Indian Kadhai Paneer

A riot of flavours with melt in mouth paneer absorbed with the wonders of an Indian kitchen – spices! And i cannot mention enough, my eternal love for homemade blends and the way they make me happy.

This Indian semi-dry curry pairs well with any flatbreads of choice. On a casual day, we love this with the humble chapatis. Or on indulgent days, we club it with naans or kulchas.

How I make it?

Kadhai masala – dry roast the spices until fragrant – black pepper, 2 coriander seeds, cinnamon stick, star anise, mace, green cardamoms and cloves. Cool it to room temp and grind it into a fine powder.
Grind garlic cloves, ginger, green chillies, tomato. In a pan, heat ghee, add sliced onion, ginger garlic chilli tomato paste.
Cook for a minute and add Kadhai masala, mix and cook until it turns brown,
Then mix in crushed tomatoes to the pan, add salt to taste, turmeric powder and red chilli powder. Tip in freshly ground coconut and give it a good mix and simmer for 10 mins on low flame. Add lime juice (skip if tomatoes are tangy) and sugar.
Add cubed onion and cubed capsicum and cook until they turn soft. Now add water, cubed paneer and continue to cook it for 7-8 mins on low flame.
Finish off with a handful of coriander leaves and just a pinch of kasuri methi.

Exact measurements and quantities in the recipe card below.

I have notes on replacing dairy products with vegan option in the recipe card below.

If you like this Indian kadhai paneer recipe, please leave me a comment below or connect with me on my Instagram and Facebook handle. I would love to hear from you.

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Indian Kadhai Paneer

Indian Kadhai Paneer

Arpita Darooka
Melt in mouth cottage cheese in a riot of flavours and spices.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Servings 4 People


Kadhai Masala - spice blend Ingredients

  • 1 Tsp Whole black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp Coriander seeds
  • 1/2 inch Cinnamon stick
  • 1 pc Star anise
  • 1/2 inch Mace
  • 3 pcs Green cardamom
  • 3 pcs Cloves

Ginger chilli paste Ingredients

  • 7-8 Cloves Garlic
  • 1.5 Inch Ginger
  • 3-4 Pcs Green chillies
  • 1 pc Tomato

Curry Ingredients

  • 1 cup Cubed paneer
  • 1 Tbsp Ghee
  • 1 Tbsp Cooking oil
  • 1 Pc Large sized sliced onion
  • 1.5 cups Crushed tomatoes
  • 1 pc Medium sized cubed onions
  • 1 pc 1 cubed capsicum
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp Red chilli powder
  • 1.5 Tbsps Grated coconut
  • 1/2 tsp Lemon juice optional
  • 1/2 tsp Sugar
  • 1 cup Water
  • To taste Salt

Garnish Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup Coriander leaves chopped
  • 1/8 Tsp Kasuri methi


Spice blend

  • Dry roast the spices until fragrant. Approx 2-3 mins. Let it cool to room temperature and grind them into a fine powder

Ginger chilli paste

  • Grind all of them together.


  • In a pan, heat ghee and oil, add the sliced onions and ginger chilli paste. Sauté for a minute.
  • Add 3tbsp of kadhai masala. Let it all cook until it turns light brown.
  • Add crushed tomatoes to the pan, add salt, turmeric powder, red chilli powder, and coconut and mix it well. Let it cook for approx 10 mins.
  • Add lemon juice (skip if the tomatoes are sour) and sugar.
  • Add cubed onion and capsicum and cook it only until it gets soft.
  • Add water and paneer and continue to cook it for additional 7-8 mins on low flame.
  • Finish off with the garnishes. Enjoy!!!


Replace paneer with tofu for vegan option.
Replace ghee with oil for vegan option.
All other ingredients and measurements remain the same.
Keyword kadhai paneer, indian cottage cheese gravy, paneer recipes
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