My 185th recipe, “Kadai Paneer”, an extremely flavorful North Indian side. I am a Paneer Butter Masala girl. Yeah, that is what I generally order when I visit a restaurant. And whenever I want an appetizer I would quickly choose Chilli Paneer. It doesn’t mean that I do not like Kadai Paneer. It is just that the bell peppers added in Kadai Paneer annoys me, since I am not a big fan of the same.
At restaurants here, I do not get a choice to control the quantity of bell peppers added. So at most times I end up being served a Kadai Paneer which is overdosed with bell peppers and I have to keep searching for the paneer pieces in between. Since I was always assuming that it was a difficult process to make Kadai paneer at home, I did not dare to give it a try at home. But this time around I wanted to invest some time in making a Kadai paneer at home, no matter what, so that I can enjoy it along with some Jeera rice for lunch.
My hunt ended in a recipe on Youtube by Chef Harpal Singh. Only when I watched the video, did I realize that it was such an easy recipe and I had missed out on it till now. With the addition of freshly ground spices, the kadai paneer was extremely fragrant and flavorful. The tomatoes gave the perfect acidity, juiciness to the dish and it was just the right kind of side. A wonderful dish to have along with chapati or any Indian flatbread or even jeera rice / pulao 🙂
Kadai paneer is an easy to make North Indian side made from Paneer (Indian Cottage Cheese) and perfect as a side for any Indian flatbread (chapati) or rice.
- Paneer - 1 packet (14 oz or 396 gms)
- Tomato - 2 large + 1 medium (finely chopped, cubed)
- Salt - 1 tsp (adjust per taste)
- Ginger - 1/2 inch (Julinenned)
- Red Chilli powder - 1/2 tsp
- Onion - 1 medium (cubed)
- Green Bell Pepper - 1/2 medium (cubed)
- Garam Masala - 1/2 tsp
- Kasoori Methi - 1 large pinch
- Coriander leaves - For garnish
- Dry red chilli - 2
- Fennel seeds - 1 tsp
- Jeera - 1 tsp
- Coriander seeds - 2 tsp
- Black pepper - 3/4 tsp
- Oil - 2 Tbsp
- Jeera - 1/2 tsp
- Dry red chilli - 2
- Coriander seeds - 1 tsp
- First cut the paneer into large chunks and keep it immersed in warm water until use. Skip this step if using homemade paneer. Also, chop up the veggies and keep aside.
- In a large pan, dry roast all ingredients mentioned under "To dry roast and grind". Take care not to burn them. Turn off the flame and let to cool down to room temperature. Grind into a coarse powder and keep aside.
- Heat the pan with oil and add the ingredients mentioned under "To temper" in the given order. Once the coriander seeds just start to change color, add the finely chopped tomatoes, salt. Saute until the tomato turns mushy.
- Add the ginger and continue to saute until the tomato mixture thickens. Add the red chilli powder, 1 tsp of the ground masala powder and continue to saute until the oil oozes out of the mixture.
- Now add the chopped onion, bell peppers and tomatoes to the pan. Give a quick mix. Add the garam masala powder and saute until well combined. Add the paneer to the pan and qive a quick mix.
- Crush the kasoori methi with your palms and add it to the pan. Also, add a additional 1/2 tsp of the ground masala powder. Saute until everything is combined well. Turn off the flame. Garnish with chopped cilantro leaves.
- Serve hot with naan, chapati or jeera rice, pulao, etc.
- While dry roasting the spices, take care not to burn them. Else the paneer will taste bitter.
- We are adding only about 1 1/2 tsp of the ground masala powder to the dish. There will be some leftover which you can store in an airtight container and reserve for later use.
- You can adjust the quantity of ground masala powder added based on the spiciness level you desire.
- Do not saute for a long time after adding the paneer to the pan. The paneer will turn rubbery.