Are you looking for a delicious, easy-to-follow Paneer Manchurian or Chilli Paneer Recipe? Look no further!
This blog post will provide you with all the information to make these popular Indo Chinese dishes.
What is Chili Paneer or Paneer Manchurian, and how do you make it? What are some alternatives?
We'll also provide serving suggestions, storage tips, and more Indian recipes for you to try!
So, what are you waiting for? Get started on your culinary journey today!
What is Chilli Paneer?
Chilli Paneer is a popular Indo-Chinese dish made with paneer (Indian cottage cheese).
The sauce is made with chillies or chilli sauce, making it hot and spicy.
If you're in the mood for a delicious spicy Indian dish with a Chinese twist, chilli paneer is a perfect choice.
What is Paneer Manchurian?
Manchurian Paneer is another Indo Chinese cuisine made with fresh paneer.
Manchurian Paneer is an excellent option if you're looking for something sweeter & less spicy than chilli paneer.
It is cooked the same way, without chillies or chilli sauce or using less. It is a popular choice for children.
So, now that you know the difference between Chilli and Manchurian paneer, which one will you try first?
They are both vegetarian dishes, but chicken or beef can be added if desired.
You can choose between a semi-dry version or making gravy.
Wok or Large Frying Pan
We will go through all the ingredients and how to make the best chilli paneer at home.
I recommend preparing all ingredients before cooking, as the dish comes together very quickly.
Paneer is a type of fresh cottage cheese that is very popular in Indian cuisine; it is available in most supermarkets.
It usually comes in a block, so you need to cut it into cubes.
Panner by itself is very mild. Create a mixture of corn flour (known as corn starch in the US), garam masala, black pepper and salt in a small bowl.
Add paneer cubes to the bowl and coat them with cornstarch mix.
Coating paneer will help create a golden brown crispy exterior whilst frying the paneer and keeping it soft inside.
If you are making gravy, keep any leftover cornstarch mix for thickening the sauce.
Shallow fry the paneer in vegetable oil or sesame oil before cooking the chilli sauce.
When removing the shallow fried paneer from the pan, I suggest placing it on a kitchen towel to remove any excess oil.
The paneer pieces can be deep-fried in hot oil instead if you prefer.
The vegetables used in chilli paneer are onions, spring onions and red pepper (capsicum/bell pepper). Stir fry to add crunch and freshness to the dish.
You could also add green bell pepper, but I find that red pepper has a sweeter taste.
Finely chopped garlic and ginger add flavour to the dish.
I recommend using fresh ginger as it has a more intense flavour than ground ginger.
The chillies used in chilli paneer can be fresh, dried, or chilli sauce.
We have used green finger chillies, which are not too spicy, so I used three and included the seeds for more heat.
I prefer to use fresh green chillies as they are less potent and have a better flavour, and I like the colour they add to the dish.
You can use red chilli instead, adjust the dish's heat by the type of chilli you use and add more or fewer chillies, depending on your preference.
If you cannot find fresh chillies, you can use dried Chilli flakes or chilli powder, but be mindful of the amount you use as they can be pretty spicy.
Red chilli sauce or green chilli sauce is often used instead of fresh chillies to add spice when making chilli paneer recipes. You should add this at the same time as the tomato ketchup.
Paneer Chilli Sauce
The Manchurian sauce is made with tomato ketchup, rice wine vinegar, soy sauce, and sugar.
For chilli paneer, if not using fresh chillies with stir-fried vegetables, you will want to add some chilli sauce to the other ingredients below.
Rice Vinegar is a type of vinegar made from fermented rice.
It has a milder taste than other types of vinegar and is used to add acidity to the dish.
You can substitute it with white vinegar or apple cider vinegar.
Soy Sauce adds saltiness and depth of flavour to the Chilli Paneer. I recommend using a good quality soy sauce, as the cheaper ones can be too salty.
Tomato Ketchup is used as the base for the sauce and gives the sauce its characteristic red colour.
