Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Chili Paneer from India

When I lived in Tanzania I used to enjoy the chili paneer from the Indian restaurant down the road from my house.  Having managed to buy what appears to be paneer, I thought I'd give making chili paneer a go.  If you can't get your hands on paneer, you can use a block of soft cheese.
2 tablespoons cooking oil
1 onion finely chopped
3 garlic cloves finely chopped
1 capsicum finely chopped
3 spring onions finely chopped
3 chilies finely chopped
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 tablespoons sesame oil
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon curry powder
1/3 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1 block paneer cut into cubes
1/4 cup cornflour for dusting
salt to taste
Put the cooking oil in a large frying pan or wok.  Cover the paneer cubes with the cornflour and use your hand to mix it together so that the paneer is uniformly coated.  Fry in the hot oil until lightly browned and set aside on a plate with kitchen towel so that any oil can drain.  Put the onion and garlic into the pan and saute in the hot oil until soft.  Add the capsicum, spring onions and chilies and mix them in with the onion and garlic mixture.  Put the sesame oil, chili powder, curry powder, turmeric and cumin into a bowl and mix it into a thick paste.  Add the paste to the wok and mix it in well with all the other ingredients.  Add the soy sauce and fried paneer cubes.  You might need to add a little water to prevent sticking if your mixture is very thick.  Reduce the heat and allow it to simmer for 10 minutes so that the flavours are infused, tossing and stirring all the time.  You can add more chili to increase the spice or take away chili to decrease it.  This is a very spicy dish, so be prepared with a cool drink at hand!
Cindy Vine is a South African currently living and working in Kyiv, Ukraine.  She is the author of Hush Baby, Defective, C U @ 8, Not Telling and The Case of Billy B.  All her books are available on Amazon in both Kindle and paperback formats.

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