July 20, 2020

Basic Kadai/Kadhai Gravy| कड़ाही मसाला - Vegan

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Kadhai Paneer , Mix Veg Kadhai , Kadhai Mattar , Kadhai Mushroom ..... aren't these some of the delicious gravies that are on your order list during luncheons or Dineins at your favorite restaurant? 

 I know I am must have gotten you all salivating as you read this and most of you may be rebuking me for reminding you off these yummy items when we cannot even think of going out to dine considering the present scenario...

Well, don't fret ..what if I told you that you  can make these tasty gravies at home and enjoy with your family ?

All you have to do is prepare the base gravy and keep it ready .Now, to it you can add your favorite veggies or sautéed mushrooms, boiled peas or sautéed paneer and capsicums and viola your favorite kadai gravy is ready. 

I must thank Preethi of Preethi's cuisine who came up with this idea of blogging Basic Curry /gravy recipes used in Indian Cuisine for our Foodie Monday Bloghop this week . Preethi has some amazing recipes on her blog and if you are a beetroot lover you must visit  her blog to see the varieties she tries  with beetroot.  What fascinated me the most,is her Jujubees made using Dragon Fruit. The color is simply stunning and I could keep looking at it rather than pop into my mouth.

How did I think of Kadhai/Kadai gravy ?

Theme for week 256 was finalized as "Desi Base Curries" and soon I started racking my brains and started looking up cook books  and some age old hand written recipes written by Amma and while doing so I suddenly recollected a recipe which Amma had told me verbally.  I had a fair idea of all the ingredients and masala that go into it ,but little did I know that it was the basic Kadhai masala until I saw a few Kadhai recipes in my fav Tarla Dalal's cook book and concluded that mom's recipe is perfect for this theme.  It is always the Mom who comes to the rescue ..don't you all agree ?
You can make this gravy in advance and freeze it for future use .

You may also want to try my basic gravy for making Veg Makhanwala , Mutter Paneer , Kosta curry etc which are mildly spiced and slightly sweet as it makes use of Tomatoes and cashews in the making of the curry .

How to use the frozen Masala gravy ? 
  • Bring down the container to the refrigerator section from the freezer  atleast 2 to 3 hrs before use, then remove the desired quantity and let it thaw while you can refreeze the balance.  
  • However try to utilize it quickly as thawing and freezing time and again isn't good .
  • The other option is pack them into 2 or 3 separate containers wherein the contents of 1 container can be used for single time 

What did I make using this Kadhai Masala?

I prepared a lip-smacking Kadhai Mutter (peas) gravy and paired it with hot phulkas for dinner.
Next time I plan to make hubby's fav Kadhai paneer with tri colored bell peppers .

Preparation Time : 10 mins
Cooking Time: 20 mins
Complexity: medium
Serves : 3 to 4

4 medium sized tomatoes 
2 tsp finely chopped garlic (optional)
7 to 8 kahsmiri chillies or byadgi  chillies 
1 tbsp dhaniya /coriander seeds 
1 tsp jeera /cumin
1 tsp kasuri methi 
1/2 tsp haldi 
1/2 tsp red chilli powder
1/2 tsp garam masala
2 tablespoon oil 
Salt as needed 
2 to 3 green chillies 

Dry roast the chillies , dhaniya and jeera in a hot pan and blend it to a fine powder after cooling the roasted ingredients. 

Blend 2 tomatoes into a fine puree in a blender and the other 2 tomatoes needs to be chopped finely . Chop the green chillies as well. Adjust the quantity of green chillies to suit your spice level.

Heat oil in a pan and add the chopped tomatoes and chillies along with haldi powder , red chilli powder and garam masala.Let it cook until mushy . If you plan to freeze this gravy for future use , then add some extra oil which will act as preservative .

Note : If  using garlic, then fry the garlic in oil first and then add the chopped tomatoes 

Never use onion in the base gravy if you are going to freeze it .The onions tend to spoil the gravy or give a foul smell after a few days .

Once ,the tomatoes turn mushy and soft, add in the tomato puree and continue cooking till the raw flavor of the tomato is lost .Add 3 tsps of  freshly ground masala powder , kasuri methi and salt and continue cooking till the oil separates from the gravy and forms a nice layer .
Keep stirring in between to prevent the gravy from sticking to the pan and cook on medium flame .
Now , your basic gravy is ready . It is best when consumed fresh, but incase you plan to freeze it, then let it cool completely, use a dry and clean spoon to pack into a food grade container and then freeze it .

How to make Kadhai Mutter/कड़ाही मटर?

  • Boil about 1.5 cups or 100gms of frozen peas or fresh peas and add it to this gravy .
  • Let it simmer for 5 to 6 minutes until the peas absorbs the flavors of the masala.
  • Transfer it to a serving bowl, garnish with fresh corriander and serve it hot with rice or rotis.
  • You can heat a little oil , saute the onions until pink and add it to the gravy along with the boiled peas . 

Linking this to week #256 - Desi Base curries 


  1. My family loves kadhai paneer and you are right this cury base tastes best when made fresh. Love the color of the curry base and it is a keeper one for sure.

  2. Wow this is a great basic gravy base. We love kadhi gravy and this recipe will come to my rescue especially when I am in no mood to cook. Thanks bookmarking.

  3. Love Kadhai vegetable and kadhai paneer.. this will come handy while planning for a get together or making everyone's favourite curry quickly when pressed on time.

  4. Kadhai masala is such a keeper .Lovely colour and best part is it can freezed to enjoy delicious curries onnbusy weekdays .Lovely recipe Priya . I am loving all the base curry recipes.

  5. Kadhai masala looks super spicy and rich,any curry prepared using this masala will taste great. I love to prepare paneer curry using this.

  6. This kadhai masala seems so spicy and flavorful ! Love the vegan version here. When in a mood to make kadhai masala using paneer or any vegetables, then this prepared masala paste is definitely a lovey option to use.

  7. A spicy and thick kadhai masala or curry base. Such a handy basic curry to have handy in the freezer. I truly believe that when left for a day or two curries tend to taste different as all the spice flavors get infused well.

  8. Kadai gravy is one of the our favorite gravies and this looks too tempting. Love the color and with that oil separating absolutely delicious. Need some hot phulkas now.


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