Paneer dopyaza is my vegetarian take on the quintessential Indian dish chicken dopyaza and not surprisingly this turned out to be equally captivating!
Paneer dopyaza could very well be a classic recipe just like chicken dopyaza, but for some unknown reason I don’t think it has got its due respect which it deserves. It is really another gem from the Indian heritage of curries and I can’t stress enough how good it turned out to be. As you can see in the video below, it is childishly easy to make with very few spices to remember.
Paneer dopyaza is a dish full of freshness which is what I like most. It is definitely not as spicy as kadhai paneer nor as mild as palak paneer – it is somewhat in the middle and that makes it very unique. The name ‘dopyaza‘ is basically a combo of two words – ‘do’ means ‘two’ or in this case ‘double’ and ‘pyaza‘ means ‘oniony’ if that’s even a legit word!
This paneer dopyaza is majorly flavored with onions; the sweetness of onions mingles with the gravy and the spiciness of green chillies compliment it perfectly. I love this sweet and spicy combination. You can play up or down with the green chillies depending on how hot your chillies are. Onion is added into paneer dopyaza in 2 ways – onion paste which makes the base of the gravy and caramelized onion sprinkled on top for the sweet crunch.
Onions in 2 ways gave the name to the dish – paneer dopyaza! Same goes with chicken dopyaza. You can check out my recipe of chicken dopyaza if you are as fond of chicken as us. The bell pepper in this curry adds more crunch which suits the soft and succulent cubes of paneer perfectly. I would suggest to use green bell pepper as it has more crunch but I used yellow since I was out of stock with green ones.
After sharing many recipes of paneer, I have somewhat started to feel that I might get out of options with paneer. I would be really happy if you guys can suggest me some new things to try out with paneer. I believe I haven’t tried enough kebabs or grills with paneer which I should definitely give a thought to. Scrumptious lehsooni paneer tikka was the last and the best panner tikka which I made till date.
While I plan for some grilled paneer recipes, you guys enjoy this flavorful paneer dopyaza. I promise to be back with an array of lip-smacking paneer kebabs pretty soon; even you guys can send me some suggestions what you want to see, I would love to be at your service! That’s all for now folks! Enjoy paneer dopyaza and I will see you soon!
- Paneer / cottage cheese – 200 gms
- Bell pepper – 1 (green/yellow/red)
- Onion – 3 large
- Vegetable oil – 4 tbsp
- Cumin seeds – ½ tsp
- Onion paste – 1 cup
- Ginger paste – ½ tbsp
- Garlic paste – ½ tbsp
- Homemade tomato puree – 1 cup (use ½ cup if using the store-bought puree)
- Turmeric powder – ½ tsp
- Coriander powder – 1 & ½ tsp
- Garam masala – ½ tsp
- Green chilli – 2 or more
- Sugar – 1 tsp
- Salt to taste
- Fresh coriander leaves to garnish
- Cut paneer into ½ inch cubes. Soak paneer cubes in boiling water to keep them soft until needed.
- Cut bell pepper into 1 inch square pieces. Cut onions into 1 inch square pieces and separate the scales.
- Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a skillet. Add the cut onion pieces and sauté them for 5 to 8 minutes on medium heat until they start to brown on the edges. Season them lightly with pinch of salt. Set aside in a bowl.
- Add one more tablespoon of oil into the skillet. Add the bell pepper and sauté until little soft for about 5 minutes. Lightly season them too with pinch of salt. Set aside in a bowl.
- Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil to the skillet and tip in the cumin seeds. Let the cumin seeds crackle and become fragrant.
- Then add the onion paste and sauté for 5 minutes until all the liquid evaporates. Then add the ginger and garlic paste. Sauté for 8 to 10 minutes on medium until the onion mixture is golden brown and oil starts to separate.
- Add the tomato puree and stir to mix well. Add the turmeric powder, coriander powder and salt to taste and sauté for 2 minutes.
- Then add the green chilli, garam masala and sugar and cook until the raw smell of tomato is gone and all the liquid is absorbed.
- Add 1 & ½ cups of water and stir to mix everything very well. Let the gravy come to a boil.
- Then add the sautéed bell peppers and soaked paneer cubes after draining the water. Stir well and let the gravy come to boil again.
- Then cover and simmer the gravy for 6 to 8 minutes until all the flavors merge together. After about 8 to 10 minutes, uncover and add the sautéed onions. Check and adjust the seasoning if needed.
- Add freshly chopped coriander leaves and serve hot with chapatti or naan.