Paneer Chilli

Make these melt-in-your-mouth Chinese flavored Paneer Chilli to be served as an appetizer, snack or as a side to a main course!

Paneer Chilli Recipe | Chinese Chilly Paneer (Dry & Gravy options) Indians love their Chinese food.

I bold-ed “their” because the Chinese food you get in India is very different from the authentic Chinese food you get in China… or so I’ve been told.

But that really is not my problem.ย I’m not really hung up on the fact that Indians make their Chinese food totally wrong. One of these days, I’d truly love to have some real vegetarian Chinese Food. But when you extrapolate ethnic Chinese flavors to soft cubes of Cottage Cheese, you are pretty much making a firecracker dish! And I’m quite happy munching on these not-so-authentic yet so-damn-delicious Paneer Chilli!ย 

Paneer Chilli Recipe | Chinese Chilly Paneer (Dry & Gravy options)

Paneer Chilli is one of the many fusion Indian-Chinese recipes that Indians love. This was originally served as Chilly Chicken. But of course, the vegetarians decided to modify the recipe and Paneer (in India) is a go-to ingredient for almost any kind of meat-substitute! Basically, you crisp up paneer cubes and serve along with a Chinese flavored sauce. Real easy – but only if you read the recipe carefully and understand the steps! You can do that, can’t you? ๐Ÿ™‚

Paneer Chilli Recipe | Chinese Chilly Paneer (Dry & Gravy options) P.S: By the way, when you make this with a gravy, you can serve it along side any Chinese main course like Fried Rice or Schezwan Noodles or even serve it as a soup. And when you make it dry, you can serve them as appetizers or snacks and serve them with a fork or tooth-picks!

Note: This may be a lengthy recipe, but it takes only 30 minutes to prepare if you are organized.

Paneer Chilli Recipe | Chinese Chilly Paneer (Dry & Gravy options)

You’ll need –
Paneer Chilli Recipe | Chinese Chilly Paneer (Dry & Gravy options)

Mix all the flour, cornflour, pepper, salt, soy-sauce & water to form a smooth thin batter.
Paneer Chilli Recipe | Chinese Chilly Paneer (Dry & Gravy options)

Coat the paneer cubes lightly in batter.
Paneer Chilli Recipe | Chinese Chilly Paneer (Dry & Gravy options)

In a pan with high sides, heat up about 6-8 tablespoons of oil. Add the paneer cubes to the oil and fry till they are crisp on all sides. Else, you can also deep fry.
Paneer Chilli Recipe | Chinese Chilly Paneer (Dry & Gravy options)

Remove on a paper towel and let them cool a bit
Paneer Chilli Recipe | Chinese Chilly Paneer (Dry & Gravy options)

Meanwhile, to make the sauce, in the same pan add the chopped chilli, minced garlic and ginger. (If you deep fried the paneer, then you will have to remove most of the oil and leave about 1-2 tablespoons in there)
Paneer Chilli Recipe | Chinese Chilly Paneer (Dry & Gravy options)

Add the onions & bell peppers (capsicum). Let them fry for about 1-2 minutes or until onions turn translucent.
Paneer Chilli Recipe | Chinese Chilly Paneer (Dry & Gravy options)

Add the flour + cornflour mixture and mix well. Let it fry for a few seconds
Paneer Chilli Recipe | Chinese Chilly Paneer (Dry & Gravy options)

Add soy sauce, sugar, chilli sauce, vinegar, salt & pepper and mix well.
Paneer Chilli Recipe | Chinese Chilly Paneer (Dry & Gravy options)

Add a splash of water to the veggies and mix well. If you want a gravy, add more water and let it boil till you have a sauce.
Paneer Chilli Recipe | Chinese Chilly Paneer (Dry & Gravy options)

Add the fried paneer pieces to the mixture
Paneer Chilli Recipe | Chinese Chilly Paneer (Dry & Gravy options)

Mix well without breaking up the paneer pieces. Make sure the sauce coats all sides of the paneer cubes. Taste and adjust for seasonings

Paneer Chilli Recipe | Chinese Chilly Paneer (Dry & Gravy options)

Switch off the flame. Serve hot garnished with greens of the spring onion

Paneer Chilli Recipe | Chinese Chilly Paneer (Dry & Gravy options)

