Don’t expect to encounter this dish if you planning to visit Indian restaurant. Originally this dish is made with Paneer, Indian Cottage Cheese; which you will encounter in the restaurants. We grew up eating lot of veggies, both from garden and vendors, so paneer was a very rare commodity in my house. I don’t think my mother ever cooked paneer. But nowadays everybody is using paneer as it is easily available in the market to.
My hubby rarely asks me to cook anything with paneer. Whenever he tells me to prepare some dishes with paneer (which rarely happens) I make homemade paneer, as I found the store bought ones to be very hard. I was planning to make Korean noodles dish Japchae for long time, so when we last went to Hong Kong market on the family tour; I told my hubby that I needed only a few items from the store. So he took a shopping basket instead of cart. I was like a kid who is at the toy store, putting lots of stuff in the basket thinking I will make rice, this I will make sauce, this I will make dumpling etc. My princess joined in the fun; she also started putting the stuff into shopping bag. The basket turned to very heavy and ended up getting a shopping cart in the end. I also bought a pack of tofu, and my hubby already given a warning, you can buy everything, but make sure that you make something with it and not to end I throw anything in garbage saying that it already past expiry date.
With tofu, my plan was to put it in noodle, after looking some recipes in You Tube. This afternoon I got a temptation to make this kadai tofu. There are lot of variation in recipes, and I also looked up websites of Indian cooking expert’s and found out that everyone is doing whatever according to their own version. I read that it is called kadai paneer because, firstly it made and served in Kadai ( a small wok), secondly it is made with crushed red chili ,whole coriander seeds and kasturi methi leaves ( dried fenugreek leaves) , tomato and onion is cooked until it fall apart and also spiced up with cardamom, cinnamon, cloves and bay leaves. Bell pepper is cooked in such a way that it should cook fully but at the same time retain its crunch. Paneer should be coated with gravy in the end. I cooked it without adding any water. But in the restaurant versions they add cream. Initially I was planning to add heavy cream but when I finished making the curry, it tasted delicious even without adding cream so skipped that part.
This kadai tofu, is delicious, you can try this chapathi or roti. Here goes my recipe.
First gather ingredients
Dry roast coriander seeds and red chili for 3 minutes and ground them into powder and set aside.
Heat oil in a kadai/wok and add spices, then onion and green chilies and ginger-garlic paste.
Add tomato and when cooked and become soft and mushy add turmeric powder, ground coarse red chili- coriander powder, cumin powder, salt, crushed kasutri methi leaves and garam masala and cook.
Then add chopped capsicum/green bell pepper and cook until it is crunchy by not soft. Then add tofu and slightly coat with spicy garvy. Finally garnish with coriander leaves.
Enjoy with Chapathi or roti.