Kadai Paneer ~ cottage cheese in spicy gravy

Paneer is the most common cheese that is used in Indian cuisine. And undoubtedly, one of the tastiest! :D Paneer is similar to cottage cheese and can be easily prepared at home. Kadai Paneer is one of the most common paneer side dishes that people make at home. And it is commonly featured in most restaurant menu cards. There really is no fixed recipe for this side dish. Everyone has their own secret family recipe! This is just how like it. Simple, not too spicy, not too bland – just right! :D FYI, Kadai (read: Kuh-daa-ee) means a big wok. And any curry based paneer dish made in the wok would be called Kadai paneer! :)

KADAI PANEER RECIPE

(Print this)

Prep Time: 30 min
Cook time: 10 min
Serves: 2-3

Ingredients ** Refer note below

200 grams Paneer
1 Tomato, finely chopped
1 cup finely chopped onions
1 Capsicum, finely chopped
4 Cashew Nuts
2 Green Chili,  finely chopped
1 TBsp plain Yogurt / Curd
2 tsp Coriander Powder (Get coriander seeds, dry roast them & grind them into a fine powder)
2 tsp Red Chili Powder
1 tsp Garam Masala Powder
1 tsp Kasoori Methi (Dried Fenugreek Leaves)
1 TBsp chopped Coriander / Cilantro leaves
2 tsp Salt (as per taste)
2 tsp Cooking Oil

** These measurements will give you a mild tasting paneer dish. You can amp up any of the dry spices to get a much louder flavor! :D

* You can add any other vegetable you want. I add boiled peas many a time. Just add them before you add the paneer

* Kasuri methi is just dry fenugreek leaves. It gives a distinct flavor to the gravy. You can skip it if you want, but I suggest you don’t! :D Order off amazon if you can’t find in your neighborhood. (check for link at the end of this post)

Method

Marinating the Cottage Cheese / Paneer – Cut the paneer into cubes, and mix with 1 tablespoon yogurt/curd, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon red chili powder and let it rest for about 30 minutes (the more the better).

Heat 1 tsp oil on a pan. Add the green chili, half of the sliced onions, tomato & cashew nuts and stir till they start changing color.

Switch off the flame. Transfer the veggies to a blender, add 2 tsp garam masala, coriander powder / dhania powder, 1/2 tsp salt and blend until you get a smooth paste. (This forms the base your your gravy)

Again, heat 1 tsp oil, add the remaining cut onions & satué for 30 seconds & add the capsicum.

Add the gravy paste  to the onion-capsicum and give it all a nice mix. Let it cook on medium-high flame for at least 5 minutes (or taste it regularly to ensure that you no longer get an un-cooked smell ☺). You can add around quarter – half a cup of water to it & let it boil.

Meanwhile – take half cup of warm water. Add the dried fenugreek leaves / kasoori methi & let it rest for 5 minutes.

Give the cottage cheese / paneer a good mix & transfer to the gravy cooking it on medium flame. It has to cook for around 2-3 minutes. Add the dried fenugreek / kasoori methi to it & let it boil.

Transfer to a bowl & serve with Roti (Tortilla) or Paratha or Rice

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