 1 tbsp more vinegar.
- Drain it to a colander lined with a muslin cloth. Rinse it well under running water.
- Squeeze off the excess whey and make a knot with the cloth.
- Hang the paneer for about 10 to 15 minutes to remove excess whey.
- Meanwhile chop the onions & tomatoes finely.
How to Make Paneer Bhurji
- Add 1½ tbsp oil to a hot pan. Then add ½ tsp cumin seeds and allow them to splutter.
- Next add ½ cup finely chopped onions and 1 chopped green chilli.
- Fry until lightly golden to light brown.
- Then add 1 tsp ginger garlic paste or mince. Saute until the raw smell goes off.
- Add 1 finely chopped tomato, ¼ tsp salt and ⅛ tsp turmeric.
- Fry until the tomatoes turn soft and mushy.
- Then add ½ to ¾ tsp red chili powder, ½ tsp kasuri methi & ¾ tsp garam masala.
- Mix and saute until the raw smell goes off from the mixture & the masala leaves the sides of the pan. (If you want to make the bhurji gravy, simply cool this and blend to a paste with little water. Heat 1 tsp oil. Add 1 bay leaf, 2 cardamoms and ½ teaspoon cumin seeds. When they splutter, add the paste and pour ½ to ¾ cup water. Cook until traces of oil are visible.)
- Stir in ¼ cup peas or capsicum (not for gravy) if using. Fry until capsicum turns slightly soft.
- Crumble paneer well and add to the pan.
- Stir and fry till everything blends well just for 2 minutes.
- Taste it and check the salt and spice. If needed add more salt.
- Turn off the stove. Add 2 tbsp chopped coriander leaves.
- Serve paneer bhurji with roti, paratha or bread.
- Sprinkle some lemon juice before serving.
- If making gravy version avoid adding capsicum.
- To make the gravy, add more warm water after stirring in the paneer to adjust the consistency.
Alternative quantities provided in the recipe card are for 1x only, original recipe.
For best results follow my detailed step-by-step photo instructions and tips above the recipe card.
NUTRITION INFO (estimation only)
© Swasthi’s Recipes
This Paneer Bhurji Recipe was first published in May 2015. Updated & republished in November 2022.
I’m Swasthi Shreekanth, the recipe developer, food photographer & food writer behind Swasthi’s Recipes. My aim is to help you cook great Indian food with my time-tested recipes. After 2 decades of experience in practical Indian cooking I started this blog to help people cook better & more often at home. Whether you are a novice or an experienced cook I am sure Swasthi’s Recipes will assist you to enhance your cooking skills. More about me
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Love how you share tips to make every recipe the best. I make this paneer bhurji using your recipe and it comes out good every time. I learnt from your egg bhurji and started to use pav bhaji masala and can’t believe this paneer bhurji turns out to be super-duper hit that way. Thank you and keep sharing your amazing ideas.
Himani, That makes me so happy! So glad you like it that way. I will share that in this post too. Thanks for trying and sharing back
Thank you for the many lovely Indian meals we’ve had in our home. This paneer bhurji is our family favorite and we pretty much enjoy it with everything. Some times with the toast and often with the frozen chapatis or rice. I add 2 cups of chopped carrots, peas, corn and bell peppers to make it a vegetable paneer bhurji. We love it that way.
So happy to know Edith. Yes I too add veggies a lot of times. Thank you for sharing back how it works for you.
Can I make this paneer bhurji ahead and reheat later? If so for how many days does it keep well?
Yes you can make it ahead and reheat. I usually add a splash of milk or water before reheating on the stovetop. This keeps the bhurji moist.
Thank you for showing how to make paneer at home. I made it following your recipe and the bhurji turned out very soft and delicious.
Glad to know Kamal. Thanks for sending me the pictures.
I tried a version with eggs, peas and mango powder. I generally do not like eggs but this recipe was really good and I look forward to trying it again with other variation and vegetables. I used store bought paneer and soaked in milk. I would like to know what to do with the milk afterwards instead of wasting it.
Glad to know Karuna. Love the way you made it! I would use that milk to make yogurt, add it to preheated milk. Next time crumble the paneer first and pour the hot milk sparingly. This way you will need only a few tablespoons. When you add the paneer to the pan, add the milk too. I will update the same in the post. Hope this helps.
I never tasted or made paneer anytime. Chanced upon this recipe and gave it a try. Had a great experience making paneer and its bhurji. Served it with ekmek and frozen tikka sauce. Delicious! I look forward to trying your chicken tikka soon.
Thank you John for trying and sharing your experience. I am new to ekmek and I guess you enjoyed the meal. Yes do give the chicken tikka a try.
This Bhurji turned out delicious! I scrambled an egg too along with the paneer. Amazing! Thank you
Glad to know Sana. Thank you for sharing how it turned out for you!
Thank you so much Swasthi for this quick-tasty recipe. I made this & we loved it😍.
God bless you🙏🏻❤
Thank you so much!
Thank you for the wonderful recipes. This was delicious. I added peas and curry powder. How can I add egg into this? Pls advice
Glad to know Afrina
Yes you can scramble the eggs and cook until almost done (soft cooked). Add the paneer. You will have to increase the spices
This was wonderful and very easy! Thank you.
Glad you liked it!
First of all you are awesome & the best 🙂 really grateful for all your recipes
One quick question: you said add tomato & onion in panner bhurji.. can you tell me the size of the same i.e. small, medium or large.
You can use 1 medium onion and 1 small tomato
Tried it and it was really good. Thank you:)
You are welcome. Thank you
How are you? Please share how do you make paneer rolls with bhurji. I looked for a recipe on the blog but did not find. I make the paneer bhurji the same way you showed here. Do you use any chutney? Will the rolls keep fresh till noon? Appreciate if you could help.
I am good. Thanks for asking. Hope the same from you too. Yes I haven’t shared a recipe for paneer rolls. The way I do for the kids is pretty simple. I don’t use onion & tomato. I just fry the cumin and the ginger garlic. Next saute lot of fine chopped bell peppers, peas, corn, broccoli, & grated carrots until tender. Sprinkle salt, chilli, kasuri methi and garam masala. Then I add the crumbled paneer and mix. Turn off and cool down. Squeeze lemon juice and use it. I don’t use any sauce or chutney as they make the rolls soft. The key here is to use soft paneer so I use homemade paneer. Hope this helps. Thanks for following the blog.
How much vegetables can I add to this paneer bhurji? I like to add carrots peas corn capsicum
You can add about 1 cup mixed veggies.
What an amazing recipe! I made paneer with goat milk. It came out so good and richer in taste than the cows milk paneer. I made paneer bhurji with some peas and baby spinach. I wrapped it in tortillas. Simply awesome and healthy. Is on my list of healthy foods. Thank you! Your recipes are truly amazing with a balance of spice and flavours.
Sorry forgot to reply you. Thank you so much for trying the recipe. Glad you liked it,
going to add spinach also. on keto right now, will add bell pepper, fresh home made bhurji, tomatoes, keto bread 🙂 Happy feasting.
Wow! Nice meal
Thanks. I made planner Burji. It has come well.
Welcome. thanks for the comment
Thank you so much for this. I always use to make bhurji with frozen ready paneer but that never gave the real authentic taste of paneer bhurji. Love it this way it turned out awesome!! Great ideas ?
Yummy!! my kids loved it. Thanks for sharing how to make paneer easily.
Thank you so much
It’s too yummy
Thank you so much. Happy to know your children liked it.
It’s too yummy.my children liked it very much
I guess kasuri methi did a difference. It was very delicious.
Thanks for trying
Just amazing.. thanks for sharing this