Kadai Paneer

Kadai Paneer is a tangy, rich, mouth-watering, luscious, and one of the easiest north Indian curry. Besides, one of my favorite and absolute yummy, this dish is rich in calcium (because of paneer). The name of this dish evolved from the utencil in which it is cooked “Kadai”.  Kadai is a utensil that is similar to the chinese wok.

The key ingredient of kadai paneer is the soft cubes of Indian cheese, or cottage cheese. Here in Qatar , I found cheese having Kalonji (black cumin) that provide a quite unique taste and texture.:)

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Soft cubes of cheese are usually cooked in a gravy of spicy tomato. But… here is a secret ingredient of my dish and that is the “Red-Bell Pepper”. yes.. yes. it is red bell pepper… you heard it right. While preparing gravy of tomato add red bell pepper too. Red bell pepper provides the lavish red color to the gravy and texture.

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This dish is easy to prepare, as it hardly takes 40 minutes from start to finish. You can serve it when you have an unexpected guests or too tired from work. It could be a main dish for any special occasion, as we invited one of our close friend over dinner last-weekend, and I was confused what to serve. Suddenly, my mind clicked and I cooked this lip-smacking recipe to shine the moment. It could be served with any Indian bread or rice.

Hope this version of kadai paneer will surely earn praise for you too!

Recipe Type: Main Course

Cuisine: North Indian

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Ingredients:

250 gram paneer (cottage cheese)
1 large onion (finely chopped)
3 large red ripe tomato
1/2 red bell pepper
1/2 green bell pepper Julienne
1 inch ginger grated
2 green chilies chopped
1 tbsp chopped garlic
1 tsp garam-masala
1/2 tbsp kasoori meethi (dried fenugreek leaves)
1 tbsp kadai masala (5 tsp coriander seeds, 4-5 dry red Kashmiri chili, you can use any other variety of red chili too)
2 tbsp cooking oil
3/4 cup water
salt to taste
coriander leaves for garnishing

Method: First roast the coriander and dry kashmiri red chili in a pan on low flame till aromatic. Grind both of them in grinder to a semi-fine powder once their temperature cool down.. your kadai masala is ready.

Now, cut paneer in cubes, green capsicum, onion in julienne and keep them aside. Make a puree of tomatoes, red bell-pepper using a blender and keep aside. Crush the ginger-garlic, and chili to a fine paste.

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Heat oil/butter in a pan and add ginger garlic paste and saute till their row-aroma disappears. Now, add the chopped onion and saute till transparent. Further, add kadai masala that we already made and stir well and saute for few seconds.

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Add the tomato and capsicum puree… saute for 8-10 minutes on a low flame, till oil starts leaving the sides… Then, add the green capsicum julienne and stir for 2-3 minutes on a low flame.. Add water, salt and continue for 5-7 minutes of simmering.

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Later add crushed kasoori meethi and garam masala powder to the puree.  Now, add paneer cubes.. stir gently and close the pan using lid and let it cook for 5 minutes. Keep stirring occasionally to avoid any burning of the gravy to the bottom of the pan. Garnish the gravy with some coriander leaves and served it hot with steamed rice, zeera rice, Indian bread, or naan whichever you prefer. You can ideally served this for lunch or dinner.

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The gravy is tangy that comes from the tomatoes. If you prefer to balance the tanginess then add some cream towards the end of the preparation of gravy. The tomatoes that you are using should be fresh red and ripe.

Tan Tannnaaa ….  Here are the hot and delicious kadai paneer.. Put your hands up…Yeahhh..

Give a try to it…. Surely you would love…

Bon-appetit:)

Love Chayani

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