Kadai Paneer

Kadai Paneer is a delicious semi-dry gravy made with paneer, bell peppers and spices.

Kadai Paneer

Welcome to a mouthwatering and aromatic recipe for Kadai Paneer! This beloved Indian dish features paneer, a type of Indian cheese, and a delectable blend of spices and vegetables. In this post, we will walk you through the steps to create this flavorful and satisfying dish that is sure to impress your family and friends. So, let's get ready to enjoy the spicy and tangy flavors of Kadai Paneer!

What Is Kadai Paneer?

  • Kadai Paneer is a popular North Indian dish that consists of succulent paneer cubes, mixed capsicum, and a rich, flavorful gravy. The combination of paneer, onions, tomatoes, and capsicum is enhanced with a special blend of Indian spices and seasoning, creating a dish with a unique and delightful taste. This dish is a perfect example of the vibrant and diverse flavors found in Indian cuisine. The process of cooking the paneer in a kadai (Indian wok) adds an extra layer of deliciousness to the recipe, making it a favorite among food enthusiasts.

Why You'll Love Kadai Paneer?

  • Deliciously Textured: Kadai paneer is a delightful combination of soft paneer cubes and crunchy mixed capsicum, making it a treat for your taste buds. The rich, aromatic gravy coats the ingredients perfectly, creating a mouthwatering texture.
  • Healthy Capsicum: The mixed capsicum in kadai paneer is not only delicious but also packed with essential nutrients. Capsicum is high in vitamin C, antioxidants, and fiber, making it a healthy addition to this flavorful dish.
  • Paneer Protein: Paneer, a good source of protein, provides the necessary amino acids for your body. With the paneer cubes soaking in a delicious gravy, you get a flavorful and protein-packed meal.
  • Low Carb: Kadai paneer is a low-carb dish, making it a great option for those following a low-carb or keto diet. With minimal carbs and abundant protein and healthy fats, it's a satisfying and nutritious choice.
  • Rich in Spices: The blend of aromatic spices in kadai paneer not only adds depth of flavor but also contains health benefits. From turmeric's anti-inflammatory properties to fenugreek's potential to aid digestion, the spices in this dish offer more than just taste.
  • Versatile and Filling: Kadai paneer can be enjoyed as a main dish with rice or Indian bread, or as a side dish. Its hearty and comforting nature makes it a perfect choice for a satisfying meal that can be enjoyed on various occasions.

Ingredients for Kadai Paneer

  • Paneer cubes: The key ingredient in kadai paneer, paneer cubes add a creamy and rich texture to the dish while absorbing the flavors of the spices and gravy.
  • Onion: Cubed onions add a subtle sweetness and depth of flavor to the dish, providing a savory base for the spices and other ingredients.
  • Tomatoes: Chopped tomatoes contribute a tangy and slightly sweet flavor to the gravy, while also providing natural acidity to balance the richness of the paneer.
  • Mixed capsicum: Cubed capsicum not only adds a pop of color to the dish but also provides a crisp and fresh flavor, adding a slight bitterness and crunch to the overall taste.
  • Ginger & garlic paste: This aromatic blend adds a bold and pungent flavor to the dish, enhancing the savory profile while providing warmth and depth.
  • Spices (Red chili powder, coriander powder, turmeric, garam masala, crushed fenugreek leaves): A combination of these spices adds layers of complexity and depth of flavor to the dish, creating a well-balanced and aromatic taste experience.

How To Make Kadai Paneer?

Kadai paneer is a delicious and flavorful Indian dish that is loved by many. To make this dish, follow these simple steps:

  • Immerse the paneer cubes in hot water until you cook it. This step helps to soften the paneer and make it more flavorful in the dish.
  • Blend the tomatoes until pureed and set it aside. This puree will form the base of the flavorful gravy for the kadai paneer.
  • Heat a non-stick pan with oil and add coriander seeds or cumin seeds. This step helps to infuse the oil with the aromatic flavors of the spices.
  • Saute the onions until they turn transparent, then add ginger and garlic paste and saute until the raw smell goes. This step is crucial for building the savory base of the dish.
  • Add the tomato puree and cook until the gravy becomes slightly thick. This step allows the flavors to meld together and creates a flavorful base for the dish.
  • Add the powders and salt, stir well until their raw smell leaves, and then add the capsicum. Stir-fry until the vegetables are half cooked but crunchy. This step ensures that the vegetables are cooked just right for the perfect texture.
  • Add the paneer cubes and saute well, then add water to the gravy and stir continuously. This step helps to create a creamy and flavorful gravy that coats the paneer and vegetables.
  • Finally, add fenugreek leaves and saute for one more minute. This step adds a layer of unique flavor to the dish.
  • Once the gravy becomes thick, switch off the heat and garnish the dish with coriander leaves and ginger juliennes for a fresh and aromatic finish.

By following these steps, you can create a delicious and flavorful kadai paneer that is sure to be a hit at any meal.

Serving Suggestions

  • Side Dish Pairings: Kadai paneer pairs perfectly with a side of butter naan or jeera rice for a complete and satisfying meal.
  • Vegetable Options: Consider serving kadai paneer with a side of mixed vegetable curry or aloo gobi to add a variety of flavors and textures to your meal.
  • Fresh Accompaniments: Complete your kadai paneer meal with a side of cucumber raita or onion salad for a refreshing and cooling contrast to the spicy flavors of the dish.

