Learn how to make Kadai Paneer — A spicy Indian cheese dish

Stop what you're doing and learn how to make this Indian dish! It's super easy, and your taste buds will thank you!

If you love exploring ethnic cuisines, you’ll love this traditional Indian dish called Kadai Paneer.  If you’re not familiar with paneer, it’s basically cottage cheese that has firmed and cut into blocks or cubes.  In kadai paneer, the paneer is cooked in a spicy masala — a delicious and flavorful gravy/sauce that has just enough spice to give your taste buds a kick!

This is a super-simple recipe to follow, and you’ll pat yourself on the back after learning how to cook this tasty dish.  Here’s how to get started!

Kadai Paneer Ingredients
Kadai Paneer Ingredients

Ingredients for Kadai Paneer

  • 1 pound paneer cubes
  • 3 tablespoons oil
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 3 cloves
  • 1/4 fenugreek leaves (methi leaves)
  • 1 cup onion finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic paste
  • 1 cup fresh diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 teaspoon garam masala (curry powder)
  • 1/2 teaspoon roasted cumin powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cilantro powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon red chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon mango powder
  • Salt to taste

Cooking Directions

  1. Heat oil in 2 skillets
  2. In one skillet, begin sauteing paneer cubes until golden brown on the sides.  Once browned, set aside.
  3. In the other oiled and heated skillet, add cumin seeds, fenugreek leaves, bay leaves.  Stir well until light brown
  4. Add chopped onions, and saute until golden brown.
  5. Add ginger and garlic paste, and continuously stir.
  6. Add fresh diced tomatoes.
  7. Add powdered spices:  Garam masala, roasted cumin, cilantro, red chili powder, tumeric, mango, and salt to taste.
  8. Stir for 2-3 minutes until sauce thickens, then add about 1/2 cup water.
  9. Add sauteed paneer cubes, and stir well.
  10. Let simmer for around 5 minutes until paneer is coated with spices.
  11. Garnish with freshly chopped cilantro leaves and sliced bell peppers, and continue to simmer.
  12. Remove from heat and let cool.
  13. Serve hot with naan, roti, parantha, pita bread or rice.

This recipe and video were made with help from Dr. Manjit Kaur of the India Association of Memphis, and she’s got tons of other great recipes! Check out her food blog here!

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