Saturday, July 12, 2008

Paneer Chilli ~ An Indo Chinese Fantasy!

I think Paneer chilli is the best example of how we can do a change over to our most favorite item into another and still love it more. Paneer, of course has caught everybody's fantasy and has been a ruling ingredients in every home. I haven't come across a kid who doesn't adore this. And my love for this started the moment I was introduced to it. Maybe it was increased more by the fact that I was the only Vegetarian in most gathering and Paneer was the only dish offered as the equivalent to a tantalizing chicken or meat! Well I never missed those much. Instead always looked forward to these treats.

Then came the introduction to Indo Chinese food and it was also embraced with equal aplomb. What followed were series of dishes being transformed into a Chinese one by adding its signature ingredients and making them into a chinese dish. Really do you think a Chinese would know what a Paneer Chilli mean or even taste like? I don't' think so. But really taste is something very subjective and when you like something, you add it in many others and see if it comes out well. I guess thats how this dish came into existence!

I have had this sleek handbook, rather a cookbook titled Favorite Chinese Dishes, with me for over a decade. Believe me, I have taken that book many a time, thinking I should prepare something from it. The dishes featured aren't anything different though. Most of them are the usual fare of the Indo Chinese Cuisine. Still it was a mystery unsolved. The book has about 25 dishes, all beautiful explained, of course no pictures. Still I could imagine each of it being prepared and enjoyed. As I have mentioned, hubby dear is not very fond of typical Chinese food, so whatever I prepare has to be more of a spicy flavored.


Finally I thought I will be able to prepare something from this, when Dhivi announced her AWED themed on Chinese. What better time than this to try out something from this dear little book of mine. And of course, it had to be Paneer Chilli for my love for Paneer!

I modified and changed few for our taste.

Ingredients Needed:

Paneer or Indian Cottage Cheese - 2 cups (squares and deep fried to a golden colour)
Onions - 1 small chopped squares
Spring Onions - 5 bulbs and the greens
Coriander leaves - 5 springs
Capsicum - quarter piece, chopped as squares
Green Chillies - 2 slit and trimmed
Garlic - 2 big pods, finely chopped
Tomato Sauce - 4 tsp
Soy Sauce - 2 tsp
Ajinomoto - a pinch
Salt to taste
Oil - 2 tsp
Ghee for frying paneer

Garlic crushed was used, which I didn't. The recipe didn't call for capsicum, but I added.

Method to prepare:

Wash and cube the paneer. Fry the paneer cubes in ghee and drain them once they turn golden.

Once you have all the onions, capsicum, spring onions all chopped and ready, heat a pan with oil.

Once its hot, saute the onions well, then add the capsicum and simmer for 5 mins for it to get soften. Then add the roasted paneer, tomato sauce, soy sauce, salt and ajinomoto. Mix well and simmer.

After 5 mins, sprinkle the spring onion tops and serve!

Your tempting Paneer chilli is ready to devoured!

Thank you Dhivi for finally making me cook from this little book of mine, we loved it and so I am sure you will too!

Since Paneer is a rich source of Protein, sending this to Sangeeth at Art of Cooking Indian Food, who is hosting an event on Eat Healthy - Protein Rich.

Paneer is said to be the primary source of protein for Buddhists (typically those of Southeast Asian origin) who adhere to vegetarian as opposed to vegan diets. It gives about 15% of protein.

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19 comments :

Rachel said...

One of my fav. cuisine and one of my fav. food...paneer. I can see myself making it soon.

Sunshinemom said...

I make it without browning the paneer - it has to taste good either way! Nice entry, Valli:)

notyet100 said...

LOOKS DELICIOUS,..

Ramki said...

A good example of fusion. But if you just replace paneer with tofu, this becomes a typical Chinese recipe !

Suma Rajesh said...

panner my fav..luv anything ...urs looks delicious

shriya said...

Panner is my fav one. I love paneer in any form. Paneer chilli looks yummy. Must have tasted really good.

Kalai said...

One of my favorites, Valli! Looks delicious!! :)

Siri said...

I was planning to make sumthing similar with lo mein or chow mein for Dhivs event Valli, but in my current circumstances, I am not sure whether will be able to make it or not! the dish looks so yummy dear.. wish I cud taste some of it.

Love to kiddos,
Siri

Mona said...

Wow, looks yummy!

www.zaiqa.net

Nags said...

my fave veggie indo chinese dish :)

Bharti said...

haha...love the title. U R absolutely right. Paneer chilli is every desi vegetarian's fantasy!
A true classic. Yours looks great!

satya said...

It seems that manchurian is not authentic either....:D. We Indianised burgers and pizzas and relish them as our own...!

Lavi said...

Srivalli..yesterday i was craving for this paneer chilli..when i checked your's..i could not control me..late at night i tried it:)

Anisheetu said...

Paneer my most favourite... lovely recipe...:)

D said...

Aaaah! Valli - I am more thankful than you for sending me this droolworthy dish. What r u doing to your photos girl? They r looking v v good nowdays :) Keep doing that and leem drool some more at your pic in peace ;-)

DK
http://culinarybazaar.blogspot.com

Srivalli said...

Rachel..heheh..glad ..:)

Sunshinemom, I am sure that will be great too...thanks

priyanka..thanks

Ramki, heheh..I know..but somehow I dont' like tofu..:)

Suma, thank you..this sure was great!

shriya, you bet..glad you liked this

Kalai, heheh..paneer has so many fans!

Siri, heheh..so I did it b4 you could..take your time..blogging can come in leisure..

Mona, thanks

Nags, hahha...great to know!

Bharti, yep..glad I hit the spot!

satya, heheh..thats a fact..we can indianise everything..:)

Lavi, thats really great..hope you loved it..

Anisheetu, thanks

Dhivi, glad you liked it girl...and I am glad my pictures are looking good...:)..all yoga in action!..

Sangeeth said...

looks great sri...thanks for the entry

DY said...

Your comment "Do you think a Chinese would know how a Paneer Chilli etc etc would taste like?" was rather offensive.
Not all Chinese people are ignorant of Indian cuisine and certainly not all Chinese people eat bland and boring food everyday.
It's akin to saying Indian people eat spicy and tasteless food and do not know how to appreciate fresh ingredients nor know how to blend food tastes but instead just smothers it with spices.
I know you didn't exactly mean it in an offensive manner, but perhaps you shouldn't practice ignorance in your posts in the future.
Adding soy sauce and whatever else stereotypical 'Chinese' ingredients to a dish does not make it 'Chinese'.
Other than that, I enjoy your blogging about Indian dishes. FYI, there are plenty of Chinese people who enjoy authentic Indian food cooked by them or their Indian neighbours or countrymen. :)

Srivalli said...

I meant by my statement since this is a dish created by Indians, a Chinese won't know that such a dish exist. I never meant in an offensive way about Chinese and their food. Infact I have eaten authentic Chinese food and I know they do eat well spiced in their own way. But as every cuisine needs adaptation, it might take some time for all Indians to appreciate authentic Chinese cuisine, so meanwhile for people like me, we make these indo Chinese to enjoy both cuisines.

By adding soy sauce and other simpler Chinese ingredients, we try to create a mood for Chinese food. Its does not mean the Chinese cuisine is simple!

Hope I am clear and am in no way trying to be offensive to anybody or any culture. If I came about sounding that way, or if my statements are misinterpreted that way, my sincere apologies.

Next time, do leave your full name, so that I can know my readers!

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