Indian cottage cheese cooked in a spicy onion tomato masala with peppers, that is prepared in a karai(metal pan/ indian wok).This kadai is preferably a steel or an aluminium pan, hence the name. You cannot cook this in a cast iron pan due to the heavy use of tomatoes. Although an enamelled one is good to make dry kadai paneer. This paneer dish is a bit dry than the 'peas curry'.
We generally serve restaurant style kadai paneer with Indian bread like roti ,tandoori or naan.Kadai masala is an easy recipe where cubed paneer pieces are cooked with fresh ground spices in a rich gravy. It is finger-licking good. Such dishes play an important role in dhaba food(roadside restaurants or dhaba) where travellers and truck drivers are tired and need a wholesome meal before they can hit the road again after some rest. Learn to make this paneer curry in easy steps with homemade paneer or store-bought paneer.
What are your favorite ways to cook paneer?
There are two kinds of people according to Indians. One who loves Indian cottage cheese recipe to death and others who do not. Indian recipes for paneer are a great way to have dairy. You can make desserts like rajbhog, rasmalai or rasgulla. You can make many paneer recipes for roti. Paneer gravy recipes like kofte, achari paneer, butter paneer, saag paneer are perfect for main course. You may also make an appetizer like kebab or pakode out of it.
Paneer kadai recipe is an easy way to please family & guests alike. There is no better element to work with in veg Indian cuisine than cottage cheese and potatoes. They have their nutrients too and are equally popular with vegetarians and non vegetarians. Kids and elderly both can eat it with equal ease as it is soft in nature.
Why is it so popular?
kadhai paneer is one of the easiest recipes, which you can make for a gathering or for a routine dinner. Soft creamy cottage cheese melts into the mouth. You can serve it with both Indian flat bread and rice. You may make your own cottage-cheese or buy it from a local dairy.
Tandoori roti or garlic naan or lachcha paratha works great with this curry. If you don't get lacha pratha near you, even frozen/fresh Malabar parota works well. Karahi paneer is yummy finger licking good. I m hungry as I write about it.
Benefits of eating cottage cheese
Cottage cheese is rich in calcium and proteins. Hence, you do not need to depend on eggs or meat for your nutrients. It also strengthens bones and teeth. It is a good source of magnesium, selenium and potassium. Hence, helps heart health. However, we must ensure we use less oil with it. It is a good source of folate and improves digestion too. You can also reduce weight, if you eat it in moderation as it keeps your tummy full for longer time.
- Blender for tomato puree, if using fresh.
- Kadahi / pan or wok.
- Whisk for smooth curd.
- Cottage-cheese / paneeer
- Capsicums or green bell pepper
- Tomato puree
- Turmeric powder
- Kashmiri red chili powder
- Garam masala powder
- Coriander powder
- Cumin powder
- Dried fenugreek leaves or kasoori methi
- Oil or ghee
- Salt as per taste
How to make kadai paneer recipe ?
- Heat oil or ghee. Add diced onion & capsicum until they soften. Keep it aside.
- Now add oil and cook finally chopped onions, ginger-chilli paste until brown.
3. Now, add tomato paste along with salt and let it cook over medium heat for 10 minutes.
4. Add all the spices and cook until you get a fragrant smell. Mix well with a spatula.
5. Cook until the oil oozes out. This might take few extra minutes but it makes all the difference to your gravy!
6. Add yogurt and mix well.
7. Now, add water and let it come to a boil.
8. Add cottage cheese pieces with previously cooked onion/capsicum. Let it simmer for couple of minutes.
Serve hot with nan or tandoori roti.
kadai paneer recipe dhaba style
- frying pan
- Blender for fresh tomato puree
- chopper optional
- ½ medium onion diced
- 2 medium onions finely chopped/thick paste
- ½ red & green capsicums or bell peppers diced
- 4 medium tomatoes pureed
- 200 grams cottage cheese
- 4 tablespoon ghee or oil
- 1 tablespoon ginger-chilli paste
- 2 teaspoon coriander powder or dhania
- ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder or haldi
- 1 teaspoon red chilli powder
- 1 teaspoon garam masala
- 1 teaspoon cumin powder or jeera
- 2 tablespoon yogurt lightly whipped, optional
- 1 tablespoon dried fenugreek leaves or kasuri methi
- Salt as per taste
- Heat oil in a pan,cook capsicum and cubed onions for few mins,keep aside.
- Add ginger,chillies and finely chopped onion with salt,cook until brown
- Now, add tomatoes puree and let it soften.
- Add spices and cook until oil oozes out.
- Add yogurt,cook for few minutes and add 2 cups of water.
- Cook until it starts boiling,Add cottage cheese cubes with capsicum and stir well.(You can saute the paneer cubes in 1 tablespoon of oil/ghee before adding to the gravy.This is optional)
- Add kasuri methi, cook for 10 minutes and turn off the heat.
- Garnish with cilantro leaves
- Serve hot with roti or veg fried rice / jeera rice
This paneer kadai dhaba style recipe can also be made vegan by using tofu & oil instead of cottage-cheese & ghee for tempering. You can also use ginger garlic paste if you like.If you like it extra hot, increase the dry red chilies or add chopped green chillies in the curry. You can also shallow fry paneer before adding it to the gravy. fried paneer only enhances the flavor.
Most people use heavy cream or fresh cream in this recipe. However, this is the low fat version so we are making kadai paneer with yogurt here. Kadai paneer gravy recipe can be made vegan by using vegan yogurt. You can add tofu to this to make vegan version.
Store it in an airtight container for 3-4 days in refrigerator. You can also freeze this delicious recipe. Just reheat before you consume.
Butter masala has cashew paste while kadai paneer recipe has capsicum, onion pieces along with cream or yogurt in it
It is very filling and has casein which helps repair muscles.
- Cook to a minimum temperature of 165 °F (74 °C)
- Do not use the same utensils on cooked food, that previously touched raw meat
- Wash hands after touching raw meat
- Don't leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods
- Never leave cooking food unattended
- Use oils with high smoking point to avoid harmful compounds
- Always have good ventilation when using a gas stove