Paneer is one of my favourite ingredients to cook with. Because of its texture and neutral taste, I find that I can use it in a number of dishes, right from pies, tarts, cheesecakes and ofcourse Indian dishes.
Kadhai Paneer has to be one of the most popular dishes that a vegetarian or a non vegetarian who loves paneer would order in an Indian restaurant. And it is also one of the dishes that I cook the most when I have a special North Indian menu planned for my family or guests.
A kadhai is a pan that is very similar to the Chinese wok. It is made from various metal alloys, the most popular ones being stainless steel and iron. Non stick coated pans are also available, but I strictly do not use non stick pans in my cooking. I prefer using cookware made with natural materials instead of the ones with the toxic non stick coating that invariably makes it’s way into the food cooked in it.
This has to be one of my quickest photo shoots for divine taste as I couldn’t keep my family waiting for the shoot to get over. Kadhai paneer was a part of the lunch that I served to my in laws who were visiting us along with my special eggplant and potato roast, langarwali dal, jeera pulao, hot phulkas and halva.
Hari dashes in to hold a dish with his hands if he is around when I’m in a shoot and this works for me as well as it becomes a wonderful way for me to catalogue the growth of his little hands. The catch to this situation is that he is available for a few seconds only before he races away to get on with his next adventure and this means that I have to act quickly to get the shot.
Kadhai Paneer has wonderful aromas and flavours from all the spices and the very essence of this dish is comforting and delightful. I like to use lot of ginger here and this gives a lot of intensity and also provides zest to this dish.
Kadhai Paneer can be savoured with any Indian bread or rice dishes and it can be a part of a simple homestyle lunch or dinner. This dish also lends itself well to an elaborate celebratory meal, perfect for any occasion that needs a good North Indian accompaniment.
Watch how to make Kadhai Paneer
Kadhai Paneer Recipe
500gm paneer cut into fingers
5 to 6 tomatoes, chopped
2 green capsicum or bell pepper, cut into juliennes
2 tbsp freshly grated ginger
2 to 3 green chilies, slit
3 tbsp ghee
1 tsp yellow asafetida powder
2 tbsp coriander powder
½ tsp tp ¾ tsp red chili powder
2 tbsp crushed kasuri methi
1 ½ tsp salt
ginger juliennes and slit green chilies for garnishing
Begin by prepping the paneer and the vegetables. Cut the paneer into fingers and keep aside. Chop the tomatoes into small pieces. Cut the bell peppers or capsicum into juliennes. Grate the ginger and slit the green chilies.
In a wok or kadhai or pan, heat the ghee and when it melts, put in the ginger and the slit green chilies. Stir for a few seconds and then add the asafetida powder.
Next, put in the chopped tomatoes and cook for 3 to 4 minutes. Then stir in the coriander and red chili powders and cook until the tomatoes are pulpy, about 5 to 6 minutes more.
Stir in the bell peppers and cook covered for about 3 to 4 minutes.
Gently stir in the paneer, and coo for 2 to 3 minutes more. Sprinkle the kasuri methi and the salt and mix well.
Garnish with ginger juliennes and slit green chilies.
Serve hot and stir with rice or roti.
Note- 1 cup =250 ml