Chili Paneer

By Priya Karmarkar
July 29, 2018
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Author Notes: Chili Paneer is a hugely popular Indo-Chinese fusion dish. Addition of tofu or 'paneer' (cheese made by curdling milk with lemon juice) makes it a hearty vegetarian dish. Sweet, spicy, and tangy, and filled with numerous umami ingredients such as soy sauce, garlic, and mushrooms, it makes for a perfect comfort meal! Priya Karmarkar

Serves: 2-3
Prep time: 30 min
Cook time: 15 min

  • 200 grams paneer, cubed
  • 2 cups red & green bell pepper, roughly cubed
  • 1/2 cup onions, chopped to ~ 1 inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup Shiitake mushrooms, chopped into strips
  • 1 teaspoon ginger, minced
  • 1 teaspoon garlic
  • 2 dry red chilies, chopped finely or 1 tsp red chili flakes
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon corn starch
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 2-3 teaspoons oil (vegetable or olive)
  • 2-3 drops sesame oil, optional
  • 1 pinch black pepper, ground
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar
  1. On a (preferably) cast iron pan, heat 1 teaspoon oil + 2-3 drops of sesame oil. Add a pinch of ground black pepper. Fry paneer cubes on both sides until golden brown. Remove and set aside.
  2. In a skillet or sauté pan, heat oil. Add onions, and sauté for 2-3 minutes on low-medium heat until the onions start turning soft.
  3. Add ginger, garlic, and red chili flakes. Sauté for a couple of minutes until the ginger and garlic are just golden.
  4. Now add the chopped bell peppers, mix well, and cook covered for about a minute. Then add the paneer cubes, mushrooms, warm water, vinegar, soy sauce, and sugar. Cover and cook further for 2-3 minutes to a desired crunchiness or softness of the bell peppers.
  5. Turn the heat to a minimum. Lastly, dissolve the corn starch in about 1-2 tablespoons of water and add to the above mixture. Mix everything thoroughly. The mixture thickens to a shiny, tangy "sauce".
  6. Sprinkle black pepper powder if desired. Enjoy hot with rice!

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