How to cook… Chilli Paneer


Serves 4 as a main dish

Chilli Paneer is a popular and spicy Indo-Chinese dish, combining flavours from both cuisines and with Indian cheese as its main ingredient (make your own paneer). These dishes are emerged in states that border China and India and also from a group of Hakka Chinese people who moved to Calcutta.

What you need
• 4 Tablespoons cornflour
• 1 Tablespoon red chilli powder
• salt and pepper to taste
• 4 Tablespoons cooking oil
• 500g paneer cheese, chopped into small, evenly sized chunks or strips
• 1 large onion, roughly chopped
• 1 each of red, yellow and green capsicum peppers, chopped into bite-sized chunks
• 20g garlic, roughly chopped
• 2 tablespoons chilli sauce (try Baj’s Blazin’ Original Hot Sauce)
• 1 Tablespoon dark soy sauce
• 1 Tablespoon brown sugar
• 4 green chillies, sliced down the middle and cut into chunks (don’t deseed)
• small handful of coriander to garnish

How you make it
1. Mix the cornflour with 20ml of water, the chilli powder and some salt and pepper. Coat each piece of paneer in the cornflour mix.
2. Heat 1 Tablespoon oil in a frying pan to a medium heat and shallow fry some of the paneer for a 1–2 minutes until just turning golden. Set aside on kitchen towel. Repeat until all the paneer has been cooked.
3. Add the onions and peppers to the remaining oil and cook for 3–4 minutes on a medium heat.
4. Add in the garlic, the chilli sauce, soy sauce and brown sugar to the onions, peppers and garlic and cook for 2 minutes on a medium heat.
5. Add in the paneer and cook for 3 minutes, then add in the chillies, salt and pepper to taste, then stir well and ensure everything is warmed through,
6. Serve, garnished with coriander leaves.
Recipe courtesy Baj’s Blazin’ Sauce in Greenwich.

This recipe uses strips of paneer but you can use cubes if you prefer.

If you like this you should try our
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Some may warn you that this dish is very hot but it’s really quite chilli.

How to make… Paneer

Curry News

Makes 250g of paneer

What you need…
• 6 pints full cream milk
• 1–2 Tablespoons white vinegar or fresh lemon juice

How to make it…
1. Put the milk into a pan and bring to the boil. Keep stirring to ensure the milk does not stick or burn as this will ruin the taste of the paneer. You’ll know it has boiled when a mound forms on the surface of the milk
2. Take the pan off the heat and add the vinegar or lemon juice a little at a time until the milk separates (these are the curds forming). The separation is pretty obvious so if the whey (what’s left after the curds are forming) still looks like milk, keep going with the vinegar or lemon juice. Let it cool for 10 minutes.
3. Next, remove the curds from the whey. Put some cheesecloth (you can also use muslin or even a J-cloth) over a large bowl and pour the mixture through it to strain out the whey. Rinse the curds with cold water to wash away the taste of the acid.
4. Bring the edges of the cloth together to wrap the curds and squeeze as gently as possible (this ensures the paneer will be soft and crumbly and not flattened completely). Make sure all the liquid had been removed.
5. Put a weight on it and leave it for an hour or more. Some more liquid will come out so put something underneath it.
6. The paneer will have formed and you can now cut it into chunks or strips for use.
Thanks to Chili Paper Chains. Main photo: Sonja Pauen, CCA.

Full cream milk is essential for the proper taste of paneer.
Paneer is beautiful with creamy sauces such as Butter Paneer or as a side dish with spinach.

If you like this you should try our
Butter PaneerMuttar PaneerSag Paneer

What is a paneer diet? … Curds and weigh.