5.0 from 1 reviews
Paneer Chilli
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 2-4
Ingredients
  • 500 grams (17 ounces / 1 pound) fresh Paneer (Cottage Cheese) {*Note 1}
  • Vegetable Oil (for deep frying or Shallow Frying)
For the batter {*Note 2}
  • 2 tablespoons All Purpose Flour (plus a little more)
  • 2 tablespoons Cornstarch (cornflour) {*Note 3}
  • ½ teaspoon Salt (taste batter and adjust if you wish)
  • 1 teaspoon ground black Pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon Soy Sauce
  • ⅛ teaspoon Vinegar
  • 1-2 teaspoons Water (or enough to make a smooth, thin batter)
For the Sauce
  • 3-4 Garlic Cloves, minced (use 1-2 if you have big cloves)
  • 1 tablespoon of grated Ginger
  • 4 Green Chillies, finely chopped {*Note 4}
  • 1 cup white bulb of Spring Onions / Scallions (or use regular onion) - cut into big, thin chunks
  • 1 cup Bell Peppers / Capsicum, (cut as big the paneer cubes)
  • 1 teaspoon All Purpose Flour
  • 1 teaspoon Cornstarch {*Note 3}
  • 2 teaspoons Tomato Sauce / Ketchup
  • 1 teaspoon Soy Sauce
  • ½ teaspoon Vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Chilli Sauce (optional)
  • ½ teaspoon Schezwan Sauce (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
  • 2 teaspoons Salt (start off with 1 teaspoon and then add more to suit your taste)
  • Water / Vegetable Stock {*Note 5}
  • finely chopped Greens of the Spring Onion / Scallions for garnish - optional
Instructions
Preparing the Paneer (Cottage Cheese)
  1. Cut the paneer pieces into cubes. You can cut them in any size you like. Preferably not too big or small. About 1 inch cubes should be perfect.
  2. Place them on a paper towel to make sure all the moisture is absorbed. Then roll them in flour to keep them dry.
  3. Meanwhile, heat 6-8 tablespoons of Oil on a pan with high sides for Shallow Frying. Or fill the pan with oil for deep frying if you wish to.
  4. Mix ingredients mentioned under "Batter" (flour, cornstarch, salt, pepper, soy sauce, vinegar and water) to form a smooth thin batter
  5. Coat the paneer cubes lightly in batter.
  6. Add the paneer cubes to the oil and fry till they are crisp on all sides. Else, you can also deep fry till light golden brown.
  7. Remove on a paper towel and let them cool a bit
For the Sauce
  1. In the same pan add the chopped chilli, minced garlic and ginger and fry for 10 seconds. (If you deep fried the paneer, then remove most of the oil and leave about 1-2 tablespoons in there)
  2. Add the onions & bell peppers (capsicum). Let them fry for about 1-2 minutes or until onions turn translucent.
  3. Add 1 teaspoon of all purpose flour and cornstarch each and mix well. Let it fry for a few seconds until the flour smell goes away
  4. Add soy sauce, sugar, chilli sauce, tomato ketchup, vinegar, salt & pepper and mix well. (If you want, you could also add some schezwan sauce here)
  5. Add a splash of water to the veggies and mix well. If you want a gravy, add more water and let it boil till you have a sauce.
  6. Add the fried paneer pieces to the mixture. Mix well without breaking up the paneer pieces. Make sure the sauce coats all sides of the paneer cubes. Taste and adjust for seasonings
  7. Switch off the flame. Serve hot garnished with greens of the spring onion
Notes
  1. Preferably use fresh, store bought Paneer from an Indian store for this recipe. If you're using Cottage Cheese instead, it may be salted. So skip salt while making the batter and adjust the amount of salt in sauce accordingly
  2. You can choose to skip making the batter and directly add paneer cubes to the sauce as well. Add raw paneer cubes to the mixture and let it cook with the sauce for about 5-6 minutes for flavors to seep into the paneer. This is a healthier option too.
  3. If you do not have cornstarch, you can substitute with all purpose flour (and vice-versa)
  4. If you do not want to make the dish so spicy, simply add the whole green chili split at the middle and seeds removed. That way, you can spot the chilli and remove it. Depending on the type of green chilli you use, the spiciness may vary
  5. If you want to make dry Chilly paneer to be served as appetizer / snack on a plate with fork / toothpicks, add only about ⅕ cup of water / vegetable stock and let that boil to form a thick sauce just enough to coat the paneer. If you want to make Paneer chilli gravy to be served as side dish, go ahead and add ½ cup or ¾ cup of water / veg stock and let that boil until you have a thick gravy. You can still taste and adjust for seasonings.

You can also use homemade paneer for this recipe, but I’ve always gotten best results from fresh store bought Paneer. You can also make this dish Vegan by substituting Paneer (Cottage Cheese) with Silken Tofu.

Other Indian Chinese dishes you must try –

Schezwan Fried Noodles

Bakes Potato Manchurian

Chinese Noodle Soup

Schezwan Fried Rice

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14 Comment

  1. Jia says: Reply

    You make such yum food

    1. Thank you ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Mittal says: Reply

    Thank you for such a nice Recipee!!

  3. pravin says: Reply

    in most restaurants they make it little bit sweet….but its far more delicious when its spicy

  4. Thanks for beautiful recipes. I have tried many recipes from your blog.. ๐Ÿ™‚ i have not been too successful with chilli paneer earlier. Would be nice if you can tell me which brand sauces you used to make this recipe. Wants to give another try to chili paneer and with right ingredients.

    1. Thank you! I just use the regular stuff available at the supermarket.. never paid much attention to the brands ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. […] but it is delicious and easy to make. And this is how it isย served in India. Serve it with some Paneer Chilli or Vegetable Manchurian and your Indo-Chinese craving is sorted! […]

  6. Rashmi says: Reply

    wen r u calling me home?? i hv gone completely mad after seeing ur recipes… it seems yum! i’ve tried sum of dem…and they were awesome! luv u for dis and biggg thanks….. ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Thank You Rashmi! ๐Ÿ™‚ If you’re in Mumbai, sometime, you can surely stop by!

  7. Yum.. The pics are making me drool.. we were in Shanghai for two n half years and tasted traditional chinese food I can just say it takes time to acquire taste for it. Initially I did not like it but as I tasted more I loved it. Esp sichuan cuisine that is very spicy and tasty. But my options were limited as a veggie. But Indo-Chinese food rock anyday. Yum

    1. Thanks Ujwal! ๐Ÿ™‚ Is there anywhere in India where you found authentic Chinese food? I’d love to give it a try!

      1. Ram says: Reply

        The closest you can get to authentic Chinese food as they make it in China, can be found in Calcutta, Avoid the swanky restaurants and make your way to Chinatown or Tangra as it is locally called. There are several small eateries there which serve great food.

        1. I’ve had the Chinese there. Its good. But I prefer the Mumbai street Chinese though ๐Ÿ™‚

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