Sugar is used to balance out the vinegar's acidity and the soy sauce's saltiness. You can use white sugar, brown sugar, or honey.
Add fried paneer back into the pan with the sauce over medium heat till warmed through.
Coriander leaves (cilantro) and spring onion greens garnish the dry chilli paneer. They add a freshness and bright colour to the dish.
You could also garnish with Chilli flakes, sesame seeds, or cashew nuts.
📖 Step by Step Recipe
Chilli Paneer Curry (Paneer Manchurian)
- 2 tablespoon Cornflour
- 1 tablespoon Garam Masala
- Salt & Pepper
- 200 gram Paneer cubed
- 2 tablespoon Vegetable Oil
- 1 Red Pepper (bell) diced
- 1 large Onion diced
- 3 Spring Onions finely sliced
- 3 Green Chilli Peppers finely sliced
- 4 cloves Garlic finely chopped
- 1 inch piece Ginger finely chopped
- 4 tbsp Tomato Ketchup
- 2 tablespoon Rice Wine Vinegar
- 2 tablespoon Soy Sauce
- 1 teaspoon Brown Sugar
- 1 Handful Coriander Leaves
- 1 Spring Onion sliced
- Prepare and chop all ingredients.
- Mix cornflour with spices in a large bowl.2 tablespoon Cornflour, 1 tablespoon Garam Masala, Salt & Pepper
- Add cubes of paneer cheese and coat with the mix.200 gram Paneer
- Heat oil in a large pan/wok and fry the coated paneer for approximately 3 minutes on each side until golden.2 tablespoon Vegetable Oil
- Remove cheese onto a kitchen paper towel to remove excess oil.
- Add more oil into the pan if needed?Over a medium heat soften the peppers onions and spring onions for 8 mins1 Red Pepper (bell), 1 large Onion, 3 Spring Onions
- Next, add the chilli, ginger and garlic, and stir through for 2 mins.3 Green Chilli Peppers, 4 cloves Garlic, 1 inch piece Ginger
- Add the ketchup, vinegar, soy sauce and sugar. Stir to combine and taste; add more of these ingredients to suit your prefered taste. Sugar for sweetnessSoy Sauce for saltinessVinegar for sournessIf you want a runnier gravy sauce, see the advice in the blog post.4 tablespoon Tomato Ketchup, 2 tablespoon Rice Wine Vinegar, 2 tablespoon Soy Sauce, 1 teaspoon Brown Sugar
- Add fried paneer back to the pan and stir to coat in the sauce.
- Once heated through, your Chilli Paneer Curry is ready to serve.
- Serve with fresh coriander leaves and spring onion on top1 Handful Coriander Leaves, 1 Spring Onion
Chilli Paneer Gravy Version
To make a thin gravy sauce instead of semi-dry chilli paneer.
Use excess cornflour and garam masala from coating the paneer. Mix with a couple of tablespoons of water to create a lump-free cornflour slurry.
After cooking the vegetables, add vegetable stock with the cornflour slurry into the pan.
Bring to boil, lower heat, and add more cornflour until it reaches the desired gravy consistency.
Then add the pan-fried paneer to the same pan over medium heat to warm through before serving chilli paneer.
What to Serve with Chilli Paneer?
Instead of fried paneer cubes, you could make Chilli Chicken or Chilli Beef.
You could also add more vegetables to the dish, such as broccoli, carrots, or zucchini.
If you cannot find paneer, tofu is an excellent vegan alternative.
Chilli Paneer can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for four days.
Chilli Paneer can be frozen for up to three months. Defrost overnight in the fridge before reheating.
Paneer curries can be reheated in the microwave or a pan until warmed through.
More Indian Recipes
If you're looking for more Indian recipes to try, we suggest the following:
More Chinese Recipes
Alternatively, for Chinese inspired meals.
If its spicy food you like, check out our chilli con carne as well.
We hope you enjoyed this restaurant-style chilli paneer recipe!
If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to reach out to us. And be sure to check out our other blog posts for more recipe ideas!