Paneer Chili Dry is a popular Indo Chinese Street Food!
Paneer Chili dry is an extremely popular Indo Chinese dish. The chili paneer recipe includes delicious crispy fried paneer with onions, peppers, and sweet + sour chilli sauces. The chewy panfried paneer pairs well with crisp chunk chopped and lightly cooked capsicum, onions, and spicy peppers. This recipe is simple and quick to make for gathering, an appetizer, or can be served with noodles or rice.
Dhaba Style Paneer Chili Dry
I had major cravings for this particular dry chilli paneer recipe during my pregnancy days. It was serious enough that I had to learn to perfect the recipe with much trial and error. I like soft paneer that is chewy on the inside and crispy on the outside. Plus, the level of spice I can tolerate is outrageous and this recipe delivers it!
Homemade paneer tastes the best, but I never have time to make and prep it. For that reason, store bought is always a go-to for my family. I love using Gopi Brand paneer because it is soft and easy to cut, but it also fries really well. It is readily available at Indian Grocery Stores.
Prepping the paneer
This is probably the hardest part of this recipe. Do not skip frying the paneer folks. It makes this dish what it is with the texture. Takes me back to the street food days of India. If you are not comfortable frying paneer, then you can air fry it.
How to air fry paneer
Coat the paneer in oil and cooking for about 18-20 minutes at 400 degrees. Be sure to toss a few times during the process. No need to coat the paneer in corn starch or all purpose flour when air frying it for this recipe. However, you will need to add a little corn starch to the gravy when cooking to help thicken the sauce.
- Paneer, cubed
- Garlic, fresh
- Ginger, fresh
- Dark Soy Sauce
- Chili Sauce
- Onion, chunk chopped
- Chili Peppers, sliced
- Bell Peppers, chunk chopped
- Green Onions
- White Pepper Powder
- All Purpose Flour/Corn Starch
Cooking the dish
- DIP AND COAT– Coat the chopped paneer in all purpose flour or corn starch
- FRY THE PANEER– Fry the paneer until it is crispy on the outside
- SAUTE– Flash cook the onions and bell peppers on high heat and set them aside
- MAKE THE SAUCE– Saute the ginger, garlic, and chili peppers in oil. Add the soy sauce, white pepper powder, and chili sauce.
- WATER– Add just a little bit of water and continue to let it boil.
- COMBINE– Mix in vegetables, paneer, and chopped green onions.
- HEAT– Cook it through and serve hot!
Gluten Free Options
Dark soy sauce is a must for this recipe but you can find naturally brewed soya sauce variations that are gluten free. Corn starch can be used as a replacement for all purpose flour.
Other popular Indo-Chinese recipes
Paneer Chili Dry
- oil to deep/pan fry
- oil to saute, sesame oil recommended
- 14 oz paneer cut into rectangular cubes
- 2 tbsp grated garlic
- 1 tbsp grated ginger
- 1-1.5 tbsp dark soy sauce
- 2 tbsp chili sauce (more or less) Lee Kum Kee Brand is my favorite
- 1 bunch green onions, sliced lengthwise
- 1-2 oz water (measurement depends on how much gravy is preferred)
- ½ large onion chopped into 1″ pieces
- 1 green bell pepper chopped into 1" pieces
- all purpose flour or corn starch for dusting
- Heat a pan with frying oil.
- Dust the paneer in all purpose flour or corn starch (this step is optional but recommended for crisp paneer and thick gravy).
- Pan/deep fry the paneer until golden brown and crisp. Set the fried paneer aside.
- In another wide wok/pan, heat some sesame oil on high heat and saute the onion and bell peppers for a quick minute until al dente. Remove them from the pan and set them aside as well.
- Heat sesame oil in the pan again and add sliced chili peppers, garlic, and ginger. Saute for about 1 minute on low heat.
- Add soy sauce, white pepper powder, and chili sauce. Mix it well.
- Add some water and deglaze the pan. Let it come to a boil.
- Add the paneer, bell peppers, and onions to the wok. Mix everything together.
- Do a taste test and add salt accordingly.
- Reduce the heat, cover with a lid, and cook for about 5 minutes stirring frequently.
- Stir in the green onions and mix.
- Serve hot!
- Make it gluten free by using gluten free soy sauce and corn starch instead of all purpose flour.
- For spicy pepper options, pick between bell peppers, serrano, jalapeno, and thai chili according to spice level tolerance
- Check blog post for air fried paneer option