Kadai Paneer is a well-known and popular dish that can be found on the menus of most Indian restaurants. It’s a flavorful and delicious semi-dry dish made by simmering peppers, onions, and paneer in an aromatic, freshly ground spice blend. A kadai is similar to a wok and is commonly used in Indian cooking for stir frying or deep frying. This dish is known as ‘Kadhai Paneer’ because it is traditionally cooked in a kadhai, but it can be prepared in any wok or pan.
Restaurant-style kadai paneer recipe – a popular Indian paneer gravy dish made with soft paneer cubes, perfectly cooked bell pepper, and a flavorful, spicy tomato-based gravy. To make it a meal, serve it with homemade naan or lachha paratha.
The dish’s name derives from the Hindi word for ‘Indian wok,’ which is commonly used in everyday Indian cooking. In other words, kadai paneer is a paneer dish made in a kadai.
How to make Kadai Paneer at Home?
It’s – Simple to make at home
– Tastes exactly like the restaurant version
– Super delicious and flavorful
– Ideal for everyday lunch or dinner (because it’s not creamy or rich)
There are two kinds:
1. Gravy version: I’m going to share this version with you today. This version is available in the majority of the North Indian restaurants in town. It lacks the smooth, velvety gravy found in other paneer gravy dishes such as shahi paneer and paneer butter masala.
Also Check:- Kadai Paneer History Origin on Wiki
2. Dry version (Sabzi-kind): Follow the same instructions to make this. Simply leave out the water or use only a few tablespoons to moisten the tomato masala. The semi-dry tomato masala in this recipe is topped with paneer and bell pepper.
Kadai Paneer Preparation
A special, one-of-a-kind spice blend known as kadai masala is used to make kadai paneer. This masala powder is aromatic, flavorful, and spicy, and it adds a distinct flavour to this kadai paneer gravy. It is spiced with six different spices.
Kadai Paneer Recipe How to make Kadai Paneer Restaurant Style?Course: RecipesCuisine: PaneerDifficulty: Easy
Kadhai Paneer is a well-known and popular dish that can be found on the menus of most Indian restaurants. It’s a flavorful and delicious semi-dry dish made by simmering peppers.
- For Fresh Masala
• 1 tablespoon Coriander seeds
• 1 teaspoon Cumin seeds
• 1 teaspoon Fennel seeds
• 3 Black peppercorns
• 2-3 Dried red chilies seeds and stems removed (See notes)
- For Curry:-
• 2 tablespoons Oil
• ½ cup Onion finely chopped
• 1 tablespoon Garlic paste or freshly grated
• 2 cups Tomatoes finely chopped (Preferably roma tomatoes)
• 1 Tomato pureed into the grinder
• Salt to taste
• 1 ½ to 2 tablespoons Kadai masala Or use above freshly ground masala.
• 1 cup Capsicum (Green bell pepper) cut into 1 inch cubes
• ½ inch Ginger julienned
• 1 cup Water
• 7 oz (200 grams) Paneer cut into cubes
• 1 teaspoon Kasoori methi (Dried fenugreek leaves) crushed between your palm before adding
• ½ teaspoon Kashmiri red chili powder
• 3 tablespoons Heavy whipping cream or fresh cream or malai
- Making Fresh Masala: Dry roast the spices with stirring constantly until aromatic.
- Remove it to a plate and let it cool down completely. Then coarsely grind into the spice grinder.
- Making Kadai Paneer Gravy: Heat the oil in a kadai (or pan) on medium heat. Once hot add chopped onion. Cook until onions are soft and light pink or translucent in color.
- Add garlic paste. Mix and saute for a minute or until the raw smell of garlic goes away.
- Now add chopped tomatoes and pureed tomato along with salt. Mix and let it cook until it thickens and oil starts to ooze out from the sides. This step takes some time, be patient.
- Add kadai masala. Mix and cook for about a minute.
