Learn how to easily make street style Chilli Paneer that's everyone's favourite! Cubes of paneer that are deep fried till crisp and then tossed in a spicy, sweet, salty sauce - what's not to love!
And we're back with another Indo-Chinese favourite! I've been wanting to share this easy Chilli Paneer Dry recipe for so long - it's super easy to recreate at home with the right mix of spicy, tangy and sweet flavours.
Chilli Paneer is my go to when we order Chinese. Along with chilli chicken (yes I order both haha), egg fried rice and hakka noodles. It's a crowd pleaser which takes very little effort to put together. That distinct street style flavours come from green chillies, onions and capsicums that are stir fried along with the paneer. Although this is more like a dry appetizer dish, you can easily convert it into a gravy - I have instructions below!
Use Quality Paneer
Paneer or cottage cheese is the star of this dish, so it's got to be high quality. Good paneer will take on flavours really well and stay soft instead of becoming rubbery when deep fried. Store bought paneer will do, but if you've got that extra 15 minute window, try out my Homemade Paneer Recipe!
Street style Indo-Chinese fare is incomplete without some fresh veggies. I used finely chopped ginger, garlic, slit green chillies and cubed onions and capsicums for this dish. The combination of green chillies and capsicum is what adds that distinct smokiness, making it a true street style recipe!
Coating For Paneer
Soggy chilli paneer in which the fried skin peels off of the paneer cubes is not at all a pleasant experience. The fried cubes of paneer should have a light crunch to them even after being tossed in the sauce.
The trick is to dry coat the paneer instead of using a wet batter so that the coating doesn’t come off while stir frying. The dry coating is a simple mixture of cornflour, kashmiri chilli powder, salt and a splash of water.
Sauce For Chilli Paneer
This sauce is made up of all the things that scream Indo-Chinese. This thick-ish brown sauce has soy sauce, ketchup, red chilli sauce, kashmiri chilli powder, vinegar, salt, and cornflour. The sauce is what makes this dish so addictive, with its robust street style flavours.
Note: This is not a chilli paneer with gravy recipe, but you can increase the water by half a cup if you want more sauce.
Steps To Follow
- Coat the paneer in the dry mix
- Shallow fry the cubes of paneer in a wok, keep aside
- Stir fry veggies and aromatics
- Add shallow fried paneer cubes
- Add sauce
- Stir fry and serve!
- I've used a wok because we want the veggies and fried paneer to remain crunchy. Woks are the best for short duration cooking at high temperatures. However, if you don't have a wok, you can use any nonstick cooking pan.
- When shallow frying the paneer cubes, make sure you turn them over so they are fried golden on all sides
- Fry the veggies on high heat so they remain crunchy
- We stir fried the paneer with onion and capsicum for a minute or two in the wok before adding sauces. This step gives the paneer time to take on flavours from the capsicum and makes it tastier.
Don't you worry about leftovers because this restaurant style chilli paneer will disappear in minutes!
More Paneer Appetizers
Watch the Video
Street Style Chilli Paneer
- 200 grams Paneer cut into cubes
- 2 tablespoons Cornflour
- 1 teaspoon Kashmiri Chilli Powder
- ½ teaspoon Salt
- A splash of water
- Oil for Frying approx half cup
- 1 tablespoon Soy Sauce
- 2 teaspoons Red Chilli Sauce
- 1 tablespoon Ketchup
- ¼ teaspoon Kashmiri Chilli Powder or paprika
- ½ teaspoon Vinegar
- ¼ teaspoon Salt
- ½ teaspoon Cornflour
- ½ cup Water
For the Stir Fry
- 2 teaspoons chopped Ginger
- 2 teaspoons chopped Garlic
- 2-3 Green Chillies slit lengthwise
- 2 Onions cubed
- 1 Capsicum cubed
- 1 tablespoons chopped Spring Onions
- Add cornflour, kashmiri chilli powder, salt to a bowl and give it a whisk. Add the paneer cubes and toss to coat. Sprinkle a little water just to get the coating to stick to the paneer. Toss and set aside.
- Heat oil in a wok or pan and add the paneer piece by piece to prevent them from sticking to each other. Fry them on high heat for 2-3 minutes, turning once or twice till they are golden brown. Take them out on a plate and set aside.
- Whisk together all the ingredients under sauce and set aside.
- Remove any excess oil from the wok, leaving behind 1.5 tablespoon oil. Once the oil is hot, add ginger, garlic and green chillies. Saute for a minute or two and add onions and capsicum.
- Stir fry for 2-3 minutes on high heat and add the paneer cubes. Toss the paneer with the aromatics for a minute.
- Give the sauce a whisk and add it to the wok. Toss together on high heat for 2 minutes till the cornflour is cooked and the sauce takes on a thick, glossy finish and coats the paneer pieces. Add a little water if you want a little more sauce. Sprinkle with chopped spring onions and serve hot.
- Chilli Paneer Gravy: For saucier chilli paneer, add an extra half cup of water to the sauce
- Vegan Chilli Paneer: You can easily substitute the paneer for tofu to make chilli tofu
- You can substitute the store bought chilli sauce with homemade chilli garlic paste. I highly recommend making it yourself. I used Kashmiri Red Chillies for this recipe which have more colour than heat
- If using homemade chilli paste, once you add it to to the wok, be sure to fry it until almost all of the raw aroma goes. This will help you avoid the raw chilli taste and smell in the dish.