Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Kadai Paneer

Kadai are these vessels you get in India used for deep frying.  They are similar looking to a wok vessel, but smaller.  I have one of these in my kitchen which I use quite often for cooking or deep frying.  The size is just right when you want to prepare a small meal for four.  Paneer on the other hand is also very Indian.  It is a type of fresh cheese that is vegetarian based, i.e. lemon is used as the coagulation agent.  Hence this cheese is perfect for those vegetarians and vegans who would like to include cheese in their diet.

I have to be honest here - I have never made this paneer at home, though would give it a try some day.  I get it from the Pakistani shop I get my other Indian groceries from.  However, if you want to give it a go and prepare this paneer at home, you would need to drop a few lemon juice drops into hot milk and the pout this in a muslin cloth and allow to drain overnight.  Use a weight to drain the rest of the water and then cut the cheese and keep in cool water for a couple of hours before ready to cook.  If you do make this at home, I would be interested in knowing how it turns out. 

Capsicum & fenugreek leaves

300 gms paneer
2 green capsicum, cut into cubes
1 tablespoon ginger garlic paste
½ cup cashew nut paste
2 big white onions
1 cup tomato purée
1 teaspoon red chilli powder
½ teaspoon turmeric powder
Kadai & spices
1 teaspoon garam masala
1 teaspoon coriander powder
1 teaspoon cumin powder
¼ teaspoon black pepper powder
½ teaspoon dried fenugreek leaves (kasuri methi)
2 teaspoon cream
Salt to taste
3 tablespoons sunflower oil


  1. Grind one onion to a paste and cut the other into small cubes.  
  2. Cut the paneer into 1” thick cubes.  
  3. Heat a bit of oil in a pan, and fry the paneer pieces till brown on all sides.  Keep aside.  
  4. In the same oil, fry the onion cubes.  
  5. When light brown, add the ginger garlic paste, black pepper powder, cumin and coriander powder, fenugreek leaves, turmeric powder and the onion paste.  Fry for a 3 minutes.  Now add the capsicum cubes to the pan.  
  6. When the capsicum is a bit soft, add the paneer pieces, cashew nut paste and the tomato puree.  
  7. Now add the garam masala and cover the pan.  Keep on low flame.  
  8. After 10 minutes, add the salt.  Before serving with rotis or chappatis, add the cream on top.

Cashew-nut & the prepared paste
Tip:  If you do not have ready made cashew-nut paste, take half a cup of cashew-nuts and soak in half a cup of cold milk for an hour.  Then grind them and you get cashew-nut paste which you can use for this recipe.

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