Updated: Oct 21, 2021
Kadai Paneer tossed in a spicy tomato-based marinade served with Tilda Canada pure basmati rice, garnished with fresh green peas, crispy fried onions and freshly chopped cilantro sprigs and served with a spicy mint chutney.
October is finally here (one of my favourite months out of the year) because you know, Halloween and all. I love the drastic shift from spring to fall. My wardrobe changes from t-shirts and jeans to oversized hoodies, coats and boots.
Our home even goes through a seasonal change. We begin to redo the decor in the kitchen (usually a white, gray and orange combination). We tend to also light more candles around the fall and winter season. Are we alone on this one?
Anyways, what does October and Fall have to do with Kadai Paneer? Paneer is comfort food. It warms the soul and always makes for a delicious meal regardless of what your incorporating into the dish itself. When we add spices like turmeric and ginger, these ingredients give off its own heat. (Does that make sense?)
I love adding these spices to our fall and winter dishes as the natural heat that omits from these ingredients feel like a warm hug on the inside. This helps keep us warm and gives the sense of comfort.
What is paneer?
Paneer is considered India's version of cottage cheese. Paneer is popular in subcontinents of India like: Bangladesh, Nepal, Maldives, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
Paneer is typically made with non-aged cow or buffalo milk. The soft cheese is non-melting and is made using curdled milk and lemon juice in order to form cheese curds. Paneer is usually diced into cubes or sliced into small-to-medium triangles.
Enough said, let's jump right into our Kadai Recipe. Keep in mind we breakdown the dish by Masala & Gravy Recipe, and steps and preparation.
Kadai Masala Recipe:
2 tsp coriander seeds
3-4 dry red chillies
6-7 black peppercorns
2 small cinnamon sticks
1 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
2 onions (diced large)
2 tomatoes (pureed)
1 green bell pepper (diced large)
1 red bell pepper (diced large)
1 tbsp minced ginger & garlic
1-2 green chillies (based on spice level)
2 tsp salt
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 1/2 tsp red chilli powder
1 1/2 tsp coriander powder
3 tbsp cream
2 tbsp Kadai masala (as per taste)
2 tbsp cooking oil/ ghee
1 tbsp butter
1/2 to 1 cup of water
In a pan, add all the whole spices.
Dry roast until slight brown and releases nice aroma. Do not burn.
Transfer the dry roasted spices into mixer jar and grind it to a coarse powder. Set it aside.
Frying the vegetables:
To begin with, in a kadai or pan, heat 1 tbsp of oil.
Add onion cubes, tomato cubes, bell pepper cubes and fry on high for 1 minute only.
Then, transfer them onto a plate. Set it aside.
How to make kadai paneer:
Heat oil and butter or ghee together.
Add cumin seeds and then fry for 20-30 seconds.
Add ginger garlic paste and fry for a few seconds until golden
Then, add finely chopped onions and green chillies. Sauté until translucent/ pink.
Then, add pureed tomatoes and cook for 2-3 minutes on high heat.
Now, add tumeric, red chilli powder, coriander powder and kadai masala powder. Sauté for 2-3 minutes on medium heat.
Add salt and water. cook for another 5-6 minutes. (Or until it starts releasing oil)
Then, add cream and mix, cook for 1-2 minutes.
Lastly add the fried vegetables and paneer cubes, mix well and cover. Remove from heat and let it sit for 10 minutes before serving.