Indian Recipes

Paneer do Pyaza

Paneer do Pyaza is a rich, creamy curry made from soft, juicy paneer and lots of onions in a wonderful mixture of spices, herbs and tomatoes. Try this savory and utterly delicious Paneer recipe with restaurant-style flavors from Mughlai cuisine. I am sure you will love it.

Paneer do Pyaza garnished with grated paneer and coriander leaves in a white bowl on a light beige napkin on a dark brown board

What is Do Pyaza?

The word "Do" means two or double and "Pyaza" or "Piaza" means onions. This means adding the onions twice in the recipe, or twice as many onions.

There is one more interesting anecdote related to this dish. That of Emperor Akbar's courtier Mullah Do Piyaza, who unexpectedly created this recipe when adding a large amount of onions to a meat dish. I wonder if this story is true or not.

But if you look at the words "do pyaza", they literally mean two onions or double the onions.

Do Pyaza recipes are usually made with meat. But of course my recipe is a vegetarian version of do pyaza and made with paneer.

In this particular recipe, the onions are doubled and added twice in two different cooking stages.

Basically, this dish has a good amount of onions in it. If you like onions this dish is for you.

I also shared a couple of Do Pyaza vegetarian recipes like:

  1. Bhindi do Pyaza
  2. Mushroom do Pyaza

About this recipe

In this delicious Paneer do Pyaza recipe, finely chopped onions are first fried to create a flavorful, mild sauce. Later blanched, sautéed onion cubes are mixed in.

The blanched onions offer a nice crunch, in contrast to the smooth sauce with the melt in the mouth slice cubes.

This Paneer do Pyaza recipe isn't spicy at all and obviously has a touch of sweetness due to the amount of onions it contains.

Fresh cream makes the sauce rich and smooth while nicely balancing the tomato flavor.

People who love creamy, bland and less spicy food will love this Paneer do Pyaza. But as you prefer, adding some red chili powder or cayenne pepper to it, you can increase the seasoning and heat in the bowl.

Paneer do Pyaza can also be served as a starter or side dish to a North Indian meal.

This is one of those recipes that can easily be doubled or tripled and is great for Diwali parties or small gatherings.

I took this recipe from Master Chefs Of India's book "100 Great Indian Recipes".

Step by step instructions

How to get Paneer to do Pyaza

Blanch the onions and tomatoes

1. Halve or quartered 2 medium-sized onions and 2 whole medium-sized tomatoes in hot water. With this method, you first heat the water in a pan as needed until it starts to boil.

Add 2 small to medium-sized onions that have been halved or quartered (75 to 80 grams) and 2 small to medium-sized tomatoes (75 to 80 grams) to the hot water. Let them cook for a minute or two. Then switch off the heating.

Cover the pan and let the onions and tomatoes blanch in hot water for about 20 to 25 minutes.

Onions and tomatoes are blanched over hot water in a steel bowl

2. Drain and after the onions have cooled, separate the individual onion layers and set aside. Halve for large onion layers.

blanched onion halves on a white plate

Fry the blanched onions

3. Heat 2 teaspoons of butter in a pan. Add the onion layers and sauté them until lightly browned from the edges.

TIP: Both salted and unsalted butter are fine. Instead of butter, you can also use ghee or oil.

sauteed onion layers for Paneer Do Pyaza recipe

4. Set them aside.

Set aside the sauteed onion layers in a white plate

Chop fresh onions and blanched tomatoes

5. Peel the skin from the blanched tomatoes and finely chop them. Also peel, rinse and finely chop two small to medium-sized onions (75 to 80 grams).

If you measure, you get about half a cup of finely chopped tomatoes and about one-half to one-half cup of finely chopped onions.

chopped onions and finely chopped blanched tomatoes

Fry the spices and onions

6. Heat 1.5 tablespoons of oil in the same pan.

Add all of the spices listed below. Fry the spices for a few seconds until they are aromatic.

  • 1 inch cinnamon (real cinnamon and not cassia cinnamon)
  • 3 green cardamoms
  • 2 to 3 cloves
  • 1 single strand of club
  • 1 medium or 2 small Tej Patta
  • 2 to 3 dry red chillies (seeds can be removed if you prefer)

Fry whole spices and dry red chillies in oil in a black pan

7. Add ½ to ⅔ cup of finely chopped onions.

Fry the onions with the spices

8. Stir and saute the onions, stirring frequently, until they turn golden. Be careful not to burn them. You must therefore stir them frequently and should not be left unattended.

Onions golden or caramelized in the pan for Paneer to make the pyaza recipe

Fry tomatoes and ground spices

9. Add the finely chopped blanched tomatoes and mix well.

Put tomatoes in the pan

10. Then add the ½ teaspoon of ginger and garlic paste. Mix and stir the masala mixture very well and sauté over low heat until the oil dissolves from the sides. The tomatoes should be soft and fully cooked.

