Kadhai Paneer- Cottage Cheese Sauteed in Tomato base with Aromatic Indian spices
If you have ever been to the Northern part of India, you would have certainly experienced this exotic cottage cheese recipe from Punjabi Cuisine. Kadhai Paneer is a favorite among the North Indian Vegetarians. Kadhai Paneer is an unbeatable combination of paneer(Cottage Cheese), bright colored Bell-peppers and onions. The tangy tomato base along with aromatic herbs and spices give this recipe an extra edge. ‘Kadhai’ is a traditional name for a type of thick, circular and deep cooking pot (just like a wok) used in Indian and Pakistani cuisine.
This paneer recipe is sautéed in tomato gravy with herbs and spices in a Kadhai, hence, getting the name ‘Kadhai Paneer’.
While I was expecting my second girl, the only cravings I used to get day and night was that of Kadhai Paneer and Garlic Naan. So, I myself don’t have a count of how many times I would have relished this great dish over those nine months.
My husband and I share a common taste when it comes to eating out. So, he kind of had to eat, eat and eat Kadhai Paneer time and again last year due to my very specific cravings.
Having said this, I hardly made kadhai paneer 3 to 4 times in this year to compensate the over-eating of this favorite recipe last year. Since it has been a while we ate it, I decided to cook it for dinner last night. We had a scrumptious dinner and I recalled all those special moments of getting special cravings, sleepless nights and baby kicks. It’s only once in a lifetime a woman gets to enjoy these special moments.
So, I would like to give a special message to my “Going-to-be mom” friends through this blog. “Eat well, don’t stop your cravings, exercise and follow a healthy lifestyle”. Discuss with your physician and try to include cottage cheese in your diet plan. The health benefits of cottage cheese include: a good supply of protein, B complex vitamins and healthy fats, and a reduced risk of breast cancer. Cottage cheese is also a good source of various minerals such as calcium, magnesium, potassium, phosphorous, zinc, and selenium which all play vital roles in many of the body functions.
Wishing all the expecting mothers around the globe a Happy and Healthy Pregnancy and a Wonderful Motherhood !
Hope you try the recipe too and create a memory while enjoying the dish with your favorite Naan, Roti or bread.
Paneer (cottage cheese) cut into cubes 250 grams
Onions diced 2 medium
Green Bell Peppers cubed 1 Large
Tomatoes pureed 3 large
Ginger-garlic paste 2 teaspoons
Red chilli powder 1 teaspoon
Coriander powder 1 teaspoon
Turmeric powder 1/4 teaspoon
Cumin powder 1/2 teaspoon
Garam masala 1 teaspoon
Bay leaf 2
Green Cardamom 3
Cinnamon 1 inch sticks
Fresh Coriander leaves
Cumin seeds 1/4 teaspoon
Butter 2 tablespoons
Yoghurt 1/4 cup
Honey 1 teaspoon
Salt to tasteMethods:
- Melt butter in a kadhai. Add cumin seeds,bay leaf, cinnamon stick ,green cardamom and cloves. Let the whole spices ooze out their aroma for a minute.
- Now add onions and saute until onions turn brown. Now take this onion and whole spice mix in a grinder and grind it to make puree. We saute onions before pureeing so that it doesnt leave any water in the gravy giving the dish a nice texture.
- Put the same kadhai back on the flame and add the puree. Let it sautee for 2 more minutes.
- Add ginger garlic paste. Saute well till lightly golden.
- Add Bell peppers and saute for another 2 minutes.
- Add red chilli powder, coriander powder, turmeric powder, garam masala and little water(2 tablespoons just to avoid spices from burning). Mix well and allow the mixture to boil. Add tomato puree and mix again.
- Cover and cook for 10 minutes till oil surfaces.
- Add yoghurt and mix well. Let it cook for another 2 to 3 minutes until oil starts to appear on the edges of the wok.
- Add salt and cubed cottage cheese pieces. Now drizzle some honey to balance the tanginess of tomatoes and yoghurt in the curry and mix well. Make sure to mix very gently to avoid cottage cheese cubes from crumbling into the gravy.
- Garnish with coriander leaves and serve hot with Naan, roti or parantha.
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