Chilli paneer is a popular Indo-Chinese dish which can be served as a starter or a side dish. The dish is made by frying Indian cottage cheese wrapped with cornflour batter and then tossing the fried paneer cubes in sauces. Then the crispy paneer chunks are seasoned with aromatic spices and herbs. If you are calorie-conscious, you can shallow fry or just grill paneer instead of deep-frying.

It is a delicious snack dish which is liked by people of all age groups. You can find this dish in the starter menu of almost every Indo-Chinese restaurant. You can also prepare it easily at home even if you are a beginner. This recipe does not take much time to prepare and cook. The flavour is tempting and you will enjoy each bite of this authentic and mouth-watering dish.

Try making it at home and impress your family and friends.

Serves: 2-3

Preparation time: 15-20 minutes

Cooking time: 15-20

Ingredients

Corn flour: 1 ½ tsp

All-purpose flour (maida): 1 ½ tsp

Paneer: 500 grams

Capsicum: 1 (big)

Onion: 3 (medium)

Green chillies:2-3

Garlic: 7-8 flakes

Ginger: ½” thick piece

Green coriander leaves: 1/3 cup (chopped)

Organic soy sauce: 1 ½ tbsp.

Apple cider vinegar: 1 tbsp

Green chilli sauce: 2 tsp

Red chilli sauce: 2 tsp

Tomato sauce: 3 tbsp

Ajinomoto: ¼ tsp

Black pepper powder: ½ tsp

Kashmiri red chilli powder: ½ tsp

Salt to taste

Sesame seeds: 2 tsp

Oil for frying

Water as required

Method

Mix all-purpose flour, cornflour and half teaspoon of salt. Add enough water to make a batter having the consistency like dosa batter. Cut paneer in ¾” cubes. Heat oil for frying. Dip each cube in the prepared batter and deep fry until crispy golden. Keep aside. Heat one tablespoon of oil in a separate pan. Fry finely chopped green chillies and garlic-ginger paste together for two minutes on low flame. Add Ajinomoto, Kashmiri red chilli powder, vinegar and all sauces. Stir fry on medium-low flame for two minutes. Add diced onion, capsicum and salt. Stir fry for two to three minutes on medium-low flame. Add fried paneer cubes and saute for three more minutes. Add black pepper powder and coriander leaves. Mix well and turn off the flame. Transfer to a serving dish and garnish by sprinkling little sesame seeds. Dry chilli paneer is ready. If you want to make gravy chilli paneer, make cornflour paste adding two teaspoons of cornflour in a three-fourth cup of water. Mix well. Add this paste after adding fried paneer cubes in the pan and then cook on low flame for five minutes stirring occasionally. Then add black pepper powder and coriander leaves at the end and turn off the flame. Gravy chilli paneer is ready.

Tips to make chilli paneer with perfect taste

Use fresh paneer which is soft. You can soak paneer in warm water for 10 minutes adding little lemon juice. It will make the paneer very soft. Use organic apple cider vinegar instead of processed white vinegar. Use organic soy sauce. If you are making gravy chilli paneer, make the consistency of cornflour and all-purpose flour batter perfect for the perfect taste. Add enough water that is just sufficient to make a moderately thick gravy. Adding too much water in the batter will overcook the vegetables and too little water will ruin the taste of the gravy. Besides served as an appetiser, chilli paneer makes a good combination with fried rice and noodles. The only difference is that a dry version is served as a starter while a gravy version is served with fried rice and noodles to make a complete meal. When you want to make something special yet simple for a party or special occasion, then this dish is a good option for you.