Kadai Paneer

Kadai Paneer

Immensely flavorful kadai paneer made with fresh green peppers, onion, tomatoes and freshly ground dry roasted spices!

Kadai paneer is one of the very popular paneer dishes from North India. It is known for its incredibly flavorful gravy made with freshly ground spice mix, soft spongy paneer and crunchy veggies like onions and green bell peppers. The original recipe does not call for paneer to be marinated. Although, couple extra step of marinating paneer using the same freshly ground kadai masala and baking it just enough before adding it to the gravy gives this whole dish that extra oomph!! Trust me on this extra steps, you’ll thank me later!

kadai paneer
Kadai Paneer

I like to serve this deliciousness with either naan or jira/cumin rice. With a side of simple cucumber raita and cruncy veggies salad/kachumber. The leftovers can be used to make kathi rolls by spreading green chutney on naan/paratha, this leftover curry and some onions along with chaat masala! I mean the options are endless.

This marinated paneer can be used to make paneer tikka as well! Many times I just marinate paneer with spices mentioned in the recipe below and grill it as paneer tikka. I like to serve kadai paneer tikka with crunchy veggie salad like onions, peppers, jalapeños. Slice all these veggie and flavor with cumin seed powder, red chili powder, salt, chaat masala and lemon juice. Serve it as an appetizer with minty yogurt or even with side of naan to a fancy looking dish!

Kadai Paneer Tikka

This is one of those recipes that does not fail to please. If you make it and end up liking it, please tag me on Instagram @myvegetarianroots. I would love to see your recreation of this dish!
Happy and Healthy Eating!

Kadhai Paneer

Immensely flavorful kadhai paneer made with fresh green peppers, onion, tomatoes and freshly ground dry roasted spices!
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings 6


Kadai Masala

  • 1 tbsp Whole Dry Coriander
  • 1 tbsp Cumin Seeds
  • 1 tbsp Fennel Seeds
  • 5 Dry Whole Red Chilis
  • 5 Cloves
  • 5 Whole Peppercorn
  • 1 Cinnamon Stick
  • 3 Whole Green Cardamom
  • 2 Bay Leaves

Paneer Marinade

  • 1 tsp Kashmiri Red Chili Powder
  • ¼ tsp Salt
  • ½ tsp Dhanajiru Cumin Coriander Powder
  • ¼ tsp Turmeric Powder
  • ½ tsp Kasuri Methi
  • 1 tsp Ginger Garlic Paste
  • 1 tbsp Kadai Masala
  • ½ cup Plain Yogurt
  • ½ tsp Sugar
  • ½ tsp Lemon Juice
  • 14 oz Paneer cubed
  • 1 Yellow Sweet Onion cubed
  • 1 Green Pepper cubed


  • 2 tbsp Butter
  • 4 Cloves
  • 4 Whole Peppercorn
  • 3 Whole Dry Red Chilis
  • 2 Black Cardamom
  • 2 Green Cardamom
  • 2 Bay Leaves
  • 1 Cinnamon Stick
  • 1 tsp Cumin Seeds
  • 1 Yellow Onion chopped
  • 3 Tomatoes chopped
  • 2 tsp Salt
  • 1 tbsp Ginger Garlic Paste
  • 1 tbsp Tomato Paste
  • ½ tsp Turmeric Powder
  • 1 tsp Dhanajiru Cumin Coriander Powder
  • 1 tsp Garam Masala
  • 1 tsp Kashmiri Red Chili Powder
  • 1 tbsp Kadai Masala
  • ¼ tsp Sugar
  • ½ cup Heavy Cream
  • 1 cup Water more or less based on preferred consistency
  • 1 tsp Kasuri Methi
  • 2 tbsp Chopped Cilantro


Make Kadai Spice MIx

  • Dry roast all the spices listed under "Kadai Masala" until nutty aroma arises and spices start to deepen their color.
  • Take it off the heat and let it cool down.
  • Once cooled down, blend it in a blender to make a spice powder. Keep it aside or store it in an air tight container if making it ahead of time or in a big batch.

Marinade Paneer

  • Mix everything except paneer, onions and peppers, listed under "Paneer Marinade".
  • Add cubed paneer, cubed onions and cubed peppers to prepared marinade, mix well and refrigerate it for 6-12 hours.
  • When ready to make the Kadai Paneer, bake marinated paneer, onions and peppers on 375°F for 15-20 minutes. Once baked, keep it aside and make the gravy.

Make the Gravy

  • Heat 2 tbsp of butter in a pan. Add all the dry spices like cumin powder, cloves, whole peppercorn, whole dry red chilis, cinnamon stick, bay leaves, black and green cardamom. Saute all these seeds/spices in butter for couple of minutes until the cumin seeds start to fragrant and become golden brown.
  • Add chopped onions and a pinch of salt. Saute until they become translucent.
  • Add garlic-ginger paste and saute for couple of minutes or until the raw smell of garlic disappears.
  • Add chopped tomatoes and saute until they become very mushy.
  • Add tomatoe paste, mix it well and saute for 3-5 minutes. If it gets too dry, add little water at a time and keep cooking.
  • Add rest of the spices and mix well. Keep sauteing the spices for another 5-6 minutes on medium heat or until the grease starts to separate from the gravy.
  • Add water and heavy cream. Mix well and simmer it for couple of minutes. Add kasoori methi and mix well. If gravy is too thick, add more water and/or cream to make it thiner.
  • Add baked paneer, onions and peppers. Mix well and taste it. Add more salt or any other spices if needed. Simmer everything for 3-5 minutes.
  • Garnish it with fresh cilantro and serve it hot with naan, jira rice, raita and side of crunchy kachumber/salad!
    kadai paneer
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