For paneer lovers, Kadai (Kadahi) Paneer (कडाही पनीर) probably will be in top 5 paneer dishes. Kadai paneer recipe is a common north-indian dish recipe. Origin of Kadai Paneer is debated, and is unclear. In any case, it tastes delicious so just enjoy 🙂 Kadai paneer is the combination of paneer, onion and colourful bell peppers, in a with spicy tomato based gravy and aromatic spices.
What is Kadai Paneer?
Kadai Paneer is a most certainly the most popular and widely known paneer curry. In this recipe, paneer is cooked along side bell peppers (capsicum) and spices.
It will be surprising if you can find an Indian restaurant in india which won’t know about kadai paneer.
Kadai or Kadahi, is a cooking pan, with wok like shape. Most houses in India will have a Kadai, and normally used for deep frying food.
As its self explanatory from the name, its paneer made in kadai. However, strictly speaking, one does need to make it in Kadai, but any pan is fine. I believe this concept of Kadai worked in old days. Kadai used to be made of iron only. Cooking in iron utensils was deemed as a source of adding iron in the food. I am not sure if that concept worked or not.
Kadai paneer is all about fresh spices / masala. The masala consists of coriander seeds, bayleaves, cumin seeds, cloves, ginger, garlic, chillies and garam masala. I also add kasuri methi for added taste and fragrance. To make kadai paneer more spicier, add dry red chillies and cloves. I try to have balanced level of spice.
best kadai paneer
To make best Kadai paneer, I will recommend using fresh paneer to get the soft paneer. I normally make my paneer at home, as its fresh and nothing beats the taste of fresh paneer, you may like to try this yourself by checkout out home made paneer recipe.
In case you using paneer from store, keep the paneer in warm water for few minutes before cooking so that paneer softens.
For delicious kadai paneer, I will recommend to stick the the recipe below. Check video recipe to get the idea.
Serving suggestion for Kadai Paneer.
Freezing Kadai paneer
It is ok to freeze kadai paneer. However, kadai paneer tastes best when eaten fresh.
Kadai Paneer Recipe
- 250 Grams Paneer Cut Into Cubes
- 3 Bell Pepper
- 4 Onions Medium Size
- 4 Tomatoes Chopped
- 1-2 Green chillies
- 1 Tablespoon Ginger Fresh Grated
- 2/3 Tablespoon Garlic Fresh Grated
- 1/2 Teaspoon Turmeric Powder
- 1 Teaspoon Coriander Powder
- 1 Teaspoon Salt As Per Taste
- 1/3 Teaspoon Red Chilli Powder As Per Taste
- 1/2 Teaspoon Cumin Seeds
- 1/2 Teaspoon Whole Coriander Seeds
- 2-3 Bayleaves
- 3-4 Cloves
- 1 Tablespoon Dried Fenugreek Leaves / Kasuri Methi
- 1/4 Teaspoon Asafoetida
- 1 Tablespoon Butter Unsalted
- 3 Tablespoon Oil
- 1 Teaspoon Garam Masala Powder
- Chopped Coriander Leaves For Garnish
- 1 Pinch Orange Food Colour Optional
- Take a pan and add 2 cup of warm water. Add orange colour to the water and then add paneer cubes so that they can get orange coloured. This step is optional if you don’t want to add colour you can skip this step.
- Now take 2 onions and all bell peppers and cut them into small pieces.
- Now take a pan/kadhai and put one tablespoon of oil and then add these onion and bell pepper to it. Sauté this till they get little soft and crunchy. It will take around 5-6 minutes. Now transfer them onto a plate.
- Now in the same pan add 2 tablespoon of oil and add asafoetida. Now add cumin seeds, coriander seed (or powder if you do not have seeds) and sauté.
- Once it becomes brown add 2 chopped onions.
- When onion turns pinkish brown add ginger and garlic (or can use paste of these) and sauté till raw smell goes off. Now add all spices mentioned above (except bayleaves, cloves and garam masala) and sauté till they ooze oil. Then add chopped tomatoes and cook for 5 minutes. Take this mixture/ gravy out and blend it to a smooth paste by blender.
- Take a fresh pan. Add bayleaves and cloves, and add the smooth paste from step above. Now add paneer cubes and sauteed bell pepper and onions and mix. Add Garam masala, mix and lastly butter along with Kasuri methi and cook with the lid on for 5-6 minutes.
- Kadhai paneer is ready to be dished. Don’t forget to garnish with coriander leaves or with grated cheese.
- Sautéing of bell pepper and onion is optional. However it helps in giving a nice texture to the dish.
- If using paneer from freezer, add it in luke warm water for 10 mins, so that paneer comes soft.