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.
Paneer 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.
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
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 tsp crushed dry methi leaves (kasuri methi)
- 1 tbsp chopped coriander leaves
- 1 tbsp yogurt to garnish
- Pour a tbsp oil in a deep pan (Kadai) and fry paneer, chopped into big pieces on high heat.
- Remove it when it starts browning and keep it aside.
- Heat the remaining oil and fry onion until it turns translucent.
- Add ginger garlic paste to it and fry until it is aromatic.
- Add tomato and mash it as it cooks until oil separates.
- Stir in tomato paste.
- Add all the powders one after the other and stir well and cook them without burning.
- Now add green pepper and fry until it cooks.
- Add fried Paneer, crushed dry methi leaves and turn off heat and mix well.
- Garnish with cilantro.
- Serve with fresh cream or yogurt on it.