Paneer do pyaza is a rich and creamy curry of sweet succulent paneer and lots of onions in a wonderful blend of spices, herbs and tomatoes. Try this tasty and absolutely delicious paneer recipe with restaurant style flavors from Mughlai cuisine. I am sure you will love it.
What is Do Pyaza?
The word “Do” means double or two and “Pyaza” means onions. This means that the onions are added twice in the recipe or double the amount of onion is included.
There is another interesting anecdote about this dish. That of Emperor Akbar’s courtier, Mullah Do Piyaza, unexpectedly created this recipe by adding a large amount of onions to a meat dish. I wonder if this story is true or not.
But if you look at the words, “do pyaza”, it literally means two onions or double the onions.
Do pyaza recipes are usually made with meat. But my recipe is a vegetarian version of do pyaza as I made it with paneer.
In this particular recipe, the onions are doubled and added twice at two different stages of cooking.
So basically there is a huge amount of onions in this dish. This dish is for onion lovers.
About this recipe
In this delicious paneer do pyaza recipe, first finely chopped onions are sautéed to make a sauce that is sweet and tasty. Sautéed and blanched onion cubes later are mixed.
The blanched onions offer a nice crunch, unlike the creamy sauce with the cubes melted in your mouth.
This paneer do pyaza recipe is not spicy at all and obviously has some sweet notes due to the amount of onions included.
The crème fraîche makes the sauce rich and smooth while beautifully balancing the flavor of the tomatoes.
Fans of creamy, mild and less spicy dishes will love this paneer do pyaza. But as you prefer, you can increase the spices and heat in the dish by adding a little red chili powder or cayenne pepper.
Paneer do pyaza can also be served as a starter or as an accompaniment to a North Indian meal.
This is one of those recipes that can be easily doubled or tripled and will be good for Diwali parties or small gatherings.
I adapted this recipe from the book “100 Great Indian Recipes” by Master Chefs Of India.
Also Read: Shahi Paneer
How to make Paneer Do Pyaza
Blanch the onions and tomatoes
1. Blanch 2 medium onions and 2 medium whole tomatoes in hot water in half or in quarters. For this method, first heat the water, if needed, in a saucepan until it begins to boil.
Add 2 small to medium onions halved or quartered (75 to 80 grams) and 2 small to medium tomatoes (75 to 80 grams) in hot water. Let them cook for a minute or two. Then turn off the heating.
Cover the pot and let the onions and tomatoes blanch in hot water for about 20 to 25 minutes.
2. Drain and once the onions have cooled, separate the different onion layers and set aside. For large onion layers, chop them in half.
Sauté blanched onions
3. Heat 2 teaspoons of butter in a saucepan. Add the onion layers and sauté until lightly browned around the edges.
TIP: Both salted and unsalted butter are fine. You can also use ghee or oil instead of butter.
4. Set them aside.
Chop fresh onions and blanched tomatoes
5. Peel the skin of the blanched tomatoes and chop them finely. Peel, rinse and finely chop two small onions of medium size (75 to 80 grams).
If you measure out, you will end up with about ½ cup of finely chopped tomatoes and about ½ to ⅔ cup of finely chopped onions.
Sauté spices and onions
6. In the same pan, heat 1.5 tablespoons of oil.
Add the whole spices listed below. Sauté the spices for a few seconds until they are aromatic.
- 1 inch of cinnamon (real cinnamon, not cassia cinnamon)
- 3 green cardamoms
- 2 to 3 cloves
- 1 single strand of mass
- 1 medium or 2 small tej patta
- 2 to 3 dry red chillies (if you prefer seeds can be removed)
7. Add ½ to ⅔ cup finely chopped onion.
8. Stir and brown the onions, stirring often, until they turn golden. Take care that they are not burnt, so you should stir them often and not leave them unattended.
Sauté tomatoes and ground spices
9. Add the finely chopped blanched tomatoes and mix thoroughly.
10. Then add ½ teaspoon of ginger and garlic paste. Mix and stir the masala mixture very well and sauté over low heat until the oil begins to come off the sides. The tomatoes should soften and be completely cooked.
TIP 1: To make a quick ginger and garlic paste (which I always do), simply crush ½ inch of ginger and 2 small cloves of garlic in a mortar and pestle.
TIP 2: If the tomatoes stick to the pan, add a few splash of water. Mix well and deglaze, removing any stuck pieces or ingredients. Continue to sauté.
11. Add your ground spices
- ½ teaspoon ground coriander
- ½ teaspoon of cumin powder
- ¼ teaspoon of turmeric powder
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper powder
- 2 pinches of grated nutmeg or nutmeg powder
- ¼ teaspoon garam masala powder
TIP: You can also add red chili powder for a little color and a little warmth. Include about ¼ to ½ teaspoon of red chili powder or cayenne pepper, depending on your taste.
12. Mix and mix the ground spices with the sautéed onions and tomatoes.
Making Paneer Do Pyaza
13. Add the blanched and sautéed onion layers. Mix and sauté for 2 minutes.
14. Now add paneer cubes (250 grams). I recommend adding the homemade Paneer for taste and texture.
15. Season with salt and mix everything gently but carefully.
16. Add ¼ cup light cream or low fat cream.
TIP: If you have heavy cream or whipping cream, add 2 tablespoons of either.
17. Mix gently and cook for one minute.
18. Garnish with 1 to 2 tablespoons of coriander leaves (cilantro) and 1 teaspoon of ginger julienne or 1 tablespoon of grated paneer.
Serve the paneer do pyaza hot or warm.