Paneer Chilli

  • Author: Kavitha
  • Prep Time: 30 mins
  • Cook Time: 15 mins
  • Total Time: 45 mins
  • Yield: 2-4 1x


  • 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}
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt (taste batter and adjust if you wish)
  • 1 teaspoon ground black Pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon Soy Sauce
  • 1/8 teaspoon Vinegar
  • 12 teaspoons Water (or enough to make a smooth, thin batter)

For the Sauce

  • 34 Garlic Cloves, minced (use 12 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
  • 1/2 teaspoon Vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Chilli Sauce (optional)
  • 1/2 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


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


  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 1/5 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 1/2 cup or 3/4 cup of water / veg stock and let that boil until you have a thick gravy. You can still taste and adjust for seasonings.