This dish, kadai paneer, is a combination of paneer, capsicum, tomato, onion and spices cooked in ghee. It is the Bengali way to prepare paneer.
When cooking this, you must keep some texture in the onions and capsicums. Undercooked is much better than over-cooked in this recipe.
You could make this recipe with supermarket-bought paneer and it will taste OK. You could get fresh paneer from your Indian grocer and it will taste immeasurably better. Or, you could make the paneer yourself from our paneer recipe and you will be amazed, as will your guests.
This is a recipe that deserves great paneer.
For appearance, use two different coloured capsicums. Our family favourites are red and green.
- 3 tbsp ghee
- 2 tsp panch phoran (see recipe)
- 1 dried Kashmiri chilli
- 50 g ginger finely shredded
- 1 brown onion halved and sliced
- 1 green chilli chopped
- 2 tomatoes pulp removed and cut into small pieces
- 1 red capsicum seeds removed, cut into 2cm pieces
- 1 green capsicum seeds removed, cut into 2cm pieces
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp turmeric powder
- 1½ tsp Kashmiri chilli powder
- 250 g paneer crumbled into 1cm pieces
- 1 tbsp brown vinegar
- 1 tsp jaggery
- ½ tsp garam masala
- 1 tbsp coriander leaves
Heat the ghee in a heavy-based saucepan, wok or kadai over a medium heat and add the panch phoran, whole dried chilli and about two-thirds of the shredded ginger, and fry for 30 seconds until aromatic.
Add the onions and green chilli and fry for five minutes, or until the onions are just softening but not browned and still have a little crunch.
Lower the heat, add the tomato and bring to a simmer for five minutes, or until tomato starts to soften, and the ghee starts to separate.
Add the capsicum, salt, turmeric and chilli powder and fry for a further three minutes.
Add the paneer and one half of cup of water to the pan. Turn heat to high and gently stir everything together for about five minutes. The sauce should thicken as the paneer absorbs the moisture.
Stir in the vinegar, jaggery powder, garam masala and scatter with the remaining shredded ginger and the coriander leaves. Cook for another two minutes, stirring continuously.
Remove from heat and serve immediately.