Kadai Paneer – paneer and bell peppers are cooked in a spicy masala which gets is flavor from freshly ground coriander and chilies! Enjoy it with naan or roti.
Paneer is my husband’s favorite vegetable (if you consider it as a vegetable that is, Indians definitely do!) and green pepper or capsicum as we call it in India is my favorite veggie so it’s rather surprising that I am so late in posting this Kadai Paneer recipe which is basically paneer and bell pepper cooked in a spicy masala.
Traditionally kadai paneer is made with green peppers but I have used red and yellow peppers in stead. I think it makes it more colorful and I actually also love these sweeter peppers a bit more than green pepper in this spicy curry. Kadai is a like a wok commonly used in Indian cooking. We use it to make stir fry and all sorts of things. We also use it for deep frying snacks and sweets. This dish is called Kadai Paneer because it’s cooked in a kadai. But it doesn’t mean you have to cook it in a kadai only, I actually made it in a pan but served it in a kadai! 😉
Kadai paneer is one of the most popular paneer recipes. It’s there on the menu in almost all Indian restaurants and best enjoyed with butter naan. It also tastes great with plain paratha. This paneer sabzi gets its unique flavors from fresh ground coriander seeds and dried red chilies. The spices are dry roasted till fragrant and then ground to a fine powder. The addition of fresh spices makes this super flavorful. It’s amazing how much difference the addition of fresh spices can make to a dish. They really make the flavors pop!
I used 4 dried red chilies in this recipe, you may use more if you want. Recently a non-Indian reader commented on one of my simple Indian recipes that it didn’t have enough spices and so it did not taste authentic. I wanted to bring this up to clarify few things about Indian food. I don’t know why these Indian restaurants have painted this picture of Indian food that it always needs to be super spicy and creamy. It is simply not like that, it is always flavorful but doesn’t necessarily be spicy every time.
Every home in India has its own rule when it comes to spices. What I share is my style of Indian cooking. My family and for that matter my husband’s family too do not eat very spicy food and so that’s how I cook too. Please feel free to add as much as spices as you like. Plus regular Indian food is like this – very simple with less spices and no cream/butter (that’s why most of it is vegan!). And you can trust me on that, I grew up eating all this everyday of my life! All that is on the menu in Indian restaurants (tikka masala and creamy curries) is only made on special occasions in Indian families too. I think I need to do a post on 10 most common misconceptions on Indian food soon, that might help! Anyway this Kadai Paneer was quite spicy for my standard but like I said add more spice if you like.
Hope you guys enjoy this recipe of kadai paneer. It’s one of my personal favorites! If you give it a try, I would love to see a pic. Tag your pic with #cookwithmanali on social media when you try any of my recipes.
Looking for more paneer recipes? Check these out!
Dry roast coriander seeds, dried red chili, cloves and green cardamom for 5-6 minutes till fragrant.
Transfer to a spice grinder and grind the spices to a fine powder. The kadai masala is now ready, set aside.
In a pan heat 1.5 teaspoon oil on high heat. Toss cubed onion and bell pepper and cook for 2 minutes , the veggies should remain crunchy. Remove from pan and set aside.
Lower the heat to medium and in the same pan add butter and oil. Once hot, add grated ginger and garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes till raw smell goes.
Add tomatoes, little salt, cover the pan and cook the tomatoes for 10-12 minutes on medium heat.
Once tomatoes are cooked add salt, kashmiri red chili powder and the prepared kadai masala. Mix till combined.
Cook the masala for 2-3 minutes.
Then add 1/4 cup water, sugar, heavy cream and mix.
Then add crushed kasuri methi and paneer pieces.
Stir, cover the pan and cook for another 2 minutes.
Serve kadai paneer hot with naan, paratha or rice.
* You may use green bell peppers in place of the red and the yellow ones that I used.
* Use more dried red chili for a spicier kadai paneer.
* You may also squeeze in some fresh lemon juice if you like a tittle tang in your sabzi.
- 200 grams paneer cubes
- 3 small peppers, cubed, I used red and yellow peppers
- 1 medium red onion, cubed
- 4 large tomatoes, chopped
- 4-5 garlic cloves, grated
- 1 inch ginger, grated
- 1.5 tablespoons butter
- 2.5 teaspoons vegetable oil
- ½ teaspoon kashmiri red chili powder
- 1 teaspoon kasuri methi, crushed
- 3 tablespoons chopped cilantro
- 1.5 tablespoons heavy cream
- ¼ cup water
- pinch of sugar
- salt, to taste
- 1.5 tablespoons coriander seeds
- 4 dried red chilies
- 2 green cardamom
- 2 cloves
- Dry roast coriander seeds, dried red chili, cloves and green cardamom for 5-6 minutes till fragrant.
- Transfer to a spice grinder and grind the spices to a fine powder. The kadai masala is now ready, set aside.
- In a pan heat 1.5 teaspoon oil on high heat. Toss cubed onion and bell pepper and cook for 2 minutes , the veggies should remain crunchy. Remove from pan and set aside.
- Lower heat to medium and in the same pan add butter and oil. Once hot, add grated ginger and garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes till raw smell goes.
- Add tomatoes, little salt, cover the pan and cook the tomatoes for 10-12 minutes on medium heat.
- Once tomatoes are cooked, add salt, kashmiri red chili powder and the prepared kadai masala. Mix till combined.
- Cook the masala for 2-3 minutes then add ¼ cup water, sugar, heavy cream and mix.
- Add the sauteed onion and bell peppers and mix.
- Then add crushed kasuri methi and paneer pieces.
- Stir, cover the pan and cook for another 2 minutes.
- Add chopped cilantro and mix. Serve Kadai Paneer with naan or rice.