Sana thongba | Manipuri Paneer Curry

Manipur, one of the north-east state of Indian subcontinent is full of natural beauty and its cuisine, Manipuri Cuisine is equally alluring. The food of Manipur is considered to be very healthy. Their preparations are simple, yet tasty. Most of the ingredients they use are organic which again contributes to the health factor.  Dishes are typically tasted as spicy foods that use mostly chili pepper rather than garam masala. The people of Manipur like to maintain a kitchen garden where they grow several flavoured herbs and roots that are exclusive to this region, hence the organic food leads to healthier options for them. A lot of Manipuri dishes like Aloo Kangmet, Sana thongba (paneer curry), Chana Kanghou, Chak angouba (fried rice), Nga-thongba (fish curry), Ooti etc are not hard to prepare atall and these can please any age group.

Well the first month of this new year comes to an end. And the January month we the ‘Shhhhh Cooking Secretly Challenge‘ group has decided to go for ‘Manipuri cuisine’. For this theme, my partner was Anu Kollan who gave me 2 secret ingredients as Paneer and Cumin seeds and I gave her as Black rice and Salt. As usual, using mine two ingredients I had to prepare a dish from Manipuri cuisine. So I have come up with the most popular paneer curry from that cuisine as ‘Sana Thongba‘ using these two ingredients. 

 Shhhhh Cooking Secretly Challenge

In manipuri language, the paneer is named as Sana. Sana thongba / manipuri paneer curry is so much simple yet very tasty curry. This is one of the most popular vegetarian dish in the traditional Manipuri vegetarian feast (belongs to Meitei community)called Ushop. This paneer dish has minimal number of spices like only turmeric powder, cumin seeds and so quick to prepare as well. It goes very well with steamed rice, poori / roti. The pleasantly beautiful yellow color of the curry is particularly from the turmeric and milk in it. The spicy factor I have not added anything as my boy’s favorite dish is this. But some finely chopped green chilies can be added at the end while adding some chopped coriander leaves. So do try when your pantry has some paneer 🙂

Recipe Card for ‘ Sana thongba’ :

Manipuri Cuisine

Author: SasmitaPin it

Sana Thongba / Manipuri Paneer Curry

a simple yet flavorful paneer dish from Manipuri cuisine

prep time: 15 minscook time: 20 minstotal time: 35 mins


  • Paneer (sana)(cut into 1 inch cube)   200 gm
  • Potato (medium) (chopped into 1 inch size)   1 no.
  • Green pea (fresh)   1/2 cup
  • Milk   1 cup
  • Onion (medium) (finely sliced)   1 no.
  • Ginger garlic paste   1/2 tsp
  • Cumin seed   1/2 tbsp
  • Turmeric powder   1 tsp
  • Mustard oil   1 tbsp
  • Coriander leaves (finely chopped)   2 tbsp
  • Salt   as needed
  • Water   as needed


  1. First heat mustard oil in a pan.
  2. Add in cumin seeds and allow to crackle.
  3. Then add onion slices and saute till translucent.
  4. Add ginger garlic paste and fry till raw aroma goes away.
  5. Next put the potato pieces, green peas and fry for 1-2 minutes.
  6. Then add paneer / sana cubes and fry gently till paneer cubes start looking golden brown.
  7. Sprinkle turmeric powder, salt and mix everything well gently.
  8. Fry for 1 minute more and then pour 1/3rd cup water.
  9. Cover the pan with a lid and allow to cook till potato pieces are done.
  10. Next add milk and allow to boil.
  11. When the boiling starts, immediately turn off heat.
  12. Sprinkle some chopped coriander leaves and serve hot along with steamed rice !


If fresh peas are not available then use the fozen ones. Also the dried green peas can be used after boiling.            
If spiciness desired, the some chopped green chilies can be added along with coriander leaves.

If you tried my recipe and enjoyed fully, then please share some pictures of your creation with me. Also kindly give your valuable feedback either in the comment box below or tag me as #firsttimercook  on Instagram. You may also follow me on   FacebookPinterestTwitterGoogle+,   Instagram and can subscribe for free to get new recipes directly into your inbox 😊

PIN for later :



Hey there !

Myself Sasmita, a techie turns to a food blogger which is reflected in this space.

Recommended Recipes


  1. Lathiya

    I'm loving this paneer curry..looks so delicious with potato ,peas and paneer. The addition of milk makes it more rich

  2. Priya Iyer

    The Sana Thongba looks absolutely delicious! I am always looking for new ways to cook paneer, and I think I need to try out this Manipuri style. 🙂

  3. Sujata Roy

    Paneer curry looks so inviting. Loved the colour. Superb click Sasmita.

  4. Ashima

    I love the simplicity of Manipuri cuisine. Thank you for sharing this delicious recipe. I've never combined paneer and potato in a curry. Kind of like them both individually but I'm sure they make a nice combination in the curry.

  5. Aruna

    This is such a different Paneer recipe and will be a welcome addition to my collection of paneer recipes. I loved the colour of your dish and that is the first thing that caught my eye.

  6. Vidya Narayan

    The Milk gravy certainly would have added some sweetness to the dish and making it naturally creamy. I am sure kids would love this for sure. Lovely paneer recipe.

  7. veena

    I never knew manipuri cuisine used paneer until i researched for this challenge. The colour of this curry looks amazing. I need to make this coon for my paneer loving family

  8. Sujata Shukla

    Paneer, Potato and Green peas. Now why haven't I thought of this combination before? It has everything I look for in a recipe – different textures, colour, flavour. The milk was a surprise though, and Im keen to make the Sana Thongba and feel for myself the richness of the gravy and the taste, with these unusual bedfellows.

  9. Mayuri Patel

    A wonderful combination of three main ingredients, peas, potato and paneer. A different way to make paneer curry from the usual.

  10. cookwithrenu

    Same pinch, I too made Paneer Thongba, but did not add potatoes. Would love to try your version too. It looks delicious with hot rice.

  11. Anu

    Such a subtle paneer peas curry with no masala powder. I am sure my family will love this version. Going to give it a try.

  12. Poonam Bachhav

    Cooking the paneer curry in milk must have lended a creamy texture and sweet taste to the dish. Loved the color as well !

  13. Pavani

    Paneer,peas,potato in one curry is a lovely combo.It looks delicious and beautiful presentation..

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *