Fried Paneer with Peppers & Chilli


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


Appears in

Brick Lane Cookbook

Brick Lane Cookbook

By Dina Begum

Published 2018

  • About

If you’ve never tried paneer then prepare to be pleasantly surprised. It’s a solid, neutral-tasting Indian cheese which carries flavour really well. It’s usually on the menus of the famous Brick Lane curry houses but not cooked the way I’d have it at home. Here I’ve coated paneer cubes in a light, spiced batter, then fried them until golden before simmering gently in a flavourful tomato, spring onion and pepper sauce. The dish is a great showcase for the aromatic Bengali five-spice mix panch phoron as you can really taste the individual spices.


  • 500 g paneer
  • 4 tablespoons cornflour
  • ½ teaspoon chilli powder
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • ½ teaspoon panch phoron
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely grated
  • 4 spring onions, chopped
  • 2 green chillies, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 green pepper, chopped
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh coriander
  • salt


Chop the paneer into 2cm cubes and place into a bowl. Sprinkle over the cornflour, chilli powder, black pepper and about half a teaspoon of salt and toss together, then add two tablespoons of water and gently stir so all the paneer cubes are coated. Heat a wok or deep frying pan on medium-high and add the oil. Carefully slide in the paneer pieces and fry, turning regularly with a spatula, for about two minutes or until they are golden all over. Remove the paneer and set aside.

To the same pan, add the sesame oil and panch phoron. Once the spices begin to pop (about 30 seconds) add the garlic and gently brown. Next, throw in the spring onions, chillies, sugar, turmeric, paprika and half a teaspoon of salt. Stir for a minute, then add the tomatoes and peppers. Cover and cook for five minutes, then add the fried paneer back into the pan and stir though. Pour in 100ml hot water, cover and turn the heat to low. Cook for another seven or eight minutes. Stir in the fresh coriander and turn off the heat. Serve with chapatti, or rice.