Kadai Paneer or Karahi Paneer is a famous Paneer gravy recipe and is one of the most common dishes ordered in a restaurant. It is spicy and delicious and is best paired with Lachha Paratha or Naan.
I have a secret technique to make this dish just like your fav restaurant of Dhaba. Here is how to make it.
Weekends are my break days!
Yes, one day of the weekend my husband and son put an effort to make a meal for me and the other day, we probably go out.
No matter how many recipes you make at home, a break is very necessary.
Your body needs a break and it always feels good to go out and eat some delicious food.
If we go to a North Indian restaurant, my son has to order his favorite dish, that is KADAI PANEER.
And even I love it, when it comes to the Restaurant Style Paneer dishes.
With the bite from crunchy capsicum, Soft Paneer pieces surely marks its place in a delicious tomato onion based gravy.
When I tried this recipe at home, I noticed that there is something which is different in this and the restaurant style one.
And that’s when I discovered its the smoky flavor that the restaurant one has and makes all the difference!
So, I started making the recipe with the smoky flavor and my son said, this is even better than the restaurant one. I was a super happy mom that day! So, it’s time you also give this recipe a try.
Here are some more Paneer Recipes, that are famous in North Indian restaurants – Paneer Tikka Masala, Lahsooni Methi Paneer, Paneer Masala, Restaurant Style Palak Paneer, Paneer Pasanda and Restaurant Style Paneer Tikka Masala.
About This Recipe
It is one of the most popular Paneer Recipes from the northern part of India.
In this recipe, cubed capsicum is added in the tomato onion gravy along with paneer cubes.
To give it a unique flavor, coriander seeds and dry red chillies are dry roasted and then powdered.
This freshly ground powder is added in the curry along with Kashmiri red chilli powder and garam masala powder to give it a distinct flavor.
Don’t forget to add the smoky flavor at the end, it really enhances the flavor.
But if you don’t have coal, you can serve it as it is too.
Kadai Paneer Gravy – If you like your Kadai Paneer to have more gravy, then you can follow this recipe to the T. You can increase the quantity of water if you like your gravy to be dinner.
Kadai Paneer Dry – To make this version, just cook the masala as mentioned in the recipe and don’t add any water. Just add the veggies in the masala and give it a good mix. This one is also apt to pack in your Lunch Box with some hot Tawa Parathas.
How to make the Kadai Masala?
To make the Kadai Masala, you will need dry red chillies and coriander seeds.
Dry roast both the ingredients for a few minutes and grind it into a coarse powder. You can also add in other whole spices such as green cardamom, fennel seeds and cloves, to enhance the flavour of this masala.
I realized that it is the smoky flavor that is there in the restaurant-style kadai paneer recipe that is lacking in my homemade recipe.
So this time, I smoked my Kadai Paneer Gravy Recipe with some flavorful smoke and the result was superb.
It came out just like my fav restaurant and now I can make it anytime in the comfort of my home with the best of ingredients.
Do not skip this smoking step if you want that restaurant like taste in your homemade Kadai Paneer curry.
But if you are in a hurry and want to make it without smoking, go ahead. It will still taste very good.
The dry roasting and then grinding of coriander seeds and dry red chillies give this recipe a unique flavor too.
It is an altogether awesome experience to eat Karahi Paneer with some piping hot naan or parathas.
Here are some Paneer Recipes that you might like
- Paneer Butter Masala
- Paneer Lababdar
- Achari Paneer Tikka
- Palak Paneer
- Shahi Paneer
- Paneer in White Gravy
- Paneer Kheer
What is the difference between Kadai Paneer vs Paneer Butter Masala?
Kadai Paneer is a spicy gravy recipe that uses a lot of spices to give it a robust bold flavor.
However, Paneer Butter Masala is sweetish creamy cashew nuts and tomato-based curry which uses mild spices and nuts.
The gravy is much subtle and rich and is slightly on the sweetish side.
Kadai Paneer has capsicum added in the gravy along with paneer to give it that crunchy bite however in Paneer Butter Masala, it’s only paneer.
How to prepare Paneer at home?
Making paneer at home is quite easy and you can be sure of what goes into it.
With just 2 ingredients at hand, you can make delicious homemade paneer.
