Kadai paneer is one of the flagship Indian paneer gravy recipes without which vegetarian Indian palate is incomplete. Kadai paneer would be your favorite comfort food when you are looking for something hearty and wholesome!
Paneer is one of the highly preferred ingredients for vegetarians in India and I believe I can safely assume that kadai paneer is the most-loved dish of any paneer lover! You will find kadai paneer in every Indian restaurant across India and I am sure it is a frequently ordered dish from the menu. Kadai paneer has become so popular mainly because of its strong flavor which comes from the special kadai masala which is best made at home. Kadai paneer can be termed as the vegetarian soul sister of kadai chicken which is the non-vegetarian version of this same deliciousness!
Paneer is truly a great ingredient as a source of your protein intake especially if you follow a vegetarian diet. Other than this kadai paneer, there are ample paneer recipes to chose from, each being better than the other. The succulent cubes of paneer absorb the flavors beautifully making the dish immensely tasty and this kadai paneer is no exception. You will simply fall in love with this classic Indian paneer gravy and will keep on asking for more; this kadai paneer is so popular and well-loved world-wide for a reason!
Before going into the recipe of kadai paneer, let me give you a quick byte about something I realized lately. During my stay in Greece, I tasted the authentic Mediterranean food and considered myself lucky to be able to relish all their delicacies which are mostly non-vegetarian. At the same time, I also realized that it may be little difficult for Indians, who follow a pure vegetarian diet, to have a satisfied meal while eating out there in Greece; more so because most of us are not yet comfortable with the idea of having only salad for lunch or dinner. In typical Indian cuisine, salads are considered as an accompaniment and not a meal as a whole. When I realized this, it also struck me that my blog is also majorly dominated by non-vegetarian recipes as we are way too fond of all non-veg delicacies.
But it’s of course not fair. Indian cuisine is full of amazing array of vegetarian delights and being an Indian, I must prepare and share those recipes here. This will not only diversify my collection, but also, I won’t feel shy anymore to recommend my blog to a vegetarian friend of mine! To start with, I decided to do a series of paneer recipes since it is one of the main ingredients of our vegetarian palate. I am starting with kadai paneer today simply because it is a very popular paneer recipe and can be made with traditional Indian spices without anything fancy. Try this aromatic kadai paneer paired with butter naan or vegetable pulao and enjoy a delicious home-cooked meal at home!
- Cloves – 2
- Fennel seeds – 1 tsp
- Cumin seeds – 1 tsp
- Black pepper corns – 4 to 5
- Coriander seeds – 1 tbsp
- Green cardamoms – 4 to 5
- Paneer (Cottage Cheese) – 250 gms
- Onions – 2, large, sliced
- Tomato – 1, large, chopped
- Oil – 2 tbsp
- Capsicum – 1, diced
- Baby onions – a handful, cubed
- Butter – 1 tbsp
- Green chilies – 2, cut lengthwise (optional)
- Dry mango Powder – ½ tsp
- Ginger paste – 1 tsp
- Garlic paste – 1 tsp
- Salt to taste
- Cut the paneer into 1 inch cubes. I generally simmer them in boiling water for a minute or two as this makes the paneer quite soft. You may or may not do this step. Set them aside.
- Heat a frying pan without any oil and dry roast the whole spices - coriander seeds, cumin seeds, fennel seeds, cloves, cardamoms and pepper corns for about a minute.
- Open the cardamom pods and let only the seeds remain in the mixture. Let the mixture cool and then grind them to a fine powder.
- Heat some oil in a skillet and add the onions to it. Once the onions turn brown, add the tomatoes and cook till they turn soft.
- Add salt to taste and mix everything well. Add the ground spice mix and stir to mix well.
- Transfer the onion-spice mixture to a deep bowl and using a hand blender blend it to a smooth paste or alternatively you can put the content in a blender and puree it. Add little water if needed.
- Add raw mango powder and give it another whizz.
- In the same skillet, put butter and add ginger and garlic paste to it. Mix ginger and garlic well before the butter melts. If you are using green chilies, add them now and sauté it with the paste.
- Add the shelled baby onions and cook them for about 2 mins. Tip in the diced capsicum and add the masala paste once the onions have turned translucent.
- Cook everything for a min and add water to it. Stir and let it boil.
- Add the paneer cubes, toss them up and mix well with everything. Add salt and coriander leaves to it and mix well.
- The kadhai paneer is ready to be served hot with roti/parantha. Enjoy!