Paneer tamatar ki subzi is a nutritious and tasty example of how versatile Indian cooking can be. Whether you were born and raised on the subcontinent or exploring Indian cuisine for the first time, this dish offers you a flavorful introduction that’s easy to make at home. Learn how to substitute your own favorite ingredients in this vegetarian dish.
What is Paneer Tamatar Ki Subzi?
Paneer tamatar ki subzi is an amalgam of tasty tomato gravy and Indian cottage cheese. This can be your quick go-to recipe for lunch or dinner.
The main ingredient, paneer, has a history that’s centuries old and may predate written history. It appeared in written records from 6000 BC, but is suspected to be much older than that. Invaders from Iran and Afghanistan probably introduced it to India.
Tomatoes gravy is used in many Indian dishes, but tomatoes aren’t native to the country and traveled around the world to get there. Originally from South America, tomatoes were first introduced to Europe by Spanish explorers in the 16th century. They became prevalent throughout Europe and the Middle East and probably made their way to India via merchants and traders.
How to Make Paneer Tamatar
With just a few main ingredients and spices and simple instructions, this paneer tamatar ki subzi recipe may soon become a favorite in your home.
- 2 Tomatoes
- 400 grams of cubed paneer
- 1 tsp minced ginger
- 1 Tbsp ghee (clarified butter from cow or water buffalo)
- 1 tsp minced green chilies – optional
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- Wash the tomatoes and puree them. Heat a pan and add the ghee.
- Add in the cumin and cook until it crackles. Then, add the ginger and green chilies and cook until they become fragrant.
- Put the pureed tomatoes and salt in the pan and stir it for a few minutes.
- Add some water and cover the pan, letting it cook 5-10 minutes on low.
- Add in the paneer pieces and let the mixture boil.
- Serve the dish with paratha or chapati.
Here are just a few ideas to try different styles of this dish.
Tamatar Chaman is another kind of paneer dish made in a tangy tomato gravy. It’s a popular Kashmiri Muslim dish with very little onion or garlic. Here, you fry the paneer blocks in mustard oil and dunk them in tomato gravy laced with fennel seeds and dry ginger to add zing. It too has few ingredients but is lovely served with steamed rice.
Paneer Tomato Curry
Paneer tomato curry is another variation that switches up the spices. If you don’t like paneer or want to try a vegan version, use tofu or garbanzo beans instead. If you are eating paleo, try fresh shrimp for the protein.
Paneer Tomato Peas
Paneer tomato peas calls for fresh and crushed tomatoes instead of tomato gravy, and the peas add vivid color for an appealing presentation.
Paneer Tamatar Spread
In India, families often made sandwiches out of leftover paneer tamatar. This recipe creates a spread that’s bread-friendly for those looking for an alternative to lunch meat or peanut butter and jelly.
You can add cashews, tofu or garbanzos in place of or in addition to the paneer for your own variation. An onion tomato gravy can also be substituted in and adds more texture and heat to the dish.
Indian cuisine is geared towards vegetarianism. Staples like rice, whole wheat flour and legumes are served with dishes steeped in a variety of spices, like garlic ginger, garam masala and chili peppers. It’s a melting pot that shows off the country’s rich history — and paneer tamatar ki subzi is a perfect example of the successful fusion of the region’s diverse cultures.