Kadhai Paneer

Kadhai paneer is another dish commonly found in restaurant menus. This post was long due as I didn’t have a picture of the dish. Each time I made the dish, for some reason forgot to capture the image. I made this dish for an umpteenth time yesterday and made sure to get a picture for the blog. 

It is paneer or Indian style cheese mixed with bell pepper and onion  with fresh ground spice mixture which is lip smackingly delicious. Serve it with naan, roti or paratha making it a complete meal. 

My version is without cream yet very rich in taste. I use besan or roasted gram flour and yogurt to impart the creaminess to the sauce. The soft paneer with crunchy onion and bell pepper along with a melange of freshly roasted and powdered homemade spice mix and the slight tang from the tomatoes makes this dish extremely irresistible. 

You can add 4 tsp of cream instead of yogurt and roasted besan. In addition if you are using store bought paneer, cube it and soak it in warm water for 15 minutes to soften.  

Try this dish and I promise you will make it again and again.

Servings

4-6

Prep Time

15-20 minutes

Cook Time

30 minutes

Total Time

About 45 minutes

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 14 oz pack paneer, cubed
  • 1 green bell pepper or capsicum, cut into 1” pieces
  • ¾ cup onion, cut into 1 “ pieces
  •  1 medium onion , finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1” piece ginger, grated
  • 1 cup tomato puree
  • 1 tsp besan, roasted
  • 2 tsp yogurt
  • ½ tsp turmeric powder
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tsp sugar, optional
  • ½ -1 tsp red chili powder, optional
  • 1 -1 ½ cups of water
  • 2tbsp + 1 tbsp ghee or butter
  • Cilantro to garnish

 

For kadhai masala:

  • 3 dried red chilies
  • 8 peppercorns
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 tsp kasoori methi
  • 2 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1 green cardamom
  • ½ “ piece cinnamon
  • 2 cloves
  • 8 cashew nuts
PREPARATION

Step 1
Dry roast all the ingredients mentioned under kadhai masala for 2-3 minutes except kasoori methi. Lastly add kasoori methi and turn off the flame. Cool and powder finely. Keep aside.

Step 2
Heat 1 tbsp ghee or butter and saute 1” pieces of onion and bell pepper for 2-3 minutes and keep aside.

Step 3
In the same pan add the remaining 2 tbsp ghee and saute the finely chopped onion, ginger and garlic. Add salt and tomato puree. Cook till the mixture is thick and glossy. 

Step 4
Mix besan and yogurt and whisk well. Add to the tomato onion mixture and cook for 2-3 minutes.

Step 5
Add turmeric powder, prepared kadhai masala and red chili powder. Cook well for another 5 minutes stirring in between.

Step 6 
Now add the water and let it boil. Finally add paneer, onion and bell pepper and mix thoroughly. Cook for another 5 minutes until the spices coat the veggies and paneer. Serve hot garnished with cilantro.

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The famous proverb "you are what you eat” as quoted by the French author Anthelme Brillat-Savarin is very true. Food nourishes you from the inside out. Good health is of utmost importance to me. Vegetarianism and Veganism are gaining immense popularity these days. Natural, organic, healthy and homemade is my mantra.

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