Kadai Paneer

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Kadai is a kind of wok which is similar to the chinese wok.  Cooking the paneer (cottage cheese) in masala in the Kadai gives the dish its name Kadai Paneer.  This dish can be made both dry or with gravy.   This spicy and tangy dish gets its flavors from the roasted kadai masala and tastes very good with naan, roti and rice.

What you need

250 gms Paneer (cottage cheese) cubed

1 medium bell pepper julienned

1 tsp ginger garlic paste

2 medium onions finely chopped

4-5 tomatoes pureed

2 tbsp cream (optional)

1 tbsp kasuri methi

1/2 tsp garam masala

salt to taste

Cilantro leaves for garnishing

2 tbsp oil

For Kadai masala

  1.  4-5 kashmiri whole chillies
  2. 5 tsp coriander seeds

How to make:

  1.  Roast the kadai masala(coriander seeds and red chillies) ingredients on a low flame till they turn aromatic.img_1568
  2. When the spices cool, coarsely grind them in a blender.

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3.  Heat the oil in a pan and add the ginger garlic paste.  Saute for a couple of minutes and then add the chopped onions.  Stir well till the onions turn translucent.

4.  Throw in the ground kadai masala and mix well.  Now add the tomato puree and cook on a low flame, stirring from time to time.  Saute well till the oil leaves the side (about 7-8 mins).

5.  Add the bell pepper now and simmer on a low flame for 2-3 minutes.

6.  Add 1-2 cups water and salt and simmer the gravy for another 5 mins.  Add the paneer cubes and the kasuri methi and cook for another 2-3 minutes.  You can add cream now if you want to.  Mix it gently into the gravy.

7.  Sprinkle garam masala and cilantro leaves on the kadai paneer and serve hot with roti, rice or naan. Enjoy!

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Methi Paneer (Cottage cheese with fenugreek leaves)

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I was looking for some new dishes to try out for a dinner I was hosting, when  I came across Methi Malai Paneer (Courtsey Veg Recipes of India).  I did not want to make the usual Paneer dishes and this looked different and tasty.  Paneer with a hint of bitterness from the fenugreek (methi) leaves in a mild and creamy gravy turned out to be delicious and a big hit at my party.  It tastes good paired with naan/roti or zeera rice/pulao.

What you need:

200 to 250 grams paneer/cottage cheese, cut in cubes or squares

1 cup tightly packed fresh methi leaves/fenugreek leaves or 2 tbsp kasuri methi/dry fenugreek leaves

¼ tsp turmeric powder

½ tsp red chili powder

½ tsp coriander powder

½ tsp garam masala powder

1 cup water 

¼ cup fresh cream

2 tbsp oil

1/2 tsp sugar (optional)

salt to taste

For masala paste:

2 medium onions

1 small tomato

1 inch ginger, chopped 

5 to 6 small garlic cloves

1 tsp chopped green chili

2 tbsp cashews, chopped

½ tsp cumin seeds

1 tbsp oil

How to make:

1.  Cut and chop methi leaves finely and rinse well.  Keep aside.
2.  For masala paste:
 – Heat oil in a pan and add the cumin seeds.
 – Once the seeds start spluttering, add the chopped onions and stir well.  
–  When the onions become light brown, add ginger, garlic, green chillies and cashewnuts.  Stir well for about 2-3 minutes.
 – Now add the tomatoes and mix well.  Saute till the tomatoes soften.
 – Keep aside till this mixture cools down. Then grind this masala adding just enough water to make a smooth paste.
3.  Now add 2 tbsp oil to the same pan.  Once hot, add the methi leaves and saute well.
4.  Add the dry spices one by one – haldi, red chili powder and coriander powder.  Stir the spices well with the methi leaves.
5.  Add the ground masala paste to this and mix well.  Saute this for 7-8 mins on low flame, stirring from time to time. When  you see the oil releasing from the sides, add 1 cup of water.  Mix well and add the salt.
6.  Simmer on low flame for 3-4 minutes and then add the cream (low fat is also good).  Stir the cream well with the methi masala.
7.  Add the paneer cubes and garam masala.  You can add 1/2 tsp sugar if you want the gravy to be slightly sweet.
Simmer on low flame for a couple of minutes.
8.  Serve hot with roti or naan.  The creamy gravy also goes well with zeera rice or pulao.