Cast Iron

Paneer Bhurji with Tawa Toast (Scrambled Paneer with ButteredĀ Toast)

March 20, 2014
4 Ratings
Photo by James Ransom
  • Serves 4
Author Notes

The inspiration for this recipe came to me when two of my Facebook friends posted delicious-looking photos of eggs with potatoes and crushed potato chips. While I'm not really a fan of savory egg dishes (I only recently started using eggs in my recipes, aside from cakes and cookies), I'm quite fond of the concept of piling up a savory mound of scrambled protein with vegetables for a hearty brunch. So instead of eggs, I made myself some paneer and, when coupled with some toast and freshly-squeezed orange juice, it was bliss.

Two tips about the toast:
1. Don't bother with a toaster: The defining characteristic of this toast is the perfect crisp on one side and the ultra-soft other side, which can only be achieved in a cast iron griddle.
2. Try not to use store-bought white bread: The presence of the acetic acid and other preservatives detract from the simplicity and flavor of the bread and butter experience. Look for artisan french bread loaves like Pain de Campagne. —Panfusine

Test Kitchen Notes

WHO: Panfusine is the author of a blog of the same name that features primarily vegetarian, Indian-fusion dishes.
WHAT: A spicy Indian scramble that's a protein-packed alternative to scrambled eggs.
HOW: Pan-fry spices, ginger, and hot pepper, then add in crumbled paneer, tomatoes, and garam masala. Cook until the paneer is crispy, then garnish with cilantro and serve on top of buttery toast.
WHY WE LOVE IT: This dish is perfect for Sunday mornings when you're craving a satisfying but easy dish. The entire process, which takes about 15 minutes, incorporates some of our favorite Indian flavors like garam masala and cumin. Consider skipping your morning coffee and adding more serrano if you're in need of a jolt -- this dish can pack a punch. —The Editors

What You'll Need
  • For the paneer bhurji (scrambled paneer):
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 tablespoon crushed coriander seeds
  • 1/2 tablespoon crushed cumin seeds
  • 1 tablespoon shredded ginger root
  • 1 to 2 serrano peppers, finely chopped (adjust to taste)
  • 1 cup finely diced shallots
  • 1 cup finely diced red bell peppers, or any sweet pepper
  • 1/2 cup diced tomatoes
  • 1 14- ounces block paneer cheese, crumbled
  • 1/2 teaspoon garam masala (Indian spice mixture)
  • 1 pinch salt, plus more to taste
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro, finely chopped, to serve
  • For the tawa toast (buttered toast):
  • 8 slices artisan white bread
  • 1/2 to 1 cups good quality salted butter, softened, to serve
  1. For the paneer bhurji (scrambled paneer):
  2. Heat the oil in a large frying pan and fry the cumin and coriander until they emit an aroma. Add the ginger and serrano peppers, give the pan a good swirl, and add the shallots and cook until they become translucent.
  3. Add the sweet peppers and tomatoes and cook until the tomatoes soften. Add in the crumbled paneer, garam masala, and salt. Stir, lower the heat, cover, and allow to cook for another 10 minutes.
  4. Uncover and check to see how much moisture the crumbled paneer still retains. If it looks soggy, increase the heat and evaporate the excess moisture.
  5. Transfer to a serving dish, garnish with cilantro, and make the tawa toast.
  1. For the tawa toast (buttered toast):
  2. Butter each of the eight slices on one side.
  3. Heat the cast iron griddle. Place the slices of bread, buttered side down, on the griddle and toast until the buttered side is golden brown.
  4. Serve the toast with the warm paneer bhurji. The dish tends to get hard when it gets cold, so enjoy it immediately.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Panfusine
  • AntoniaJames
  • Bevi
  • Mrs mazhar
    Mrs mazhar
A biomedical engineer/ neuroscientist by training, currently a mommy blogger on a quest for all things food - Indian Palate, Global perspective!

9 Reviews

Mrs M. June 6, 2017
Kindly tell me how much is 114 ounces of cottage cheese in cups ??
inflytur October 24, 2019
I believe it should be read as 1 (one) 14 ounce (by weight) block of paneer.
Panfusine February 9, 2015
Wow, Thank you so much for the Wildcard pick Food52. Made my day!
AntoniaJames February 9, 2015
Congratulations, Panfusine! ;o)
Panfusine February 9, 2015
Thanks AJ!
Bevi February 9, 2015
Great! Congrats P!
Panfusine February 9, 2015
Thanks so much Bevi for first telling me about the wildcard pick!
AntoniaJames March 20, 2014
Just sent this to my son as a great weeknight dinner idea. (He usually works late, yet tries hard to eat dinner at home, so this looks perfect. He'll love it!) ;o)
Panfusine March 21, 2014
Thanks AntoniaJames. this is indeed a lovely comfort food, very satisfying.