Manipuri Paneer Curry – Sana Thongba

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Last Updated on June 8, 2023 by Chef Mireille

Manipuri Paneer Curry – Sana Thongba – This Vegetarian curry from one of India’s northeastern 7 sister states makes a great dinner option for Meatless Monday.

Manipuri Paneer Curry - Sana Thongba

Today I am taking you to one of the northeastern Indian states, one of the seven states affectionately known as the Seven Sisters.

Manipur, like the other northeastern Indian states, has a large tribal population representing 33% of the state. The Meetei are the largest tribe. Most people either follow the tribal Meetei religion, Hinduism, Christianity or Islam or a combination with the Meetei religion. Although 29 different dialects are spoken among the Manipur tribes, Meeteilon is the state language.

Like the other states of this region, meat features prominantly in their diet and there are few Vegetarians. Smoking meat and drying vegetables are common as is pitha, momos and thupka, similar to Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Nagaland and Sikkim. However, this is one of the most popular Vegetarian dishes – often served during religious festivals.

There are different versions of this curry, based on personal preference. Green peas or peanuts…to use ginger or not…these can vary. However, what makes this curry distinctive from other paneer curries is the milk based gravy. This is definitely not for the lactose intolerant!

Here’s my version of Paneer Curry…Manipur style. Sana is the word for paneer in Meeteilon, the Manipuri language.

This is a delicious way to enjoy #MeatlessMonday
Curry LR 1

Not a very spicy curry, but very flavorful.

Curry LR 2

You won’t be able to resist it!

Curry LR 4
Manipuri Paneer Curry - Sana Thongba
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5 from 7 votes

Manipuri Paneer Curry – Sana Thongba

Manipuri Paneer Curry – Sana Thongba – This Vegetarian curry from one of India’s northeastern 7 sister states makes a great dinner option for Meatless Monday.
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time30 minutes
Total Time40 minutes
Course: Vegetarian Entree
Cuisine: Indian
Servings: 4
Calories: 266.39kcal


  • 1 tablespoon + 2 teaspoons mustard oil
  • 8 oz. paneer diced
  • 1 teaspoon ginger paste
  • 1 teaspoon garlic paste
  • 1/4 cup frozen green peas defrosted
  • 5 chiles finely chopped
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 1 large potato peeled and chopped
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 cup milk
  • salt to taste


  • Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil. Add paneer and fry until golden brown on all sides. Remove to a paper towel lined plate.
  • Add cumin seed. Add ginger paste and garlic paste. After 1 minute, add chiles and onion. Saute until onions turn golden.
  • Add remaining oil and fry potato for 1-2 minutes. Add 1/2 cup of the water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and cook for 5-8 minutes, until potatoes are cooked through.
  • Add milk, green peas, turmeric and salt. Bring to a boil. Cook for 1 minute.
  • Add paneer and simmer for another 2 minutes. Add remaining water and simmer for another 5 minutes.
  • Add cilantro and cook for 1 more minute.
  • Serve with Basmati rice.


Calories: 266.39kcal | Carbohydrates: 31.63g | Protein: 12.37g | Fat: 10.93g | Saturated Fat: 2.88g | Sodium: 871.97mg | Fiber: 4.22g | Sugar: 10.21g
Did you try this recipe? Leave a comment below.Please follow me on Instagram @chefmireille or tag me #chefmireille with your pics! I’d love to share them!

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Reader Interactions


  1. Mir I loved this manipuri paneer curry. Going to make it tomorrow. Super tasty and delicious curry with peas and potato. loved it.

  2. 5 stars
    The North Eastern States of India definitely have a totally different cuisine, heavily based on locally grown produces and also using less spices. Sana Thongba is definitely different as milk is used to make the curry base. Bookmarking this recipe to try out when I make my fresh batch of paneer.

  3. Wow – you are so right. No one can resist this manipuri paneer curry. it looks perfect served with rice. Loved reading about the Manipuri tribe and am amazed that they have speak 29 different dialects.

  4. 5 stars
    Manipuri style paneer looks really nice and worth giving it a try. I love to make dishes from various regions. This way we can enjoysome diffenet cuisines in the comfort zone of our house.

  5. 5 stars
    Manipuri paneer curry looks absolutely delicious. Paneer with potatoes, peas and milk sounds different and super tempting. And loved that we don’t need much spices to make it. I always love less spicy curry. Bookmarked the recipe to try soon.

  6. 5 stars
    Manipuri Paneer Curry Sana Thongba sounds interesting. North Eastern recipes are so simple and flavorful with the use of Fresh produce. I ‘m going to try this delicious recipe soon. I am sure my boys will love this flavorful curry.

  7. 5 stars
    Wow Mir your Sana thongba from Manipuri cuisine is yum. Simple to make and yet so very flavourful. This is one paneer hubby will love. Bookmarking.

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