TIP 1: To make a quick ginger and garlic paste (which I always do), simply mash ½ inch of ginger and 2 small cloves of garlic in a mortar and pestle.

TIP 2: If the tomatoes stick in the pan, add a few dashes of water. Mix well and deglaze any removed and stuck parts or ingredients. Continue frying.

Put the ginger and garlic paste on the tomatoes

11. Add your ground spices

  • ½ teaspoon coriander powder
  • ½ teaspoon cumin powder
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper powder
  • 2 pinches of grated nutmeg or nutmeg powder
  • ¼ teaspoon Garam Masala powder

TIP: You can also add red chili powder for some color and warmth. Add about ¼ to ½ teaspoon of red chili powder or cayenne pepper, depending on your taste.

added ground spices

12. Mix and combine the ground spices thoroughly with the sauteed onions and tomatoes.

ground spices mixed evenly for paneer to make the pyaza recipe

Get paneer to do pyaza

13. Add the blanched and sautéed onion layers. Mix and sauté for 2 minutes.

Added sautéed onion layers

14. Now add paneer cubes (250 grams). I recommend adding Homemade Paneer for flavor and texture.

Put paneer cubes in the pan

15. Add salt to taste and mix everything carefully but thoroughly.

Salt added and paneer lightly mixed

16. Add ¼ cup of light heavy or low fat cream.

TIP: If you have whipped cream or heavy cream, add 2 tablespoons.

Cream added to the paneer do Pyaza

17. Mix gently and cook for a minute.

Cream mixed with Paneer Do Pyaza recipe

18. Garnish with 1 to 2 tablespoons of coriander leaves and 1 teaspoon of ginger julienne or 1 tablespoon of grated paneer.

Serve Paneer Do Pyaza hot or warm.

Paneer do Pyaza garnished with grated paneer and coriander leaves in a white bowl on a light beige napkin on a dark brown board

Serving suggestions

Paneer do Pyaza goes well with naan, tandoori roti or pudina paratha. Most of the time when I make a paneer recipe I usually serve it with roti (phulka).

Every paneer curry or sauce paired with a roti or a simple paratha is our favorite.

You can also serve Paneer do Pyaaza with bread or rolls. In fact, if you have a North Indian lunch or dinner menu plan, you can include Paneer do Pyaza as a side dish.

Expert tips

Ingredient variations

  • Paneer: For best results, make the Do Pyaza Recipe with Homemade Paneer. If you are using packaged paneer, I recommend including Malai paneer. If the paneer is frozen, follow the package instructions before adding it.
  • Onions: Use any type of onion, be it red, white, or yellow. In fact, small button onions and even pearl onions or shallots taste great here. However, do not use spring onions or spring onions – the recipe will be fundamentally revised and it will taste something different.
  • Vegan options: If you are allergic to dairy products, make the dish with tofu, oil, and cashew cream or coconut cream.
  • Tomatoes: If you don't have fresh tomatoes, use canned tomatoes or tomato puree due to unavailability. Don't blanch your canned tomatoes – just chop or mash them and add them as they cook. You can add about ½ cup of shredded canned tomatoes or ⅓ cup of tomato puree.
  • Kasuri methi: For more restaurant-style flavors, add about half a teaspoon of crushed kasuri methi, which also gives a nice nutty flavor.
  • Cream: I used prepackaged cream here. But you can also use Malai, a curdled cream (that floats on the heated milk). For malai, you need to whip it until smooth in a small blender before adding it.

Cooking notes

  • Additional vegetables: Paprika (red or yellow or paprika) makes this dish more flavorful. Optionally, for a meaty texture and more protein, you can sear or sear or fry some button or cremini mushrooms separately. Add them when you add the paneer.
  • Pan: It's best to cook this dish in a heavy pan or pan so the sauteed onion and tomato masala doesn't stick or burn itself to the surface of the pan.
  • Consistency: This is a semi-dry dish. If you prefer a light sauce consistency, add ¼ to ⅓ cup of water and simmer before adding sautéed onion layers and paneer.
  • Frying pan paneer: If you like a crispy texture in your paneer, fry them in some oil until light golden or golden.

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Paneer do Pyaza is a delicious dish made from soft, juicy curd cubes in a creamy, semi-dry sauce with twice as much onions. The recipe also includes onions twice during the cooking process.

Preparation time 30th min

cooking time 20th min

total time 50 min

Servings 3

For frying blanched onion layers

Blanch the onions and tomatoes

  • Peel and rinse the onions. Rinse tomatoes. Halve or quarter the onions.

  • You can also use pearl or button onions instead of regular onions

  • Blanch the halved or quartered onions and tomatoes in hot water. With this method, you first boil water in a pan until the water starts to boil.

  • Add the onions and tomatoes and let cook for a minute or two. Then turn off the flame.

