Kadai Paneer

Srilatha Indian, Sides Leave a Comment

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Kadai Paneer Yum
Kadai paneer is a rustic dish, with big chunks of vegetables and paneer, cooked al dente, coated in a freshly blended spice mix incorporated into a semi dry gravy. Most restaurants serve it floating in a ton of sauce, everything cooked to death, with all the flavors overpowered by the ubiquitous tomato onion gravy. My husband and I have been looking for a semi dry dish, with the vegetables retaining a lot of the texture and fresh flavor, and the paneer just soft enough to chew. I finally found this recipe online, tried it once,and its a winner. Recipe Source: (with very minor modificaitons) http://www.chefandherkitchen.com/2012/12/kadai-paneer-recipe-paneer-recipes.html
Course Side dish, Sides
Cuisine Indian, Punjabi
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Servings
servings
Ingredients
  • 1/2 block paneer, cut into cubes Homemade or store bought, I used store bought
  • 1 big tomato Roma tomato works best, as it retains the shape when cooked
  • 1/2 big onion preferably red, white works also
  • 1 small green pepper optional: all colored peppers, one in each color
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp oil
Spices For Fresh Spice Mix
  • 1 tbsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tbsp cumin seeds
  • 2 red chilies
  • A few black peppercorns - about 6-7
  • 1 small piece of cinnamon
Ingredients For The Gravy
  • 2 small tomatoes
  • 1 tsp chili powder optional: I also used 1 small green chili
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 small piece ginger
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 2 tbsp yogurt I used Greek yogurt
Garnish Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup kasuri/dry methi leaves Available in Indian grocery stores
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro
Course Side dish, Sides
Cuisine Indian, Punjabi
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Servings
servings
Ingredients
  • 1/2 block paneer, cut into cubes Homemade or store bought, I used store bought
  • 1 big tomato Roma tomato works best, as it retains the shape when cooked
  • 1/2 big onion preferably red, white works also
  • 1 small green pepper optional: all colored peppers, one in each color
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp oil
Spices For Fresh Spice Mix
  • 1 tbsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tbsp cumin seeds
  • 2 red chilies
  • A few black peppercorns - about 6-7
  • 1 small piece of cinnamon
Ingredients For The Gravy
  • 2 small tomatoes
  • 1 tsp chili powder optional: I also used 1 small green chili
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 small piece ginger
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 2 tbsp yogurt I used Greek yogurt
Garnish Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup kasuri/dry methi leaves Available in Indian grocery stores
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro
Instructions
  1. Gather the spices for roasting/powdering
    Gather the spices for roasting/powdering
  2. Gather the vegetables for the gravy, and chop roughly - onions, tomatoes, ginger, and garlic
    Gather the vegetables for the gravy, and chop roughly - onions, tomatoes, ginger, and garlic
  3. Gather the vegetables for the dish, and chop roughly into the same size - peppers, onions, tomatoes
    Gather the vegetables for the dish, and chop roughly into the same size - peppers, onions, tomatoes
  4. Cube the paneer, roughly the same size as the vegetables
    Cube the paneer, roughly the same size as the vegetables
  5. Heat a kadai, and dry roast the spices until aromatic. The recipe calls for roasting them separately. I started with the coriander, and after a minute or so, added the cinnamon, cloves, chilies, and finally the cumin. Roast without burning, and until you can smell the fragrance released by the spices; transfer to a plate to cool
    Heat a kadai, and dry roast the spices until aromatic. The recipe calls for roasting them separately. I started with the coriander, and after a minute or so, added the cinnamon, cloves, chilies, and finally the cumin. Roast without burning, and until you can smell the fragrance released by the spices; transfer to a plate to cool
  6. While the spices are cooling, heat 1 tbsp of oil in the same pan, and start with the onions. When translucent, add the tomatoes, followed by the ginger, garlic, and finally chili powder and turmeric. Add 1/2 tsp of salt. Transfer to a plate and cool.
    While the spices are cooling, heat 1 tbsp of oil in the same pan, and start with the onions. When translucent, add the tomatoes, followed by the ginger, garlic, and finally chili powder and turmeric. Add 1/2 tsp of salt. Transfer to a plate and cool.
  7. Powder the dry roasted spices coarsely and keep ready
    Powder the dry roasted spices coarsely and keep ready
  8. Blend the gravy ingredients when cool enough and keep ready
    Blend the gravy ingredients when cool enough and keep ready
  9. Add the tablespoon of oil to the kadai, and toast the paneer pieces until they start to brown. Do this quickly, and remove to a plate, saving the oil in the pan. Overcooking the paneer will make them tough
    Add the tablespoon of oil to the kadai, and toast the paneer pieces until they start to brown. Do this quickly, and remove to a plate, saving the oil in the pan. Overcooking the paneer will make them tough
  10. In the same pan, add the green pepper pieces, and cook on high heat for a couple of minutes
    In the same pan, add the green pepper pieces, and cook on high heat for a couple of minutes
  11. Add the onion pieces, and cook for a couple of minutes
    Add the onion pieces, and cook for a couple of minutes
  12. Finally add the tomato pieces, and stir for a couple of minutes. Make sure they don't turn mushy
    Finally add the tomato pieces, and stir for a couple of minutes. Make sure they don't turn mushy
  13. Add the paneer, and the powdered spices, and toss them around gently until the spice mix coats all the vegetables
    Add the paneer, and the powdered spices, and toss them around gently until the spice mix coats all the vegetables
  14. Remove to a plate
    Remove to a plate
  15. Now in the same kadai, add the remaining tbsp of oil, and a bay leaf (optional)
    Now in the same kadai, add the remaining tbsp of oil, and a bay leaf (optional)
  16. When heated, add the prepared gravy, and cook until it reduces and thickens slighlty
    When heated, add the prepared gravy, and cook until it reduces and thickens slighlty
  17. Beat the yogurt and add to the gravy, and cook until the gravy is quite thick
    Beat the yogurt and add to the gravy, and cook until the gravy is quite thick
  18. Now, add the vegetable + paneer mix and gently toss everything together to evenly coat the veggies/paneer mix
    Now, add the vegetable + paneer mix and gently toss everything together to evenly coat the veggies/paneer mix
  19. Cook for just a few minutes, since everything has been cooked and just need to meld together; turn off the heat, add the garnish.
    Cook for just a few minutes, since everything has been cooked and just need to meld together; turn off the heat, add the garnish.
  20. Serve with phulkas and sliced onions and lime wedges
    Serve with phulkas and sliced onions and lime wedges
Recipe Notes

Recipe Courtesy/Source:

http://www.chefandherkitchen.com/2012/12/kadai-paneer-recipe-paneer-recipes.html

Notes:

I have been looking for a semi dry, rustic paneer dish and finally hit gold with this one. The freshly ground spices make a big difference, and I wouldn't change that.

The other trick is also to use a chinese wok so I could use high heat and almost stir fry the vegetables so they retained their shape, color, and flavor wonderfully and didn't turn into unrecognizable mush.

My husband, who loves kadai paneer, was very happy with this one!

 

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