Kadhai Paneer

This recipe has assumed an elevated position in our kitchen as it is my son’s favourite paneer dish. The good news for those watching calories is that this recipe does not use any nuts in the gravy and very minimal cream. The Kadhai Paneer has some vegetables as well. If you would like to give the final preparation a smoky effect I have explained how to do so in the Notes section of my recipe. One can make the kadhai masala anytime. Stored in an airtight container, the masala stays good for a week to ten days. The masala is dry and comes in quite handy for other dishes as well like chicken or mixed vegetables. I would recommend to use homemade paneer but one can also use store bought paneer. Remember to soak the store bought paneer in warm water for five minutes or so to make it soft. The kadhai paneer dish is an all- rounder for vegetarians and can be served for lunch or dinner and kids and adults enjoy it equally. It goes well with most Indian bread. You can’t go wrong with this classic vegetarian recipe which brings to the plate wholesomeness paneer in a tasty and healthy style. Happy Fooding Around.


Kadhai Paneer

  • Author: Reetika Mitra
  • Prep Time: 15 minw
  • Cook Time: 20 mins
  • Total Time: 35 mins


The Veggie All-Rounder



  • 400 gms Paneer
  • 3 Tbsp Vegetable Oil
  • ½ cup Onion, finely chopped
  • 1/3rd cup Onion, made into paste
  • 1 large Onion, diced into 1 inch square
  • ½ Green Capsicum (bell pepper), diced into 1 inch square
  • ½ Red Capsicum (bell pepper), diced into 1 inch square
  • 1 Tbsp Butter or Ghee (clarified butter)
  • 5 Tsp Ginger- Garlic paste
  • ¾ cup Tomato, pureed or finely chopped
  • 1 Tsp Red Chilli powder
  • 1 Tsp Coriander powder
  • ½ Tsp Turmeric powder
  • ½ cup or 100 ml Water ( Add more water if you want extra gravy instead of a dry one)
  • 1 Tsp Sugar
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 Tbsp Cream
  • 1 Tsp Ginger juliennes


Ingredients for the Kadhai Masala :

  • 2 Tbsp Coriander Seeds
  • ½ Tbsp Cumin Seeds
  • ½ Tbsp Fennel Seeds (Optional)
  • ½ Tsp Black Peppercorns
  • 1 inch piece Cinnamon stick
  • 45 Dried Red Chillies (you may reduce the number of chillies according to spice level)


  1. Cut the paneer into 1 inch cube pieces and dip them in hot water (if store bought ones) for 6 – 8 mins before starting to cook.
  2. In a griddle or a flat bottom pan over medium-low flame dry roast all the ingredients for the Kadhai Masala. Roast until spices are slightly brown in colour and release an aroma. Care should be taken not to burn the spices due to over – heating. Remove from heat, cool and grind to a course powder. Keep it aside.
  3. In a heavy bottom pan heat 1 Tbsp oil. Over High flame sauté the diced onions and the bell peppers for a minute. Take off from heat and transfer them to a plate.
  4. Heat remaining 2 tbsp oil and 1 tbsp ghee together. Add the cumin seeds and wait for them to splutter before adding the finely chopped onions. Stir till they are translucent or pink in colour and soft in texture.
  5. Now add the onion paste, ginger-garlic paste and fry for 2 -3 mins or until the raw smell goes off and the onion paste get cooked
  6. Add the pureed tomato and cook for 2 – mins over medium heat before adding the red chilli powder, coriander powder, turmeric powder and the kadhai paneer masala.
  7. Saute for another 2 -3 mins more. Next add water, salt and cover and cook for 5-7 mins more or until the gravy starts releasing oil. Add the cream and cook for 1 -2 mins before adding the roasted vegetables cubes, paneer cubes, sugar and ginger juliennes. Toss and cook for 1 minute before taking off the heat.
  8. Serve hot along with phulkas, parathas, naans or other Indian breads of your choice.


If you are looking for that charcoal smoky flavour, place a small steel bowl in the middle of the pan. Place a hot charcoal in the small steel bowl and pour 1 tsp of ghee or oil over the hot coal. Cover with a lid immediately and let it sit for 4 -5 mins. This will help in infusing a smoky flavour to your kadhai paneer.  Remove the bowl and serve hot


  • Serving Size: 4

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