Eating out for little Shreya invariably means having Chilli Paneer. She is a die hard fan of the dish and no matter how spicy it might be she relishes it, without so much as a thought to the other food items on the table. She can actually eat ‘only’ Chilli Paneer as her lunch or dinner or even breakfast for that matter! Weekends are usually spent in one of the Indian restaurant here where we get good Chilli Paneer or otherwise convincing her that it is not possible to eat out at that same restaurant every week. In fact there was a time when we would order the dish for her, no matter which restaurant we went to. But she is very particular about the taste and soon tired of the bland and different Chilli Paneer at other places.
The only other solution was to make it at home, which I started doing since last year. If you are used to making the Indo-Chinese dishes at home, this is no different, its very simple really. But the lure of the restaurant Chilli Paneer is too much even for us sometimes!
The recipe here makes Dry Chilli Paneer, but it can be made into a gravy as well to go with rice or noodles. See notes for the variation.
- 2 cups Paneer, cubed
- 2 tblsp Corn flour + 1 tblsp
- 1/2 tblsp Plain flour
- Oil for frying + 1 tblsp oil
- 1 small onion, sliced
- 1 medium Green Pepper, Sliced
- 2 Green Chillies, Slit lengthwise
- 1 tsp Ginger, grated
- 1.5 tsp Garlic, finely chopped
- 1 tblsp Soy Sauce
- 1 tblsp Tomato Puree
- Salt & Pepper
Mix together 2 tblsp Corn flour, plain flour & season with salt & pepper. Heat oil in a deep pan. Roll the Paneer cubes into the flour mixture and deep fry them till brown. There is no need to add water to make a batter as the moisture on the Paneer cubes is enough to hold the flour and this gives you crispy paneer pieces.
In a wok heat 1 tblsp oil, when hot fry the onion sliced. Add the slit chillies & ginger garlic paste and fry till the raw smell goes away.
Now add the pepper and fry for a couple of minutes.
Add the soy sauce and sauté some more. Season with salt & pepper, keeping in mind that the Soy Sauce is also salty.
Add about half a cup of water and let this come to boil.
Make a paste of 1 tblsp corn flour with a little water and add this to the gravy. Reduce the flame and keep stirring as it will start to thicken.
Add the tomato puree and ix well. Add the fried Paneer and mix well to coat. Heat through for a minute or two until the gravy reaches desired consistency and then turn off the heat.
Serve hot as a starter or if you go the gravy version it can be served as a side to Fried rice or noodles.
My Notes: This is as good as it can get. You can add some Spring Onion greens for garnish but I dont bother since I have to pick them out again for S!
If you want gravy instead of the dry version, add about 2 cups of water instead of half a cup and proceed in the same manner. Keep cooking till the gravy has thickened a bit but not too much and then switch off the heat and serve.