Kadai Paneer

What is Kadai Paneer?

Kadai = the wok in which we cook
Paneer = Indian cottage cheese

Timmi’s Tips and Tricks

What color bell peppers should I use?

I use a green bell pepper, but you should use whichever color you like!

What if I prefer a smooth gravy?

I prefer the onions and tomatoes to be chunky, so I don’t blend them. If you prefer a smoother gravy, you can puree the onions and tomatoes before adding them in.

What is bhuna jeera (roasted cumin powder)?

As the name suggests, this is just roasted cumin in powder form. You can dry roast some cumin seeds on a stovetop until it gets a bit darker. Once the seeds cool down, grind them into a powder. You can batch prepare this and keep them to use in other dishes over time. Bhuna jeera is great for yogurt dishes (raita)!

How long does kadai paneer keep?

Unlike most dishes, which last about a week in the fridge, kadai paneer loses its punch in a day or two. If you want to meal prep the kadai paneer, I would recommend cooking everything EXCEPT the paneer and then adding the paneer when ready to eat. Everything else will keep just fine!

Should I use homemade paneer or store bought paneer?

You can use either, but here are a few pointers either way: If you use homemade paneer, try not to mix too much once it’s added as it has a tendency to crumble. Store bought paneer works well for this. Soak the paneer for at least half an hour beforehand (or while doing the rest of the cooking) to soften it up a bit.

What garam masala should I use?

A good garam masala is vital to this dish. You can make your own using my recipe here or buy one. I’ve used and recommend the MDH one, which works great for a lot of North Indian dishes.

Kadai Paneer

Prep Time20 minutes
Servings: 2


  • 1.5 cups shimla mirch (green bell pepper) diced large (1/2-1" chunks)
  • 1 cup paneer cubed
  • 3 tbsp oil
  • 1 inch piece ginger grated
  • 2 green chilis chopped
  • 1/2 tsp garlic minced
  • 1 small red onion chopped
  • 1 medium tomato chopped
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp sukha dhaniya (ground coriander powder)
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp bhuna jeera (roasted cumin powder)
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala
  • dhaniya (cilantro) chopped for garnish


  • Heat a kadai or wok on medium high. Add oil.
  • Once oil is hot, add ginger, green chilis, and garlic. Stir to mix.
  • Add in the onions and cook until translucent.
  • Once onions are cooked, add the tomato. Stir to mix.
  • Add salt, coriander powder, and black pepper.
  • Cook until tomatoes have softened, stirring periodically to ensure even cooking.
  • Add approximately 1/4 cup water (or to desired consistency) and let it cook for about a minute.
  • Add the bell pepper and roasted cumin powder. Stir to mix.
  • Cover the kadai and lower heat to simmer until green peppers are tender and easily sliceable with a spatula.
  • Add the paneer and stir to mix.
  • Add in garam masala and cilantro. Mix to combine.
  • Enjoy!

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