Kadai Paneer with step-by-step pictures and recipes will guide you to prepare this curry at home. If you need an irresistible recipe to satiate your hunger pangs this Kadai Paneer is simply the best.
This Restaurant Style Kadai Paneer sabzi is very popular that has a prominent flavor of tomatoes and Kadhai masala. The gravy can be mixed with Paneer and also with an array of vegetables. Kadai Basic gravy is reddish-brown in color and very spicy because of the use of red chilies.
What is Kadai Paneer
Kadai Paneer is basically an Indian curry made with cubed paneer (also known as cottage cheese) cooked with onions and bell peppers and simmered in onion tomato gravy. The specialty of Kadai Paneer is that it is cooked in Kadai, an Indian Wok that is commonly available in most Indian homes. However, you can cook it in a regular non-stick pan as well. The spices used in Kadai Paneer masala are freshly ground to give amazing flavors and aroma.
Moreover, Kadai Paneer is one of the common paneer dishes that top on the menu of the restaurants. The gravy and masala are usually spicy but tastes so delicious. However, when cooking at home you can adjust the spices and chilies in the recipe as per your likings and preferences.
If you are looking for more paneer recipes, check the links below
How to make Kadai Masala at home
Well, Kadai Paneer gets its authentic taste from the fresh ground masala which is also known as Kadai Masala. The spices used in this recipe are dry roasted till it’s aromatic and later grounded into a fine powder. Mainly, the ingredients used for this Kadai Masala are coriander seeds, cumin seeds, fennel seeds, dry red chilies, pepper, mace, cinnamon, and cloves. However, in my recipe, I have not shown coriander seeds in the picture as I had recently grounded coriander seeds powder, so I have added that in the recipe. All these spices lend a flavourful aroma and enhance the taste of Kadai Paneer.
You can prepare this masala in huge quantities and store the Kadai masala in a deep freezer for later use. This masala will stay fresh for up to 2 months. However, nothing can be compared to the taste of freshly-pound masala. However, it is better than the store-bought Kadai Masala.
Similarly, you can also make different sabzis from this Kadai masala like Mushroom Kadai, Baby Corn Kadai, Mix Vegetable Kadai, etc.
1. Why it is called Kadai Paneer?
Kadai Paneer is delicious and a very flavourful paneer sabzi made with onions, bell peppers, and freshly ground spices. These spices are called as Kadai masala and it is used for all the Kadai gravies like Kadai Corn, Kadai Mushroom, Kadai mix vegetable. It is mainly called Kadai Paneer as it is cooked in a special Indian wok called Kadai. This Kadai is basically found in all Indian kitchens. So when panner and other vegetables are cooked in KAdai with Kadai Masala, it is called Kadai or Kadhai Paneer.
2. What is the difference between the Kadai Paneer, Shahi Paneer, and Paneer Butter Masala?
Kadhai Paneer is spicier, flavourful, and aromatic in taste. Also since we use freshly ground- masala, the texture is not very smooth and creamy. The gravy is redding brown in color and it is a very versatile gravy.
Whereas Shahi Paneer as the name suggests is very rich, creamy, and relatively non-spicy or rather sweet as compared to Kadhai Paneer. In Shahi Paneer, we use cashews and almonds to prepare the gravy so it’s very creamy and a bit on the sweeter side. Also in Shahi Paneer, we do not use tomatoes, so the curry looks creamish in color.
Paneer Butter Masala is rich, buttery, and creamy gravy that is prepared with onion tomato gravy. this sabzi is red in color and mildly spiced as compared to Kadhai Paneer. It is loaded with butter and it is perfect for those who can not handle spicy gravy.
3. Can we make this gravy Vegan?
Yes, if you want to make Kadai Gravy Vegan then you simply need to replace Paneer with Tofu, butter, and ghee with Oil.
4. Can we make this without Kadai?
Yes, we can prepare Kadhai Paneer in any wok or pan, if you do not have the Kadhai at home.
Step-by-step method of Kadai Paneer
Method for Kadai Masala
1. Firstly, heat a pan and combine all the ingredients mentioned in the List of Kadai masala. Alternatively, you can roast the spices on a Tawa or griddle as well.
