Schezwan Paneer

Schezwan Paneer

Schezwan paneer is a popular Indo-Chinese recipe of paneer sautéed in Schezwan Sauce. It is a close variation to Chilli Paneer.

Indo-Chinese food is quite popular at my home, and I always have a big tub of homemade Schezwan sauce in my fridge. It is one of those versatile sauces that can be used in most Indo-Chinese dishes to enhance the flavours.

This schezwan paneer is simple, easy and quick to prepare. Schezwan Paneer can be prepared in a gravy to serve with Vegetable fried rice, Vegetable Hakka noodles or dry version (this recipe) that can served as a starter. Schezwan Sauce is a spicy sauce, so this recipe is slightly on the spicier side. For this recipe, I haven’t used the ready Schezwan Sauce but made fresh one while cooking as although this recipe is meant to be spicy, I prefer it medium hot, and I can control the heat level using fresh ingredients. You can always add smaller quantity of red and green chillies to make a less spicy version.

If you are planning to make Indo-Chinese at home then I would recommend including Vegetable Manchurian in gravy, Taro Nest and Hakka Noodles as a main dish alongside the Schezwan paneer for starters. This fiery paneer recipe is literally firecrackers in the mouth bursting with a lot of flavours, crunch and texture.

Ingredients

For Frying Paneer
500 grams paneer (cut in long strips)
½ cup plain flour
2 tablespoons corn flour
1 tablespoon minced garlic
Salt to taste
1 teaspoon black pepper
Oil for deep frying

For The Schezwan Gravy
10-12 Kashmiri red chilies
2 tablespoons sesame oil
¼ cup minced garlic
½ cup finely chopped onions
1 tablespoon grated ginger
1 tablespoon finely chopped celery
2 teaspoons red chilli sauce
2 teaspoons vinegar
2 tablespoons tomato ketchup
2 teaspoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons corn flour
Salt to taste
1 teaspoon white pepper
¼ cup diced onions
¼ cup diced green pepper
¼ cup diced yellow pepper
¼ cup diced red pepper
1 tablespoon finely chopped spring onions

Directions

Step-1

In a bowl, mix plain flour, corn flour, garlic, salt, black pepper and 2 tablespoons water to form a smooth paste. Add the paneer and gently mix to coat the paneer pieces.

Step-2

Heat oil in a pan for frying on medium heat.

Once hot gently slide the paneer in the oil and fry them on medium heat. Flip them once and fry them until they turn golden in colour. Use a slotted spoon to remove them from the oil. Drain them on a kitchen roll/absorbent paper to soak excess oil.

Step-3

Soak the Kashmiri red chilies in warm water for about an hour. After an hour, squeeze the chillies and grind them to a fine paste.

Step-4

Heat oil in a pan and sauté the red chili paste for a minute. Next add the garlic, ginger, onions and celery and sauté for couple of minutes on medium heat.

Step-5

Add the red chili sauce, tomato ketchup, vinegar, soy sauce, salt, white pepper and cook on low heat for a minute and next add 1 cup of water. Let the sauce come to a boil.

Step-6

Mix the corn flour with 2 tablespoons of cold water to make corn flour slurry. Add this to the sauce and mix. You will notice that the sauce begins to thicken as soon as you add the corn flour slurry. Add the fried paneer, onions, red, green and yellow peppers and mix. Finally add the spring onions and mix. Cook for 2-3 minutes and then turn off the heat.

Serve hot with garnished spring onions!

Tips & Variations

  1. Fry the paneer cubes on medium heat. If you fry them on high heat, they will be uncooked from inside and if you fry them on low heat, it will absorb lot of oil.
    Kashmiri red chilies when soaked in warm water enhances the colour of the chilies.
  2. Remember to always add cold water in cornflour/corn-starch while making cornflour slurry otherwise it will turn lumpy.
  3. Always use cold water when making batter with flour and cornflour. The colder the water, better it is. I sometimes keep a glass of water in fridge to make the batter. The corn flour dissolves better in cold water and also yields crispier coating.
  4. You can adjust the quantity of chillies according to your taste and also the variety of chilli you use while making the dish.
  5. Avoid adding too much water as you want the peppers to be crunchy and crispy to bite.
  6. It is important to have the right consistency batter so that it coats the paneer. So, add the water gradually. It should be double cream thickness.
  7. I have used sesame oil in this recipe as it adds nutty flavour to this dish. It also enhances the flavour and gives a rich aroma to the dish. You can also use chili oil or any other vegetable oil.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *