It’s been quite a while since I posted recipe of a popular curry or a Subzi. It’s time now to post one of the most popular curries from the Northern India – Kadai Paneer. As chef extraordinaire Sanjeev Kapoor puts it, Kadai Paneer is “Cottage cheese cooked in spicy Kadai masala”. And Tarla Dalal is just happy to describe it as – “Kadai Paneer is a spicy tomato based gravy”. Kadai Paneer is known for its extraordinary flavor just like the equally well known and popular dish Palak Paneer. Kadai or Kadhai stands for a cooking pan in Hindi, just in case you are wondering.
You can purchase Paneer or Cheese from your local departmental store (Amul is one brand I can think of ) or can prepare it at home too as described here. I also have a recipe of Paneer lying in the drafts folder for quite some time now to post.
Kadai Paneer goes well with all the Indian breads – Roti, Naan, Kulcha and Chapati too.
Kadai Paneer Ingredients:
- Paneer or Cottage Cheese – 200 Gms
- Onion – 2
- Green Chillies – 2
- Green Capsicum or Bell Pepper – 2
- Tomatoes – 2
- Ginger + Garlic Paste – 1 tsp
- Ajinomoto or Tasting Salt – 1/4 tsp (Optional)
- Chilli Powder – 2 tsp
- Coriander or Dhaniya Powder – 1 and 1/2 tsp
- Cumin or Jeera Powder – 1 tsp
- Turmeric Powder or Haldi – 1/2 tsp
- Garam Masala Powder – 1 tsp
- Cashew Nuts – 10
- Dried Fenugreek leaves or Kasuri Methi – 1 tsp
- Fresh Cream or Top of the Milk – 2 Tbsp
- Fresh Curd – 1/2 cup
- Lemon Juice – 1 tsp
- Sunflower Oil or Refined Groundnut or Peanut Oil- 2 Tbsp
- Oil to fry the Paneer or Cottage Cheese
- Coriander Leaves / Cilantro
Time to Prepare : 20-30 min
How to Make Kadai Paneer :
- Soak Cashew Nuts in 1/4 cup of warm water for 10-15 min and grind it in a mixer grinder to a fine paste. The Cashew paste is now ready; keep aside.
- Have Paneer cut into medium sized cubes. Chop Tomatoes and Onions into medium sized slices. Also chop Green Chillies into medium sized pieces. Then cut Green Capsicum or Bell Pepper length-wise. Keep aside.
- Deep Fry the Paneer cubes in Oil, until they turn to golden brown in color. Remove from the Oil and transfer them to a bowl containing 1/2 cup of Fresh Curd and keep them together for 10 min. Mix the Paneer cubes well with curd, so that the Paneer turns soft and fluffy. Keep aside.
- Heat 2 Tbsp Oil in a Pan, add Chopped Onions and Turmeric Powder and fry until the Onions slices turn transparent. Then add Ginger + Garlic Paste and fry for a minute. Now add Ajinomoto (optional – I did not make use of it in my preparation), chopped Green Chillies, Chopped Tomatoes and fry until the Tomatoes turns soft and are cooked properly. It might take nearly 5 minutes to have the Tomatoes cooked.
- At this stage, add all the powders listed in the ingredients box above – Chilli Powder, Coriander or Dhaniya Powder, Cumin or Jeera Powder and Garam Masala Powder to the pan. Add Salt and half cup of Water to this mixture and cook for 5 minutes.
- Now add Green Capsicum (Bell Pepper) to the pan and cook for 5 min by closing the lid. Ensure that the Capsicum or Bell Pepper pieces do not turn too soft. Then add Cashew Paste from Step 1 above and cook for a minute. Mix all the ingredients well with the help of spatula.
- Add fried and soaked Paneer or Cottage Cheese with Curd from Step 3 to the above mixture along with dried Fenugreek leaves or Kasuri Methi and cook for 2-3 minutes so that the aroma of the Kasuri Methi spreads into the Curry. Next add Lemon Juice and mix well.
- Now Kadai Paneer or Paneer Capsicum Curry is ready. Transfer Kadai Paneer to a small Kadai and garnish with Fresh Cream or Top of the Milk and Coriander Leaves / Cilantro.
Serve Kadai Paneer or Paneer Capsicum Curry with Chapati, Roti, Naan or Kulcha.