2. Now dry roast all the ingredients on a lower flame or 1 minute, while stirring continuously till the aroma releases.
3. Once the spices cool down, blend in a mixer to a fine powder and keep it aside.
Method for Kadai Gravy
4. Heat oil or ghee in a Kadai, add ginger garlic paste and saute it for a few seconds.
5. Now add onion paste, chop the onion into small chunks, and puree it into a blender. Saute it for 2 minutes till the onions turn brown.
6. Now add tomato puree and chopped tomatoes in it, mix well and cook it for 6-7 minutes till oil | ghee separates while stirring continuously.
7. Now add red chili powder, coriander powder, a pinch of sugar, and Kadai masala in the gravy and cook for another 2 minutes till the masala blends well in the gravy.
How to Make Kadai Paneer
7. Heat oil in a small pan and add onion and capsicum to it. Saute it for 2 minutes on a high flame till they are tender and brown. Keep it aside.
8. Finally, add paneer cubes, sauteed onion, capsicum, salt, and mix well. Cook on a slow flame for another 4-5 minutes while stirring in between and serve it hot with roti or naan.
This gravy will stay good for 203 days in the fridge if stored well in an air-tight box or a glass container. However, if you want to freeze the gravy, then transfer the gravy into a freezer-safe box and store only the gravy. This will stay good for 2 months. I will recommend you label your box with the name of the gravy along with the date. This will ensure that you use the gravy within the time limit and not forget to use it. Re-heat the gravy on a Kadai and use it for your sabzi by adding paneer, tofu, mixed vegetables, corn, mushroom, etc.
Kadai Paneer tastes good with Butter Roti, Garlic Naan, Jeera, or Ajwain Paratha along with Bondi Raita, Salads, and pickle. This wholesome meal tastes too good when eaten fresh and hot. Garnish with ginger juliennes, finely chopped coriander leaves, and few green chilies along.
- Ingredients for Kadai Masala
- 200 grams Paneer Cubes
- 1 onion diced
- 1 capsicum diced
- For Kadai Masala
- 2 tsp Cumin Seeds
- ½ tsp Peppercorns
- 3-4 cinnamon sticks
- 3-4 cloves
- 4-5 dry red chilies
- 1 tsp fennel seeds
- 2 tsp coriander seeds not shown in the picture
- For Kadai Gravy
- 1 tbsp oil or ghee
- 1 tsp ginger garlic paste
- 1 cup onion paste
- 1 cup tomato puree
- 1 big tomato chopped
- 1 tsp coriander powder
- 1 tsp Kashmiri red chili powder
- pinch of sugar
- salt as per taste
- Method for Kadai Masala
- Firstly, heat a pan and combine all the ingredients mentioned in the List of Kadai masala. Alternatively, you can roast the spices on a Tawa or griddle as well.
- Now dry roast all the ingredients on a lower flame or 1 minute, while stirring continuously till the aroma releases.
- Once the spices cool down, blend in a mixer to a fine powder and keep it aside.
- Method for Kadai Gravy
- Heat oil or ghee in a Kadai, add ginger garlic paste and saute it for a few seconds.
- Now add onion paste, for this chop onion into small chunks, and puree it into a blender. Saute it for 2 minutes till the onions turn brown.
- Now add tomato puree and chopped tomatoes in it, mix well and cook it for 6-7 minutes till oil | ghee separates while stirring continuously.
- Now add red chili powder, coriander powder, a pinch of sugar, and Kadai masala in the gravy and cook for another 2 minutes till the masala blends well in the gravy.
- How to Make Kadai Paneer
- Heat oil in a small pan and add onion and capsicum to it. Saute it for 2 minutes on a high flame till they are tender and brown. Keep it aside.
- Finally, add paneer cubes, sauteed onion, capsicum, salt, and mix well. Cook on a slow flame for another 4-5 minutes while stirring in between and serve it hot with roti or naan.
- For the best Kadai Paneer sabzi, it is advisable to use freshly ground spices for the gravy.
- Also, use fresh spices and not too old, else there won’t be much flavor to it and the sabzi will not taste good.
- If you do not have time to prepare fresh Kadai Masala, then you can use Garam masala, however, the taste will change a bit.
- Using red dry Kashmiri chilies will give a good color to the gravy and also won’t be too spicy.
- You can fry the paneer cubes and soak them in water also to use in this recipe.
- The best way is to use fresh paneer, either homemade or store-bought. If you are using frozen paneer, then keep it in hot water for 15 minutes before mixing it in the gravy.