Kadai paneer

Kadai Paneer is a very popular paneer dish from North India and easily found in most restaurants in India and in the UK. Kadai paneer is the combination of onion, tomato, bell pepper and spices, which gives this dish a very lovely taste. I have prepared kadai paneer as a semi-dry style and not as a curry. Kadai paneer goes well with jeera rice, roti (chapathi) and naan.

Preparation time: 15 mins

Cooking time: 30 mins

Cuisine: North Indian

Spiciness: Mild

Serves: 2

Ingredients

  • Paneer – 150 to 200 gms
  • Kadai masala

  • Coriander seeds – 1 tbsp
  • Cumin seeds – 1 tsp
  • Kashmir chilli – 1
  • Green cardamom – 2
  • Cloves – 2
  • Cinnamon stick – 1 (1/2 inch)
  • Black pepper seeds – 1/2 tsp
  • Other ingredients

  • Oil – 1 tbsp
  • Butter/ghee – 3 tbsp
  • Cumin seeds – 1/2 tsp
  • Ginger garlic paste – 1 tsp
  • Ginger (chopped) – 1 tsp
  • Kashmiri chilli powder – 1 tsp
  • Degi mirch chilli powder – 1 tsp
  • Onion – 1 (medium or 100 gms)
  • Tomato – 1 or 115 gms (puree)
  • Green chilli (chopped) – 1 tsp
  • Yoghurt – 2 tbsp
  • Kasoori methi – 1 tsp
  • Additional vegetables

  • Red Bell pepper – quarter
  • Green bell peeper – quarter
  • Yellow bell pepper – quarter
  • Onion – 1/2

Method

    Kadai masala

  • Roast all the spices in a pan on a low flame for a few mins until light brown in colour and the spices start emitting a smoky aroma.
  • Allow to cool and grind to a coarse powder in a mixer. Keep it aside.
  • Preparation

  • Chop the onion finely. Puree the tomato. Slice the other additional vegetables. Keep them aside.
  • Cut the paneer into small cubes or rectangle shape - as per your choice.
  • Making the curry

  • Preheat the kadai or a non-stick vessel, add oil and 2 tbsp butter. When hot, add cumin seeds and chopped onion. Saute for a few mins until golden in colour, soft and transparent.
  • Add ginger and garlic paste. Saute for about 30 seconds.
  • Add chopped ginger, chilli powder and 2 tsp kadai masala powder. Saute for about 2 mins on a medium to low flame.
  • Add tomato puree and mix well. Cook for about 3 mins. It starts to leave oil on the top.
  • Lower the flame and add yoghurt. Add 50 ml water and mix quickly. Cook for about 2 to 3 mins on a medium flame until the spices are cooked well and combined well with the onion and tomato sauce.
  • Add kasoori methi (dry fenugreek leaves) and cook on a medium to low flame for about 2 mins. Then add all the additional vegetables with paneer and 1 tsp kadai masala powder again. Mix well.
  • Add 2 tsp butter at this stage and cook for about 4 to 5 mins on a medium flame until all the vegetables and paneer is well combined with the sauce.
  • You can add a little water if it is getting too dry.
  • Simmer for about 3 to 4 mins. Switch off.
  • Serve hot with phulkas (roti), naan or jeera rice.

Notes

  • You can increase or decrease the spiciness as per your taste.
  • If the sauce gets dry, add a little water.
  • Remaining kadai masala can be stored and used again.
  • Degi mirch chilli powder is used for colour. The heat from this is very mild.

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