(Updated on March 09, 2023)
Chilli Paneer is one of the most popular Indo-Chinese vegetarian recipes that is loved by kids and adults alike. It is a simple yet flavourful dish that uses commonly available ingredients and can be prepared easily at home without much effort.
This veg chilli paneer recipe features crispy fried paneer cubes tossed in a delectably tangy, sour, sweet, and spicy sauce along with stir-fried veggies like onions, capsicum, and spring onion that lend a distinct flavour and crunch.
This quick and easy chilli paneer gravy recipe promises restaurant-style indulgence, taste, and flavour. You can alter it slightly to make your crispy chilli paneer dry, semi-dry, or with gravy. The mildness of the paneer perfectly complements the savoury sauce and will leave you craving for more.
Follow these instructions to prepare this all-time favourite, restaurant-style Chilli Paneer:
Preparation Time: 10 minutes.
Cooking Time: 30 minutes.
Serves: 1 person.
Cuisine: Main Course / Side Dish.
- 250 gm chopped paneer cubes
- 3 tsp corn flour
- 1 tsp maida
- Salt as per taste
- ½ tsp Zilli's Ginger Powder
- ¾ tsp Zilli's Tomato Powder
- ½ tsp Zilli's Garlic Powder
- 1 tsp Zilli's Red Onion Powder
- 1-2 small green chillies (slit or finely chopped).
- 2 onion (cubed)
- 1 capsicum (cubed)
- 2 spring onions (chopped)
- 1 tsp soya sauce
- 1 tsp red chilli sauce
- 1 tsp green chilli sauce
- 1 tsp sugar
- ½ tsp vinegar
How to Make Tasty Restaurant-Style Chilli Paneer
Frying the Paneer
- In a bowl, take 2 tsp corn flour, 1 tsp maida (all-purpose flour), salt, and some water. Mix it well to get a smooth batter, and keep it aside.
- Take another bowl. Add paneer cubes and 1 tsp corn flour, and toss it well.
- Add the prepared corn flour-maida batter to the paneer cubes and gently coat the paneer with the batter.
- Heat oil in a pan for frying.
- Add the coated paneer cubes in batches to the oil and fry over medium heat. Flip it once done till all sides turn golden and crispy.
- Remove the fried paneer cubes and transfer them to a plate. Keep aside.
Making the Chilli Paneer Gravy
- In a bowl, add Zilli’s Onion Powder, Garlic Powder, Ginger Powder, and Tomato Powder, along with some water.
- Mix well until you get a consistent, lump-free batter, and keep it aside.
- Heat 2 tsp oil in a wok or pan.
- Add chopped dry chilli and sauté for a while.
- Add onion, capsicum, and green chillies, and stir fry on medium to high flame.
- Sprinkle salt as per taste.
- Add soya sauce, red chilli and green chilli sauce, and vinegar. Stir the sauces with the vegetables.
- Add the prepared onion-tomato paste and mix thoroughly.
- Prepare a cornflour slurry by combining some cornflour with water. (Alternatively, you can use the leftover cornflour-maida batter from the start with some water.)
- Lower the flame and add the slurry to the gravy. Mix very well to prevent lumps.
- Add your spring onions and mix.
- Let it come to a simmer. Add sugar and season with salt if required.
- Once the gravy has thickened, add your fried paneer cubes and toss it well.
Your Chilli Paneer is ready to be served and relished!
Tips and Variations for Veg Chilli Paneer Recipe:
- Use fresh homemade paneer for better results. If you are using frozen paneer, you should soak the pieces in hot water for a few minutes.
- You can pan-fry, deep fry, and shallow fry the paneer cubes. Avoid frying for long as they may lose their softness and become dense and chewy.
- If you want to avoid maida, you can use just corn flour for the batter.
- Keep the heat high when cooking the vegetables to retain their crunchiness. You can lower the flame after adding the sauce.
- If you have extra time, you can marinate the paneer cubes in a mixture of chilli sauce, soya sauce, lemon juice, and red chilli powder for 20 minutes before frying.
- Use sesame oil in this recipe for an authentic Chinese touch.
Variations for Veg Paneer Chilli:
Chilli Paneer Dry: Turn this into a dry chilli paneer recipe with minor alterations. Add less water while cooking, and you will have dry chilli paneer!
Chilli Paneer Fried Rice: Make the chilli paneer as per the recipe. Add your cooked rice (preferably leftover) to the gravy and mix it well. Cook for 3-5 minutes and your easy, one-pot chilli paneer fried rice is ready!
Make it Vegan: Replace paneer with firm tofu to make this dish vegan. Tofu has a similar texture and flavour profile as paneer.
Chilli Paneer Sandwich: Make a quick grab-and-go chilli paneer sandwich. Stuff your paneer chilli dry between slices of bread, toast it, and enjoy!
Chilli Paneer Wrap: Create an effortless yet delicious chilli paneer wrap by stuffing it inside roti, naan, or tortilla wraps.
Serving Ideas for Chilli Paneer:
Garnish your chilli paneer with spring onions and sesame seeds before serving.
You can serve chilli paneer gravy hot as a main course with naan, roomali roti, or tandoori roti on the side.
This crispy delight can also double up as an appetizer paired with fried rice, noodles, jasmine rice, or jeera rice.
Want to serve it on a movie night with friends or at a family gathering? Use it as stuffing for wraps or crunchy lettuce cups, and you will surely win hearts!