Easy Kadai Paneer Recipe | How to make Kadai Paneer Dry Recipe at home
Few years ago I came upon this research wherein the theory emphasised upon the connection between hunger and smell. It demonstrated how bakeries and restaurants  would use aromas as a marketing tool to entice customers into their shops.

"Cinnabon, the bakery chain, places ovens near the front of its stores so the enticing smell of warm cinnamon rolls escapes when oven doors open, says Kat Cole, president of Cinnabon, a unit of Focus Brands Inc. The bakeries are intentionally located in malls or airports, not outside, so smells can linger. Over time, the company has recognized that aroma is a huge part of its formula, Ms. Cole says." Source.  

Isn't it true? Every time I would hear someone reminiscing about a favourite food, it would be mostly about the mouth watering whiff of the dish, cooking in their mother/grandmother/aunt's house. We, as a society currently, eat mostly with our sense of smell and sight with hunger coming last (if at all!)
Easy Kadai Paneer Recipe | How to make Kadai Paneer Dry Recipe at home
But in our daily rush and grind of so many commitments, the art of slow cooking that envelops the house with tantalizing aromas is now almost extinct. The world today is in a rush (..to nowhere!!) losing the real essence of self preservation. Now we have aromas mostly of take outs as far as food is concerned. So, is there no way to bridge this gap of the super fast society and the food based memories of the yore? Good News! Yes, there is.

With the concept of OPOS® - One Pot One Shot, cooking method conceptualized by Rama Krishnan of the One Page Cookbooks fame we now can make resturant styled foods right at home in quarter the time but without any compromisesIt involves using your pressure cooker to cook recipes using High Heat/Less Time,  Minimal or No Water cooking which traps the flavor and aroma of the dish beautifully. When you open your cooker, the sight and smell that greets you is warming and extremely appetizing.
Easy Kadai Paneer Recipe | How to make Kadai Paneer Dry Recipe at home
I have been adopting this method for many recipes in the last couple of months to mostly successes. You need to know your pressure cooker before you start just like any other tool of cooking - oven, microwave etc.  Until you know for sure, I would suggest you following the recipes as given without making any changes unless otherwise mentioned. A lot of science goes behind every recipe and until you have it pat down, its not advisable to make many changes of your own which could lead to burning of your food. 
  • Cook time:
  • Prep time:
  • Serves: For 3-4 people
Ingredients
  • 250 grams Paneer, chopped into medium sized chunks
  • 1 large Onion, chopped into chunks
  • 1 large Tomato, deseeded and chopped into chunks
  • 1 large Bell Pepper (Green/Mixed Colors), chopped into chunks
  • 1-2 Chillies, sliced or to taste (optional)
  • 1-1/2 tbsp Oil
    Spices (can be adjusted according to taste)
  • 1-1/4 tsp OPOS Ginger-Garlic paste, see Tips
  • 3/4 tsp Kashmiri Chilli powder
  • 3/4 tsp Kasoori Methi
  • 3/4 tsp Cumin-Coriander Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Garam Masala
  • 1/4 tsp Turmeric powder
  • Salt to taste (3/4 tsp-1 tsp)
Tips
1. Ginger Garlic Paste: Normally you would be adding OPOS Ginger-Garlic paste. This is a homemade paste where the ginger and garlic are already cooked using the pressure cooker method and blended into fine paste to be used in all other recipes that calls for the Ginger-Garlic paste. This is to avoid the raw taste of the ingredients in the dish especially since the OPOS cooking is done very fast. But I have used store bought Ginger paste and Garlic paste and it still worked great. Avoid using sliced/minced Ginger and Garlic in this recipe if you can to avoid the raw taste.
Method
1. Place the paneer in a bowl. Add all the ingredients mentioned under  the "Spices" section along with 1-1/2 tsp oil.
2. Combine well to coat. Make sure to read the Tips section for Ginger-Garlic paste. Set aside.
3. You can use multi colored bell peppers. I used red and green since that's what I had on hand on this specific day. You can use any other vegetable of your choice as well.
4. Take a 3 litre Pressure Cooker. Now we will start layering. Please add it in the order mentioned below. First, add 3 tbsp water.
5. Next add 1 tbsp oil.
6. Then add the onion. Spread it to cover the base.
7. Then comes the tomatoes
8. followed by bell peppers.
9. Finally add the spice coated paneer on top.
10. Close the lid and cook on high. The flame should cover the bottom of the cooker. Set the timer to 6 minutes.
11. You should get 2 Whistles within this time. You should start getting your first whistle around the 5 minute mark.  If it doesn't and/or you start getting a burning smell, immediately switch off the cooker, release pressure and open it. Mostly the water you added was not enough. Add some more water and cook again. The total cooking time should not exceed 6 minutes.  It took me 5 min and 20 seconds to get 2 whistles.
12. Release the pressure immediately using a fork/spatula.  This helps in retaining the vibrant color of the veggies. Otherwise the colors get dull and the vegetables will be overcooked.
13. This is how it looks like upon opening the pan.
14. Combine them until well mixed. At this point the whole house should be extremely aromatic!
15. Transfer into a serving dish.  Notice that there is no burning and the ingredients come out clean.
Garnish with cilantro and serve with Naan, Roti(s) and/or Rice.
Easy Kadai Paneer Recipe | How to make Kadai Paneer Dry Recipe at home

Recipe Reference

Adapted from the OPOS® manual

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4 Comments

By Sukanya on Jan 4, 2017

Amazing recipe. Couldn't believe something this flavoursome could be made in 6 mins. It actually took me slightly lesser. Am forwarding your link to all my friends.

Thank you Sukanya :). Its fun isnt it? I hope to post more of such ones in the future since it helps many cook in less time and spend more time doing others things of priority! --DK

By Shwetha on Dec 9, 2016

Hi DK, Tried this with success. Thanks for sharing such a wonderful time saving recipe. Regards, Shwetha

By meera on Nov 6, 2016

What is OPOS?

As mentioned in the post, OPOS® is One Pot One Shot, that relies on Indian Pressure Cooker pan to make recipes. Unlike the regular method wherein we mostly dump ingredients with water to cook in pressure cooker, here we rely on minimal/no water and layering technique enabling the natural juices of vegetables to cook the dish for us. --DK

By Ramakrishnan on Nov 6, 2016

Brilliant. Explained in so much detail. Thanks for taking OPOS to your audience !