Chilli Paneer is a delicious Indo Chinese recipe where Paneer or Indian cottage cheese is coated with a batter and deep-fried until crisp. It is then tossed in a spicy sauce mixture.
About This Recipe
Chilli Paneer is our favorite Indo Chinese at home and we all love it. If you think it is difficult to make restaurant-style chili paneer at home, then this is the recipe for you.
Chilli Paneer is a popular Indo Chinese recipe, where Paneer is coated with an all-purpose flour and cornflour mixture, deep-fried and then mixed with onions, capsicum, and a spicy sauce.
It is finger-licking good and I can assure you once you make this at home, you will never order in or get a takeaway. Just like Chilli Chicken, it is hot and spicy and loaded with flavors.
I have deep fried the coated Paneer twice, to make it extra crispy as it tastes great when combined with onion, capsicum, and spices.
You can make it for your starters or serve it as a side dish with your favorite Indo Chinese Noodles or Fried Rice.
This Paneer Chilli is,
- Easy to make at home
- Finger licking good
- Full of flavor
- Perfect for party appetizers
Paneer – Use homemade or store-bought Paneer cubes to make Paneer Chilli. Make sure that your homemade Paneer is not too soft.
For marination – We will marinate the Paneer and keep it aside for 20 minutes. Paneer is marinated in a mixture of ginger garlic paste, black pepper powder, lemon juice, and salt to taste. This mixture is kept aside for 20 minutes.
For the Coating – Now the marinated Paneer mixture is coated with corn flour, all-purpose flour, and salt. Once coated, it is double fried to make it super crispy.
For the Sauce – This crispy Paneer is added in a spicy sauce which is prepared with,
Oil – You can use any vegetable oil to make this dish. You can even go for sesame oil or olive oil for the same.
Corn Flour – Corn Flour is used to thicken the sauce. Just mix it with a little water and add in the prepared sauce.
Ginger & Garlic – These two ingredients adds a nice flavour in this dish.
Vegetables – When it comes to veggies, we have added Onion, Green Chillies, and Capsicum. I have used Green Capsicum, but you can use red and yellow bell pepper too.
Red Chilli Paste – Red Chilli Paste adds that much-needed spice in the sauce. You can increase or decrease the amount of spice according to your taste.
Soy Sauce – Adds a slight umami sweet taste in the dish, that makes it even more delicious.
Others – Apart from the above ingredients, we will need vinegar, salt, sugar, black pepper, spring onions, and sesame seeds. Vinegar adds a nice tangy taste, whereas black pepper adds extra heat to the same.
Sesame Seeds and Spring Onions are used for garnishing, which adds a nice crunch, taste and even makes it look more appealing.
Step by Step Recipe
For the marination, press paneer cubes with a heavy object to get rid of excess water. Mix all the ingredients for marination in a bowl and keep aside for 20 minutes.
For the batter, mix cornflour, all-purpose flour, vegetable oil, and salt in a bowl.
Mix well using your fingers until it forms a crumbly mixture.
Add little water and make a batter.
Add the marinated paneer pieces in the batter and mix well.
For frying the paneer, heat oil for frying in a pan. Once the oil is very hot, add the batter coated paneer in the hot oil and fry on high heat until the pieces turns slightly brown. Remove the pieces on a tissue lined plate.
If the pieces are stuck to each other, you can separate them at this stage. Now heat the oil once again. Dip the pieces in batter from the sides their coating has gone off. Double fry the paneer on high heat until nicely browned. Drain on a tissue lined plate. This double frying ensures that paneer pieces are very crispy.
For the sauce, mix cornflour and water in a bowl and keep aside. Heat vegetable oil in a wok.
Add spring onion white, ginger and garlic and fry for a minute on high heat.
Add onion, green chilli and capsicum and fry for another minute.
Now add red chili paste, soy sauce, vinegar, salt, sugar, and black pepper powder and cook for a minute.
Add the cornflour slurry and cook until the sauce thickens. Switch off the heat and let the sauce cool down a bit. After 5 minutes, add the fried paneer in the pan and toss well to coat them with the sauce.
Garnish with spring onion greens and sesame seeds. Serve immediately.
Frequently Asked Questions
To make a chilli paneer gravy, keep the process the same as the dry version.
At the end of cooking, mix 3 tablespoon cornflour in ½ cup water and add it in the pan.
Cook until sauce thickens.
