Quick Kadai Paneer

It is back to school season. That means weeknights are busy with early dinner and early bed times. Unlike summers, I like to be done with dinners as quickly as possible and get the kids ready to bed.

Quick and healthy dinner choices need not be a challenge with some simple readily available ingredients from your pantry.

Here is one such simple dish. Can be easily served with hot rice or some ready rotis or phulkas.


Ingredients:

1 small block of paneer- cut into small cubes

1 capsicum- cut into small cubes

3/4 white onion- finely chopped

2 plum tomatoes- finely chopped

Spices:

1 tsp Kashmiri chilli powder

2 tsp Ginger and garlic paste

2 tsp of coriander powder

2 tsp cumin powder

1tsp garam masala

Salt as per taste.

Preparation

In a hard bottom Kadai pour 2 tablespoon of oil

Once the oil is hot, put the finely chopped onions and fry them until golden brown.

Next add tomatoes and and fry them until they are soft and get mixed with the onions and form a nice smooth paste. Cover the kadai with a lid and leave the flame on medium for about 5 minutes.

Now you can see the oil separating from the tomato-onion mixture.

Now it’s time to add the salt and Ginger garlic paste and fry for few more minutes until the raw smell of the Ginger garlic fades away.

Now add the capsicum and stir it with the mixture. Cover the lid and let the capsicum get tender, but not too soft.

Once the capsicum is done , add all the masalas (spices) together and mix well. Add quarter cup of wate,check for salt and let the mixture come to a boil. Once the gravy starts to boil add the paneer cubes and give a good stir.

Turn the flame to low and cover the lid and let the paneer soak in all the spices and flavor from the gravy.

Turn off the flame. Garnish with fresh cilantro, maybe a drizzle of cream and a sprinkle of kasoori methi for additional flavor.

Additional notes:

Before using, leave the paneer cubes in warm water for about a minute to make it soft and spongy

Kasoori methi is dried fenugreek available easily in the market. Just crush it with your palms and sprinkle on the dish for the extra flavor


Peas and Cauliflower in Yogurt Sauce

Tender peas and crunchy cauliflower simmered in a mildly spiced yogurt sauce. Matar Gobi or Gobi matar are the Indian names given to them,where Gobi means Cauliflower and Matar means peas.

But what is in a name? what matters is the flavor and deliciousness.

This semi gravy curry goes so smoothly well with rotis or chapatis or any bread for that matter.

I realized my brain works this way. Two days ago me and my Sis-in -law were on the phone having the usual “what’s for dinner” conversation. And she mentioned she had made gobi matar.

Recorded and saved! In my brain! I knew I will make that dish soon :). That is one way of getting inspired to cook, I thought. You just hear the names of the dishes(not even the recipe details). Just the names. Then you make your own recipe using that name. Its fun and innovative 🙂

But matar gobi is not a new dish. It is quite common in Indian households. It is similar to Aloo matar or Paneer matar with almost similar methods of preparations.

With just a few simple ingredients from the pantry, comes out this warm ,simmering and aromatic curry dish. I cannot thank enough the Rajwadi garam masala( badshaah brand) which takes the dish to a whole new level when ever I use it!

Matar Gobi:

1 small head of cauliflower florets

1 cup of fresh or frozen peas

1 medium onion, finely grated or pureed

4 tomatoes pureed

1  cup Yogurt

Masalas/Spices: 

1 tsp Cumin seeds, 1 tsp Turmeric, 1 tbsp Ginger garlic paste, 1tsp Garam Masala, 2 tsp Kitchen King masala, 1 tsp red chilli powder

Salt and 1tsp Sugar and 2 tbsp Oil.

Method:

In a wide thick bottomed pan, pour 2 tbsp oil. Once heated, add cumin seeds, turmeric and onion puree and fry for a minute or until oil separates. Add the ginger garlic paste and fry until the raw smell fades.

Next add the tomato puree. Mix well with the onions. Simmer the flame and cook until the mixture comes to a boil and oil separates. Add salt and sugar. Once cooked, the mixture changes color and turns into a thick red sauce.

Add the Yogurt and 1/2 a cup of water. Add all the spices (garama masala, kitchen king maslaa and red chilli powder) one by one. Mix well. Let it simmer for 2-3 minutes

Next add the cauliflower and Peas and mix well altogether with the sauce. Cover the pan with a lid and simmer. Cook until the cauliflower turns tender, but not too soft that it crumbles. Sprinkle some water if needed.

Finally, give the entire curry a nice sitr. mix well. Add salt if needed.

Garnish with cilantro and serve with rotis.

Notes:

If  you do not have KitchenKing, substitute with Cumin-coriander powder.

I have used Rajwadi garam masala- But any other variety will also work.

If using frozen peas, make sure you refresh them in cold water before adding to the curry.