Kadai paneer step-by-step recipe with photos.
About this recipe
Kadai paneer is cottage cheese cooked in tomatoes, onions, bell peppers, and spices. The main flavor of this dish comes from a blend of freshly pounded spices. The dish is named so as it is cooked in a kadai.
Karai (karahi or kadhai) is an Indian cooking pot similar to a wok. This is the most commonly used utensil in Indian cooking. However, you can cook it in any regular frying pan.
This popular paneer dish is very easy to make and is ready in under 30 minutes. It is lighter when compared to other popular paneer dishes like butter paneer. This uniquely flavored dish can be paired with roti, naan, or jeera rice. They are also great as a filling for wraps.
There are two ways of making it - dry and gravy. The recipe I am sharing is the dry version. Read on for ingredients, step-by-step instructions, and useful tips to make this easy and delicious kadhai paneer.
Paneer: Paneer or Indian cottage cheese is the main ingredient. Use homemade or store-bought paneer.
Coriander seeds and dried chili: These are freshly roasted and pounded into a coarse powder.
Onion and bell peppers: Slightly charred onion and bell peppers add great texture to the dish.
Tomatoes: Tomatoes form the base of the gravy.
Fenugreek seeds: This is added to the tempering.
Ghee: I make this dish with ghee; however, you may replace it with cooking oil.
Dry roast the coriander seeds and dry red chili in a frying pan. Cool and pound them in a mortar pestle (steps 1,2).
Heat 1 tablespoon ghee in a kadai or fry pan. Saute onion and bell peppers until they are slightly charred. Set them aside (steps 3,4).
In the same pan, heat 2 tablespoons of ghee. Add methi and garlic. Fry until the garlic is golden (step 5).
Add the pounded spice powder and cook for a minute (steps 6,7). Add ginger paste and green chili. Mix well (step 8).
Add the tomatoes and salt. Mix well and cook until the tomatoes are cooked completely and the oil starts to separate (steps 9,10).
Add the onion and bell peppers. Cook for a further 3-4 minutes (steps 11,12).
Add the paneer. Mix gently (steps 13,14). Cook for 2-3 minutes. Garnish with cilantro and serve hot (steps 15,16).
Use freshly roasted spices for the best-tasting kadai panner. It makes it very flavourful and aromatic. Do not grind the roasted spices into a fine powder. Just pound them coarsely.
Saute the onion and bell peppers, and let them char slightly.
I prefer to cut the paneer, onion, and bell peppers into thick fingers. However, you may dice it if you like it that way.
Mix the paneer gently as they tend to break easily.
Dhabas are popular roadside eateries, which are located mostly on highways and usually serve as truck stops. Dhabas generally serve local cuisine. The food served there has led to the development of a cooking style famously known as Dhaba-style.
This kadai paneer is:
– restaurant quality,
– very easy to make,
– a great change from regular curries.
- 3 cups paneer cut into long fingers
- 2 teaspoon coriander seeds
- 3 dried red chili
- 3 tablespoon ghee
- 1 large onion cut into thick slices
- 1 medium bell peppers cut into long fingers
- ½ teaspoon fenugreek seeds (methi)
- 4-5 cloves garlic roughly chopped
- 1 teaspoon ginger paste
- 1-2 green chili or as per taste
- 1 cup tomatoes chopped
- Salt to taste
- 2 tablespoon cilantro chopped
- Dry roast the coriander seeds and dry red chili in a frying pan. Cool and pound them in a mortar pestle. Set it aside.
- Heat 1 tablespoon of ghee in a kadhai or fry pan. Saute onion and bell peppers until they are slightly charred. Set them aside.
- In the same pan, heat 2 tablespoons of ghee. Add methi and garlic. Fry until the garlic is golden.
- Add the pounded spice powder and cook for a minute.
- Add ginger paste and green chili.
- Add the tomatoes and salt. Mix well and cook until the tomatoes are cooked completely and the oil starts to separate (about 5-6 minutes).
- Add the fried onion and bell peppers. Cook for a further 3-4 minutes.
- Add the paneer. Mix gently and cook for 2-3 minutes.
- Garnish with cilantro and serve hot.