Tawa Paneer. Delicious paneer or Indian-style cottage cheese dish that is cooked in onions and a smooth makhani sauce. It is so good with parathas or naan.

Paneer is basically Indian style cottage cheese. Curdling milk leads to paneer. A sour agent like vinegar/ lemon juice is added to boiling milk to make paneer. One can easily make paneer at home. For the sake of convenience, most of us purchase from the store. Fresh paneer is easily available at stores in India; while outside we buy frozen/ packed paneer.

Paneer is a rich source of protein for vegetarians. Becuase it is so neutral, it is easy to play around with spices and flavors, and create a delicious curry base for the paneer. Most common dishes prepared using paneer are matar paneer, shahi paneer, paneer butter masala and paneer bhurji among others. Malai kofta is another decadent peparation during weddings and celebrations.

Tawa Paneer

Paneer in India goes back in time. It is one of the most loved vegetarian side dishes. One can cook so many different combinations of paneer. The essence of a good paneer dish lies in the sauce/ gravy/ base. The most common is an onion tomatoe masala that we cook in ghee along with spices and paneer added thereafter. The paneer chunks soak up the masala and the end result is a beautiful dish for you to scoop into your ghee rotis or parathas.

In this Tawa Paneer, I have added an extra step of making a makhani sauce separately. We usually make a makhani sauce for butter chicken but it works so well here. The steps to a detailed makhani sauce are in the recipe below. I do not use a lot of ground spices here because they tend to overpower the final dish. Feel free to add some bell peppers or frozen green peas here if you like your veggies.

We hope that you will make and ejoy this delicious version of tawa panee aling with ghee rotis/ naan and parathas. Happy Cooking!

Tawa Paneer

Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 4 people
Tawa Paneer. A delicious paneer or Indian style cottage cheese dish that is cooked in onions and a smooth makhani sauce. So good with parathas.


For the Makhni Gravy

  • 2+1 tbsp Butter
  • 5 Red tomatoes chopped roughly
  • 2 Smashed garlic cloves
  • ½ Inch Piece of ginger
  • 1 Green chili
  • 1 tbsp Kashmiri Red Chili powder
  • 2 Cloves
  • 2 Green cardamoms
  • 10 Soaked and peeled almonds
  • 1 tsp Brown sugar/ honey
  • 2 cups Water

For the Tawa Paneer

  • 400 gm Paneer
  • 2 tbsp Ghee
  • 1 tsp Ajwain (carom seeds)
  • 2 Red onions, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp Ginger-garlic-green chili coarse paste
  • 1 tsp Kashmiri Red Chili powder
  • 1 tbsp Coriander powder
  • ¼ tsp Garam masala powder
  • ½ cup Chopped green coriander leaves
  • Salt (to taste)


Makhni Gravy

  • Heat a pan with 2 tbsp butter and add 4-5 roughly chopped red tomatoes, 2 smashed garlic cloves, a small piece of grated ginger and 1 chopped green chilli.
  • Add 1 tsp Kashmiri chili powder, 2 cloves, 2 cardamoms, 8/10 soaked & peeled almonds, 2 cups of water and let this simmer for 15-20 minutes.
  • Once the tomatoes are cooked well, remove the cloves and cardamom.
  • Cool and blend into a purée. 
  • Strain and simmer the purée in a pan again with 1 tsp brown sugar/ honey and 1 tbsp butter for about 5 minutes and remove. 

Tawa Paneer

  • I used 400gm Paneer here, and cut into medium sized cubes.
  • Place them in warm water for 15 min before tossing into the pan.
  • In a kadhai/ heavy tawa/ skillet, heat 2 tbsp ghee (preferably).
  • Add 1 tsp ajwain and once they crackle, add 2 large red onions finely chopped along with 2 tbsp ginger-garlic-green chilies coarsely ground. 
  • Sauté them on medium flame until cooked well and light brown.
  • Add 1 tsp Kashmiri red chili powder and 1 tbsp coriander powder. Mix and add the paneer cubes. Mix well for a couple of minutes. 
  • Now add a cup of the makhni gravy and keep sautéing gently until the paneer gets coated well and masala gets thicker.
  • Add salt to taste. Mix gently.
  • Add a pinch of garam masala, fresh coriander leaves and serve hot. 
  • This paneer is so good with hot ghee rotis and parathas.
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Indian
Keyword: Cottage cheese, Paneer, Tawa Paneer, Vegetarian

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