If you do not want to deep fry the same, you can pan fry the coated Paneer instead. Heat a little oil, add in the Paneer cubes, and pan-fry from all the sides till the layer on top gets golden brown and a little crispy.
You can even air fry the paneer cubes. Spray a little oil on the tray and on the top of Paneer. Add them in the air fryer basket in a single layer and let them cook till crispy.
But let me tell you these Paneer cubes will not be as crispy as the deep-fried ones.
To make gluten-free chilli paneer, you can use a combination of cornflour and rice flour to coat the Paneer instead of all-purpose flour.
You can use Tofu cubes instead of Paneer cubes or even Mushrooms in this recipe, to make it vegan.
Chilli Paneer Dry can be served as an appetizer by itself.
You can make a gravy and serve it for lunch or dinner as a main course with fried rice or wok-tossed noodles.
You can even serve it with sticky rice or jasmine rice. They pair very well together and chili paneer’s flavor stands out.
You can use the leftover Paneer Chilli to make wraps and enjoy it as a snack or you can use the Paneer Chilli to make a Paneer Fried Rice recipe.
I sometimes even make Sandwiches using these crispy Paneer cubes and they taste great.
Pro Tips By Neha
You can deep fry, shallow fry, or grill the Paneer cubes to use in this Chilli Paneer. The texture will differ in all the cases, but all the options will taste great.
Do not over fry the Paneer, as it will get hard and chewy.
Do not cook onions and capsicum too much. They need to have a crunch if you overcook it they will become soggy and won’t taste good.
You can increases or decrease the amount of sauce according to your taste and preference.
You can even use apple cider vinegar instead of white vinegar in this recipe.
The marination of Paneer is a crucial step, so do not skip this step. Marinate it at least for 20 to 30 minutes.
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Chilli Paneer Recipe
- Frying Pan
- 400 g Paneer (Cut into cubes)
- 2 tablespoon Ginger Garlic Paste
- ½ teaspoon Black Pepper Powder
- 2 tablespoon Lemon Juice
- salt to taste
For the Batter
- ¼ cup Cornflour
- ½ cup All Purpose Flour
- 1 tablespoon Vegetable Oil
- Salt to taste
For the Sauce
- 1 teaspoon Cornflour
- ¼ cup Water
- 2 tablespoon Vegetable Oil
- ¼ cup Spring Onion White (Sliced)
- 1 tablespoon Garlic (Chopped)
- 1 tablespoon Ginger (Chopped)
- 1 Onion (Cubed and layers separated)
- 5-6 Green Chillies (Slit into half)
- 1 Capsicum (Cubed)
- 1 tablespoon Red Chilli Paste
- 3 tablespoon Soy Sauce
- 1 tablespoon Vinegar
- Salt to taste
- ½ teaspoon Sugar
- 1 teaspoon Black pepper (Crushed)
- ½ cup Spring Onion Greens (Chopped)
- 1 teaspoon Sesame Seeds (Roasted)
For the marination
- Press the paneer cubes with a heavy object to get rid of excess water.
- Mix all the ingredients in a bowl and keep aside for 20 minutes.
For the batter
- Mix cornflour, all purpose flour, vegetable oil and salt in a bowl.
- Mix well using your fingers until it forms a crumbly mixture.
- Add little water and make a batter.
- Add the marinated paneer pieces in the batter and mix well.
For frying the paneer
- Heat oil for frying in a pan.
- Once the oil is very hot, add the batter coated paneer in the hot oil and fry on high heat until the pieces turns slightly brown.
- Remove the pieces on a tissue lined plate.
- If the pieces are stuck to each other, you can separate them at this stage.
- Now heat the oil once again.
- Dip the pieces in batter from the sides their coating has gone off.
- Double fry the paneer on high heat until nicely browned.
- Drain on a tissue lined plate.
- This double frying with ensure the paneer pieces are very crispy.
For the sauce
- Mix cornflour and water in a bowl and keep aside.
- Heat vegetable oil in a wok.
- Add spring onion white, ginger and garlic and fry for a minute on high heat.
- Add onion, green chilli and capsicum and fry for another minute.
- Now add red chilli paste, soy sauce, vinegar, salt, sugar and black pepper powder and cook for a minute.
- Add the cornflour slurry and cook until the sauce thickens.
- Switch off the heat and let the sauce cool down a bit.
- After 5 minutes, add the fried paneer in the sauce and toss well to coat them with the sauce.
- Garnish with spring onion greens and sesame seeds.
- Serve immediately.