Anu's space, I was very happy to see a version similar to what I prepare at home and of course with a few tweaks, as every one has their own personal touch which makes the recipe special.I liked her idea of frying the vegetables individually and coating each vegetable with the freshly pound spices, which is slightly different in my case as I roast all the vegetables at one go, and coat them with spices in the end.
I love the Kadai Paneer semi-dry,I do not like it in a gravy form or a stir fry form.The moist paneer pieces and the crisp roasted vegetables are coatedt with a light coat of aromatic spices and a mildly spiced gravy, the taste of which lingers for a long time.If you taste this one, I am sure you would make it again and again.It is really that good,don't trust me? then give it a try and let me know your views.
250 gms fresh Malai Paneer,cubed
1 small Red Capsicum,seeded and cubed
1 small Green Capsicum,seeded and cubed
1 small Yellow Capsicum,seeded and cubed
1 medium Onion,peeled and cubed
1 big Tomato,seeded and cubed
2-3 tbsp fresh Curd,beaten
2 tbsp chopped fresh Coriander
1 tsp Kasuri Methi(dried Fenugreek leaves)
1 Bay leaf
Salt to taste
2 tbsp Oil
for the Onion-Tomato masala:
1 medium Onion,chopped
1 big Tomato,chopped
3-4 Garlic pods
3/4" Ginger,roughly chopped
1 tsp Red chili powder
1/3 tsp Turmeric powder
1/4 tsp Sugar
Salt to taste
1 tsp Oil
for Kadai masala:
1 1/2 tbsp Coriander seeds
1 1/2 tsp Cumin seeds
7-8 black Pepper corns
2 Red chillies
to make Kadai Masala:
- Dry roast coriander seeds,cumin seeds,black peppercorns,red chillies,cinnamon and cloves separately until they turn slightly brown and starts releasing the aroma.
- Cool them and pound it in a mortar and pestle to a coarse masala.You can even grind it in mixer to a coarse powder but I prefer to pound my spices manually for this recipe.
to make Tomato-Onion masala:
- Heat 1 tsp of oil and add garlic,ginger and fry for a couple of minutes.
- Add chopped onions and fry until they turn pink.
- Add tomatoes and fry well until the tomatoes turn mushy.
- Add turmeric powder,little salt,red chili powder,sugar and cover it and cook well for a couple of minutes.
- Cool the mixture and grind it to a fine paste and keep it ready.
to roast Vegetables:
- Heat 1 tbsp oil and add chopped paneer pieces and fry them until you see light golden spots.You should not fry them for long,otherwise the paneer will become hard.So just fry for a minute on either side.Remove and keep it aside.
- In the same pan add little more oil if required and add the cubed bell peppers and fry for a couple of minutes.Maintain the crispy ness of the bell peppers which is a key taste for the curry.
- Add cubed onions and fry for a minute along with the bell peppers and add seeded and cubed tomatoes at the end and fry for a minute.Take care that onions should be crispy and also the tomatoes should be slightly cooked and not become mushy and also should not loose their shape.
- Now add fried paneer pieces to the pan and add the kadai masala and required salt and mix the vegetables and paneer pieces well until the masala coats all the vegetables and paneer.Leave them aside for sometime.
to assemble the kadai paneer:
- Heat 1 tbsp oil in a kadai and add bay leaf and ground tomato-onion mixture and fry well.
- Add kasuri methi(slightly press it in between your fingers before adding) and required salt(remember you added salt to the veggies and also the ground tomato-onion mixture early).Cook the mixture until it is very thick.
- Reduce the flame or remove the kadai from the flame and add beaten curd to it and cook for another few minutes.The gravy should be thick enough to coat the vegetables,but it should not be of flowing consistency.
- Add the roasted vegetables and paneer pieces(coated with the masala) to the gravy mixture and mix well.
- Add coriander at the end or either garnish the kadai paneer with coriander at the end.
Serve it hot with Naan/Roti/Kulcha/Chapati/Paratha.It tastes very delicious and pair up beautifully with any flat bread or pulao.I served them with laccha paratha.
- Use freshly pound masalas (kadai masala) and do not replace them with either ready powders or Garam masala .The taste definitely differs.
- Maintain the crispyness of bell peppers and onion while roasting,which makes the bite of them more delicious in the curry.
- Malai paneer tastes quite good in the recipe.If you do not get hold of malai(soft) paneer,you can keep your paneer pieces soaked in warm water after they are roasted.This will make the paneer pieces very moist.