- Add bell pepper, ginger julienned and water. Mix well and let it simmer for 5 minutes or until the peppers are crisp-tender (80% cooked).
- Add kasoori methi and kashmiri red chili powder. Mix well.
- Add paneer cubes. Mix and simmer the gravy for a minute or two until the paneer gets hot and soft.
- 10. Add heavy cream, mix and turn off the stove as soon as gravy starts simmering.
For this masala, you have a few options:
1. Prepare a new batch each time you make this dish. In the recipe card, I’ve included the amount information.
2. Prepare a large batch and store it in spice jars. Within 3-4 months, use as needed. I wrote a detailed post about kadai masala. This saves a lot of time if you make kadai dishes frequently (kadai vegetable, kadai mushroom, kadai soya chaap, kadai bhindi).
3. Purchase a packet of kadai paneer masala from the store. This is my least preferred option.
4. Paneer: I always find paneer packets in the refrigerator or freezer section of any Indian grocery store in the United States. It’s difficult to find fresh paneer like we do in India. However, if you have some time on your hands, you can make paneer at home; it’s a simple process.
When it comes to store-bought brands, I prefer Nanak malai paneer, Verka, and Gopi brans.
• Capsicum (bell peppers): It adds texture and a nice crunch to the dish. I cooked the capsicum until it was 80 percent done. Because I enjoy the crisp-tenderness of bell pepper. You can cook them all the way through if you prefer a softer texture.
• Tomatoes: Used in two ways: finely chopped and pureed. The chopped one adds texture and makes the gravy chunky. The pureed one thickens and deepens the flavour of the gravy.
Because we’re using a lot of tomatoes, it’s best to use ripe, fresh ones. If not used ripe, it may result in sour gravy.
• Garlic paste: If you don’t have any on hand, simply grate 2 cloves of garlic with a small grater or Microplane zester.
• Julienned ginger: Instead of using paste at the start, we add julienned ginger after the tomatoes are cooked. It adds a distinct flavour to the gravy.
To make Kadai Masala
- first dry roast the spices, stirring constantly, until aromatic. Place it on a plate and set it aside to cool completely.
- Grind coarsely in the spice grinder.
To make Kadai Paneer Gravy,
- begin by heating the oil in a kadai (or pan) over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the chopped onion.
- Cook until the onions are soft and the colour is light pink or translucent.
- Stir in garlic paste.
- Combine and sauté for a minute, or until the raw garlic smell disappears.
- Stir in the chopped and pureed tomatoes, as well as the salt.
- Stir and cook until the mixture thickens and the oil begins to ooze out of the sides. Be patient as this step takes some time.
- Season with kadai masala.
- Combine all of the ingredients and cook for about a minute.
- Stir in the bell pepper, ginger julienned, and water.
- Stir well and cook for 5 minutes, or until the peppers are crisp-tender (80 percent cooked).
- Stir in the kasoori methi and the kashmiri red chilli powder. Mix
- Combine the ingredients and heat the gravy for a minute or two, or until the paneer is hot and soft.
- Stir in heavy cream and remove from heat as soon as the gravy begins to simmer.
• When making kadai masala, remove and discard the seeds and stems of dried chilies. It reduces the spice level and raises body heat, which is bad for your gut health.
• Use kashmiri dried chilies instead of regular ones to reduce the spice level of the masala even further.
• Kashmiri red chilli powder is only used for colour; it adds no heat or spicy flavour to the dish. Please do not substitute regular chilli powder. Masala is already spicy enough; no need to add more chilli powder.
•Always use ripe, fresh tomatoes. Unripe or underripe tomatoes give the gravy a tangy and sour flavour.
• I don’t recommend canned tomato products here because they’re too sour.
•If the gravy becomes sour, add a small amount of sugar to balance the flavour.
• Serve with homemade naan, garlic naan, or lachha paratha. To make it a complete meal, serve with sliced onions and lemon wedges on the side, as well as salted lassi. The dry version is ideal for packing in a lunch box with some roti or tawa paratha.