Quick Kadai Paneer – pressure cooker recipe!

July 28, 2021 (Last Updated: July 29, 2021)

Paneer, Capsicums and a mix of pantry staple spices come together for this incredibly delicious 15 minute Kadai Paneer recipe. Best of all, it takes only one dish and hardly any effort to make. I’d urge you to try this even if you have a favourite kadai paneer recipe already. What’s in it to lose if it takes hardly any time?!

For this dish, we use our trusted friend – the pressure cooker again. So, in this recipe – the kadai is merely a prop!

how is that for ‘not a restaurant’ style curry?

A Kadai Paneer recipe usually calls for a freshly made spice mix with coriander, chillies and cumin. I am sure that’s amazing but I don’t have the time to patiently slow roast, dry grind and sprinkle spices on a weeknight. In my kitchen, that happens very rarely.

This recipe is NOT a restaurant style, rich, slow cooked gravy. It is what you’d make if you are trying to fix a quick meal or if like me, trying to do that in between work when working from home. Or, perhaps you have a toddler who doesn’t let you stand in the kitchen for too long. Or a well grown adult who is really hungry and needs food ( this could be me, or my husband anytime). It is delicious, goes so well with rotis or even reheated parathas, excellent with some jeera rice and once you have made it, you will come back to it again. I promise that!

have it with rice, rotis or even stuff it into a sandwich!

What is in this Kadai Paneer?

  • Paneer or TOFU (read notes below)
  • Capsicum/Bell peppers – any colour works, a mix looks nice!
  • Onions
  • Tomatoes
  • Ginger/Garlic
  • Cumin
  • Spices – chilli, turmeric, coriander, dried fenugreek ( kasoori methi) are a must in my judgement.
  • Additionally, a tandoori masala if you have works amazing.
  • a pinch of garam masala and amchur ( dried mango) if you have

How can I make a vegan version?

YES, you can I make it with firm tofu in the same way and it is amazing. The only change I make is to increase the marination time to at least one hour because tofu needs that extra time.

Quick Kadai Paneer – pressure cooker recipe!

Make this quick and delicious paneer capsicum curry in a pressure cooker with pantry spices in less than 15 minutes. It goes well with rice, rotis and even into a sandwich.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes


Spice Mix

  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • ½ tsp chilli powder
  • ½ tsp coriander powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp tandoori masala or garam masala optional
  • ½ tsp kasoori methi

For curry

  • 1 cup chopped paneer bite sized
  • 1 cup chopped bell peppers
  • ½ cup onions finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup tomatoes finely chopped
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp grated ginger
  • 1 slit chilli optional, skip if you dont want extra heat.
  • 2 cloves chopped garlic
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • coriander leaves for garnish


Making spiced paneer

  • Chop paneer into bite size cubes. Add to a bowl along with chopped bell peppers or onions, if using. Add all spices. Keep aside for 10 minutes.

Making onion tomato gravy

  • In a pressure cooker, add 2 tbsp oil and the cumin, followed by the chilli ( if using), ginger and garlic. Then, add onions to one side and tomatoes to another side.
  • Add a pinch of salt and kashmiri red chilli powder on top.
  • Transfer the marinated paneer to a smaller bowl that fits inside your pressure cooker. Place the vessel on top of the onions and tomatoes.
  • Close and cook for 4 whistles or 5 minutes, whichever is earlier.

Mix and serve

  • Open after pressure drops, remove the inner vessel and mix the onion tomato mixture well
  • Add the spiced paneer to it, give it a good mix and garnish with coriander leaves.

I shared this recipe for the first time on my Instagram in January 2020 and recently again in February 2021. I have received excellent feedback on this recipe with some even making it regularly!

For this recipe, I recommend using a 2L or 3L pressure cooker.

Oh, if you are looking for more weeknight curry recipes, I highly recommend this

12 minutes Mushroom Peas Curry

This recipe is based on the techniques I learnt in a one pot one shot group on facebook. OPOS is a registered cooking technique and this recipe may not qualify to its requirements.

Please leave a comment below if you made this recipe, have any questions or thoughts! Your comment will help me learn more about your preferences and will help other readers.

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  • Reply
    July 29, 2021 at 12:01 pm

    Is this OPOS

    • Reply
      July 29, 2021 at 2:35 pm

      It uses one pot, but I do not think it will qualify for OPOS now because their recent recipes use caramelised pastes. It is based on the techniques learnt when I was part of the group, as noted in the post.

      • Reply
        March 18, 2022 at 4:58 am

        Hi Archu, do we have to add jeera , chilli before heating the oil?

  • Reply
    July 29, 2021 at 2:14 pm

    Would a larger pressure cooker – 7.5l – still work for this recipe?

    • Reply
      July 29, 2021 at 2:36 pm

      Sorry Bertie, I have only tried this with a 2L and 3L cooker.

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