Kadhai Paneer

Nothing compares, nothing compares to you…

Indian cottage cheese or paneer is one of the most celebrated ingredients of our cuisine. In India, you can be sure to expect a paneer dish on the menu for all special occasions. Growing up I remember eating paneer ever so often. In curries, flatbreads and believe it or not even on a pizza.

Todays recipe combines succulent chunks of paneer with the earthiness of spinach and the sweetness of capsicum. Cooked in an Indian wok called a kadhai, this dish gets humbly called kadhai paneer.

Ingredients: 13  Cooking time: 20 minutes

Serves: 4

  • 500gms of paneer, cut in bite sized cubes
  • One bunch of spinach, coarsely chopped
  • Two medium capsicums, finely sliced
  • One red onion, finely sliced
  • Two pods of garlic, minced
  • One teaspoon of ginger paste
  • 1.5 teaspoon of dried mint leaves
  • One tablespoon of garam masala
  • One teaspoon of coriander powder
  • One cinnamon stick
  • Two tablespoons of ghee
  • Salt to season
  • Fresh coriander to garnish

Heat ghee in a kadhai (wok). Add onion, ginger and garlic. Cook until aromatic and the onion is lightly caramelised.

Now add spinach, cinnamon stick, one teaspoon of dried mint leaves and half tablespoon of garam masala. Mix well, cover the pan and let the spinach wilt on a medium heat for four to five minutes.

Then add capsicum and paneer chunks, followed by rest of the dried spices, including remaining garam masala and dried mint leaves. Season with salt and mix well. Let the paneer and capsicum sear on a high heat for seven to ten minutes.

If you are an avid meat eater or vegan, you can replace paneer with chicken or tofu too.

Your kadhai paneer is ready to serve. Garnish with fresh coriander leaves and serve alongside flaky parathas or on a bed of rice with raita. Eat it anyway you like and be rest assured nothing will compare to it.

Punjabi Kadhi Chawal ( Yogurt and Gram Flour Curry and Rice)

I see your curry and raise you Punjabi Kadhi…

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Everyone has their own definition of comfort food. A big bowl of pasta, a big juicy burger, a tub of chocolate icecream, an extra cheesy pizza and if you are like me a big bowl of curry and rice!

Initially upon moving to Australia, I was always perplexed why they called all Indian food ‘Curry’. Now I am convinced the reason why westerners call all Indian food curry stems from today’s dish, Kadhi (sounds like Curry)! Bad joke, I know!!!

Kadhi is made in almost every part of India, depending on which Indian community you come from the Kadhi will vary accordingly. Punjabi Kadhi is thick and creamy, often served with pakodas and fondly called Kadhi pakoda. Sindhi Kadhi is thin and light, tempered with drumsticks and an onion and tomato paste. Rajasthani Kadhi also called Gatta Kadhi is served with gramflour flour (besan in hindi) dumplings.


Kadhi is definitely a family favourite for us! Beeji and Dad love it with ghee, Maa and Massi like curry leaves in theirs and my brother likes his Kadhi, just like his women…HOT!

As a child I didn’t like Kadhi at all, actually I detested it! On days we had Kadhi for dinner in the house, I would go on a Gandhian style ‘Civil Disobedience Movement’, disobeying to eat dinner!

Funny how times change, I love Kadhi now! I am sharing the recipe with you, which is a confluence of my Beeji, Maa and Massi’s recipe. One requirement for a great Kadhi is tart yoghurt. The more tart the yoghurt the better the Kadhi. Now you know what to do with that yoghurt that may have been gracing your fridge for a few days.


Ingredients: 17     Cooking time: 60 minutes
Serves: 6
  • Seven tablespoons of plain Yoghurt or Dahi (I used natural Greek yoghurt)
  • Five tablespoons of gramflour
  • Two tablespoon of coriander powder
  • Two tablespoon of dried mango powder (optional)
  • One tablespoon fenugreek seeds
  • One teaspoon turmeric powder
  • One teaspoon red chilli powder
  • One teaspoon garam masala powder
  • One black cardamom
  • Two bay leaves
  • Five to six cloves
  • Eight to ten curry leaves
  • One onion chopped
  • Four to five green chillies
  • One tablespoon of freshly minched ginger
  • Three tablespoons of mustard oil
  • Salt to taste

In a bowl add yoghurt, followed by the spices, one tablespoon of coriander powder and one teaspoon each of turmeric, red chilli and garam masala powder. If your yoghurt isn’t tart enough add two tablespoons dried mango powder.

