Wondering what to make for dinner tonight? Put this paneer onion masala stir-fry on the menu!
This paneer recipe takes no time at all as long as you’ve got some pre-made onion masala handy! I tell ya, that stuff is magic sauce. You can make so many things with it! And this paneer onion masala stir-fry has to be on your list of things to make!
This dry paneer dish is part of my Onion Masala series where I share recipes that call for exact amounts of onion masala, which you can make in bulk in advance. Having this masala ready to go makes it so easy to cook Indian meals! I’m talking minutes. It’s meal prepping at it’s finest!
Click on the image below to find out how to make onion masala, how to store it and to find other recipes that call for it.
Using onion masala in this tawa paneer (stovetop paneer) recipe cuts down cook time significantly because there’s no need to cook down tomatoes/onions. You just add the onion and tomato masala to the pan along with some spices and green bell pepper. Just look at how the masala clings onto the paneer:
I shared another paneer recipe not too long ago also calling for onion masala: paneer makhani. Even though that paneer dish also called for onion masala, the flavor couldn’t be more different from this recipe. That paneer is soaked in a creamy cashew sauce while this one is coated with a spiced onion masala sauce and is more of a stir-fry type of dish.
You can definitely add more onion masala to this if you prefer a saucier dish. That’s the beauty of onion masala, since it’s already cooked you can add it to the end of a recipe according to your preference. If you wanted to, you could add more onion masala and a bit of water to make a paneer curry. Or you can leave it dry as I’ve done here and serve it with roti or masala roti (I used my rotimatic to make roti – you can read my review of the rotimatic here + how to get a discount).
- 1 (14 ounce) block paneer, chopped into small rectangles/pieces
- 2 tablespoons oil
- ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
- ¾ teaspoon salt, adjust to taste
- ½ teaspoon garam masala
- ½ teaspoon roasted cumin powder*
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ¼ cayenne
- Add the oil to a sauté pan over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add the cumin seeds and when they turn brown, reduce the heat to low and add the paneer. Stir-fry the paneer for 1-2 minutes then add the spices and mix well.
- Add the bell pepper and onion masala and cook until the onion masala coats the paneer (you can increase the heat to speed up this process).
- Roasted cumin powder is highly aromatic and has a more intense flavor than regular (unroasted) cumin. Do not substitute this with regular cumin as you won’t get the right favor.
- To make roasted cumin powder: heat a skillet over low heat and dry roast cumin seeds (I usually do 1 cup) for 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally until the color of the cumin changes to a dark brown. Turn off the heat and allow the cumin seeds to cool down. Place the cumin into a spice grinder and blend until smooth. Store in an airtight jar and use within 6-8 months for the most flavor.
- This recipe is part of my onion masala series – be sure to check it out!
- If you prefer a saucier paneer dish, you can add more onion masala.
- If using homemade paneer you will want to stir-fry it for less time as it’s more gentle compared to store-bought.