Restaurant style, Dry Chilli Paneer - the perfect comfort food :)


(serves 4 people)

Chilli paneer is a very popular, Indian dish served in a plethora of Indian restaurants with a varying degree of quality. I have found that the best chilli paneer I have tasted is the one I make at home. ;) Chilli paneer is basically a mixture of spicy peppers and onions, and paneer is Indian cheese.

This can be either made at home or bought from your local supermarket or Indian grocery store.

This lovely dish has a variety of textures and flavours. The paneer, if made correctly, is soft and crumbly and is infused with spices and bursts of flavour from the vegetables and you will find that the peppers and onions are beautifully caramelised. They are a perfect balance of sweet and slightly sharp taste.

So now your mouths are watering, let's get to the recipe

Ingredients:

For the paneer:

225g paneer cut into 2cm cubes (either home made (click here for fresh paneer recipe) or from your local shop)
2 tbsps corn flour
1 tbsp fresh ginger (washed, peeled and grated)
1 level tbsp fresh garlic (wash and peel 2 garlic cloves and then grate them)
0.25 tsp red chilli powder
0.5 tsp salt
0.25 tsp pepper powder

3 tbsps sunflower oil to shallow fry paneer

For the vegetables:

2 tbsps sunflower oil
1 tbsp fresh ginger (washed, peeled and grated)
1 medium-sized clove of garlic (washed, peeled and grated)
1 large white/brown onion (washed, peeled and chopped into roughly 1 inch cubes)
1 medium sized green pepper (washed, deseeded and cut into 1 inch squares)
1 medium sized red pepper (washed, deseeded and cut into 1 inch squares)
4 tbsps tomato ketchup
2 tbsps dark soy sauce
2 spring onions/scallions (well cleaned, washed and finely chopped)

Optional: 

1 tbsp Maggi brand chilli garlic sauce
handful of coriander/cilantro to garnish (washed, and quite finely chopped)

Method:

1. In a large bowl, coat the paneer cubes in the cornflour. Make sure they are well coated.

2. Add in the salt, pepper powder, ginger, garlic and red chilli powder from the 'for the paneer' section of ingredients above.

3. Make sure that all the ingredients in the bowl are tossed well and the paneer cubes are well coated. 

4. Leave the bowl aside for the paneer to marinate for 10 minutes.

5. In a large, non-stick pan, pour in the 3 tbsps of sunflower oil. Heat until fairly hot.

6. Shallow fry the paneer cubes in the hot oil on a low heat until they start browning on all sides to give them a crispy coat. This process should take 5 to 7 minutes. (Depends how crispy you like them). 

7. Take the cooked paneer off the flame and transfer them into a bowl.

8. In the same pan, add in 2 tbsps of sunflower oil and heat the oil until fairly hot on a medium heat.

9. Add in the ginger and garlic from the 'for the vegetables' section of the ingredients above and cook them for about 30 seconds. Stir continuously. Be careful that the ginger and garlic do not start to burn.

9. As soon as they turn a golden colour, throw in the onions and green and red peppers and stir until slightly softened. Cook on a medium to high heat.

10. Add the paneer to the onions and peppers mixture and stir in carefully so that the paneer cubes do not break up. Alternatively, toss in the paneer cubes until well coated. Add in the tomato ketchup, chilli garlic sauce (if you have it) and the dark soy sauce and stir well. Stir gently on high heat for 2 minutes.

NB: You may want to add more tomato ketchup and dark soy sauce depending on your taste buds.

11. Add in the fresh spring onions/scallions and coriander/cilantro and mix it all well in the pan.

12. Serve hot and enjoy. Can be eaten on its own or as a side dish.

'Til next time ... enjoy!
Bon app├ętit! xx

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