Kadai Paneer is my all time favourite paneer curry. Chunks of capsicum, onion and paneer bathed into delicious gravy are just irresistible. Like all curries, everyone have their own way of making this. I, on the other hand feels that a good kadai paneer should:
-have good orange/red colour gravy. So I highly recommend using kashmiri red chilli powder.
-bell peppers/capsicum and onions must be cooked half, or let’s say must be bit crunchy.
-butter is must. Butter brings that nice shine and creamy texture which I think is very important.
-Whole spices-green and black cardamom, cinnamon and bay leaf is avoidable. If you don’t have of these please postpone the idea of cooking kadai paneer
-Lastly the texture of the gravy. It should not be runny but should be thick and the massala/gravy should be coated well onto paneer, capsicum and onions.
So here is my way to make Kadai Paneer.
- 10 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 5 medium tomatoes, roughly chopped
- 2 cups water
- 2 tablespoons cashews/kaju
- 10 tablespoons oil
- 2 bay leaf/tej patta
- 1 large cinnamon stick/dal chinni
- 2 green cardamom/elyachi
- 1 black cardamom/kali elaychi
- 2 onions chopped into cubes
- 2 bell peppers chopped into cubes
- 2 cups paneer chopped into cubes
- 1 tablespoon kashmiri red chilli powder
- 1 tablespoon red chilli powder (normal one)
- 1 tablespoon coarsely broken coriander seeds
- 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 2 tablespoons coriander powder
- 1 tablespoons cumin powder
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon garam massala
- Salt to taste
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons Kasturi methi
- Coriander leaves to garnish
- Heat 5 tablespoons oil in a pan. Add bay leaf, cinnamon, green and black cardamom. Sauté for 20 seconds.
- In a blender, blend cashews, garlic and tomatoes.
- Pour this blended mixture in the pan. Add 1/2 cup water. Mix. Cover and let it cook on medium low heat for 20 minutes.
- In another pan heat 1 tablespoons oil and sauté bell peppers till its half done. Set aside.
- Heat 1 tablespoons oil and sauté onions till its half done. Set aside
- Heat 1 tablespoon oil and sauté panner till slightly golden. Set aside.
- Add salt, sugar, turmeric, coriander powder, cumin powder, red chilli powder, kashmiri red chilli powder and garam massala in tomato gravy. Add 1/2 cup water. Mix. Cover and cook again for 10 minutes.
- After 10 minutes you will see that massala is cooked and oil has been separated from gravy. Let this mixture cool down. Blend this again in a blender to smooth paste.
- Heat remaining oil and sauté coriander seeds till its fragrant and golden brown. Add the remaining water and blended paste. Thrown in bell peppers, onions and paneer. Cover and cook for 10 minutes.
- Mix in butter and kasuri methi.
- Garnish with coriander leaves.
Kasmiri red chilli powder brings nice sharp red colour to your gravies but it is not spicy at all, that is why you will have to add two kinds red chilli powder.
Serve as side with parthas, puris, roti –basically any indian bread.
It will be great for wraps as well. Just throw in some salad and you are good to go.