It is surprising how quick this dish is to put together; yet the end result does not at all look like it has come together in a matter of minutes. Kadai Paneer is an aromatic, colorful and delicious curry. IMHO, although the main ingredient is cottage cheese, the hero of this dish is (surprisingly again) not the cottage cheese – but the capsicum or bell peppers 🙂
This dish is one of my personal favourites. DH wanted something simple for dinner. I begged him to let me make Kadai Paneer today just because I had a block of paneer and three big luscious fresh peppers sitting in the fridge – I couldn’t wait to put them together to create this dish and devour it 😀 Didn’t feel too guilty about nagging him because he gave me a thumbs up while his mouth was stuffed with this yummy curry 😀
- Fresh Paneer (Cottage cheese) – 1 block of 200 gm, cut into cubes or triangles or any shape you prefer
- Bell Pepper/Capsicum – 3, cubed (1 each of different colours – I used green, yellow and red)
- Onion – 1, cubed
- Tomato paste – 1 tsp (I used the one in the tube)
- Turmeric – 1/4 tsp
- Kashmiri Chilly powder – 1 tsp
- Coriander powder – 1 tsp
- Cumin powder – 1/2 tsp
- Kasuri methi dry – 1 tsp
- Cinnamon powder – 1/2 tsp
- Pepper powder – 1/2 tsp
- Fresh cream – 2 tsp
- Salt and Sugar to taste
- Heat oil in a wide-bottomed pan.
- Add onions and the cubed capsicum, saute until they are soft but firm. They need to maintain their colour and firmness, so cook by adding water little by little in stages. This should take about 5 minutes on a medium flame.
- Add ginger paste and quickly sauté until the raw smell of ginger is gone.
- Crush dry kasuri methi leaves with both palms and add this to the pan. Mix well.
- Add tomato paste (or puree of 1 tomato if using), and all spices – namely turmeric, chilly powder, coriander, cumin, pepper, cinnamon. Add salt and sugar. Add a ladleful of water to this and cook well for 3-5 minutes on a medium flame until the oil separates from the tomato-spice mixture. Adding water will also prevent the spices from sticking to the bottom of the vessel and burning.
- Add the paneer and fresh cream. Stir gently, since the paneer pieces are very soft and tend to break (especially if you are using homemade paneer).
- Add some chopped coriander to garnish. Serve hot with Rice or Rotis.
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