Kadai Paneer Masala

The crunchy bite of the capsicums together with the soft melt-in-mouth consistency of the paneer cubes surely mark their place in this delicious tomato-onion-based gravy, making it an amazing treat for your taste buds!

Kadai Paneer Masala

Welcome to our blog on how to make delicious and aromatic kadai paneer masala! This popular North Indian dish is a spicy and flavorful blend of paneer (Indian cottage cheese), bell peppers, and a rich, creamy gravy. In this recipe, we will guide you through the step-by-step process of creating this mouthwatering dish that is sure to become a favorite in your home. Let's get started!

What Is Kadai Paneer Masala?

  • Kadai Paneer Masala is a popular and flavorful Indian dish that combines succulent paneer cubes with a delicious blend of Indian spices and unique seasoning. This dish is known for its rich and aromatic gravy, made with a combination of tomatoes, onions, and a variety of spices like cumin seeds, fennel seeds, cloves, cardamoms, and peppercorns. The addition of diced capsicums adds a delightful crunch to the dish, while the fresh cream and crushed fenugreek leaves elevate the flavors to create a satisfying and indulgent meal.
  • Kadai Paneer Masala is a perfect combination of creamy, spicy, and tangy flavors, making it a favorite among both vegetarian and non-vegetarian food lovers. This dish is often enjoyed with rotis or naan, and it never fails to impress with its wholesome and aromatic appeal. Enjoyed by many as a traditional Indian delicacy, Kadai Paneer Masala is a must-try for anyone looking to savor the true essence of Indian cuisine.

Why You'll Love Kadai Paneer Masala?

  • Delicious Texture: Kadai Paneer Masala is a dish with a rich and creamy gravy that perfectly coats the marinated paneer cubes, giving it a soft and succulent texture.
  • Rich in Vitamins and Minerals: The dish packs a nutritious punch with the addition of capsicums, onions, and tomatoes, which are high in vitamins and minerals, making it a healthy choice for a meal.
  • Protein-Packed: Paneer is the main ingredient of this dish, providing an excellent source of protein that is essential for muscle growth and repair.
  • Good Source of Healthy Fats: Ghee and olive oil used in the recipe provide healthy fats, which are beneficial for the heart and overall health.
  • Aromatic and Flavorful: The combination of whole spices such as cumin seeds, fennel seeds, cloves, and cardamoms, along with fresh ginger and garlic, infuses the dish with a delectable and aromatic flavor.
  • Easy to Customize: You can adjust the level of spice according to your preference and add or omit any vegetables to suit your taste, making it a versatile and customizable dish.

Ingredients for Kadai Paneer Masala

  • Paneer cubes: Paneer is a type of Indian cheese that adds a creamy and rich texture to the dish, making it a staple ingredient in the Kadai Paneer Masala recipe.
  • Capsicums: Diced capsicums add a slight crunch and a sweet, peppery flavor to the dish, complementing the creamy texture of the paneer.
  • Onions: Diced onions add a sweet and tangy flavor to the masala, enhancing the overall taste of the dish.
  • Tomatoes: Tomatoes provide a slight tanginess and a vibrant color to the masala, adding depth of flavor to the dish.
  • Ginger and Garlic: These aromatic ingredients add a pungent and spicy flavor to the masala, enhancing the overall taste of the dish.
  • Spices (cumin seeds, fennel seeds, cloves, cardamoms, peppercorns, green chilies, bay leaf, cinnamon stick, red chili powder, turmeric powder, coriander powder, garam masala, fenugreek leaves): These spices add warmth, depth, and complexity to the masala, creating a well-balanced and flavorful dish.

How To Make Kadai Paneer Masala?

