July 11, 2013

Kadai Paneer

Kadai paneer is a punjabi speciality where paneer cubes are cooked with tomatoes, onion and bell pepper in a blend of Indian spices. This simple but flavor-packed paneer recipe develops its flavors mainly from freshly pounded spices (coriander seeds & red chillies). Also, letting the onions & tomatoes simmer until it reduces to a thick paste helps in developing maximum flavors.

Using a good branded paneer definitely adds to the taste. If you have the luxury of time, try making your own paneer to know what a significant difference it brings to the taste of the dish. Lately, I have been picking up "zee foods desi paneer" from our local Indian grocers here and all of us at home seem to love it and that's only because it tastes very close to home-made paneer. You too should try this brand if it's available at your local grocers.

Basic Info
Complexity - Medium
Prep time - 15 mins
Cook time - 20 mins
Serves - 4

Paneer cubes - 10 oz (about 300 gms)

Bell pepper - 1 no (medium sized, cubed)
Onion - 1 no (medium sized, cubed)
Ginger - 1 inch (grated)
Thai green chilli - 1 no
Tomatoes - 3 nos (medium sized, chopped)

Coriander seeds - 1 tsp
Dry red chillies - 2 nos (optional, if you prefer milder version like me)

Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
Red chilli powder - 1/2 tsp
Garam masala - 1/2 tsp
Coriander powder - 1 tsp

Kasoori Methi - 1 tsp
Cilantro - 1 tbsp

Salt - to taste
Oil - 2-3 tbsp

Dry roast coriander seeds and red chillies (if you are using). Let it cool and crush them into coarse powder. Keep it aside.

In a pan, heat 2 tbsp of oil and fry paneer cubes until slightly brown on all sides. Drain the excess oil in a kitchen towel.

In the same pan, add cubed capsicum, couple of pinches of salt and saute for couple of mins. It is important that the capsicum cubes remains crisp and doesn't get over-cooked/soggy. Remove and drain excess oil in a kitchen towel.

In the same pan, add a tbsp of oil. When hot add crushed spice powder (coriander seeds & red chilli powder) and saute for few seconds. Then, add onion, ginger, garlic, green chilli and saute until onion turns soft and translucent.

Now, add chopped tomatoes, turmeric powder, chilli powder, garam masala, coriander powder, required salt and let it cook for about 8-10 mins until the raw smell of tomatoes and spice powders are gone and the oil starts to ooze out from the sides.

To this, add paneer cubes, capsicum cubes, kasoori methi and let it cook for about 3-4 mins until the masala coats all the paneer & capsicum cubes. Sprinkle little water if necessary.

Remove from heat, garnish with chopped cilantro.

Serve hot with roti / rice.

- If you like ginger, you can also use julienned ginger strips for garnish.
- Please note that paneer tends to get rubbery if you over-cook it.

1 comment :

  1. I love this combination! Onions and peppers with tomatoes and paneer - so delicious and comforting. I want a bite so badly...