Bhuna means roasting. It is first and foremost a cooking process where spices are gently fried in plenty of oil to bring out their flavor. The restaurant type Bhuna is a well spiced curry with a thick sauce. It is often garnished with fried green peppers and shredded onions. Usually medium, the dish becomes tasty depends on how much we roast the masala. The taste, color and the flavor would change. I tasted a Bhuna dish in a restaurant and decided to try and make it at home. It turned out very good tasty dish even in the first attempt. Let us see how I made it at home.
Paneer (Indian Cottage Cheese) – 200 Gms
Finely Chopped Onion – 1 cup
Oil – 3 tbsp
Bay Leaves – 2
Cumin Seeds – ¾ tsp
Green Cardamom – 4
Sugar – 1 tsp
Green Chillies – 4 (finely chopped)
Finely Chopped Garlic – 2 tbsp
Dried Red Chillies – 2 (broken)
Salt – to suit one’s taste
Coriander Seed Powder – 1 tsp
Red Chilli Powder – ¼ tsp
Black Pepper Powder – ¾ tsp
Turmeric Powder – 1/8 tsp
Medium sized Capsicum – 1 (very finely chopped)
Finely chopped Coriander Leaves – 2 tbsp
Medium sized Tomatoes – 4
Garam Masala – ½ tsp
Cilantro – for garnishing
Onions should be chopped very finely for this recipe. I did it with a vegetable chopper. You can do it in food processor. You can grate them also.
Grate the Paneer to get 4 tbsp of Grated Paneer. Cut the balance Paneer into cubes.
Crush the Tomatoes into a fine puree.
Heat the Oil in a pan. Add Bay Leaves, Green Cardamom and the Cumin Seeds. When the Cumin Seeds start fluttering, add the Onions and sauté for 2 minutes. Add Sugar and little Salt. Cook till the Onion turns golden.
Add the Green Chillies, Garlic and Red Chillies. Roast those 3 to 4 minutes in low medium flame. (Do not allow them to get burnt).
Now, add Salt, Coriander Seed Powder, Red Chilli Powder, Pepper Powder, Turmeric Powder, finely chopped Capsicum and Cilantro. Mix well. Add 2 to 3 tbsp of water and cook for 4 to 5 minutes.
Add the Tomato Puree. Cook till the Masala turns thicker.
Add 1 ½ cup of water. Cook for 4 to 5 minutes covered with a lid in medium flame.
Add the Paneer Cubes, Grated Paneer, Garam Masala and ½ cup of water. Mix them very well gently. Cover with a lid and cook for 3 to 4 minutes in low medium flame. Transfer to a serving bowl.
Garnish with Cilantro.
The tasty Bhuna Masala is ready. You can find Paneer Bhuna Masala in almost all the restaurant’s menu. Now, it can find its place in your menu also. It goes well with Jeera Rice, Roti, Nan, all Indian Flat Breads.
I added Sugar to Caramelize the Onion so that it will not add sweetness to the dish. So, do not miss this step.
2. The secret lies in how long you roast the Masala, but ensure that you roast it so carefully that you do not burn the masala.