  • To make kadai paneer masala, start by marinating the paneer cubes with turmeric powder, red chili powder, and salt. This step is important for infusing the paneer with flavor.
  • Next, heat a non-stick pan with ghee or oil and add in the spices to create a fragrant base for the masala. This step is crucial for building the aromatic foundation of the dish.
  • After preparing the spice base, blend together the onions, tomatoes, garlic, and ginger to create a smooth paste. This step is essential for achieving a rich and flavorful gravy.
  • Fry the onions, capsicums, and marinated paneer cubes separately, then combine them with the ground paste and spices.
  • Finish by adding fresh cream and allowing the masala to thicken, then garnish with chopped coriander leaves before serving. This final step ties together the flavors and adds a fresh, herbaceous element to the dish.

Following these steps will ensure a delicious and flavorful kadai paneer masala that is sure to be a hit with your family and friends.

Serving Suggestions

  • Pair with Naan or Roti: Kadai paneer masala pairs well with naan or roti, the soft and fluffy bread complements the spicy and flavorful paneer dish perfectly.
  • Serve with Jeera Rice: The earthy flavors of jeera rice go hand in hand with the rich and aromatic kadai paneer masala, making it a delightful combination.
  • Accompany with Raita: The cool and refreshing taste of raita provides a nice contrast to the spicy kadai paneer masala, balancing out the meal.
  • Side of Salad: A fresh and crisp salad can add a nice crunch and a pop of color to the meal, making it a well-rounded dining experience.
  • Add a Pickle: A tangy and spicy pickle can add an extra kick to the meal, enhancing the flavors of the kadai paneer masala.
  • Include a Dessert: Wrap up the meal with a sweet dessert such as gulab jamun or kheer to satisfy the sweet tooth and complete the dining experience.

Tips for Making Kadai Paneer Masala

  • Preparation duration: This recipe requires some preparation time due to the marination of paneer and the chopping of vegetables. Make sure to plan in advance for this dish, as the flavors develop best when given time to marinate.
  • Cooking techniques: Pay close attention to the cooking techniques, such as frying the paneer until browned and sautéing the spices until a nice aroma comes. These steps are crucial for achieving the perfect texture and flavor in the dish.
  • Importance of garnishing: Garnishing with chopped coriander leaves not only adds a pop of color to the dish but also enhances the overall presentation and flavor. Don't skip this step, as it adds the perfect finishing touch to your kadai paneer masala.
  • Adjust spices to taste: Feel free to adjust the spices according to your preference. If you like it spicier, add more red chili powder, and if you prefer a milder flavor, reduce the amount of green chilies in the recipe.
  • Use fresh ingredients: For the best flavor, use fresh ingredients, especially when it comes to the tomatoes and capsicums. This will ensure that your kadai paneer masala is bursting with the vibrant flavors of the fresh vegetables.
  • Serve with your favorite Indian bread: Kadai paneer masala pairs perfectly with rotis, naan, or any other Indian bread. Serve hot and enjoy the rich and aromatic flavors of this classic Indian dish.

Variations for Kadai Paneer Masala

  • Spicy Variation: For a spicier version of Kadai Paneer Masala, increase the amount of red chili powder or add in some extra green chilies to the masala paste. You can also consider adding a dash of black pepper powder for an extra kick.
  • Creamy Variation: To make a creamier version, you can increase the amount of fresh cream in the recipe and also add in some cashew paste to the masala paste for a richer texture.
  • Vegan Variation: For a vegan alternative, you can substitute the paneer cubes with extra firm tofu and replace the ghee/oil with vegan butter or coconut oil. You can also use dairy-free cream or coconut milk for the creamy element.
  • Nutty Variation: Consider adding some crushed nuts like cashews, almonds, or pistachios to the masala paste for a nutty flavor and added texture to the dish.
  • Vegetable Variation: Feel free to add in other vegetables like broccoli, carrots, or peas to the dish to create a wholesome and colorful variation of Kadai Paneer Masala.
  • Protein Variation: Experiment with different protein options such as marinated mushrooms, chickpeas, or even soy chunks to create a unique twist on the classic recipe.

