Chili Paneer

Chili Paneer

There was a hotel in Bangalore that my parents would take me to when I was younger that specialized in Indian-Chinese cuisine. Those dishes made such an impression on me that years later, I created an Indian-Chinese supper club with my friend and cookbook author Diana Kuan. The dinner series was called Tangra, after the neighborhood in Calcutta which is known for it's Chinese-Indian cuisine. This style of cooking was created by the Hakka Chinese community who settled in the area centuries ago.

Chili Paneer is a quintessential Indian-Chinese dish of wok-fried paneer with a spicy, sweet and sour sauce. I was pleasantly surprised when I realized that my Curry Ketchup could be used to make it!

Serves 4



14 oz paneer, cubed

2 tablespoons oil, divided

1 tablespoon ginger, grated

2 cloves garlic, minced

1-2 Indian green chili peppers or Serranos, chopped - optional

1/2 medium red onion, sliced into half rings (~3/4 cup)

1 red pepper, sliced into strips (~1 cup)

1 scallion, chopped for garnish

cilantro, chopped for garnish

Chili Sauce

1/4 cup Brooklyn Delhi Curry Ketchup or 2 TB Tomato Achaar + 2 TB Ketchup

2 tablespoons tamari or soy sauce

1 tablespoon rice vinegar - more

1 tablespoon sesame oil

1 tablespoon + 1 tsp maple syrup


Whisk Chili Sauce ingredients together.

Heat a large non-stick pan or wok on medium-high heat and add 1 tablespoon of oil to the pan. When the oil is hot, add in the paneer cubes and saute for about 5 minutes, turning them over every so often until all sides form a nicely browned crust. Remove paneer cubes from pan and place on a plate lined with a paper towel. 

Heat the non-stick pan or wok to medium-high heat and add in 1 tablespoon of oil. Add in the ginger and garlic (and optional green chili peppers) and stir-fry until fragrant. Add in the onions and peppers and saute for 4-5 minutes, until the onions are turning translucent but still firm. Add in the sauteed paneer cubes.

Pour the Chili Sauce over the paneer, onions and peppers. Mix to combine and cook until heated through and thickened, about 2 minutes.

Turn off the heat and garnish with chopped scallions. Serve with rice or noodles.