Kadhai Paneer – A gujju favorite!

For the Kadhai Paste

INGREDIENTS7 tbs Coriander seeds
10 Dried Red chillies
3 tbs Garlic Paste
¼ cup Ginger, chopped
5 Tomatoes, chopped
4 tbs Ghee
1 tbs Dried fenugreek (Kasoori Methi)
1 tsp Garam Masala Powder
Salt

PROCEDURE

  1. Dry- grind the coriander seeds and red chillies
  2. Heat the ghee in a kadhai (wok). Fry the garlic pasteon medium flame  till it turns golden brown.
  3. Fry the chopped ginger and coriander seeds- red chillies powder in this for around 45 seconds.
  4. Add the chopped tomatoes and salt. Mix and fry this on medium flame while stirring continuously.
  5. Fry till the ghee separates from the masala.
  6. Add the dried fenugreek (kasoori methi) and garam masala powder. Mix.
  7. Keep aside.

For the Kadhai Paneer

INGREDIENTS

500gms Fresh Cottage Cheese (Paneer), cut into medium size cubes
3 tbs Ghee
1 large Capsicum, deseeded and julienned
3 tsp Coriander seeds
5 Dried Red Chillies
Kadhai Paste (above)
A pinch of dried fenugreek (Kasoori Methi)
1 tsp Garam Masala Powder
¼ cup Fresh coriander, chopped

PROCEDURE

  1. Dry grind the coriander seeds and dried red chillies to a fine powder.
  2. Heat the ghee in a kadhai (wok). Stir fry the capsicum on high flame for 30 seconds.
  3.  Add the chopped ginger and coriander-red chillies powder to this and fry on medium flame for around 1 minute.
  4. Add the Kadhai Paste prepared above. Fry till the oil separates from the masala. This should take around 4-5 minutes at the most.
  5. Add the paneer to this and mix gently. Cook while stirring gently for 2-3 minutes.
  6. Sprinkle the dried fenugreek (kasoori methi) and garam masala powder. Adjust the seasoning if required. Mix.
  7. Serve hot garnished with fresh chopped coriander.

This is quite a hit with my gujju guests!  Tastes just like the kadhai paneer you get in restaurants (better if I can be immodest!) and despite the gujju preference for this dish I must admit that it is truly delectable. Experiment with other vegetables for kadhai vegetable and also with chicken to get kadhai chicken. Just try it! It goes brilliantly with any hot, fresh bread.kadhai paneer

Hansal’s Palak Paneer

Yummy!
Yummy Palak Paneer!

INGREDIENTS

2 large bunches  Spinach (Palak), stems removed
250g Fresh Cottage Cheese (Paneer), chopped into medium cubes
4 tbs Oil
4 tsp Garlic, finely chopped
1 large onion, chopped
1 tsp Ginger, finely chopped
4 medium tomatoes, chopped
3 tsp Coriander Powder (Dhania Powder)
2 Green Chillies, deseeded and chopped
1 tsp Garam Masala Powder
2 tsp Fresh Cream
Salt

PROCEDURE

  1. Boil 3-4 cups of water. In the boiling water put the spinach for exactly 1 minute.
  2. Strain the hot water and immediately cool the spinach in running cold water.
  3. Make a puree of the blanched spinach using a blender.
  4. Heat 2 tbs oil in pan. Add garlic and fry until golden.
  5. Add the spinach puree and salt. Sauté on medium flame until spinach is nearly cooked.
  6. Heat the remaining oil in another pan. Fry the onions until golden brown.
  7. Add the chopped ginger and fry for about 1 – 2  minutes.
  8. Add the chopped tomatoes, green chillies and coriander powder.  Sauté over medium heat until the oil separates from the masala.
  9. Add the cooked spinach and garlic puree to this. Mix. Add approximately 1 cup of water and bring to a boil.
  10. Mix and cook for 5 minutes on medium flame.
  11. Add the paneer cubes and cook for another 2-3 minutes.
  12. Sprinkle the garam masala and mix. Cook for 1 minute.
  13. Remove the pan from heat and mix the fresh cream.
  14. Serve hot.

This is a mildly spiced recipe that is entirely my own. The blanching process is necessary to maintain the fresh green color of the spinach(palak) without adding stupid color. I try to avoid cream and also try to reduce the quantity of oil (if I am dieting!). Although I prefer using fresh and soft cottage cheese (paneer), my father-in-law prefers the cottage cheese (paneer) deep fried. Take your pick!