When I lived in Mumbai for work I LOVED the Indian Chinese food and chili paneer was always one of the apps we ordered. Mainland China was near my office and a popular spot at the time. I have yet to find an Indian Chinese restaurant in the US that matches the same level of yum as you can find in India. But, getting back to the chilli paneer, it is a spicy, delicious appetizer that is usually served with rice. The idea of combining it with noodles turns it into a delicious dish with heat!
What is chilli paneer?
Chilli paneer is an Indian Chinese appetizer traditionally made with paneer, bell peppers, onions, spring onions and a mix of spices and sauces. It can be served dry or with some gravy. When made with some gravy it is served with rice.The paneer is fried when made in the traditional manner. I briefly pan fry the chilli paneer for my recipe.
The slightly crisped paneer with soft insides absolutely melt in your mouth!
This chilli paneer noodles dish has tons of veggies too. Combined with big flavors of garlic, ginger, spices and sauce it is a dish that everyone loves in my family.
Here is a quick video giving a sneak peak:
Prepping the Ingredients
A few points to note:
- Firstly, make sure to cut the onions and bell peppers thinly like noodles. I think it just taste better this way.
- Second, mix the sauces and spices that go into the gravy ahead of time as noted in the recipe card.
- Last, prepping everything ahead is important. As a result, the cooking process will be easier! Plus, once you start cooking most of the process is quick.
How to make chilli paneer noodles
- Make the noodles – I used thin spaghetti noodles. The ones I had at home were whole wheat thin spaghetti noodles, but use what you have!
- Cook the paneer – Pan fry the paneer with spices to the level of crispiness you like. Don’t over cook though, else the paneer will dry out.
- Prepare the gravy with veggies – Mix sauces, spices and veggies along with cornstarch slurry. Note, the slurry will help thicken the gravy.
- Mix it all together – Add the noodles and paneer to the gravy and toss to mix. Top with scallion greens and enjoy!
Is chilli paneer spicy?
Yes, this is a spicy dish! If you want less spice, reduce the amount of white pepper and sambal olek or red chilli sauce.
However, don’t skip white pepper completely. It gives a great flavor that I think is needed for the taste of the dish.
Paneer is a fresh cheese that does not melt. If you are looking for a vegan friendly substitute then tofu would be a good pick!
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Chilli Paneer Noodles
- large wok or pan
- 7 oz thin spaghetti noodles
- 14 oz paneer cubed
- 4 tsp neutral oil
- ½ tsp white pepper substitute ¼ tsp black pepper if you don't have
- ¼ tsp salt
- ⅛ tsp turmeric
- 6 tbsp garlic about 12 cloves, minced
- 4 in ginger minced
- 1 tbsp green chilli blended or chopped finely
- 1 medium onion
- 1½ bell peppers red/green, sliced thinly like noodles
- 5 scallions keep whites separate from greens
- 1½ tsp salt
- ¼ cup crushed tomaotes
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 2½ tsp sugar
- 1 tsp white pepper
- 2 tsp vinegar
- 2 tbsp sambal olek or spicy red chilli sauce
- 3 cups water
- 1½ tbsp cornstarch
- Boil water and cook noodles as per box instructions. Set aside.
- Meanwhile, heat oil in pan. Add paneer and spices. Toss to coat until desired level of crispiness. Don't overcook or paneer will dry out. Set aside once done.
- Mix soy sauce, sugar, white pepper, vinegar, sambal olek and crushed tomatoes in a bowl. Set aside sauce mixture.
- Mix corn starch and 2 tbsp water in a small bowl to make slurry. Set aside.
- Heat oil in pan. Add garlic, ginger and crushed green chilli. Cook about 1 minutes, mixing so it doesn't burn.
- Add onions, bell peppers and scallion whites. Mix and cook 2 minutes. Add salt.
- Add in sauce mixture and mix.
- Add water and let cook to thicken about 5-7 minutes.
- Add in cornstarch slurry to thicken mixture more.
- Toss in noodles. Top with paneer.
- Sprinkle scallion greens on top and serve.