Chilli paneer recipe – A restaurant style paneer chilli dry & gravy recipe with step by step photos. Chilli paneer is a popular Indo Chinese starter made by seasoning fried Indian cottage cheese aka paneer in chilli sauce. We love the restaurant served Indo chinese foods. But I try to limit eating them out due to the MSG and large amount of sauces used. Most times I make them at home using the best possible ingredients and without MSG.
This recipe yields one of the best chilli paneer dry & gravy that pairs well with a veg fried rice, schezwan fried rice, hakka noodles, or can be served as a starter.
A slightly different version of this is the Paneer manchurian recipe. A dry version goes well as a starter. While a gravy version goes well as a side dish to veg fried rice, restaurant style hakka noodles or this easy veg noodles.
Always choose naturally brewed or organic soya sauce. As others may have added msg, coloring and harmful chemicals. Check the labels before you use.
Chilli paneer recipe
Ingredients (1 cup = 240ml )
ingredients for chilli paneer batter
- 1 ½ to 1 ¾ cups paneer (approximately 200 to 250 grams)
- ¼ teaspoon red chilli powder kashmiri (optional)
- 3 tablespoons corn flour or corn starch
- 3 tablespoons maida or plain flour (optional)
- 2 pinches pepper powder
- 1/8 teaspoon salt (adjust to taste)
- water as needed
- 3 to 4 tablespoon oil as needed for shallow frying
Sauce for chilli paneer recipe
- ½ to 1 teaspoon vinegar
- ¾ to 1 tablespoon soya sauce (naturally brewed or organic)
- 1 tablespoon red chilli sauce (adjust to suit your taste)
other ingredients for chilli paneer
- 1 tablespoon garlic finely chopped
- 2 tablespoon spring onions greens chopped
- 2 tablespoon spring onion whites chopped
- ½ cup capsicum bell pepper or cubed
- 1 medium onion cubed, layers separated
- 1 green chilies slit and deseeded
- 1 tsp sugar (adjust to taste)
- ½ teaspoon red chili powder kashmiri or red chilli paste
- ¼ teaspoon pepper powder
- ½ teaspoon corn flour for dry chilli paneer ( or 1 tsp for gravy)
- Water as needed
How to make the recipe
Preparation for chilli paneer recipe
- Add 3 tablespoons cornflour, 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour (optional) to a mixing bowl along with ¼ teaspoon red chilli powder, 2 pinches of crushed pepper, 1/8 teaspoon salt and little water. Mix together to make a batter.
- Consistency: If you are health conscious and prefer to use less refined flour then make a thin batter. If you like the restaurant style chilli paneer which has a thick coating of flour, then make thick batter.
- Add the cubed 200 to 250 grams of paneer and gently coat the batter.
- Heat 3 to 4 tablespoons oil in a deep pan for shallow frying. Check if the oil is hot enough by dropping a small portion of batter. It must rise without browning. This is the correct temperature.
- Pick up each batter coated paneer with a spoon and gently slide them in the hot oil. Do not disturb them for a minute or until the batter firms up. Fry them on a medium heat until crispy. Drain to a kitchen tissue or a steel colander.
How to make chilli paneer
- For dry chilli paneer : Stir in half tsp corn flour to a bowl and mix with 3 tablespoons water. Stir well & set aside. For chilli paneer semi gravy : Add 1 tsp corn flour & half cup water to a bowl. Stir well and make a lump free slurry.
- Remove the oil from the pan retaining 1 tbsp. Fry one tablespoon finely chopped garlic until it smells good. Then add in 2 tablespoons of spring onion whites and 1 medium onion cubed & layers separated. Also add in 1 slit green chili and half cup diced capsicum. Saute on a high flame for 1 to 2 mins.
- Stir in soya sauce, red chilli sauce, sugar, vinegar and red chilli powder or paste. Mix the corn flour mixture and pour it to the pan. Cook till the sauce thickens. Check the taste of the sauce. You can add more sauces or salt if you wish to adjust to your taste. If making chilli paneer gravy version, you will need to add in half tablespoon more of soya sauce, 1 tbsp more of chilli sauce, half teaspoon of vinegar and little more salt.
- Next sprinkle pepper powder. Add fried paneer cubes to the chilli sauce and saute for 1 minute. Add the spring onion greens. Serve paneer chilli hot as a appetizer. You can also serve this with noodles or fried rice.
Video of chilli paneer recipeIn the video I have shown making chilli paneer that has more sauce than the one shown in step by step pictures. The recipe is the same as mentioned in the recipe card below with 1 tsp cornflour and half cup water.
Preparation for chilli paneer recipe
1. Add corn flour, salt, red chilli powder and pepper powder to a bowl.
2. Make a thick or thin batter adding water as needed. If you like the restaurant style flour coated paneer then make a thick batter.
3. Add paneer to the batter. Then coat them well with batter. If you like, you can also marinate paneer with ½ tbsp chilli sauce, ¼ tbsp soya sauce and add dry flour to the paneer. Then just toss. I added a bit of red chilli sauce to the batter to get a nice color. That’s optional.
4. Heat a pan and fry them on a medium high flame. It can be grilled, tawa fried, shallow fried or deep fried. Spread them evenly while frying else they stick to each other.
5. Stir well and fry evenly until golden. You may not get the golden color if you have not used chili sauce or chilli powder.
6. Drain them on a kitchen tissue.
7. Lastly transfer the oil to a cup and retain very little in the pan. Add garlic and saute until they smell good.
8. Switch the flame to high. Add onions, spring onions greens, capsicum, sliced and deseeded chilli. Saute on a high flame till they are slightly cooked but still crunchy.
9. Pour soya sauce.
How to make chilli paneer recipe
10. Then next add vinegar.
11. Next add red chili sauce.
12. Add red chilli powder or paste.
13. Pour 2.5 tbsp water. Then allow the sauces to bubble and thicken as well. For the restaurant style glossy look – Add half tsp of corn flour with 2.5 to 3 tbsp. water to a bowl. Stir well and pour it to the pan. You can even skip using corn flour. The smooth feel of sauce and the glaze will be missing. In the step by step photo method I have not used cornflour. But I have used it in the video which was made another time.
14. Next add pepper powder, paneer, spring onions and toss on a high flame for 1 to 2 minutes.
To make chilli paneer gravy, you will have to use more of soya sauce, chilli sauce as desired. Next Add 1 tsp corn flour, pinch of salt, half cup of water to a bowl. Stir well to break any lumps. You can also add a tsp tomato ketchup.
Lastly pour the mixture to the pan. Stir well. When the mixture comes to a boil and thickens, add paneer. Switch off the stove. Adjust more or less water, corn flour and salt as needed to get make more gravy.
Garnish chilli paneer with spring onions.