Kadai Paneer vs Matar Paneer: 5 Key Comparison Points

Whenever someone imagines Indian cuisines, the first thing that comes to their mind is Indian curry. Most curry recipes include the Indian cottage cheese, also known as paneer. Two of the most popular curries made with Indian cheese are kadai paneer and matar paneer. Are these two Asian cuisines similar? Let’s find out in the comparison: Kadai Paneer vs Matar Paneer.

1. Know About the Asian Cuisine

For a vegetarian, paneer (cottage cheese) is a vital ingredient in their dishes. It is usually made by curdling the milk using acidic substances like vinegar, lemon juice, etc. You can even make paneer with yogurt.

Many paneer recipes are termed the tastiest vegetarian cuisines. It is used extensively in Indian cooking. For instance, paneer butter masala, matar paneer, saag paneer (For more details: matar paneer vs saag paneer), and others are some of the best dishes. 

Let us know more about the two most popular cottage cheese dishes in the vast list of Indian recipes.

Kadai Paneer

This dish uses green bell pepper and fresh Indian cheese for its preparations. Since it is a popular curry recipe, almost every Indian restaurant lists it on its menu.

Why the name “kadai paneer,” you may wonder. It got its name because the cooking takes place in a kadai. If it is not available, you can alternatively use a wok or pan. 

Matar Paneer

An Indian dish that employs fresh cottage cheese and matar (green peas) to produce a delicacy is matar paneer. These ingredients are simmered together in a smooth gravy made with onions, tomatoes, and Indian spices to give a pleasant taste to the dish. 

You can make this recipe irresistible by making some changes. For instance, shallow frying of the cubed cottage cheese can bring a subtle boost to the texture and taste. Adding cashew nut paste would make it more creamy. 

Since now we have a basic idea of what these dishes are, let us look at the other key points for their comparison.

2. Kadai Paneer vs Matar Paneer: Ingredients

Even if both these dishes have cottage cheese as a vital ingredient, there still are other components that influence their taste and texture. You may also want to know where to buy paneer cheese?

Kadai paneer recipe uses ground spices like coriander powder (or seeds), Kashmiri chili powder, a bit of clove, cumin powder, Kasuri methi, and others to have a unique flavor. For more flavor, you can use the aromatic ground kadai masala. 

Without green bell pepper, you cannot create this Indian curry. You can also add fenugreek leaves to boost its flavors.

On the other side, matar paneer utilizes peas as a vital ingredient besides the Indian cottage cheese. Furthermore, a bit of cashew paste is added to the mix to give the dish heavy cream. If you are short of cashew nuts, use almonds.

For masala paste, almost similar seasonings are used. It includes ¼  teaspoon garam masala powder, salt, ginger-garlic paste, black pepper powder, etc.

3. Kadai Paneer vs Matar Paneer: The Making

Did you know that you can make kadai paneer in two ways? And both methods will keep your mouth wanting more. 

Kadai Paneer

The semi-dry kadai paneer recipe is common in Indian restaurants because it is easier to make than its counterpart. It will only involve sauteing the homemade kadai masala. 

The bell peppers and cottage cheese are subsequently added to the mix and sauteed. You may want to keep the chunks of onion a bit big for this recipe.

The gravy recipe is quite simple. You will have to prepare the onion tomato paste and the kadai masala. However, it will take a lot more time to prepare the cuisine. Even though it takes time to make this dish, we assure you that it is worth your time. 

Make sure to saute the masala until it produces fragrant. It is also the key to creating an aromatic dish. If you want a smoky flavor, you can make the dish in restaurant style by tossing the onions and bell peppers on high flame.

Paneer tikka masala is another dish that is relatively similar to Kadai paneer. Therefore, you may want to look at Kadai paneer vs tikka masala.

Matar Paneer

On the other side of matar paneer vs kadai paneer, we have a cuisine made from homemade Indian cheese and peas. To prepare it, the chef always prepares the masala paste by grinding the seasonings with water. 

When you see the smooth paste developing fresh cream, add it to the cooking utensil. You need to be careful while sauteing the masala as it can splutter. Sauteing should continue for the next 10-12 minutes at medium-low heat.

As you progress, add the ground spices and peas and mix them well. Before adding cottage cheese, cook the peas in the cooker for about 9 to 10 minutes on medium heat. Finally, simmer the homemade or store-bought cottage cheese on low heat until they are cooked. You can also look at the step-by-step guide by clicking here:

This kadai paneer vs matar paneer comparison shows that these dishes have completely different preparation methods. Therefore, you should choose the one that you find making easier.

4. Kadai Paneer vs Matar Paneer: The Taste

As a matter of fact, kadai paneer usually has a bit of spicy taste. This is because of the addition of ground spices like coriander, pepper, jeera, and red chilies with the onion tomato gravy. When serving, you can combine these dishes with roti, steamed rice, jeera rice,  basmati rice, Indian flatbreads, naan, etc.

Contrarily, chefs add sugar to the matar paneer to get a sweeter taste. However, too much sugar can also ruin its flavors.

5. Kadai Paneer vs Matar Paneer: Nutritional Values

When your health is at stake, you can’t take any risks, especially with your food. Therefore, it is necessary to look at the nutritional values of our two favorite cottage cheese recipes. 

Both are not suitable if you are looking to lose weight. Matar paneer constitutes almost 69% fats of its total volume. However, it is still more than 63% of the kadai variant. 

Furthermore, the number of calories you will consume from one serving (400 grams) of the peas variant would reach as high as 600 calories. On the contrary, the kadai variant just gives you about 450 calories. 

Both the dishes are not protein-dense foods. They provide about 16% and 15% protein of their total volume respectively. 

In the end, it depends on you and your goals. You should choose the cuisine that gives enough health benefits and makes your life more enjoyable. 

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