Here is a paneer dish which I always thought could be found nowhere but in a restaurant. I had the mapping perfect in my mind – 1. If a menu card, there has to be kadhai paneer. 2. If kadhai paneer is written on a paper, it is a menu card. However, when paneer started to show up more and more on my grocery list and the resonating question of ‘what do I cook for dinner?’ got re-phrased to ‘what do I cook (with paneer) for dinner?’, I exploited google search to its full potential and drilled down on a handful of interesting recipes. One of them was this kadhai paneer recipe, short and simple, tempting me to try it for a weekday dinner. I followed the recipe exactly and the result was awesome. I think it has been an year now since I have been preparing it, and it has never failed me. The recipe print-out is now an integral part of my kitchen diary and the blog is a permanent link in my browser favorite list. Over a period of time, I have made my own amendments to the recipe. The original recipe by Sandeepa can be read at her blog here.
Ginger paste – 1 tsp
Garlic paste – 1 tsp
Green chilis – 2, slit lengthwise and cut into two halves
Onions – 2 small or 1 large – cut into big chunks
Capsicum – 2, deseeded, cut into bite size pieces (not very small, should be comparable to the size of onion chunks)
Paneer cubes – 1.5 cup or a 200 gm block cut into pieces
Tomato puree – 1.5 cup
Kasoori methi – 1.5 tsp
Salt – as per taste
Turmeric- 1 tsp
Red chilli powder – 1 tsp
Coriander powder – 2 tsp
Cumin powder – 1 tsp
Oil – 2 tsp
Ghee – 2 tsp (optional)
1. Heat oil in a kadhai/ wok.
2. When oil is hot, add onion pieces. The onions should get pale and soft and start browning at the sides. At this point, go to step 3.
3. Add ginger paste, garlic paste and the capsicum pieces. Cover and sauté till capsicum is soft. This does not take a lot of time, 3 to 4 minutes.
4. Add tomato puree, turmeric, kasoori methi, cumin powder, coriander powder, green chili pieces, red chili powder and salt. Mix everything together and let this cook till tomato puree and the masala have covered the onion and capsicum pieces. Let this cook for a minute. The tomato puree should not dry up / get all absorbed – we still need to add the paneer.
5. Add in the paneer pieces and mix gently, so that the paneer gets incorporated in the kadhai. Cook till the tomato puree and the masala are absorbed by paneer and the whole deal looks bright and shiny.
6. Add in half a spoon of ghee in the end. I do this right before I am going to serve it, it brings out the flavors of the dish.