Kadai Paneer is a unique and mouth-watering curry. It is quite different from other paneer curries, like shahi paneer and paneer butter masala. Like other paneer curries, Kadai Paneer also has its origins in India. If you are fond of authentic Indian flavours and spicy food, Kadai Paneer deserves a try.
Generally, Kadai Paneer is served hot with roti, naan, steamed rice, or jeera rice. It is cooked in an Indian wok, commonly called Kadai in Hindi and Marathi. Therefore, it acquired the name Kadai Paneer. The core ingredient of this curry is Kadai masala.
Using a freshly prepared Kadai masala brings an authentic and restaurant-style taste to your homemade Kadai Paneer. So, let us first see how to make Kadai masala, and then we’ll move towards the actual Kadai Paneer recipe.
How to make Kadai Masala?
Below are the spices used to prepare the Kadai masala:
- Dry red chillies – 6 to 8
- Cumin seeds – 2 Teaspoons
- Coriander seeds – 2 Teaspoons
- Cardamoms – 4 to 5
- Fennel seeds – 2 Teaspoons
- Black peppercorns – 1 Teaspoon
- Take a heavy-bottomed pan, add dry red chillies, and dry roast them on a medium-low flame. Roast them for about two minutes or until they turn quite dark. Once they roast, move them to a plate.
- Later, add all the remaining spices to the pan and dry roast them for around three to four minutes or until they turn aromatic.
- Cool all roasted spices and dry red chillies, and blend them all combined to form a fine powder.
Your fresh and aromatic Kadai masala is ready.
How to make Kadai Panner?
Now that Kadai Masala is prepared, it’s time to prepare Kadai Paneer.
Firstly, let see what ingredients are needed for the Kadai Paneer reciepe.
- Paneer cubes – 2 Cups (230 to 250 grams)
- Cubed capsicum – ½ Cup
- Diced onions – 2 Cups (For one cup of onions, separate the layers of onion cubes)
- Chopped tomatoes – 1 Cup
- Cashews – 8 to 10
- Ginger-garlic paste – 1 Teaspoon
- Kadai masala – 2 Teaspoons or as required
- Garam masala – ½ Teaspoon
- Red Kashmiri chilli – ½ Teaspoon
- Water – as required
- Salt – as required
- Oil – as needed
- Crushed Kasuri methi – ¾ Teaspoon
- Take a pan, add half a teaspoon of oil, and heat it. Once the oil turns hot, add one cup of diced onions and cashews. Fry them until onions turn semi-transparent.
- Add chopped tomatoes and cook the concoction on a medium flame until it gets oozy.
- Turn off the flame and allow the concoction to cool fully. Next, take a blender, add the cooled mixture, and blend into a smooth and thick paste.
- Take the same pan, add half a teaspoon of oil, add diced capsicum, and one cup diced onions to it. Saute it well on a high flame until they get half cooked. Try to toss the pan frequently to avoid burning.
- Now add paneer cubes and fry them for around a minute. Make sure you do not overcook paneer. Finally, remove all of them into a plate.
- In the same pan, add one teaspoon of oil and ginger-garlic paste. Saute it until ginger and garlic leave their raw smell.
- Later, add the prepared Kadai masala and fry it on a medium-low flame. Maintain some caution. Do not burn the masala, as it is already roasted.
- Now, it’s time to add the thick and soft onion and tomato paste. Cook the puree for around two to three minutes after adding it to the pan.
- Add salt as required, garam masala, and red Kashmiri chilli powder. Mix all well and saute for two minutes. You can skip red Kashmiri chilli powder if you don’t want your curry to be spicier. Prefer it as a colouring agent.
- Add water as per the consistency you wish to achieve. We recommend adding ¼ cup of water. After adding water, boil it and cook the gravy until it turns flavoursome and quite thick.
- After you observe some traces of oil on the top of the gravy, add crushed Kasuri methi.
- Finally, add half-cooked and sauteed onions, capsicum, and paneer cubes to the mixture and stir well. Cook the curry having a pan closed with a lid for around two minutes.
Your Kadai Paneer is ready. You can transfer this curry to the serving bowl and feel free to garnish it with coriander leaves.
Using this simple and easy recipe, you can recreate Kadai Paneer at home that tastes similar to the one served in your favourite restaurant. We recommend you to give this Kadai Paneer recipe a try, and you would genuinely love it. However, don’t skip preparing fresh and aromatic Kadai masala at home. This would make your Kadai Paneer more analogous to restaurant ones.
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