Kadai paneer/A spicy cottage cheese dish

Kadai Paneer is a dish made in a particular pan called Kadai/Karahi. Kadai is an Indian wok, circular, deep iron pan with handles. It retains heat and that imparts a signature taste to this dish. Cubed Paneer (cottage cheese) is tossed in red tomato gravy and cooked in fragrant spices to make this an impressive side dish.

Kadai paneerPaneer is a freshly made cheese(by adding an acid, invariably lemon juice to heated milk). It is a cottage cheese that doesn’t melt easily but is very crumbly. It is easily made at home by curdling milk and pressing the water out of the cheese. I used store bought Paneer in this dish.

Kadai paneer is a spicy tomato-based side dish. Cubed Paneer and green bell pepper are sauteed in a base made with a spicy tomato gravy. There are two versions, one with a gravy and another a dry preparation. I have made one in between as I needed a little gravy to accompany my spinach rotis.

Kadai paneer with roti

It tastes better when cooked in ghee which is clarified butter. Being a bit health conscious, I used vegetable oil to cook and used a copper bottom Kadai.


  • 1 block cottage cheese (400 gms Paneer)
  • 1 green bell pepper chopped (Capsicum)
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 1 tbsp ginger garlic paste
  • 1 tomato chopped
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tsp kashmiri chilli powder
  • 1 tsp red chilli powder
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tbsp coriander powder
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • salt
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp crushed dry methi leaves (kasuri methi)
  • 1 tbsp chopped coriander leaves
  • 1 tbsp yogurt to garnish
  1. Pour a tbsp oil in a deep pan (Kadai) and fry paneer, chopped into big pieces on high heat.
  2. Remove it when it starts browning and keep it aside.
  3. Heat the remaining oil and fry onion until it turns translucent.
  4. Add ginger garlic paste to it and fry until it is aromatic.
  5. Add tomato and mash it as it cooks until oil separates.
  6. Stir in tomato paste.
  7. Add all the powders one after the other and stir well and cook them without burning.
  8. Now add green pepper and fry until it cooks.
  9. Add fried Paneer, crushed dry methi leaves and turn off heat and mix well.
  10. Garnish with cilantro.
  11. Serve with fresh cream or yogurt on it.

Paneer curryThis tastes hot and spicy so garnish it with yogurt to make it mellow! It is the richness of milk protein and all the spices that make it taste distinctly delicious.

kadai paneerThe verdict was, it tasted like a restaurant preparation. So, it is highly recommended!


About coconutcraze

I'm obsessed with coconuts!
This entry was posted in Appetizer, Cheese, comfort food, Easy recipe, Fried, Indian curry, Side dish, Vegetarian and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

19 Responses to Kadai paneer/A spicy cottage cheese dish

  1. Stephanie @ The Cozy Cook says:

    MMMM this sounds SOOO good, I love anything cheese related and I also like spicy ANYTHING- so this gets my vote!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Trudy says:

    I am lactose intolerant. I wonder if I can replicate this with tofu. Do you have any idea?

    Liked by 1 person

    • coconutcraze says:

      I guess, it would be possible as firm tofu acts almost similar to Paneer. I am not sure though as I have not tried it. Probably, I should try that version too! Thank you, Trudy!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Trudy says:

        You’re welcome. You might not be able to use firm because the acid from the lemon might not get all the way through to make it “curdle ” but I’m glad you like the idea. I’ve been on the subway thinking about it. Ha ha!

        Liked by 1 person

        • coconutcraze says:

          I would like to elaborate a bit here, Trudy. I guess, I was not very clear. You don’t have to use lemon juice on tofu. Tofu would be like Paneer you get as a block from the store. It can be directly fried a bit and used in the tomato spice mixture to make this dish. Hope that helps! Please tell me if it works. I will try it too!

          Liked by 1 person

  3. Malar says:

    Yummy šŸ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Flavorsome gravy and just love those big chunks in there. .. looks fabulous. ..

    Liked by 1 person

  5. coconutcraze says:

    I love big chunks of Paneer…the more the merrier! Thank you, Chitra!


  6. apsara says:

    I love the rustic presentation of this delicious dish!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Balvinder says:

    Its truly tempting!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. skd says:

    Looks awesome!!


  9. um..um.. good kadai paneer, I’m drooling!


  10. coconutcraze says:

    Isn’t it a cheerful side to add to any main dish? Thank you, Mullai!


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