Kadai Paneer is a spicy paneer(Indian Cottage Cheese) dish made with soft Paneer cubes and diced Onion and Capsicum (Green Bell Pepper). This Kadai Paneer recipe that I am sharing here, has one secret ingredient which will make this paneer recipe, absolutely lip-smacking and a complete dhaba style dish.
Kadai Paneer is a favorite paneer dish in my family. It is quite often made with Naan. I like to eat it with Butter Garlic Naan where as kids and husband like it with Lachha Paratha.
It is such a famous Paneer dish, that every restaurant in India has it on their menu. However, it seems very difficult to get that perfect taste at home. But with the Kadai Paneer recipe that I am sharing here with you all, it will be just an easy-peasy dish to make.
Kadai Paneer is named such, as it is supposed to be made in a kadai. Kadai means wok. In India, most of the dishes and curries are made in kadai. But we can make this paneer dish in other pans also.
Kadai Paneer is made with a special Masala, popularly known as Kadai Masala. This Kadai Masala is easy to make and gives out the best flavor and aroma only, when made and used fresh. Although, you can prepare this masala in large quantity and store it in an air-tight jar. This masala is so aromatic, that you’ll end up using it in other dishes too. It goes well with any Indian curry or veg. However, I will still suggest to make it fresh everytime you are making kadai Paneer.
How to prepare KADAI MASALA
Kadai Masala, may sound like something very technical but its not. It is a simple combination of just a few spices and it is a must for this kadai paneer.
Dry Coriander seeds (sabut dhania) – 2 tbsp
Whole Red Chillies (Sabut Lal Mirch) – 2 pc(add more if you like spicy)
Cumin seeds (Sabut Jeera) – 1 tbsp
Black Pepper (Kali Mirch) – 1/2 tbsp
Fennel Seeds (Mithi Saunf) – 1 tbsp
1. Dry roast these spices in a pan/kadai/wok.
2. Roast till they are light brown in color and leave their aroma.
3. Once roasted, take them out in a plate and let them cool off completely.
4. Now, grind them to a coarse powder.
Serving options of KADAI PANEER
There are a variety of options to serve Kadai Paneer. It is served best with Indian breads. You can choose the following options given below to enjoy this dish.
Rice – Yes, many people like to enjoy this kadai paneer dish with plain rice too. For that the kadai paneer gravy has to be more liquidish. Well, its a matter of preference and you can definitely have it with the bread of your choice too!
Thick gravy – This is how it is widely made in India. (well, even we like it this way) The gravy is thick and the cubed pieces of Paneer (cottage cheese), capsicum (green bell pepper) and Onion are totally in unison with the gravy. The specialty of this type of Kadai paneer is that you get to enjoy the veggies in their true color and taste, coated so nicely with the deep and rich gravy.
Thin gravy – This is less popular style. The gravy is somewhat runny and less creamy in texture. This is mostly made when people want to have rice with the kadai paneer and well, that too is very rare.
Recipe Video of Kadai Paneer
Paneer – Paneer used in this kadai Paneer dish, has to be soft. The dry type of paneer available in markets, is so not used for this kadai paneer recipe. It will just spoil the taste of the whole dish. So, its best to prepare Homemade Paneer.
Veggies – Capsicum and onions used in this recipe should retain their color. So, they are stir fried on high flame and are also a little raw. This is the authentic taste of kadai paneer but you can cook them completely, if you like it that way.
Kadai Masala – It is a must. You just can’t skip it, to get the authentic kadai paneer taste. Also, its important to make it fresh.
Besan – This is the secret ingredient in this kadai paneer recipe. It takes this dish to another level. To know how to use it in the recipe, read on.
For sauteing Veggies
capsicum (green bell peppers) – 2 medium sized, cubed
Onion – 2 medium sized, cubed
Paneer (cottage cheese) – 200 gm, cubed
Oil – 1 tbsp
Red chilli powder – 1 tsp
Turmeric powder (haldi) – 1 tsp
Kasuri methi (dry fenugreek leaves ) – 1 tsp
Salt as per taste
Onion – 1 big, finely chopped
Tomatoes – 3 medium, pureed
Ginger – 1 inch, grated
Garlic cloves – 5-6, grated
cumin seeds (jeera) – 1tsp
turmeric powder (haldi) – 1 tsp
Red chilli powder – 1/2 tsp
Kasuri methi (dry fenugreek leaves) – 1 tbsp
Gram flour (besan) – 2 tbsp
Cream – 1 tbsp
oil – 1 tbsp
Butter – 2 tbsp
salt as per taste
water as required
1. Roast the Kadai Masala till aromatic and cool and grind it coarsely, mentioned as above.
2. To saute vegetable and paneer, take 1 tbsp oil in a pan and heat it.
3. Add 1 tsp turmeric powder (haldi), 1 tsp red chilli powder , salt and 1 tsp kasuri methi.
4. Roast the spices for 5 sec and add paneer cubes.
5. Saute paneer for 15 sec and let the spices coat the paneer cubes nicely. Take it out in a plate and keep aside.
6. Now in the same pan, put diced capsicum and onions. Saute well for about 30 sec. Take them out and keep aside.
7. Take 1 tbsp oil and 2 tbsp butter in a pan. Heat. Add cumin seeds (jeera) and cook till it crackles.
8. Add chopped onion, grated ginger and garlic. Cook till golden brown.
9. Add tomato puree.
10. Add turmeric powder (haldi), red chilli powder and salt.
11. Mix and cook until the masala leaves the sides of the pan. (about 5-7 min)
12. Add 2 tbsp gram flour (besan). Cook well for about 2-3 min with the onion, tomato and spices.
13. Add 1 tbsp kadai masala, that we made earlier. You can use more, if you want it very spicy.
14. Add water to make gravy. Mix well and let it come to a boil. Simmer for about 4-5 min.
15. Add sauteed capsicum, onion and paneer cubes. Cover and cook for about 5 min.
16. Add 1 tbsp cream and mix well. Adjust the consistency of the gravy and salt as per your preference.