  • Cover the pan and let the onions and tomatoes blanch in hot water for about 20 to 25 minutes.

  • Drain and after the onions have cooled, separate each onion layer and set aside. When the onion layers are large, chop them in half.

Fry the blanched onions

Chop fresh onions and blanched tomatoes

  • Peel and finely chop the skin of the blanched tomatoes.

  • Also peel, rinse, and finely chop two small to medium onions. You will need half to half a cup of finely chopped onions.

Fry the spices and onions

  • Heat the oil in the same pan. Lower the heat and add all the spices – cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, mace, bay leaf, and dry red chillies. Mix and sauté the spices for a few seconds until flavored. Be careful not to burn them.

  • Add the chopped onions. Stir and saute the onions until they turn golden.

Fry the tomatoes

  • Add the blanched and finely chopped tomatoes. Mix well.

  • Then add ginger and garlic paste. Mix and stir the masala mixture very well and sauté it over low to medium heat until the oil begins to separate from the sides.

  • The tomatoes should be soft and fully cooked.

  • Add ground spices – coriander powder, cumin powder, turmeric powder, black pepper powder, nutmeg powder, and garam masala powder.

  • You can also add red chili powder if you want. Add about ¼ to ½ teaspoon of red chili powder, depending on your taste.

  • Stir the ground spices very well.

Get paneer to do pyaza

  • Then add the blanched and sautéed onion layers. Mix and sauté for 2 minutes.

  • Add the paneer cubes.

  • Season to taste with salt and stir everything well.

  • Add the light cream or low fat cream. Mix gently and cook for a minute. If you have whipped cream add 2 tablespoons of it.

  • You can also add kasuri methi at this step. Add about ½ teaspoon of crushed kasuri methi (dry fenugreek leaves).

  • Garnish with coriander leaves, ginger julienne or grated paneer.

  • Serve Paneer do Pyaza hot or warm with Indian flatbreads such as chapati, roti or naan.

Ingredient variations

  • Onions: You can get paneer to make pyaza with any type of onion – red, white, or yellow. Small button onions and even pearl onions or shallots are good enough for the recipe. However, do not use spring onions or spring onions.
  • Paneer: For best results, I recommend making the Do Pyaza recipe with homemade paneer. If you're using packaged paneer, malai paneer is great. For frozen paneer, follow the directions on the package before adding it to the sauce.
  • Vegan options: If you are allergic to dairy or vegans, make this recipe with tofu, oil, and cashew cream or coconut cream.
  • Tomatoes: If you run out of fresh tomatoes in stock, use canned tomatoes or tomato puree. However, don't blanch the canned tomatoes – just chop or mash them and add them as you cook. You can add about ½ cup of crushed canned tomatoes or ⅓ cup of tomato paste.
  • Kasuri methi: For more restaurant-style flavors, I recommend adding about half a teaspoon of crushed kasuri methi, which gives the dish a delightful flavor.
  • Cream: I used prepackaged cream. You can use malai, a curdled cream (that floats on a heated milk). But you need to beat malai in a small blender until it becomes smooth before adding it.

Cooking notes

  • Additional vegetables: Paprika (red or yellow or paprika) makes this dish more flavorful. For a meaty texture and more protein, you can sauté or sauté or sauté some mushrooms or cremini mushrooms separately. Add them when you add the paneer.
  • Pan: It's best to cook this dish in a heavy pan or pan so the sauteed onion and tomato masala doesn't stick or burn itself to the surface of the pan.
  • Consistency: This is a semi-dry dish. If you prefer a light sauce consistency, add ¼ to ⅓ cup of water and simmer before adding sautéed onion layers and paneer.
  • Frying pan paneer: If you like a crispy texture in your paneer, fry them in some oil until light golden or golden.

Nutritional information

Paneer do Pyaza

Amount per serving

Calories 445
Calories from Fat 324

% Daily Value *

fat 36 g55%

Saturated fat 18g113%

Trans fat 1g

cholesterol 78 mg26%

sodium 813 mg35%

potassium 407 mg12%

carbohydrates 18g6%

Fiber 4g17%

Sugar 7g8th%

protein 15g30%

Vitamin A. 984IU20%

Vitamin B1 (thiamine) 1 mg67%

Vitamin B2 (riboflavin) 1 mg59%

Vitamin B3 (niacin) 1 mg5%

Vitamin B6 1 mg50%

Vitamin B12 1 µg17%

vitamin C 20 mg24%

Vitamin D 1 µg7%

Vitamin E. 4 mg27%

Vitamin K. 9 µg9%

calcium 485 mg49%

Vitamin B9 (folic acid) 33 ug8th%

iron 1 mg6%

magnesium 30 mg8th%

phosphorus 67 mg7%

zinc 1 mg7%

* Daily percentages are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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This recipe post by paneer do pyaza from the blog archive (October 2014) was republished and updated on February 5, 2021.

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