recipe by Koel
The Chinese cuisine has had a huge impact in this region specially as early as 17th century through the opium trade that was then monopolized by the Portuguese just north of Kolkata. Chili Paneer is a blend of Chinese and Bengali cuisine where the prepping style is that of Chinese and the spices are Indian. The paneer (or cottage cheese) is a good substitute for vegetarians to the otherwise a very popular chili chicken where chicken is used. The dish is easy to prep and easy to make and can be eaten with steamed rice, fried rice or Indian parathas.
- 1 lb paneer, cut into 1.5 in (3-4 cm) cubes
- 1/2 cup oil (1 Tbsp for cooking, the rest for frying paneer)
- 4 cloves chopped garlic
- 1 tsp fresh grated ginger
- 2 sliced green chilies remove seeds for something less spicy
- 1 tsp garam masala optional (garam masala is optional because this is a Chinese inspired Indian dish)
- 1 small red onion, cut into half inch chunks
- 1 green bell peppers, cut into 1 inch pieces
- 3/4 cup tomato sauce (or ketchup)
- 1-2 tsp soy sauce (dark soy sauce)
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tsp sugar
- 1 Tbsp vinegar
- Heat up oil in a pan, then add paneer in batches and cook until golden brown, setting aside each batch when done.
- In a separate pan, heat up remaining tablespoon of oil. Add garlic, green chili, and ginger and stir fry over high heat for few seconds until they have released their aroma. Be careful not to burn them.
- Add garam masala and onions and cook for 2-3 minutes
- Add bell peppers and cook for 2 more minutes.
- Add tomato sauce, soy sauce, salt, sugar and vinegar and cook for 2-3 more minutes.
- Put the paneer back into pan and gently stir until everything is well mixed.