Kadai paneer is a simple tomato gravy infused with garlic and other spices. Usually capsicum is added to this gravy. This is such a wonderful tasty dish and is my entry to the JFI garlic hosted by Mathy of Virundhu.
Juicy tomatoes - 5
Readymade Paneer - 8 oz - thaw to room temperature and cut into small cubes
Garlic - 5 pods
Capsicum/green bell pepper - 2
Dhania powder - 3 tablespoons
Cumin powder - 2 teaspoons
Tandoori Masala Powder - 1 teaspoon (optional)
Turmeric powder - half teaspoon
Red chilli powder - 1 teaspoon
Oil - 1 tablespoon
Salt to taste
Boil a quart of water and add the tomatoes. You will notice the tomato skin peeling out. Take the tomatoes out carefully and peel away the skin. This method is called blanching the tomatoes. Finely chop or crush the tomatoes and keep it aside.
Chop the garlic and capsicum.
Heat half a tablespoon of oil in a kadai and add 2 tablespoons dhania powder.
Add the garlic and the chopped/crushed tomatoes and allow it to cook.
When the content comes to a boil, add the red chilli powder, turmeric powder, cumin powder, half a cup water and salt. Add the tandoori masala powder if you are using. Reduce the heat and allow it to cook, partially closed.
Meanwhile, heat the remaining oil in a kadai and add the dhania powder. Add the chopped capsicum and fry until three-fourth cooked. Add the panner cubes and fry for a couple of minutes.
Transfer this to the tomato gravy. Kadai paneer is ready. Serve warm for soft chapathis/Rotis.
If we cook the capsicum and tomato in the same kadai, the capsicum will end up being very mushy. Capsicum should be sautéed and should not be overcooked. Hence I used a separate kadai for capsicum.
Paneer can be home made too. Just bring half a gallon of milk to a boil and add 2 tablespoons lemon juice and give it a stir. The whey will separate from paneer. Transfer the paneer to a muslin cloth and drain the water completely. You can just add the crumbled homemade paneer to this dish instead of adding the paneer cubes.
This dish is usually served in a kadai and hence gets it's name as kadai paneer.