Kadai paneer/ cottage cheese stir fry

I love dishes that come together in very less time. I love dishes that are not just one-pot but also doesn’t require a lot of chopping, grinding etc. Not that I don’t make dishes that involve those processes 😀 but I generally end up very thrilled if I find a jewel of a recipe that tastes ridiculously good and doesn’t include too much of add-on processes. Kadai paneer is one such dish that’s a jewel for me. Comes together in no time & tastes extremely good. The first time I made this dish, my mom & mil didn’t even realise I was in the kitchen cooking :D. There was a huge argument going on in my house about something I didn’t want to put my head into & I went straight into the kitchen. By the time I came out, the argument was done & so was the dish :D. No ginger garlic paste & no fine chopping (Aaah, I need to find/ make more such dishes). The first time I made this just for myself (experimental cooking is always done in small quantities :)) and it came out so good that I had to make it once for all of us. This is again a dish that has been equally liked by all in my house. The only feedback from the rest of the house mates is that the capsicum should have been cooked more & I differ with them on that. I like the crunchy capsicum taste in this. However, if you are anything like the rest of my folks, then just cook your capsicum till you are happy with it. This dish is a huge crowd pleaser. So, peeps if you have paneer at home, try this will ya? The rest should be a staple in the Indian kitchen. Raag, I have incorporated your feedback on the heat info & the names :). So you have to try this out :D. ooh, also I referred to the raks recipe & adapted it to our taste.

Kadai paneer/ cottage cheese stir fry
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Indian
Servings: 4 persons
  • 2.5 cups paneer cubes/ cottage cheese roughly 400gms
  • 2 medium green capsicum
  • 2 medium onions
  • 3 big tomatoes
  • 3 nos green chillies
  • 2 tbsp ginger juliennes
  • 1.5 tbsp coriander seeds
  • 1/2 tsp red chilli powder
  • 1.5 tsp garam masala powder
  • 2 tsp coriander powder
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1.5 tsp salt
  • a handful fresh coriander leaves
  • 2 tbsp dried kasoori methi/ fenugreek leaves
  • 2.5 tbsp vegetable oil
  1. If using frozen paneer cubes, immerse them in hot water. If using fresh paneer, then just chop them into cubes & set it aside. 

  2. Chop the onions, tomatoes & capscium into cubes. De-seed the tomatoes & capsicum before chopping them up. Cut up the green chillies into small pieces & ginger into thin julienne.

  3. In a kadai/ pan, heat (medium-high) some oil & add some coarsely ground coriander seeds. 

  4. Once it starts to turn golden (and with an awesome smell emanating), thrown in the chopped up green chillies & ginger juliennes. Saute till the raw smell goes (about 30seconds). 

  5. Next up, add the onion cubes & saute till it starts to turn translucent. 

  6. Add the chopped up tomatoes at this stage. Make sure to de-seed them. Along with this, add salt & the dry masalas - garam masala, turmeric powder, coriander powder & red chilli powder. 

  7. Cook these on medium-high heat for about 5 minutes & then add the capsicum pieces. 

  8. Cook the capsicum for only around 2-3 minutes since you want the capsicum to be crunchy in the end. If you don't want it to be crunchy (D & co don't like to crunchy. They attribute it to the capsicum being undercooked :)), then cook some more. Also, check & adjust for salt at this stage. 

  9. Add the paneer cubes (drain the water if using frozen paneer) & 1/2 cup water. You can add more water if you want a more gravy like consistency. 

  10. Let the water cook down a bit & the mixture get well incorporated. 

  11. Finally, add the finely chopped coriander leaves & crushed dried fenugreek leaves (crush between your palm) & turn off the heat. 

  12. Enjoy this hot with a side of rotis/ mild pulao. 

Recipe Notes
  1. You can add the coriander seeds without coarsely crushing them but I highly recommend this step since it's got a much better taste this way. 
  2. This note has nothing to do with the recipe in itself actually - once you de-seed the tomatoes just apply it as a pack on your face instead of throwing it away. I have pretty much started applying this rule to ingredients where ever possible (as of now, potato skin, tomato seed mixed in a bit of pulp), excess lemon juice squeeze all go on my face :D.

Stepwise pictures

Before heading on to this step, chop up all your veggies & soak your paneer in hot water if frozen. After you are done with that, heat some oil in medium-high heat & add coarsely pounder coriander seeds to this.

Once it starts to turn golden (with an awesome smell), throw in the finely chopped green chillies & ginger juilennes & saute till the raw smell weans off.

Throw in the diced & cubed onions & saute till turns translucent.

Then, it’s time for the de-seeded & chopped up tomatoes squares to go in.

You can add the masalas – garam masala, turmeric powder, red chilli powder & coriander powder and salt right with the tomatoes so they can all get cooked together.

After around 5 minutes, this is how they look – the raw smell is mostly all gone & the tomatoes look cooked with their skins coming off.

Now, it’s time for the cubed capsicum to go in & get cooked.

You are not looking at cooking the capsicum all the way through. You want it (sorry, I want it) to be crunchy :). So just 2-3 minutes on medium-high heat should be fine. If you want it not so crunchy, cook a bit more. Check & adjust for salt here.

Add the paneer cubes at this stage & mix well. Add 1/2 cup water at this stage so that the whole mixture gets incorporated well. You can add more water if you want a more gravy like consistency.

After 2-3 minutes of adding the paneer (and the water being cooked down), add the freshly chopped coriander leaves & crushed dried fenugreek leaves.

Mix well & turn off the heat.

Serve hot alongside rotis or some simple pulao. Divine!!!!!!

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2 Responses

  1. Janani says:

    Another win in my house with this recipe! Not only my husband but even my picky and choosy dad loved it and asked for me to make it again! This is a kind of recipe with minimal to little effort but tastes like hotel style dish! Like you cannot mess this recipe!

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