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Chilli paneer

By: Dasana
Region: Indian
Dish:Vegetarian - Others
Servings: 3
Time to Prepare: 35 Mins


For marination:

200 to 250 grams paneer/cottage cheese, cubed
2 tbsp corn starch (also known as corn flour in india)
¼ tsp red chili powder/lal mirch powder
¼ tsp black pepper powder
2 tbsp sesame oil or any oil
salt as required

For sauce:

1 medium onion, quartered and separated in squares
1 small to medium capsicum, cut in squares
1 inch ginger, finely chopped or ½ tbsp finely chopped ginger
7 to 9 small to medium garlic cloves, finely chopped or ½ tbsp finely chopped garlic
3 to 4 green chilies, sliced vertically
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp green chili sauce
1 tsp sweet red chili sauce
¼ tsp red chili powder
¼ tsp black pepper
¼ to ½ tsp sugar or add as required
1 tsp chopped celery, chopped (optional)
2 tbsp water added in the leftover corn starch to give glaze
salt as required



pat dry 200 to 250 grams paneer first. then slice the paneer in cubes or rectangles. keep aside in a mixing bowl.
then peel and finely chop 1 inch ginger and 7 to 9 medium garlic cloves. diagonally chop 3 to 4 green chilies. quarter 1 small to medium onion and remove all the layers. slice 1 small to medium capsicum in squares. remove its seeds and pith (white part). keep the chopped veggies aside.

marinating and pan frying paneer:

add 2 tbsp corn starch, ¼ tsp red chili powder, ¼ tsp black pepper powder and salt to the paneer cubes.
gently mix without the breaking the cubes. or else you can shake the bowl and toss the paneer with the dry ingredients.
heat 2 tbsp oil in a non stick pan or a well seasoned pan. when the oil is medium hot, place the paneer cubes in the pan. when the base is slightly cooked, flip over and fry them. turn them gently and fry so that they are uniformly golden. you can also deep fry the paneer cubes if you want.
fry them till golden and crisp. do not fry for a long time as then they harden and become dense.
place the pan fried paneer cubes in a plate. keep aside.
whilst the paneer cubes are getting fried, in the same bowl, in which we marinated the paneer cubes, there will be some leftover corn starch and spices. add 2 tbsp water to the bowl and mix well. we will add this corn starch paste to give a glaze to the sauce.
in another small bowl, add 1 tbsp soy sauce, 1 tsp green chili sauce, 1 tsp sweet red chili sauce, ¼ tsp red chili powder and ¼ tsp black pepper.
with a spoon mix all the three sauces very well.

preparing the sauce:

in the same pan, after we finish frying the paneer, add the finely chopped ginger-garlic and green chilies. stir.
then add the onion and capsicum squares. if using celery, you can add 1 tsp chopped celery at this step.
on a medium flame, stir fry till the edges of the onions and capsicum get cooked or become light browned.
add the mixed sauces.
then add little salt and sugar. go easy on the salt as the sauces already have a salt in them. stir very well.
now add the corn starch paste. stir again very well. do check the taste and add some soy sauce or chili sauces or sugar or salt if required.
add the pan fried paneer cubes. stir and mix the paneer cubes with the rest of the sauce.
you can garnish with some coriander leaves or chopped celery or spring onion greens before serving. serve chili paneer hot. this spicy paneer dish tastes best when served hot.

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