How to Store Kadai Paneer Masala

  • Storing Paneer: To maintain the freshness of paneer, store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Make sure to change the water every day to keep it fresh and soft.
  • Storing Spices: Keep your spices in a cool, dark place to maintain their flavor and potency. Store them in airtight containers to prevent moisture from getting in.
  • Storing Fresh Cream: Once opened, store the fresh cream in the refrigerator. Make sure to seal the container tightly to prevent air from getting in and spoiling the cream.
  • Storing Capsicums and Onions: Store diced capsicums and onions in separate airtight containers in the refrigerator. This will keep them fresh and prevent them from spoiling quickly.
  • Storing the Masala Paste: Store the prepared masala paste in an airtight jar in the refrigerator. Use it within a week for the best flavor and freshness.
  • Storing Leftovers: If you have any leftovers, store them in airtight containers in the refrigerator. Reheat before serving to enjoy the flavors of kadai paneer masala once again.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is kadai paneer masala?

  • Kadai paneer masala is a popular Indian dish made with paneer (Indian cottage cheese), capsicums, and a flavorful blend of spices and herbs. It is known for its rich and spicy gravy and is often served with rotis or naan.

Can I adjust the spiciness of the dish?

  • Yes, you can adjust the spiciness of the dish by increasing or decreasing the amount of red chili powder and green chilies according to your preference. If you prefer a milder flavor, you can also deseed the green chilies before adding them to the dish.

What can I serve with kadai paneer masala?

  • Kadai paneer masala is traditionally served with rotis, naan, or steamed rice. You can also pair it with jeera rice or even with bread like parathas or kulchas for a delicious meal.

Can I make kadai paneer masala without cream?

  • Yes, you can make kadai paneer masala without cream by substituting it with cashew or almond paste. Simply soak the nuts in water, blend them into a smooth paste, and add it to the dish for a creamy texture.

How can I make the dish more aromatic?

  • To make the dish more aromatic, you can increase the amount of whole spices such as cloves, cardamoms, and peppercorns during the tempering process. You can also add a splash of fresh cream just before serving for an extra burst of aroma.

How long can I store kadai paneer masala?

  • You can store kadai paneer masala in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. When reheating, add a little water or cream to maintain the consistency of the gravy.

Kadai Paneer Masala  2021-06-30 03:08:44

Recipe Card

Kadai Paneer Masala

Serving Size: 4
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes

Ingredients

  • 200g paneer cubes
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/4 tsp red chili powder
  • to taste (1/4 tsp) salt
  • 1 cup diced capsicums
  • 1/4 cup diced onions
  • 1 tbsp ghee or oil
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp fennel seeds
  • 4 to 5 cloves
  • 10 black pepper corns
  • 2 to 3 green cardamoms
  • 1 to 2 green chilies
  • 1 medium sized onion (roughly chopped)
  • 2 medium sized tomatoes (roughly chopped)
  • 1 inch ginger
  • 8 garlic pods
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp olive oil or any other cooking oil
  • 1/2 bay leaf
  • 1 inch cinnamon stick
  • 1 tsp red chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala powder
  • 1 tbsp crushed fenugreek leaves
  • 3 tbsp fresh cream
  • for garnishing chopped coriander leaves

Instructions

  • Marinate paneer cubes with turmeric powder, red chili powder, and salt in a wide bowl and keep aside.
  • Heat ghee or oil in a non-stick pan over medium heat.
  • Add cumin seeds, fennel seeds, cloves, cardamoms, peppercorns, green chilies and fry until spluttering.
  • Add garlic pods and chopped ginger, saute well.
  • Add chopped onions and fry until transparent.
  • Add chopped tomatoes with salt and cook until soft and mushy. Turn off the heat.
  • Once the mixture cools, blend it in a blender until smooth and keep aside.
  • Heat a pan with oil, fry diced onions until transparent, remove and keep aside.
  • Add diced capsicums, fry for a minute and keep aside.
  • Add marinated paneer cubes, fry until browned, remove from heat and keep aside.
  • In the remaining oil, add bay leaf, cinnamon stick, and red chili powder and stir fry over low heat until a nice aroma comes.
  • Add the ground paste and mix well.
  • Add coriander powder and turmeric powder, saute well and then add 1/4 cup water, cover, and cook until the paste becomes thick.
  • Add fresh cream and mix well.
  • Add 1/2 cup water and when the masala starts to boil, add crushed fenugreek leaves and garam masala. Cook until the masala becomes slightly thick.
  • Add fried onions, capsicums, and paneer cubes, mix gently and cook until the gravy becomes thick.
  • Garnish with chopped coriander leaves and serve hot with rotis.

