Kadai Paneer Recipe – Jiwan Malai Paneer

Kadai Paneer – paneer (Indian cottage cheese) and Capsicum (bell peppers) cooked in a spicy masala.

This restaurant style Kadai Paneer gets its unique flavor from freshly ground spices like coriander and red chilies! Enjoy it with naan or paratha.

What is Kadai Paneer

Kadai Paneer is a popular paneer recipe where paneer and bell peppers are cooked in a spicy masala.

It is one of the most popular paneer recipes. It’s there on the menu in almost all Indian restaurants. I remember always ordering it when we ate out.

Kadai is a like a wok commonly used in Indian cooking. We use it to make stir fry and all sorts of things. We also use it for deep frying snacks and sweets.

This dish is called Kadai Paneer because it’s cooked in a kadai. But if you don’t have a kadai you can simply use a wok or any other pan. I actually did not make it in a kadai!

Kadai Masala

This kadai paneer recipe gets its unique flavors from freshly ground masala. It’s called the kadai masala.

Here’s all that I added to my kadai masala

• Coriander seeds
• Dried red chilies
• Green cardamom
• Fennel seeds
• Cloves

[Kadai Paneer - Jiwan Malai Paneer 

The coriander seeds and dried red chilies are the main ingredients of the kadai masala. I also like adding cardamom, fennel and cloves for that extra flavor.

The spices are dry roasted until fragrant and then ground to a fine powder.

The addition of fresh spices makes this dish super flavorful. It’s amazing how much difference the addition of fresh spices can make to a dish. They really make the flavors pop.

This spice blend can actually be used in a number of recipes, it’s so good. So if you want you can make a big batch of this and store in an airtight container.

That way you don’t have to do the extra step of making the fresh masala when making kadai paneer.


1- To a small kadai or pan, dry roast the spices for kadai masala for 3 to 4 minutes on medium heat until fragrant.   (Add more red chilies for a spicier masala).

2- Remove kadai from heat and transfer the roasted spices to a spice grinder.

3- Let it cool down a bit and then grind to a fine powder. Set aside. You can also make this kadai masala in advance and store it.

4- In a large kadai or any other pan, now melt butter with oil on medium heat.

5- Add the chopped onion and saute for 3 minutes until softened. Then add the sliced green chili and ginger garlic paste and saute for another 1 to 2 minutes.

6- Then add the chopped tomatoes and tomato paste. Mix and cook for around 6 minutes until tomatoes are really soft.

7- Then add 3 to 4 teaspoons of the kadai masala that you prepared earlier (or add the whole thing if you like it spicy). Also add the garam masala, kashmiri red chili powder.

8- Add half of the ginger julienne. Stir the spices and cook for 30 seconds.

9- Then add 1/2 cup water and stir.

10- Add cream, salt and sugar and mix. Cook for one minute.

11- Add in the jiwan malai paneer and bell peppers (capsicum) and mix. Cover the pan or kadai with a lid and cook for 5 to 6 minutes on medium heat until bell peppers are slightly softened. You only want them half cooked here

12- Crush kasuri methi and add to the pan.

Garnish with remaining ginger julienne and cilantro.

Serve kadai paneer with naan or paratha.

Recipe Credits – Cook with Manali


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