One of the standard things on menus in North Indian restaurants is Kadhai Paneer. It’s delicious and screams ‘special food’. At least for us, it wasn’t something made at home. Turns out, it is super easy to make actually! So here you go, now you can bring that restaurant feeling home 🙂
There is a lovely bouquet of spices in this dish, with the usual tomato-onion base.
Roasting the coriander and red chillies helps their aroma come through and once you powder them, all that magic goes into the curry, along with the rest of the spices and some ginger+garlic.
The onions need to be nicely browned and soft before you add the tomatoes. It’s amazing how such simple ingredients transform into this luscious gravy with time and heat 🙂
The capsicum takes a little while to soften, so add them in before the paneer. They don’t need to become soft, just a little easier to eat. A little crunch is still needed. It’s all about texture!
The paneer needs to be in the gravy for just a few minutes, to absorb all the flavour and still stay nice and soft.
Once it’s all ready, a squeeze of lime and some kasuri methi and you’re good to go!
Super easy, very tasty and definitely healthy!
250g paneer – cubed
1 green capsicum – cubed
3 tbsp coriander (dhania) seeds
5 dry red chillies
1 inch cinnamon (dalchini)
2 black cardamom (badi elaichi)
3-4 cloves (laung)
2 green chillies – split lengthwise
3-4 garlic cloves – chopped finely
1 inch ginger – chopped finely
1 onion – chopped finely
2 tomatoes – chopped finely
1 tbsp tomato puree
1 tsp red chilli powder
1 tsp garam masala
1 tbsp kasuri methi
1/2 cup water
Salt to taste
2 tbsp oil
1 tsp lemon juice
Fresh coriander for garnish
- Dry roast the coriander seeds and 3 red chillies till they start browning a little. Cool and then blitz to a powder
- Heat oil in kadhai (deep pan). Add the cinnamon,cloves,black cardamom, pepper, 2 red chillies. Once they splutter, add the ginger and garlic and cook for a minute
- Add the onions and a pinch of salt. Cook for 3-5 minutes till the onions are transluscent
- Add the green chillies. Cook till the onions brown
- Pour in tomato puree and chopped tomatoes. Add a pinch of salt, the masala made in the first step and mix well
- Mix in the red chilli powder and garam masala. Cook for 7-10 minutes till the tomatoes become soft and oil releases from the sides. Add half a cup of water and mix well. Cook for 2-3 minutes.
- Add the capsicum, mix well and cook for 3-5 minutes
- Add the paneer, adjust salt and cook for 2-3 minutes
- Squeeze in the lemon juice and mix in the kasuri methi and turn off the gas
- Mix well and let it stand for 5-10 minutes before serving