how many times we want to create restaurant style food at homes and wish we could do that. being a vegetarian, i have also wanted to create the restaurant style paneer dishes and the dal frys and dal tadkas at home and i have been fairly successful in it.
one such recipe is the recipe of kadai paneer. usually when we go to any restaurant, one paneer dish is unfailingly always ordered. the other dish is usually a dal recipe like dal makhani or dal tadka. so some times i create these recipes at home.
i love reading cook books from well known chefs and even try their recipes. now this recipe is really restaurant style, coz i have adapted it from the cookbook Prashad-Cooking with Indian Masters by jiggs kalra. i remember jiggs kalra, as a kid, in on of his tv shows, where i would watch him and his assistant chef churning out delicacies and delicacies one after the other.
this book has restaurant style recipes, but most of them are non vegetarian ones. a must have book if you want to have some yummy food. i have made a few recipes from the book and they have all been great… like dhingri dolma, amritsari dal (a recipe still in the drafts) and aubergines in white gravy – a vegetarian adaption of safed maas: a rajasthani delicacy of meat in white gravy.
i have a kadhai paneer recipe already on my website, but its different from this one… and please don’t compare the photos of that one with this one… those were the days, i used to take photos from a mobile phone and it reminds me that i still have to replace the photo of that one…. and i am so busy…. its a miracle how i post recipes on the blog.
the flavors of this restaurant style kadai paneer recipe comes from freshly pounded coriander seeds and kashmiri red chilies… and yes adding freshly pounded spices do make a lot of difference to the food that we cook.
another factor of this recipe is that it does not have onions…. but garlic is added. for folks who do not eat onion and garlic, just do not add garlic to the recipe and you have a kadai paneer without onions and garlic.
for the recipe, i had made paneer the previous night, but you can use store brought paneer. the recipe is again simple and easy to make.
so here we go with step by step kadai paneer recipe.
start by rinsing the veggies and chopping them later.
in a kadai, heat oil and add crushed ginger garlic or ginger garlic paste.
fry till the raw smell disappears. and add the tomatoes.
fry the tomatoes on a low flame. keep an eye on the tomatoes and also start to take the red chilies and coriander seeds in a mortar and pestle.
crush them to a coarse to fine powder. you could also use a dry grinder for this purpose. i felt the mixture was too less to go into the grinder, so i used the mortar and pestle.
after 10 minutes add fresh and aromatic coriander seeds-red chillies powder to the tomatoes.
mix the spice powder with the tomatoes and saute everything till the whole mixture becomes paste like. this method is called bhunao in hindi.
when the whole masala has become paste like and starts to release oil, add the capsicum juliennes…. you can see my juliennes are so thick.. that they should not be called juliennes got to practice more to get fine juliennes… you cannot see the green chilies in the pic, though…
mix the capsicum juliennes and chopped green chilies with the rest of the masala.
saute the capsicum till they are half cooked and add salt and garam masala powder.
mix the salt and garam masala powder with the rest of the sabzi and add the paneer cubes.
and then mix the paneer cubes so that the masala coats the paneer cubes.
let the paneer cook for 5 mins and then add the kasuri methi, julienned ginger, chopped coriander leaves.
few points for this kadai paneer recipe:
- to make the pounding easier in a mortar pestle, dry roast the red chilies and coriander seeds.
- the capsicum can also be diced, but making juliennes means faster cooking.
- since red chilies are used, one does not need to add red chili powder.
- you have to make this in the kadai and not in any other pan folks who do not have kadai, use a wok instead.
- the recipe is a semi dry and mildly spiced recipe and no water is used in this one.
- best to have kadai paneer with onion rings, lemon wedges and tandoori naan or tandoori roti.
restaurant style kadai paneer recipe details below:
- 250 gms paneer/cottage cheese, cubed
- 5-6 tomatoes, chopped
- 1 or 2 green chilies, chopped
- 6-7 garlic, crushed
- 1.5 inch ginger, half crushed and half julienned
- 2 green bell peppers/capsicum, julienned
- 5-6 kashmiri red chilies
- 1.5 tbsp coriander seeds, roasted
- 2 tsp crushed kasuri methi/dry fenugreek leaves
- ½ tsp garam masala powder
- ½ cup chopped coriander/cilantro leaves
- salt or black salt
- in a kadai heat oil.
- add the crushed ginger and garlic.
- saute these till the raw smell disappears.
- now add the chopped tomatoes.
- saute the tomatoes till they become soft.
- pound the coriander seeds and red chilies to a roughly fine powder
- after 8-10 minutes add the spice powder to the tomatoes.
- saute the tomatoes till the whole mixture become like a paste and starts to leave oil.
- now add the juliened capsicum and chopped green chilies.
- and saute the capsicum for some 8-10 minutes.
- add salt and garam masala powder
- mix these with the rest of the masala.
- its time to add the paneer.
- cook the paneer for 5 minutes in the masala.
- lastly add kasuri methi, julienned ginger and coriander leaves.
- mix and saute for 2-3 minutes.
- serve the kadai paneer, hot with rotis or naans.