Many a times, you will find yourself trying very hard to replicate a particular dish made by a special person. And the result is usually unsatisfying. Like my mother’s punjabi channe or my sister’s vegetable kadai or the husband’s famous Paneer Chilly.
Yes, dear foodies, the husband sometimes does enter the forbidden territory to create history. Spicy bhel, fluffy spongy yet crisp dosas, mumbai style street side sandwiches and chilly Paneer are his favorites and specialities.
He taught me this amazing Indo Chinese appetizer, where cottage cheese is sautéed in an amalgam of chinese sauces. And guess what?! This recipe bakes the cheese instead of the traditional deep frying, and it still tastes great. This melt in the mouth, extremely nutritious starter triggers your taste buds to unseen heights. I’ve tried hard, but am yet to reproduce the perfect Paneer chilly.
Now that he was back after a long hiatus, I implored him to make this especially for my blog. The highness obliged but only after ascertaining that the cook would get due credit and I would do all the menial work. Like I had a choice.
So, dear family and friends, this one’s from the husband’s treasury of prized recipes:
250 gms cottage cheese/paneer, diced into moderate sized pieces
For the marinade:
- 2 tsp ginger garlic paste
- 1 tsp soy sauce
- 1 tsp green chili sauce
- salt to taste
- 1/2 cup big diced onions
- 1/2 cup big diced bell peppers( use different colored ones, I had only green at the time)
- 10 pods of garlic… shocked?… tastes divine.. really.
- 5-6 green chilies, slit length wise
- 2 tbsp spring onion/scallions whites, chopped
- 2 tbsp spring onion/scallions greens, chopped
- 2 tsp soy sauce
- 1-2 tsp red or green chili sauce – your call
- 1 tsp vinegar
- 3-4 tsp tomato ketchup
- 1 tbsp oil
- salt and pepper to taste
Note: The quantity of chilies and sauces varies to your taste. If you like it hot, then liberally use the stuff, else, refrain.
To bake the Paneer:
Mix the diced pieces of paneer with ginger garlic paste, soy sauce, green chili sauce and salt. Keep aside for 10 minutes. Arrange on a baking sheet or a greased baking tray and bake till golden brown at 180 degree centigrade. It takes about 15 minutes or so.
While the paneer gets baked, get going with the sauce that will coat it.
In a skillet, heat oil. Saute the garlic. Once slightly done, add green chilies,onions and spring onion whites. Fry till pink, then add bell peppers and saute on high. When the veggies are almost done, pour in your sauces. Feel free to adjust the quantity as per your taste buds.
In goes, tomato ketchup, chili sauce, soy sauce, vinegar, salt and pepper. Mix well.
Add the baked brown paneer. Toss. Sprinkle the spring onion greens.
Serve hot with any fried rice/plain steaming rice or as it is.
Do the pictures lure you enough to try it out? Milee and me were super happy with the efforts. We devoured with such fervor, the cook looked on mighty pleased.
Note: A word of advice, please don’t omit the scallions/Spring onion greens. I know, we don’t usually stock in the fridge like chilies, and coriander but this green deserves a place in Paneer Chilly! It adds so much flavour and freshness, it criminal to forego it.