Check the recipe here.
So, make this yummy restaurant style Karahi Paneer Recipe pretty soon and gobble it on the go! Here is how to make it.
Pro Tips by Neha
Use fresh paneer to make this recipe. You can also make paneer at home.
If making it for everyday eating, you can skip smoking the gravy. Reserve the flavor for special occasions.
This recipe always tastes best when kept for one day. So you can make it one day in advance and reheat when you are serving it.
Smoke the finished curry to get the restaurant style smoky taste.
You can make the masala powder in a big batch and store it for later use.
Try to make the fresh chilli and coriander dry masala powder for Kadai Paneer.
It hardly takes 5 minutes extra but gives a very nice flavor to the curry.
You can add more water if you like the gravy thin. Bring it to a boil and let simmer for 5 minutes.
Then cover and let it rest for at least an hour before serving.
Add mushroom to it and make Mushroom Karahi Paneer.
You can make the gravy a little thinner and serve it with Steamed Rice, Jeera Rice or Veg Pulao.
How to make it Vegan?
To make the Vegan version of the same, you can replace Paneer with Tofu and avoid adding ghee in the recipe.
Step by Step Recipe
Dry roast coriander seeds and 2-3 dry red chilies till slightly browned and a nice aroma starts to come.
Grind to make a slightly coarse powder.
Heat oil in a pan.
When the oil is hot, add the remaining dry red chilies, cloves, black cardamom, black peppercorns and cinnamon stick. Fry for 20 seconds.
Add onion and fry till translucent.
Add green chilies and ginger garlic paste. Fry till onion turns golden brown.
Now add tomato puree and tomato and fry for 2-3 minutes.
Add the ground masala powder, salt, Kashmiri red chilli powder and garam masala powder.
Add half cup water and cook for 2-3 minutes.
Now add capsicum and paneer and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add more water if the gravy is too thick.
Cook until oil starts to separate from the sides. Add ghee and lemon juice and mix well.
Heat a piece of coal on direct flame until it is red hot.
Keep a piece of aluminium foil over the curry and keep the piece of coal over it.
Pour 1 tbsp ghee on the hot coal and immediately close the lid for 15-20 minutes. Reheat before serving. Serve hot with phulke, naan or laccha paratha.
Restaurant Style Kadai Paneer Recipe
- 3 tbsp Coriander seeds
- 5 Dry red chili
- 3 tbsp Oil
- 2-3 Clove
- 2 Black cardamom
- 5-6 Black peppercorns
- 1 inch Cinnamon stick
- 1/2 cup Onion (Finely chopped)
- 2 Green chilli (Slit into half)
- 2 tsp Ginger Garlic paste
- 1/2 cup Tomato (Finely chopped)
- 1/4 cup Tomato Puree
- Salt to taste
- 1 tsp Kashmiri red chilli powder
- 1 tsp Garam masala powder
- 1 cup Green capsicum (Cut into cubes)
- 250 g Paneer (Cut into pieces)
- 1 tbsp Ghee
- 1 tbsp Lemon Juice
- Dry roast coriander seeds and 2-3 dry red chilies till slightly browned and a nice aroma starts to come.
- Grind to make a slightly coarse powder.
- Heat oil in a pan.
- When the oil is hot, add the remaining dry red chilies, cloves, black cardamom, black peppercorns and cinnamon stick.
- Fry for 20 seconds.
- Add onion and fry till translucent.
- Add green chilies and ginger garlic paste.
- Fry till onion turns golden brown.
- Add tomato puree and tomato and fry for 2-3 minutes.
- Add the ground masala powder, salt, Kashmiri red chilli powder and garam masala powder.
- Now add half cup water and cook for 2-3 minutes.
- Add capsicum and paneer and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add some more water if the gravy is too thick.
- Cook until oil starts to separate from the sides.
- Add ghee and lemon juice and mix well.
- For smoky flavour, heat a piece of coal for 5-6 minutes on flame till it is red hot.
- Keep a piece of aluminium foil over the curry and keep the piece of coal over it.
- Pour 1 tbsp ghee on the hot coal and immediately close the lid for 15-20 minutes.
- Reheat before serving.
- Serve hot with phulke, naan or laccha paratha.