Kadai Paneer – the name that we all drool on!  Soft paneer cooked with bell peppers, onion, tomato and freshly ground homemade kadhai masala. This restaurant style kadai paneer recipe is delicious, spicy and pairs best with naan and parathas.

Close up shot of Kadai Paneer gravy served in small black karahi, some ginger juliennes and spice powder spread around.

Paneer is one of the most common ingredient that goes in most Indian recipes. And to me, it’s best companion is capsicum and then green peas.

Now, you can imagine how frequent I am in cooking paneer with both of them. 🙂

How To Make Kadai Paneer Recipe – Step By Step Photos

To Make Kadai Masala

In a pan, add coriander seeds, black peppercorns, cumin seeds, cinnamon sticks and dried red chilies. Dry roast until it slight brown and releases nice aroma. Do not burn. Photo 1 and 2 

Transfer the dry roasted spices into mixer jar and grind it to a coarse powder. Set it aside. Photo 3 and 4

Step by step photos of making kadai masala powder.

To begin with, an a kadai or pan, heat 1 tbsp of oil. Add onion cubes, tomato cubes, capsicum cubes and fry on high for 1 minute only.

Onion cubes, capsicum and tomato cubes added in hot oil in pan.

Then, transfer them onto a plate. Set it aside.

Transferring the roasted vegetables on plate.

Making The Gravy

Now, heat oil and butter or ghee together.

Oil and butter heating pan to make kadai paneer gravy.

Add cumin seeds and then fry for 20-30 seconds.

Cumin seeds added in pan.

Finely chopped onion added in pan.

Add ginger garlic paste and ginger juliennes. Fy for few seconds until raw smell goes off.

Ginger garlic paste and ginger juliennes added in pan.

Then, add the ground or grated tomato and mix. Cook for 2-3 minutes on high heat.

Grated tomato added in pan.

Now, add Kashmiri red chilli powder, coriander powder, turmeric powder, karahi masala powder and tomato puree. Sauté for 2-3 minutes on medium heat.

Kadai masala, tomato puree, turmeric powder, coriander powder and red chilli powder added in pan.

Add water, and salt. Cook for another 4-5 minutes. Or until it starts releasing oil.

Water and salt added in kadai.

Then, add cream and mix, cook for 1-2 minutes.

Cream added in pan.

Now, add the roasted vegetable cubes and paneer cubes, mix.

Paneer and roasted vegetables added in pan.

Add little sugar or honey and cook for 1 minute only.

Sugar added in pan.

To Give Charcoal Smoke (Dhungar)

Place small steel bowl or a piece of foil over the gravy. Put hot charcoal in the bowl. Photo 1

Pour a teaspoonful of ghee or oil over the hot coal. Photo 2

Immediately cover the kadai with tight fitting lid and let it rest for 4-5 minutes. This will help in infusing the lovely smoky aroma to the gravy. Photo 3

Finally, open the lid, discard the coal and sprinkle some more ginger juliennes. Photo 4

Dish out and serve kadai paneer with hot naan, phulkas or parathas.

Step by Step photos to give charcoal smoke to kadai paneer gravy.

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