Mix the yoghurt well, then add five tablespoons of gramflour or besan, followed by eight cups of water. Mix the batter until there are no lumps.


In a deep saucepan add mustard oil and let it heat. Mustard oil is key to this dish as it would not taste the same without it. Now add the fenugreek seeds, curry leaves, bay leaves, cloves and black cardamom. Let the herbs and spices temper. Then add the chopped onions, minced ginger and green chillies. Cook the onion mix on a medium heat for 15 minutes. Now add one tablespoon of coriander powder and let the onions cook on a medium heat for another two to three minutes.


Once the onions are nicely browned add the yoghurt and gram flour mix to the pan, give it a good stir and cover the sauce pan with a lid. Let the beautiful yellow concoction bubble away for the next 30 to 40 minutes on medium heat. By this time the aromas of Kadhi will be permeating through your house. Remove the lid and check the consistency of the Kadhi, which should be  reasonably thick and creamy.

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Your Kadhi is ready to serve! It is best eaten with plain steamed white rice or jeera (cumin) rice. I hope your family enjoys my family favourite!!


Mutter Paneer (Peas and Cottage Cheese Curry)

Because there is nothing in life a good curry can’t fix..

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Being a true Indian my heart and belly always crave for Indian food,  I can simply never get enough. Contrary to popular belief there is so much variety in Indian food. In terms of curries, butter chicken only scratches the surface.

This post is dedicated to my love for curry and LSD’s 300th ‘Facebook Liker’, Mrs Chloe Sandher.  Chloe was introduced to Indian food initially by a friend and her love for it grew stronger when she met the love of her life, her husband! 

Mutter Paneer is a classic North Indian dish. The soft crumbly texture of the paneer, the sweetness of the peas and the delicious tomato gravy all make this a dish to reckon with.

Ingredients: 12           Cooking time: 30 minutes
Serves: 4
  • 200 gms of paneer
  • Two cups of  frozen peas 
  • 1.5 tablespoons of ghee (or olive oil)
  • One diced onion
  • One can of diced tomatoes (or four to five fresh diced tomatoes)
  • Five crushed cardamom pods 
  • Two chopped green chillies
  • Half cup of skim milk
  • 1.5 teaspoons of cumin powder
  • 1.5 teaspoons of coriander powder
  • One teaspoon of turmeric powder
  • Salt to taste

Add ghee in a pan and wait until it melts. Now add the chopped onion and cook it on medium heat, giving it time to caramelise. Once the onion is translucent add the chopped green chillies, let the onions continue to caramelise.

Once the onion mix is nice and carmelised, add the tomatoes (you can use fresh or canned). In my experience canned tomatoes give the curry a really good colour and make the gravy creamier.

Now add the spices – cumin, coriander and turmeric powder. Cook the gravy on a medium heat for about seven to ten minutes. Let the gravy cool a bit. Then add half a cup of skim milk and blend the gravy to make it smooth and creamy.

Its time for the secret ingredient, the cardamom pods. Smash the cardamom pods, remove the skins and then crush the seeds, making them into a fine powder. 

Now add the peas followed by the cardamom powder and two cups of water to your creamy tomato gravy. Cover the pan with a lid and let the peas simmer in the gravy for five to seven minutes. By this stage you should be smelling the beautiful aromas of cardamom and peas.

Your peas are ready for the paneer, cut it in cubes and add it into the gravy. Give the curry a good stir, gently so as to not break the paneer. Some prefer to fry the paneer before adding it into curries with the belief that it holds itself better.

Let me bust that myth for you! By frying the paneer you are only adding to the calories, the key is once you add the paneer avoid stirring the gravy too much.

Let the paneer and peas simmer on a low heat for five minutes. There it is, your lip smackingly delicious Mutter Paneer!

Chloe LSD hopes you and your husband enjoy this curry! And so do all the other readers, remember when in doubt make a curry!!!