About this dish
Bhurji in Hindi means scramble. This dish essentially consists of fresh paneer, scrambled together with a spicy and tangy tomato-onion masala.
The recipe is two-fold. Not only will you learn to make a versatile Paneer Bhurji but also make fresh paneer from scratch.
This is a great recipe because this bhurji can be eaten with roti, parathas or as a filling for sandwiches, puff pastry, wraps, samosas and the list goes on. The paneer you make from this recipe can also be used for various other dishes both for Indian and other cuisines. This fresh paneer together with potatoes forms the basis of the filling in Malai Koftas and the stuffing for paneer parathas and kulchas.
In addition to Indian dishes, we also use this fresh cheese as one would ricotta when making ricotta and spinach ravioli or mixed together with chives and chilli flakes as a bread spread. The possibilities are endless.
- 2 litres full-fat milk
- 2 tsp white table vinegar or juice of 1/2 lemon
- muslin cloth and strainer setup
- 1 tbsp ghee
- 270g or 2 medium onions
- 200g or 2 tomatoes
- 1 tbsp ginger garlic paste
- 2 green chillies
- 1 tsp garam masala
- 1/2 tsp turmeric
- 1/2 tsp kashmiri chilli powder
- 1 tsp coriander seed powder
- 1 tsp kasoori methi
- 1/4 cup yoghurt
- 10-12 sprigs coriander
This recipe is made with fresh paneer. It's much easier to prepare than it sounds and if you've never made cheese before, this is the best place to start. All you need is milk and some sort of acid. The preparation time for this paneer is just as long as it will take you to bring the milk to a simmer, from there on, it's just a matter of seconds till you have your fresh paneer.
If you are feeling lazy, you can always crumble store-bought paneer, but fresh homemade paneer is often superior in terms of texture and not as rubbery.
- Before adding the milk add a tablespoon of water to the pot. This prevents the milk from sticking. In a large pot on low heat, bring 2 litres of milk to a simmer**.**
- Stir the milk occasionally to prevent it from sticking to the bottom. You need to keep an eye on it to make sure that it doesn't boil over.
- Once the milk comes to a simmer, add the vinegar (or whatever form of acid you are using - lemon juice or sour yoghurt) to the hot milk and stir. The milk should immediately begin to curdle - you will see the milk solids separating from the whey. If the milk doesn't curdle gradually add a little more acid till it does.
- Once the whey is relatively clear and no longer looks cloudy, you can turn off the heat and pour the mixture into a large bowl that's fitted with a colander and muslin cloth. Alternately, you can also use a sieve to collect the cheese.
- Separate the cheese curds from the whey and set aside while you prepare the masala. The remaning liquid (whey) is high in protein and can be used in many ways. Some ideas below in notes.
For this recipe, we are using fresh paneer which doesn't have to be set. So the paneer scramble you are left with, is exactly what you're looking for.
If you were, however, making a dish that calls for cubes of paneer, then you would need to hang the paneer in a muslin cloth or press it together with the help of a heavyweight in order for it to form a block of cheese. We will share more on that in another recipe video in the future.
This savoury and tangy tomato-onion masala is what flavours our paneer. You could also make this exact same masala and instead of paneer, add some 4-5 eggs instead to make Anda Bhurji (Punjabi style scrambeled eggs), however, in that case, leave out the yoghurt that we add at the end.
- Roughly chop the onions and tomatoes in cubes. Finely slice the green chillies and coriander.
- Add the ghee to a hot pan and once the ghee is hot, add the cumin seeds. Wait for them to pop and crackle. Then add the chopped onions.
- Once the onions have softened, add in the green chillies and ginger-garlic paste. Fry till the ginger and garlic are well roasted and no longer smell raw.
- Next, add in the coriander powder and turmeric. Briefly roast the spices to release their aromas and then add in the chopped tomatoes and salt.
- Once the tomatoes are cooked through, but still juicy, add the paneer, followed by the garam masala, kasoori methi and the red chilli powder. Mix well till everything is combined and the paneer is well coated with the masala.
- Turn off the heat, add the whisked yoghurt, coriander leaves and mix well to combine. The yoghurt adds a nice creaminess and tang to the bhurji and should be added once the heat is turned off.
Serve with roti, paranthas, or Amritsari style with slices of 'double roti' aka plain white bread. Our favourite way to eat this bhurji is between slices of toasted bread, or if you have one of those sandwich makers, even better. It's India's take on the classic grilled cheese toast! Perfect with a side of green chutney and ketchup. :)
This recipe calls for 2 liters of milk and yield about 250g of paneer. The by-product of making this paneer is a considerable amount of whey, usually around 1.5 liters or so. This protein rich sour liquid shouldn't be thrown away. It can be used to enrich many dishes with nutrients and more flavour. Here are some ways that we like to use whey:
- to make a softer dough for rotis and parathas just replace the water with whey, in fact you can use for any bread from brioche buns, pav or even your sourdough bread
- use it in place or water or stock in dals, stews and soups
- use it as a liquid for cooking rice, pasta, noodles or potatoes
It stores well in the fridge for a few weeks so make sure you bottle it up for later use.