By Santhi Therese
The Indian Claypot

Step-By-Step Instructions:

Firstly, in a wide bowl, marinate the paneer cubes with turmeric powder,
red chili powder and salt,

mix well until the masala is well coated and keep it aside.

Then heat a non-stick pan with ghee or oil over medium heat.

When the oil heats, add in cumin seeds, fennel seeds, cloves, cardamoms,
peppercorns, green chilies, and fry until spluttering.

.

Then add garlic pods and chopped ginger, saute well.

Further, add chopped onions, fry until transparent.

Then add chopped tomatoes with salt

and cook until it turns soft and mushy. Turn off the heat.

Once the mixture cools, place it in a blender,

blend until smooth and keep it aside.

Heat a pan with 3 tbsp oil, add in diced onions, fry until transparent,
remove them from the pan, and keep it aside.

Then add diced capsicums fry for a minute and keep it aside.

Then add marinated paneer cubes, fry until browned, remove from
the heat and keep it aside.

In the remaining oil, add bay leaf, cinnamon stick and red chili powder
(over low heat)

stir fry until a nice aroma comes or for few seconds.

Then add the ground paste and mix well.

Further, add in coriander powder and turmeric powder, saute well

and then add 1/4 cup water and mix well,

cover and cook until the paste becomes thick or oozes oil from the sides of the pan.

Then add fresh cream

and mix well.

Now add 1/2 cup water, mix well,

when the masala starts to boil add crushed fenugreek leaves and
garam masala, mix well

cook until the masala becomes slightly thick.

Now add fried onions, capsicums

and paneer cubes, mix gently

and cook until the gravy becomes thick.

Finally, garnish with chopped coriander leaves and serve hot with rotis.

You may also like my other Indian Curries posts and recipes like Vendakkai Mor Kuzhambu / Okra Yogurt Gravy, Kadai Paneer Recipe, Mutton Peas Curry, Karela Curry / Bitter Gourd Curry, Mochai Kuzhambu Recipe / Fresh Field Beans Curry, Palak Paneer Recipe, Omelette Curry, Indian Fish Curry, Liver Recipe, Ginger Garlic Paste Recipe, Mutton Chukka Recipe, Paneer Jalfrezi Recipe, Chole Bhature / Chola Poori, Nandu Masala / Crab Masala, Chettinad Egg Curry, Matar Paneer Masala, Indian Mutton Curry Recipe, Paneer Butter Masala, Soya Chunks Paneer Korma, Indian Chicken Curry with Potatoes .


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Other Recipes


Vendakkai Mor Kuzhambu / Okra Yogurt Gravy
Kadai Paneer Recipe
Mutton Peas Curry
Karela Curry / Bitter Gourd Curry
Mochai Kuzhambu Recipe / Fresh Field Beans Curry
Palak Paneer Recipe
Omelette Curry
Indian Fish Curry
Liver Recipe
Ginger Garlic Paste Recipe
Mutton Chukka Recipe
Paneer Jalfrezi Recipe
Chole Bhature / Chola Poori
Nandu Masala / Crab Masala
Chettinad Egg Curry
Matar Paneer Masala
Indian Mutton Curry Recipe
Paneer Butter Masala
Soya Chunks Paneer Korma
Indian Chicken Curry with Potatoes

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