Kadai Paneer Recipe
Five years in India and I haven't really mastered any Indian food, not that I need to master anything but it would be great knowing how to properly cook dishes of the country where I am going to live for years...for now! My husband and I both love Kadai Paneer, my way, because it's not very oily and moderately spicy. Here, I am going to share how it is made.
Kadai Paneer, by the way, is one of the most famous recipes one can find in any Indian restaurants. Though usually a hotel menu, it is very easy that anyone can make it at home provided, of course, that all ingredients are available. It is generally best eaten with Naan or Paratha (all are Indian bread).
Kadai is an Indian term for a wok or pan and paneer is Indian cottage cheese. So, kadai paneer is a recipe that is made of paneer and cooked in a wok. In hotels, it is always served in a small kadai or pan with two holders.
So here's how:
- Prep time: 20 min
- Cook time: 15 min
- Ready in: 35 min
- Yields: Serves 3-4 people
- 200 g Paneer, cubed (small)
- 2 small-medium pieces Capsicum or bell pepper, green
- 1-2 large onion, chopped thinly
- 2 large ripe tomatoes, chopped
- 5 pieces garlic, crashed and cut into two (if big)
- small ginger, cut into fine pieces
- 1 tbsp. spicy chili ketchup
- 3 tbsp. continental tomato ketchup
- 5 tbsp. oil
- 1 tsp. cumin seeds
- 1 tsp. coriander powder
- 1 tsp. garam masala
- 1/2 tsp. turmeric powder
- 1/2 tsp. red chilli powder
- 1/2 cup dahi or yogurt
- 1 cup water
- 2 - 3 heaps of coriander leaves, finely chopped
- a pinch - 1 tsp. salt, to taste
- Heat wok with oil in it on medium flame. Once heated, add cumin seeds. Wait for it to crackle.
- Once crackling subsides, add onion. Mix and stir once in a while till it becomes a little brown. Add a pinch of salt to quicken its cooking. Don't roast.
- Then add mashed garlic and ginger. Fry for a minute.
- Add chopped tomatoes. Mash them till they blend with onion. Mix and stir till oil separates from the sides of the wok to avoid sticking at the bottom of the pan.
- Add the two ketchup. Mix well. Then add turmeric powder, coriander powder and garam masala. Mix properly for 1-2 minutes.
- Then add dahi or yogurt. Mix and let the mixture boil for 2 minutes. Keep stirring.
- Once boiled, add bell pepper. Mix on a high flame for 1 minute. Then lower the flame to add paneer.
- Once paneer is added, mix well so that it blends with the rest of the masalas or spices. Add 1 cup of water. Let it boil for 2-3 minutes. Cover and simmer for 2-3 minutes with mixing in between to avoid roasting.
- Open and mix. Bring a spoon and taste. It may need a little more salt. Add if required.
- Finally, add chopped coriander leaves. Mix and leave it for a minute before turning off the stove. Cover, wait for 2 minutes and Kadai Paneer is ready to be served.
Kadai Paneer is one of the few Indian dishes I know that I usually prepare as our major meal of the day. Although it can be eaten with roti or plain paratha, eating it with Aloo Paratha (Indian bread stuffed with mashed potatoes) is the best combination I found out. Roasting aloo paratha a little bit gives it a better taste. Enjoy!