Chilli Paneer… One of the most popular Indo Chinese Vegetarian dish or as popularly known as Desi Chinese, where Paneer or Indian Cottage Cheese pieces are deep-fried and sauteed in sauces like Soy sauce, chili sauce, and vinegar that gives it a tangy and sweet taste. It is the combination of sauteed garlic, green chilies and these sauces that makes this dish so special. The hotness of chilies can be adjusted as per one’s taste. This recipe is the dry version of Paneer Chilli, you can also make another version with gravy, that we can have with rice(fried/steamed) and noodles. One of the best dish to be served at parties as an appetizer or snacks as it is quite easy to make and a favorite among all the age groups. My kids, like many other kids love Paneer dishes and Chilli Paneer is their favorite. Most of the Friday/weekend evenings they will ask me to make for dinner.
It is usually made by deep-frying Paneer pieces in flour and cornflour batter, but since I make it quite often I usually skip the deep-frying part and pan-fry the paneer cubes dusted with cornflour, in little oil. Homemade Paneer/Indian Cottage Cheese is good enough to use in the recipe if is firm, else use store-bought paneer as homemade paneer can sometimes break or crumbles if it is too soft. I avoid keeping Paneer in the freezer as freezing affects its texture. If store-bought paneer is hard, you can keep it in warm water for a few minutes, it will soften.
Tofu can be used in place of Paneer/Indian Cottage Cheese for vegans, but the texture of the final dish won’t be same as Tofu has different taste and texture.
Use different colored bell peppers as it enhances the look and gives a nice crunch to the dish.
So come, let’s gather our ingredients and make Chilli Paneer to tickle our taste buds.
Indian Cottage Cheese or Paneer pieces deep-fried and sautéed in sauces like soy sauce, chili sauce, and vinegar that gives it a tangy and sweet taste.Learn how to make Chilli Paneer
- Paneer: 300 gms
- Bell Peppers(mixed or as per choice) chopped into cubes: 1/2-1 Cup
- Onion cubed–1/2 cup
- Green Chillies– -2-3 (or as required)
- Finely chopped Garlic–6-7 Cloves
- Cornstarch(Cornflour)–2 Tbsp + 1 tbsp
- Red Chilli powder(optional)–1/4 Tsp
- Salt*– as required for paneer pieces
- Sauces for Seasoning
- Soy Sauce–2 Tbsp
- Tomato Ketchup–2 Tbsp
- Chilli Sauce–1 Tbsp
- Vinegar–1/2 Tbsp(optional)
- Spring Onion Greens for garnishing
- Oil- 1-2 Tbsp +for frying
- Cut Paneer into cubes. Sprinkle with some water to make it moist. Add 1/4 tsp of salt to cornstarch.
- Take a remaining tbsp of cornflour in a bowl and add 2-3 tbsp of water to it, and make the slurry. Keep aside. This will be used to thicken chilli Paneer gravy and to coat paneer and veggie cubes evenly in the sauces.
- If you want to skip frying of paneer cubes.. then follow this …Take paneer pieces into a bowl and add cornflour to it. Coat the paneer pieces evenly with cornstarch. Leave it for few minutes. Pan fry the cubes in 2-3 tbsp of oil.
- To fry cubes coated in cornflour batter, make a thick slurry of cornflour so that it coats paneer cubes.
- Heat oil in a pan/kadhai, add paneer pieces and fry it. Fry for 5-6 minutes till the pieces are light brown. Don’t fry for long as paneer can get hard and chewy.
- Take out pieces from the pan and keep aside in a dish/plate.
- Add a tsp of oil to the same pan, when it is hot enough, add chopped garlic saute for a minute, add green chillies and onions and bell peppers saute for another 2 minutes. Don’t fry for long else onions and bell pepper will lose the crunch.
- Add paneer pieces and mix.
- In a bowl add and mix all the sauces (soy, chilli sauce and tomato ketchup and vinegar). No need to add salt as sauces already have sauce in it.
- Mix nicely.
- Add the cornstarch slurry that we prepared in beginning and mix nicely so that it coats the paneer pieces evenly.
- Cook for another 2-3 minutes. Take off the flame and add spring onion greens on it and serve hot!!
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