Chilli Paneer

Chilli Paneer

Chilli Paneer (Spicy Cottage Cheese) is a lip-smacking, tongue-tantalizing, mouthwatering exotic dish that will drown your taste buds in a sea of spicy & provocative flavors. Made of paneer (cottage cheese) stir-fried in a saucy mix of peppers & onions, this delectable dish is anything but subtle - its kaleidoscope of hot & spicy flavors is thoroughly complemented by its colorful looks that makes it a feast for your stomach, eyes, senses & soul! Oh, and makes it a great party dish to wow your guests. Another great thing about Chilli Paneer is its versatility - its drier version can be served as a snack or appetizer, or one can add sauce to the dish and make it a delicious side dish that goes very well with noodles or rice.

Chilli Paneer's awesome taste belie its amazingly simple preparation - you would think that something that tastes so good would need a lot of hard work - however, it requires little effort & uses basic and easily available ingredients. Chilli Paneer belongs to the Indo-Chinese cuisine - this food category is the Indian adaptation of the cuisines of its neighbor. It is one of the most popular appetizers in India & is a top menu item in all Indian restaurants. Time to try it & find out why Chilli Paneer is so well-loved by so many people :)

(The below recipe is for the dry version of Chilli Paneer to serve as snack/appetizer, see Tips to prepare as a side dish to serve with rice/noodles).

Chilli Paneer (Dry Version) Recipe

Serves : 2-3

250 gms Paneer (Cottage Cheese); cut into 1" cubes
1/2 cup cubed Green Bell Peppper (Capsicum); cut into 1" pieces
1/2 cup cubed Red Bell Peppper (Capsicum); cut into 1" pieces
1/2 cup cubed Onions; cut into 1" pieces, layers separated
2 Serrano Green Chillies or to taste; destemmed & chopped
1/4 cup chopped Spring Onion greens; for garnishing
1 1/2 tbsp minced Garlic; peeled
2 tbsp Soy Sauce
1 1/2 tbsp Red Chili paste (I use Sambal OeleK) or to taste
Salt to taste
1 tbsp Oil

For Marination:
1 tsp Ginger paste
1 tsp Garlic paste
1 tsp Chilli paste
Salt to taste
2 tbsp Corn starch / Corn flour
3 tbsp Oil

How to make Chilli Paneer

  1. In large bowl, toss all the Marination ingredients (except oil). Add very little water, enough to make a thick paste. Add Cottage Cheese & mix again till all pieces are evenly coated with the marination mixture. Let it marinate for 15 minutes.
  2. Heat 3 tbsp oil in a non-stick pan. Shallow-fry the marinated cottage cheese (in batches) on all sides till golden brown. (Please be careful while shallow-frying as the oil might sputter). Drain on absorbent paper & keep it aside.
  3. Heat 1 tbsp of oil in another non-stick pan/wok. Add garlic & sauté for 30 seconds.
  4. Add the onion & saute till translucent. Add bell peppers & chillies and sauté till bell pepper is cooked but crunchy.
  5. Add soy sauce, red chilli paste & salt. Mix well. 
  6. Reduce the heat. Add cottage cheese & toss such that the paneer is well coated with the sauces. 
  7. Chilli Paneer is now ready. Transfer it to a bowl.
  8. Garnish with spring onions. Serve hot immediately.

If you want to serve as a side dish along with rice or noodles, mix 1 tbsp of corn starch in 1/2 cup of water/vegetable stock till smooth. Add the corn starch mixture after step # 7 & cook on high heat, stirring till the sauce is thick enough to coat the Cottage Cheese & the vegetables.


  1. That looks really awesome.. Feel like picking up a bite :)

    1. Thanks Chitz for your lovely compliment :) Hope you get to try it soon!!

      Happy Cooking!!