This irresistible Kadai Paneer recipe made from paneer cooked in a spicy gravy of onions, tomatoes, capsicum and traditional Indian spices. kadai paneer is one of the easiest paneer recipe that you can make at home. It is best enjoyed with roti, paratha, naan, Jeera rice or Pulao. Since this dish is cooked in a Kadai which is a deep, thick, circular cooking pot with a rounded bottom similar to a wok , it is called Kadai Paneer.
Traditionally kadai made of cast iron were used but if you donot have it, you can still go ahead and make this dish in other pans also . The dominant flavor of the Kadai masala comes from the dry roasting of spices spices like coriander, cumin,fennel seeds, black pepper and dry red chillies in a kadai . These are both lightly roasted and pounded in a mortar and pestle or a mixer coarsely and added to gravy.
Paneer or Indian cottage cheese is a fresh cheese common in South Asian cuisineis used in making many different delicacies in Indian Cuisine and Kadai Paneer is the most popular of them. Kadai Paneer can be made in both dry/semi-dry version or with gravy .
I was out of home for a week and reached home to find myself rushing to office. Since I have to make something quick for lunch and rush to office, I decided to make Kadai Paneer, Indian cottage Cheese stir fried in a wok.It was extremely flavorful due to the addition of freshly ground spices.The tomatoes gave the perfect acidity and juiciness , dried fenugreek leaves gives its characteristic taste, while capsicum provides the texture.
Ingredients for Kadai Paneer:
- 200 gms of paneer cut into cubes
- 4 nos large tomatoes finely chopped
- 3 Onions cut into cubes
- 1 capsicum cut into cubes
- 1 inch ginger
- 10 cloves garlic
- 3 tbsp oil
- Salt to taste
- 1/2 tsp Garam masala
- 1 tbsp dry fenugreek leaves(Kasoori Methi)
- 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
- 1/ 2 tsp kashmiri red chili powder
- Julienned ginger for garnish
- 2 tbsp coriander seeds
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 tsp fennel seeds
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 2 dry Red chili
How to make it:
- Dry roast coriander, cumin, fennel, black pepper, red chili and make a coarse powder of it.
- Cut onions and capsicums into cubes. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a pan and pan-roast onion cubes until lightly browned. Keep aside few onion cubes for garnishing.
- Add ginger and garlic to the pan and saute till they changes color. Now add the chopped tomatoes and roast for another 2 minutes.
- Blend the onion, ginger, garlic and tomato into a fine paste. Make sure to lock the cap of your blender to avoid accidents due to the hot liquid inside.
- In the same pan, add remaining oil. Once hot, add the onion-tomato-ginger garlic paste and cook for another 2 minutes. You will see the oil separating out from the masala. Now add the capsicum cubes ,coarsely ground spice powder, turmeric and red chilli powder, salt and 1/2 cup water, let it cook on medium flame for 5 to 6 minutes.
- Finally add the paneer pieces and gently mix to combine them with the gravy. Close the lid and leave it on simmer for 5-6 minutes.
- At this point add the garam masala and the kasoori methi. Taste and adjust seasonings as required.
- Garnish with julienned ginger and serve hot with naans, rotis or jeera rice.
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