Kadai Paneer is India’s one of the most favorite and popular paneer dishes. Kadhai Paneer or Kadai Paneer is the simplest way of cooking paneer at home because all items being used for this recipe will be easily available at your home. It is one of the most common dishes ordered in Indian restaurants. The reason is, it is spicy, very minimal gravy, and is best paired with Laccha Paratha or Naan.
The dish comes from Punjab, typically an old Punjabi Lahore type dish. Traditionally their dish is based on the utensil it is cooked. For example, if the dish is cooked on Tawa it is called Tawa Paneer, or the dish is cooked in Kadai, they name it as Kadai Paneer and if the dish is cooked in Handi then it is called Handi paneer.
Though it looks simple at a glance and this naming style represents the style of the dish but it is not so easy. As you change the utensils, it changes the property and cooking times. If the dish is cooked in Tawa, it is usually dry and crisp. If the dish is cooked in Kadai, the dish is with very little gravy or masala latpat style and If the dish is cooked in Handi, this denotes the slow cooking method with gravy, a kind of stew.
With the bite from crunch capsicum, tomatoes, Onions, soft Paneer pieces and special fresh Kadai masala gives it a unique flavor.
The special Kadai Masala prepared with 3 parts of coriander seeds and 1 part of cumin seeds, a few dry red chilies, and whole black pepper, are dry roasted and then coarsely powdered. This freshly ground powder is added in the curry along with Kashmiri red chili powder to give it a distinct flavor.
Prep Time: 20
Cook Time: 30
For Kadai Masala
- Whole Kashmiri dried red chilies – 4 nos
- Cumin seeds – 1 teaspoon
- Coriander seeds – 3 teaspoon
- Black peppercorns – 6 nos
- Desi ghee – 2 tablespoon
- Fresh tomato puree – 2 cup
- Onion (chopped) – 1 cup
- Turmeric powder – 1/2 teaspoon
- Kashmiri red chili powder – 1 tablespoon
- Coriander powder – 2 tablespoon
- Cumin powder – 1 tablespoon
- Garam masala powder – 1 teaspoon
- Ginger-garlic paste – 1 teaspoon
- Salt – to taste
- Ginger (chopped) – 1 teaspoon
- Cottage Cheese (paneer, cubed) – 200 gm
- Onion (medium size,cubed) – 1/4 cup
- Capsicum (cubed) – 1/4 cup
- Tomato (deseed , cubed) – 1/4 cup
- Heat a pan, dry roast the red chilies, cumin seeds, coriander seeds, and peppercorns till fragrant. Transfer to a plate, cool and make a coarse powder. Keep separate. You can also keep it in an airtight container for future use.
- For gravy, Heat desi ghee in a Kadai, add cumin seed and crackle it. Add chopped ginger and onion. Bhuno till it is translucent.
- Add ginger-garlic paste, cumin powder, red chilly powder, coriander powder, and bhuno till the masala leaves the edges of the Kadai.
- Add fresh tomato puree and bhuno properly. You can add little water to prevent burning the masala.
- Cook till the tomatoes are completely cooked.
- Meanwhile, heat desi ghee in a pan, add cubed onion, tomato and capsicum, add salt, kadai masala, and 1/2 teaspoon Kashmiri chili powder.
- Toss it gently and transfer it to the gravy.
- Cook for a few mins, adjust the seasoning and sprinkle garam masala. Mix well.
- Transfer the Kadai paneer in a serving bowl, garnish with julienne ginger, tomato, and fresh coriander leaves.
- Serve hot with laccha paratha or butter naan.