Paneer Tawa Masala Recipe

Paneer Tawa Masala Recipe

40 Mins
6-7 people
10 Mins



Hey there, I'm Chef Ajay Chopra, and let me tell you about a dish that holds a special place in my heart - Paneer Tawa Masala. The first time I encountered this dish was during a visit to a quaint little restaurant tucked away in a corner of Mumbai. The aroma that filled the air as the waiter placed it on the table was enough to make my mouth water. I took my first bite, and it was like a flavor explosion in my mouth - spicy, tangy, and oh-so-delicious!


Now, let me take you on a journey to recreate this magical dish in your own kitchen. But before we delve into the recipe, let me share a little secret with you. Did you know that Paneer Tawa Masala is not just a dish but an experience? It's a celebration of flavors, a symphony of spices that dance on your taste buds, leaving you craving for more.


So, without further ado, let's dive into the recipe and unlock the secrets of Paneer Tawa Masala.




Recipe of Paneer Tawa Masala




  • Oil: 2 tbsp
  • Bayleaf: 2 pcs
  • Cinnamon: 1 inch
  • Black pepper: 10-12 pcs
  • Star anise: 1 pc
  • Black cardamom: 2 pcs
  • Green cardamom: 3 pcs
  • Mace: 1 pc
  • Cloves: 4-5 pcs
  • Dagad phool: 1 tbsp
  • Chopped onion: 1½ cup
  • Salt: 1 tbsp
  • Ginger garlic paste: 2 tbsp
  • Green chilli paste: 1 tbsp
  • Turmeric powder: ½ tbsp
  • Red chilli powder: 1 tbsp
  • Coriander powder: 1 tbsp
  • Chopped tomato: ½ cup
  • Sabzi masala: ½ tbsp
  • Kasoori methi: 1 tbsp
  • Tomato puree: ½ cup
  • Water: as required
  • Cashew paste: ¼ cup
  • Butter: 1 tbsp
  • Jeera (cumin seeds): 1 tsp
  • Diced onion: ½ cup
  • Diced capsicum: ½ cup
  • Paneer cubes: 2 cups
  • Diced tomato: ½ cup
  • Chopped coriander: 1 tbsp
  • Grated paneer: for garnish





  1. Heat a pan and add oil. Then add bayleaf, cinnamon, black pepper, star anise, black cardamom, green cardamom, mace, cloves, and dagad phool. Let them crackle.
  2. Add chopped onion and salt. Saute until golden brown.
  3. Add ginger-garlic paste, green chilli paste, and saute. Add some water if needed.
  4. Mix in turmeric powder, red chilli powder, and coriander powder. Saute until fragrant.
  5. Add chopped tomato and cook until it becomes mushy.
  6. Stir in sabzi masala, kasoori methi, and tomato puree. Cook the mixture.
  7. Pour in water and cashew nut paste. Cook for 3-4 minutes to prepare the gravy.
  8. Heat a thick iron tawa, add butter and jeera. Let the cumin seeds crackle.
  9. Add diced onion and capsicum. Saute.
  10. Add paneer cubes and mix.
  11. Pour in the prepared gravy along with some water and diced tomatoes. Cook for 3-4 minutes.
  12. Finally, add chopped coriander and grated paneer on top.
  13. Paneer Tawa Masala is ready to be served. Enjoy!





About the Recipe


Paneer Tawa Masala is a quintessential North Indian dish that originated in the bustling streets of Mumbai. It's a vibrant and flavorful curry made with succulent cubes of paneer (Indian cottage cheese) cooked in a spicy tomato-based gravy. The dish gets its name from the 'tawa,' a flat, circular griddle used to cook the paneer and vegetables, infusing them with a smoky flavor.


The combination of aromatic spices like cumin, coriander, and garam masala creates a symphony of flavors that will tantalize your taste buds. Whether served with fluffy naan bread, crispy parathas, or fragrant basmati rice, Paneer Tawa Masala is sure to be a hit at any dining table.



Cooking Tips


  • To enhance the flavor of the dish, lightly roast the whole spices before grinding them into a powder.
  • Ensure that the paneer is fried until golden brown before adding it to the gravy to prevent it from becoming too soft.
  • For a creamier texture, you can add a tablespoon of fresh cream or yogurt to the gravy before serving.
  • Adjust the spice level according to your preference by increasing or decreasing the amount of red chili powder.
  • For a smokier flavor, you can char the paneer and vegetables on an open flame before adding them to the gravy.



Pairing Guide


Paneer Tawa Masala pairs perfectly with a variety of Indian bread like naan, roti, or paratha. For a complete meal, serve it with fragrant basmati rice and some refreshing cucumber raita on the side. You can also pair it with a crisp salad or pickled onions to balance out the richness of the dish.




Frequently Asked Questions


  1. Can I use tofu instead of paneer?

    • Yes, you can substitute tofu for paneer if you prefer a vegan version of the dish. However, keep in mind that tofu has a different texture and flavor than paneer, so the dish may taste slightly different.
  2. How long can I store Paneer Tawa Masala?

    • Paneer Tawa Masala can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. Reheat it gently on the stovetop or in the microwave before serving.
  3. Can I make Paneer Tawa Masala without onions and garlic?

    • Yes, you can omit onions and garlic from the recipe if you prefer. Simply skip the step of frying them and proceed with the rest of the recipe as usual.
  4. Is Paneer Tawa Masala spicy?

    • The spiciness of Paneer Tawa Masala can be adjusted according to your preference. You can increase or decrease the amount of red chili powder and green chilies to suit your taste.
  5. Can I freeze Paneer Tawa Masala?

    • Yes, you can freeze Paneer Tawa Masala for up to 1-2 months. Allow it to cool completely before transferring it to an airtight container or freezer-safe bag. Thaw it overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
  6. What other vegetables can I add to Paneer Tawa Masala?

    • You can add a variety of vegetables like bell peppers, mushrooms, cauliflower, or green peas to Paneer Tawa Masala for added flavor and nutrition.
  7. Can I make Paneer Tawa Masala without cream?

    • Yes, you can omit cream from the recipe if you prefer a lighter version of the dish. The tomatoes and cashew paste will still lend a creamy texture to the gravy.
  8. What is the difference between Paneer Tawa Masala and Paneer Butter Masala?

    • While both dishes feature paneer in a rich and creamy gravy, Paneer Tawa Masala is cooked on a flat griddle (tawa) to impart a smoky flavor, whereas Paneer Butter Masala is cooked in a tomato-based gravy enriched with butter and cream.
  9. Can I use store-bought paneer for this recipe?

    • Yes, you can use store-bought paneer for this recipe if you're short on time. However, homemade paneer tends to have a fresher flavor and softer texture.
  10. Is Paneer Tawa Masala gluten-free?

    • Yes, Paneer Tawa Masala is naturally gluten-free as long as you use gluten-free ingredients and avoid adding any wheat-based thickeners like all-purpose flour.