Thursday, July 1, 2010

Chilli Paneer

These days, there is a gradual change in the food habits of people here in India. We are willing to try out ( mind you, only try out) various cuisines and experiment with different tastes. So with the first tastes of pizzas and burgers and other American Fast food taking hold, soon there was no stopping the Indian palate. Thai, Japanese, Mexican... all cuisines are tried and tested. But you will find the Indian touch in most every cuisine served in India. The pastas with Makhni sauce, the pizzas topped with tikkas...

Chinese is one which has always been popular in India. I think more because of the Indian Chinese cuisine. The original Chinese cuisine is far removed from our Indian Chinese. But this tastes good and I think that is the point. Whatever appeals to the tongue is good!!!.

Chilli Paneer is a spicy starter which is easy to make. The bland paneer lends itself well to the ginger, garlic and chilli flavors with the tang coming from the tomato sauce. One can use firm tofu also in the place of paneer. Usually Chilli Paneer calls for the paneer to be battered with cornflour and deep fried. But for health reasons, I prefer not to deep fry food. Therefore, this other method of simply shallow frying it in a saucepan till it is lightly browned.


200 grams Paneer or Tofu diced into 1 inch cubes
1 teaspoon ginger very finely chopped
1 teaspoon garlic very finely chopped
4 green chillies chopped finely
1 onion diced broadly
1 capsicum diced in to 1 inch pieces
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon tomato sauce
3 tablespoons Oil
1 teaspoon coriander leaves
Salt to taste


Heat 2 tablespoon of oil in a saucepan. On medium heat, place the paneer pieces flat till lightly browned. Turn over and brown the other sides as well. Keep aside.

Heat the remaining oil in a pan. Add the ginger and garlic to the hot oil and let it sizzle ( drooling here at the thought of the aromas in the kitchen at this point).

Add the green chillies and fry for a minute.

Now add the onions and caspicum pieces and let fry for a bit. They need to be left a little crisp and not cooked till totally soft.

Add the soya and tomato sauces and salt.

Mix in the paneer and sauté gently for a couple of minutes till the flavors come together.

Garnish with coriander leaves.