About Kadai Paneer:
Kadai Paneer is one of the irresistible and aromatic dishes that are prepared in most dhabas in India. This dish is a very popular north Indian dish, simple to make yet very scrumptious to eat. Kadai Paneer actually means Indian cottage cheese cooked in an Indian wok (kadai) blended with green bell peppers, onion chunks and aromatic spices mixed together and stir fried in a high flame to get that incredible smoking flavour.
Generally in dhabas, most of the spices, gravies are prepared well in advance and when ordered, are combined together and made into a delicious yummy dish. Basically Kadai Paneer is a very quick stir fried dish cooked on high flame. Interestingly when you see the kitchen in any dhaba, you’ll find chopped/ sliced onions, bell pepper, other veggies, fresh greens, paneer lightly fried and kept ready.
This makes things very faster as a concoction of all these ingredients stir fried in a kadai would do wonders in making an appetizing and luscious dish. Kadai paneer goes well with naan, roomali roti, phulka’s or any Indian bread of your choice. The kadai masala is one of the vital parts of this dish which enhances the taste and makes it zesty to the taste buds.
Use of few marvellous spices like peppercorns, cumin seeds, coriander seeds, dry red chillies, fennel seeds and dry fenugreek leaves (kasuri methi) delicately dry roasted in the kadai and ground to make a spice mix (kadai masala) can alter a simple dish to a fantastic exotic appetizing dish like Kadai paneer.
Paneer & Various Paneer recipes: Paneer constitutes the main ingredient in this dish. Paneer or Indian cottage cheese is a fresh cheese common in South Asian cuisine. It is actually an unaged, acid-set non-melting cheese made by curdling heated milk with lemon juice or vinegar. Paneer is widely used in India, Nepal, Pakistan, Bangladesh and other places too. Paneer is a versatile diary product that is used in making an array of desserts, snacks and main course dishes. Some of the much-loved top paneer dishes are:
Paneer Butter Masala, Paneer Do Pyaza,Mutter Paneer Masala, Paneer Tikka, Chilli Paneer, Shahi Paneer, Palak Paneer,Paneer Amritsari and the list goes on.
Use of Indian spices:
The extensive use of numerous Indian Spices characterises the uniqueness of the dish. It is almost like the life of an Indian kitchen. Each and every spice has an intense taste and imparts its unique flavour when blended together with other spices.
They are also used for various medicinal purposes and are used as home remedies to prevent diseases and preserve food. Kasuri methi are the dried form of methi or fenugreek leaves. Slightly crushed kasoori methi is just perfect to garnish dishes made with potato (aloo), chicken etc.
They impart a distinct flavour and pungent taste. Most Indian curries/ gravies, both vegetarians and non-vegetarians use kasuri methi that perfectly blends in bringing out the flavours of all other spices and herbs. Kasuri methi is nutritious and is rich in protein, calcium and iron.
How to make Kadai Paneer:
Bell peppers - 1 no
Butter - 2 tbsp
Chilli powder - 1 tbsp
Coriander seeds - 1 tbsp
Cream - 2 tbsp
Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
Fennel seeds - ½ tsp
Garam Masala - 1 tsp
Onion (medium size)- 1 no
Paneer - 300 gms
Pepper corns - 9 nos
Whole Red Chillies - 4 nos
Salt - to taste
Sugar - ½ tsp
Tomato puree - 250 gms
- Heat a pan/ kadai and dry roast pepper corns, dry red chillies, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, fennel seeds (optional) until a nice flavour comes out of them.
- Then add fenugreek leaves (crushed), roast and transfer into a plate and allow it cool down.
- Make a coarse powder in the mortar pestle. Divide into two parts and finer one part of the masala powder.
- Heat some ghee in a pan and cook the masala mix well.
- Add chilli powder, garam masala pd, onion, bell peppers and then add tomato puree (blanched remove the skin/ seeds and cut them into small pieces.
- Let it cook till the raw flavour of the tomato is gone. Add salt, sugar, paneer (slightly fried).
- Sprinkle some freshly ground kadai masala and garnish with chopped coriander seeds.
- Finally add cream and mix well.
- Serve hot with naan, romali roti, phulkas etc.
The highlight of a yummy and awesome Kadai/ Kadhai Paneer is to maintain the crunchiness of capsicum & softness of paneer lightly infused in the spice mix gravy. Alternatively you could also get hold of the detailed recipe of Kadai Paneer at: https://www.vahrehvah.com/Kadai+Paneer:8225