Admist most of the curries I prepare,Kadai Paneer,is probably one of the most favourite North Indian recipes I have learnt.This is a recipe I learnt from amma who in turn learnt it from our Punjabi neighbours (who taught us many authentic Punjabi delicacies like Sarson ka saag,Makki ki roti,Baigan bhartha).Infact the Matar Paneer Parantha recipe I had posted earlier is courtesy our affectionate Punjabi friends.When hubby dear informed me that an old friend of his was visiting us tonight,the first thought that occurred to me was the fresh paneer I made this morning and was sitting in the refrigerator.Kadai Paneer with rotis..perfect!
Kadai Panner,a typical Punjabi fare is a creamy curry dish where paneer (cottage cheese)cubes are cooked in a kadai(wok) with onion and tomato pastes and simmered with capsicum(bell peppers) and tomatoes and served in a small kadai(that’s the way its served in Indian restaurants).The use of the herb Kasturi Methi (dry fenugreek leaves) as one of the ingredients imparts a strong aroma and flavour to this truly special and flavorful vegetarian dish.
200 gms paneer (cottage cheese) cubed and sautÃ© in a tbsp of ghee till golden brown and remove into a dish and add a cup of hot water to the fried paneer cubes and let them sit in it for 5 mts.Drain the water and keep aside.
1 big tomato (deseeded and diced)
1 big capsicum (bell pepper) diced
In the same kadai in which the paneer cubes were sauted,add the diced tomatoes and capsicum and sautÃ© for 2-3 mts and remove from heat.
1 1/2 tbsp oil or ghee
3 medium sized onions (make a paste)
1 tsp ginger garlic paste
Â¼ tsp turmeric pwd
1 tbsp coriander pwd
1 tsp cumin pwd
1 tsp chilli pwd
1 cup tomato puree or paste
Â¼ tsp kasturi methi (dry fenugreek leaves)
Â¼ tsp garam masala (make a pwd of 3 cloves,2 green cardamoms and 1â€ cinnamon)
1 tbsp fresh cream(optional) for garnish
salt to taste
Heat ghee or oil in a kadai or vessel and add the onion paste and fry it well till oil separates.It should be well fried till the raw smell of onions disappears.
Add ginger garlic paste and fry for 3 mts.Add turmeric pwd,coriander pwd,red chilli pwd,cumin pwd and salt and mix well.
Add the tomato puree and mix well and cook for 5 mts.Add kasturi methi and the fried paneer cubes and let it cook covered for 2-3 mts.
Now add a cup of water,garam masala pwd and sauted capsicum and tomatoes and mix well.Cook for 5 mts covered.
Garnish with fresh cream and serve hot with rotis(Indian flatbreads)/naan or paranthas.
Note:You can prepare this dish without kasturi methi also.If you dont have kasturi methi,garnish with chopped coriander leaves.It tastes equally good.
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