Amrita's Chilli Paneer
Thursday 25th June 2020
I’m gonna get straight to the point here - this recipe is just one way I make chilli paneer.
My style of cooking is typically 'grab whatever I see in the cupboard I think works', and around 80% of the time it turns out great. I’ve made chilli paneer many times and they’ve all been different - I’m sure I’ve made it tastier before, but stupidly I never remembered to write down the recipes. </3.
There are flaws with this recipe, and that’s okay, because that’s what happens with cooking! It’s never going to be perfect every single time, whether you’re a Michelin star chef or an amateur home cook like myself.
So don’t get yourself down if you mess things up, it doesn’t mean you can’t cook, you’ve just gotta try again!
SO, the step I messed up in this recipe was during the frying process - I won't lie, I hate frying.
I did a fried chicken recipe a few weeks ago and it was a total disaster.
Burnt on the outside, raw on the inside.
And of course, vegetarian food is less risky, but for some reason I can never get it just right.
But that’s okay. I’ll just keep trying!
I did a wet flour batter, and it turned out great when I fried each piece one by one. My first few test ones came out perfectly, but then I started adding more in the oil at once, and the batter started slipping off the paneer and frying in huge clumps.
I tried doing them individually again, but two blocks of paneer one by one?
In 30 degree heat?
Standing in front of hot oil?
I was suff-er-ing. No thank yew.
So, although this recipe tasted great, the batter clumps ruined it a little, so I would suggest doing a dry batter instead using corn flour, plain flour (optional) and the dry seasoning listed below.
I’ve done this before and it fries beautifully.
It’ll be a lot better than the result I had this time.
TL;DR - Don’t use a wet batter if you aren’t familiar or comfortable with deep frying. A dry corn flour batter works best.
Serving: I mean I would eat this all on my own, but it's enough for 4 people.
(if you don’t have all the ingredients, it’s okay - it’ll still taste good if you have at least 70% of them and/or have substitutes)
2 tbsp plain flour
2 tbsp corn flour
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp chilli powder
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp papaya powder
1/4 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp cardamom
1 tsp ginger paste
1 tsp garlic paste
1 cup water - or until desired consistency
Neutral oil - sunflower (can use vegetable, canola, safflower, grapeseed)
2 blocks paneer
2 tbsps neutral oil of choice
1 large white onion diced
1 red onion diced
6 cloves garlic sliced
3 birds eye chillies chopped (can remove seeds if too spicy)
2/3 tbsp ginger paste
1 red pepper chopped
4 tbsp dark soy sauce
1/3 tsp tamarind concentrate - if you use a paste, you can do 1 spoon
3 tbsp sweet chilli sauce
2/3 tbsp honey
1 tsp garlic paste (if you love garlic as much as I do)
1 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp garam masala
1/3 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp salt
2 spring onions
handful of coriander
1. Chop all vegetables and paneer.
2. Heat up oil for deep frying.
3. Mix batter ingredients together. As mentioned earlier, it’ll taste better with a dry batter, but if you want to try the wet batter, mix the water in and stir thoroughly with whisk.
4. Drop the paneer into the batter and coat all sides generously.
5. Test oil temperature with a chopstick, or drop a tiny bit of batter into the oil. If it sizzles immediately, it’s ready.
6. If you used the wet batter, add the paneer 1-3 pieces at a time. Before adding the paneer to the oil, make sure the batter drips off so the coating isn’t too thick.
7. Drain fried paneer on a plate covered in kitchen roll - newspaper underneath the kitchen roll works best to drain all the excess oil.
8. Heat up a saucepan on medium heat and add your neutral oil. Once the oil is shimmering, add your chopped onions and let them sweat.
9. Add garlic, chilli and ginger paste. Once garlic turns blonde (1-2 minutes cooking) add your chopped peppers.
10. Add soy sauce, tamarind concentrate, sweet chilli sauce, honey, chilli powder, garam masala, turmeric and salt.
11. Add your paneer and mix until all is coated.
12. Turn off heat.
13. Add chopped spring onions and coriander and mix.
Serve whilst hot!
Use a large knife to crush your garlic, the skin will fall off so you don’t spend forever peeling it! (see video below)
Remove all the pith (the white stuff) on the pepper - it creates a bitter taste.
If you use fresh ginger, chop it finely so you don’t end up chewing on a big piece of it. (unless you like that)
Taste as you go!