Most of us wish for something extra special for a Friday dinner and this recipe would definitely fit the bill. This Friday I made my own version of kadaai paneer, which is one of the most favorites for hubby and myself. In my view, this dish should take very less time to prepare, but would give a gorgeous look.
Kadaai paneer came in to our kitchen, only after we tasted it in a restaurant (Data Udipi hotel) in Chennai after our marriage. As we both are from typical south Tamilnadu, our foods wouldn't have much of garam masala or strong spices. Sambar, dal , chutney, idli, dosa, vada are our specialties along with occasional non veg. So these kind of flavorful north Indian dishes became more appetizing for us (especially when it comes to vegetarian foods). I started preparing them as close to the restaurant version after that.
Nowadays kadaai paneer takes a more liquid form, while in those days it resembled like a chukka fry (dry curry). So here is my own version of early style kadaai paneer.
Ingredients: (for 2 generous servings)
Paneer - 150 gm (cubed into small pieces)
red onion - 1 small (chopped)
red / green capsicum - half (sliced)
green peas - handful
tomato - 1 (vine tomato / country variety)
peanut oil - 2 tbsp
fennel - 1 tsp
butter 1 tbsp
salt - to taste
turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
cumin powder - 1/4 tsp
red chili powder - 1/2 tsp
coriander powder - 1 tbsp
garam masala - 1 tsp
ginger - 1 inch , garlic - cloves (crushed together)
chopped cilantro - 2 tbsp
finely chopped green chili - 2
Special vessel needed :
A thick iron kadaai (or) wok (or) any heavy bottom pan.
Heat oil in a heavy bottom vessel.
Add fennel, after it gets red, add chopped onion.
Stir fry it till it gets soft (not red).
Pound the ginger garlic together in a mixer or hand mortar & pestle.
Add the crushed ginger garlic mixture and stir fry for few seconds to remove raw smell.
Then add finely chopped tomato , pinch of salt.
Add turmeric powder, red chili powder, coriander powder, garam masala powder, cumin powder, salt.
Cook covered in low heat.
Cook this till oil separates.
Microwave and cook the green peas with a tbsp of water.
Then add sliced capsicum, cooked green peas. Saute well.
Meanwhile heat butter in a tempering wok (kadaai).
Cube the paneer.
Saute the paneer pieces all at once , till they turn soft and golden.
Pour this to the prepared masala. Stir well and bring it to a dry curry consistency.
Switch off , garnish with chopped green chili, cilantro and serve hot.
Kadaai sukka paneer is ready!
Serve as side dish with any kind of roti, chapati, naan.
Also goes well with cumin rice, brinji rice or plain ghee rice.
30 gm paneer (5 big pieces) - 90 cal.
This is a calorie rich dish.