Tips for Making Delicious Kadai Paneer

Furthermore, Paneer is one of the best meat substitutes for vegetarians.

  • Although animal products like meat or eggs are rich in protein, they also come with saturated fat and cholesterol. But paneer is a good substitute because it only contains a good amount of protein. So try to add paneer to your diet as much as possible.
  • While making this kadai paneer, if you don’t have coriander seeds, then add cumin seeds. But the crushed coriander seeds give a nice aroma. Another important thing is that the vegetables must be crunchy. So don’t overcook it.

Variations for Kadai Paneer

  • Veggie Options: Instead of using capsicum, you can experiment with different vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, or even carrots to add a twist to the dish.
  • Protein Choices: If you're not a fan of paneer, you can substitute it with tofu, mushrooms, or even mixed legumes for a different take on the classic kadai paneer.
  • Spice Level: Adjust the spice levels according to your preference. You can add more red chili powder for a spicier kick, or reduce it for a milder flavor.
  • Creamy Texture: To make the gravy creamier, you can add a tablespoon of cashew paste or a dollop of fresh cream to the dish.
  • Tangy Twist: For an extra tangy flavor, add a splash of lemon juice or a teaspoon of tamarind paste to the gravy.
  • Herb Infusion: Experiment with adding other herbs like fresh mint or cilantro to the dish for a unique flavor profile.

How to Store Kadai Paneer

  • Storing Paneer It is best to store paneer in an airtight container and refrigerate it to maintain freshness. This will prevent it from drying out and losing its soft texture.
  • Storing Spices To keep the spices fresh and flavorful, store them in a cool, dark place away from direct sunlight. It's best to use airtight containers to prevent moisture from affecting the quality of the spices.
  • Storing Vegetables Keep the cubed onions, tomatoes, and capsicum in separate airtight containers in the refrigerator. This will help retain their crispness and flavor for a longer period of time.
  • Refrigerating Gravy If you have leftover kadai paneer gravy, store it in an airtight container and refrigerate. It can last for a few days, but it's best to consume it within 2-3 days to ensure freshness.
  • Preventing Moisture Make sure to drain all the water from the paneer cubes before storing them. This will prevent the paneer from becoming soggy and losing its texture.
  • Utilizing Fenugreek Leaves To keep the fenugreek leaves (methi) fresh, store them in an airtight container or a ziplock bag and refrigerate. This will help retain their aroma and flavor for a longer period of time.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What can I substitute for paneer in kadai paneer?

  • You can substitute paneer with tofu for a vegan version of kadai paneer. For a non-vegetarian option, you can use chicken or shrimp instead of paneer.

Can I adjust the spice level in kadai paneer?

  • Yes, you can adjust the spice level by increasing or decreasing the amount of red chili powder and garam masala according to your preference.

How do I make kadai paneer less spicy?

  • To make kadai paneer less spicy, you can reduce the amount of red chili powder and garam masala. You can also add a little bit of cream or yogurt to mellow out the heat.

Can I use fresh fenugreek leaves instead of dried fenugreek leaves?

  • Yes, you can use fresh fenugreek leaves if you have them available. Simply chop the fresh leaves and add them at the same stage as the dried fenugreek leaves in the recipe.

How long can I store leftover kadai paneer?

  • Leftover kadai paneer can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. Reheat it in a pan or microwave before serving.

Can I freeze kadai paneer?

  • Yes, you can freeze kadai paneer in an airtight container for up to 1-2 months. Thaw it in the refrigerator before reheating and serving.

Recipe Card

Kadai Paneer 2018-03-25 05:34:23

Kadai Paneer

Serves 3
Prep Time: 00:10
Cook Time: 00:15
Total Time: 00:25


  • 200g paneer cubes
  • 1 medium sized onion, cubed
  • 1 large sized tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 cup mixed capsicum, cubed
  • 1 tsp ginger & garlic paste
  • 3/4 tsp red chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp coriander powder
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp crushed fenugreek leaves (dry)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp crushed coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp ginger juliennes
  • 1 tbsp coriander leaves


  • Immerse the paneer cubes in hot water until you cook it.
  • Then place the tomatoes in a blender and blend until pureed and keep it aside.
  • Heat a non-stick pan with oil, over medium heat. When the oil heats, add coriander seeds or cumin seeds and fry until spluttering.
  • Once it splutters, add cubed onions and saute till it turns transparent.
  • Then add ginger and garlic paste and saute well till the raw smell goes.
  • Then add the tomato puree and stir well, cover the pan with a lid and cook until the gravy becomes slightly thick.
  • At this stage add all the powders and salt and stir well until its raw smell leaves, stir continuously. When the gravy becomes thick or the oil from the gravy oozes out, add all the capsicum and stir-fry until the veggies are half cooked but crunchy.
  • Then add paneer cubes (drain all the water and squeeze the paneer cubes slightly) and saute well. Now add 3 tbsp of water to the gravy and stir continuously.
  • Then add fenugreek leaves and saute for one more minute.
  • Once the gravy becomes thick switch off the heat and finally, garnish it with coriander leaves and ginger juliennes.

By Santhi Therese
The Indian Claypot

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