Sunday, March 29, 2015

Kadai Paneer/Karahi Paneer-Restaurant Style

Kadai paneer is another famous and favorite paneer dish of many. M likes kadai paneer, well the smoky flavor is what he likes more so it works like this, he throws in all the paneer to my plate and I throw in all the capsicum to his plate. It is a yummy gravy that makes you go for a second or third serving. I have made kadai paneer many times but we have always missed the smoky flavor. One fine day, when I was watching a cookery show, a chef demonstrated about infusing smoking rose flavor into a dessert which clicked the idea of making smoke and from then I have used this technique in various ways. So here is the asli restaurant style Kadai paneer.

Paneer/Indian Cottage cheese-200g, Cubed
Tomato Puree-1 cup
Oinions-2, cubed
Capsicum-1 cup, cubed (I used red, green and yellow)
Ginger& Garlic paste-1 tsp
Red chili powder-3/4 tsp
Garam Masala powder-1/2 tsp
Kasuri Methi/Dried Fenugreek leaves- 1tsp
To Roast & Grind:
Coriander seeds- 2 tbsp
Dried Kashmiri Red chilies-4
Dry roast until they waft nice aroma, then grind it to a coarse powder.
To Temper:
Cinnamon-1 & ½ inch stick
Black Cardamom-1
Green cardamom-1
Black peppercorns-1/2 tsp
Dried Kashmiri Red chilies-2
Oil-3 tbsp
For Smoke (optional):
Coal-1 piece
Ghee-1 tbsp
How It Happened:
1. Heat oil in a pan, add the ingredients given under the ‘to temper’ list, when they splutter add the cubed onions and cook until glassy.
2. Add the ginger-garlic paste and cook in medium flame until the raw smell goes off.

3. Add chili powder, salt and the coarse ground powder mentioned above and mix well. Cook in simmer as they to get burnt easily. Coo for a minutes or two.
4. Add the tomato puree and mix well. Let it boil and reduce until it becomes dry and starts seeping out oil.
5. Now add the capsicum and paneer and ¼ cup of water. Mix well and simmer for 5 minutes.
6. Sprinkle garam masala and kasuri methi and mix once carefully so as not to break the paneer pieces as they are cooked and soft then turn off the heat.
7. Now heat the coal piece using forceps in direct flame for 5-7 minutes until it turns red hot.
8. Place a doubled folded foil in the middle of the gravy, add carefully place in the hot coal in it.
9. Pour in a tbsp of ghee on the super hot coal and you can see it giving out smoke.

10. Immediately close the pan with a tight lid so that the smoke doesn’t escape and let it be covered for 15-20 minutes.
11. Remove the coal and foil, reheat the gravy and serve with Phulkas /naans.
* The one I have given here is a semi dry version. If you want some gravy then mix 2 tbsp of cream with 1/3 cup of milk and add it at last and simmer for 2 minutes and then switch off. You can also add water instead of cream and milk or just milk and skip cream.
* Do not add more cream then it will almost be like butter paneer.
* Smoking is totally optional but when you say restaurant style, then smoke flavor is significant and hence I don’t wanna skip it. But if you can’t get coal just leave it.
* The coal should be red hot while adding ghee to emanate more smoke.

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