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Cooking time

Prep: 20 minutes Cook: 35 minutes

Skill level



Serves 4

Chilli Paneer has become a real favourite with my family. Paneer is an Indian curd cheese which is made by curdling heated milk with lemon juice or vinegar and then taking out the water leaving you with a curd cheese. Paneer over the years has become a popular item in many Indian dishes, and below is my take on chilli paneer which has always been a hit with family and friends.

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Stage 1

  • Oil (2 tablespoons)
  • Cumin seeds (2 tablespoons)
  • Black mustard Seeds (2 tablespoons)
  • 500g Indian paneer cheese diced 1cm chunks (now sold in most supermarkets)
  • Turmeric powder (1 heaped teaspoon)
  • Ginger (2 inch piece crushed)
  • Garlic (6 large cloves crushed)
  • Cumin powder (1 heaped teaspoon)
  • Coriander powder (1 heaped teaspoon)

Stage 2

  • Oil (2 tablespoons)
  • Cumin seeds (1 heaped teaspoon)
  • Black mustard seeds (1 heaped teaspoon)
  • 6 green chillies sliced in half length ways (use less if you want less heat, or you can deseed them)
  • White onion (1 large sliced thinly)
  • Red pepper (1 large sliced thinly inch long pieces)
  • Yellow pepper (1 large sliced thinly inch long pieces)
  • Dark soy sauce (3 - 4 tablespoons )
  • Salt to taste
  • Spring onions (3, chopped)
  • Fresh green coriander to garnish and as per your taste


  1. Stage 1 : In a large, deep flat bottom non stick pan add the oil and heat.

  2. Once hot add the cumin and mustard seeds. They should start popping very quickly.

  3. Once they are popping away and you can smell the aroma of the seeds, add the paneer. With a fish slice gently toss the paneer so the seeds and oil coat the paneer. The idea is to let the paneer gently brown and crisp on all sides. The trick is to allow them to cook on each side and then keep turning them.

  4. Once they are nicely browned and crisp turn the heat down and add the crushed garlic and ginger and stir thoroughly. Allow the ginger and garlic to cook off but not burn.

  5. Once the garlic and ginger is cooked off add the turmeric, cumin powder and coriander powder and stir. You do not want to burn the spices but cook them off and coat the pieces of paneer.

  6. Once you have done this take off the heat and transfer to a bowl for the time being.

  7. Stage 2 : In the same pan you used for the paneer add the butter or oil until hot.

  8. Then add the cumin and mustard seeds.

  9. Once they have started to pop away add the green chillies and stir. Allow them to gently fry.

  10. Once they have fried a little add the onions and stir. Allow the onions to soften.

  11. Add the red and yellow peppers and allow them to soften.

  12. Once the onions and peppers are nicely softened add the paneer from stage 1.

  13. Stir all the ingredients through enabling the flavours to mix.

  14. After about 5 mins making sure nothing sticks to the bottom of the pan add the soy sauce and mix thoroughly. Once the soy sauce has been soaked up by the paneer and other ingredients turn the gas off and add the chopped spring onions and gently stir through.

  15. Transfer into a serving bowl and garnish with fresh coriander and serve. It goes well with many vegetarian dishes, rice, dhal and rotis as well as an accompaniment to a meat curry.

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