Chilli Paneer

Indo-Chinese crispy fried paneer cooked in a sweet and spicy garlic, soy and chilli sauce

Indian Chinese; the one thing that I know a lot people in India just can’t get enough of including yours truly. From hakka noodles, fried rice, chicken chow mein, chop suey and chilli chicken. And the list goes on. With Chinese techniques tailor made for the Indian taste this unique take on a ‘desi’ version of the cuisine might not be something you’ll find in China but it’s been scoffed down by Indians as long as I can remember. Posh Indian restaurants to night street markets all serving some of the scrummiest dishes on offer, reasonable priced, always delicious and very satisfying. The key is a good dose of garlic, chilli and ginger. With a good measure of soy for the salty balance, sugar and also corn flour used as a binder to thicken gravies and sauces. The flavours are robust and full on so once you’ve tried it I can guarantee you’ll be hooked!

Paneer is Indian cottage cheese and an widely used in Indian cooking not just for its meaty texture but also for the ability to absorbs spices and flavours really well while holding its own. Also it doesn’t take too long to cook. Shop bought chilli garlic sauce is readily available but if you were to make your own do so mixing dried chilli flakes, garlic, tomatoes, dash of vinegar, salt & sugar reducing the mix to a thick sauce. Once you have made the dish adjust the seasoning to your desired consistency sugar as well as salt.


  1. Heat couple of inches of oil in a wide sauce pan or a wok. Mix the water with all the batter ingredients in a bowl you want a sticky thick batter like consistency. Toss the paneer cubes in the bowl to coat the pieces evenly

  2. Fry the paneer in the hot oil in batches for 2-3 minutes. They should have a light brown crisp coating on all sides. Drain the paneer on kitchen paper and set aside.

  3. To make the sauce; heat the vegetable oil in a sauce pan on a medium heat. Add the garlic and chopped ginger. Fry for 20 seconds and add the red onions. Sauté the onions for a further minute until they soften and tip in the red peppers along with the slit chilli and fry for a couple of minutes.

  4. Add the chilli garlic sauce and the dark soy & stir well. If the sauce is a little thick add a couple of tablespoons of water to thin it out slightly

  5. Now add the fried paneer cubes, stirring well making sure to coat all the pieces with the sauce evenly. Simmer the sauce for a minute. Season to taste with salt, sugar and vinegar. Serve warm with some noodles or fried rice with a garnish of ginger and chilli.

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