2small spring onionsor ⅓ cup chopped spring onions
2 to 3green chillies- slit or sliced
2teaspoonsfinely chopped ginger
2teaspoonsfinely chopped garlic
1small to medium capsicumor ½ cup sliced green bell pepper
1teaspoonred chilli sauce
¼teaspoonblack pepper powder
½teaspoonkashmiri red chilli powder
½ to 1teaspoonsugaror add as required
salt as required
½ to ⅔cupwateror add as required
1tablespooncornstarch(also known as corn flour in india)
2 to 3tablespoonswater for dissolving corn starch
¼ to ½teaspoonrice vinegaror white vinegar - optional
2 to 3spring onion greens to be added later
In a bowl take 2 tablespoons cornstarch.
Then add 3 tablespoons maida (all purpose flour).
Next add 2 teaspoon finely chopped ginger, 2 teaspoon finely chopped garlic, ¼ teaspoon crushed black pepper or black pepper powder and ¼ teaspoon kashmiri red chilli powder. Also season with salt as required.
Add ¼ cup water or add as required.
With a wired whisk or a spoon mix very well to get a smooth batter without any lumps.
Now add paneer cubes in the batter.
With a spoon gently coat the paneer cubes with the batter.
Heat 3 tablespoons oil in a frying pan.
One side is done, flip it and fry the other side. Flip a couple of times and fry till the paneer cubes are crisp and golden. Also do not over do the frying as then the paneer cubes can become hard.
Remove the fried paneer cubes and place them on kitchen paper towels for the extra oil to be absorbed.
making chilli paneer gravy or sauce
In the same pan, there will be some oil left. So no need to add any extra oil. Add 2 teaspoons finely chopped ginger, 2 teaspoons finely chopped garlic and 2 to 3 green chillies (slit or sliced).
Stir fry on medium to high flame for some seconds.
Then add ⅓ cup chopped spring onions.
Stir fry spring onions for 1 to 2 minutes on medium to high flame.
Next add ½ cup sliced capsicum.
Stir fry on medium to high flame for 3 to 4 minutes. The capsicum only needs to be slightly cooked.
Lower the flame and then add ½ teaspoon kashmiri red chilli powder.
Then add 2 teaspoons soy sauce and 1 teaspoon red chilli sauce.
Stir and mix the sauces and red chilli powder with the remaining stir fried ingredients.
Add ½ to ⅔ cup water. mix well.
Let the mixture come to a simmer on medium to medium-high flame.
Meanwhile take 1 tablespoon cornstarch in a small bowl.
Add 2 to 3 tablespoons water for dissolving corn starch. Corn starch is known as corn flour in india.
Mix very well to get a smooth paste.
Lower the flame and then add this corn starch paste to the gravy.
As soon as you add corn flour paste to the gravy, mix the paste very well so that no lumps are formed.
Add ½ to 1 teaspoon sugar or as required.
Season with salt as per taste. Do keep a check on salt as soy sauce and red chilli sauce already have salt in them.
Mix very well and simmer till the sauce has slightly thickened and the corn starch has cooked. You can check the taste and you should not feel any raw taste coming from the corn starch in the sauce.
Add the fried paneer cubes.
Mix paneer cubes very well with the gravy.
Switch off the flame and then add ¼ to ½ teaspoon rice vinegar or white vinegar. You can skip vinegar if you want.
Then add about 2 to 3 tablespoons of chopped spring onions greens.
Mix very well. Check the taste of gravy and if you want, you can add more soy sauce, chilli sauce, salt, black pepper or sugar.
Serve restaurant-style chilli paneer garnished with some spring onions.
Paneer: It is better to use homemade paneer in this recipe. When using frozen paneer, then soak them in hot water for some minutes.
Frying Paneer: Paneer can be pan fried, shallow fried or deep fried. While frying, do not fry the paneer too much as then they become dense and loose their softness.
Soy Sauce: If possible use naturally fermented soy sauce. You can even use tamari or bragg amino liquid instead.
Spring Onions: If you do not have spring onions (scallions), you can use shallots or regular onions.
Flours: Normally in restaurants, both corn flour and all-purpose flour are used to make the batter. You can even use whole wheat flour or rice flour instead of all purpose flour. In place of corn starch, you can use potato starch, tapioca starch or arrowroot flour.
Spicing: Add less or more of the spices or sauces as per your taste buds.
Consistency: In this recipe, you can make the gravy slightly thick or having medium consistency. Just add slightly more water (about ¼ to ⅓) but do not add too much as then the flavors get diluted in the water. You can always check the seasonings and add more if required.
Vegan Option: Replace tofu with paneer.
Serving Suggestions: Serve chilli paneer with fried rice or schezwan fried rice or burnt garlic fried rice. It also goes well as a side dish with pulao or jeera rice or ghee rice. You can also have it with tandoori roti or naan or roomali roti. You can even have it as an appetizer snack with any chinese dipping sauce.