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May 21, 2015 / Aware of the Void

Chilli Paneer – My Takeaway Alternative


Due to laziness on my part and a fundamental dislike of most of the food produced by many of the takeaways in my area I have gotten pretty good at cooking things that are super fast to make and taste a little bit like something I could order and have delivered.

Chilli paneer is an Indian Dish with roots in China and I often enjoy it as an alternative to ringing the delivery guy. I tend to have the ingredients in the house some of them might seem unlikely to have at home all the time but once you start down the path of trying to cook these things at home your kitchen fills up with odd ingredients.

I normally serve this with basmati rice or popadoms. The rice I use takes 12 minutes to cook and it is ready at the same time as the Chilli Paneer so from chopping the first onion to eating is generally no more than 15 minutes.

So in keeping with the tradition of these things you will need some ingredients. Have a look for them in your larder, if you don’t see them there have a look in your pantry.


  • paneer – fresh if you have it or a pack is fine also.
  • 1 x Medium Onions (or two small or one eight of an giant one)
  • 1 x Large Red or Green Pepper (Bell Pepper/Capsicum)
  • Red Hot Chilli Peppers as per your own tastes (Some Like it Hot)
  • 3 x cloves garlic
  • 3 table spoons  of dark soya sauce
  • 3 table spoons of tomato sauce
  • oil for frying (I use olive oil)




  • Chop the paneer into pleasing sized pieces
  • Finely chop the garlic and hot chilli
  • Roughly chop the onions and peppers


  • heat the frying oil in a wok or high sided pan,
  • fry the garlic and chillies to release the flavours into the oil
  • fry the onions until golden
  •  add the green or red peppers to the pan and cook to your own taste (personally I really only heat these through as I like them to retain a lot of texture)
  • add the cubes of paneer and stir all together


Secret sauce time:

  • squirt over tomato sauce over the mixture
  • add the dark soya sauce and mix through the dish adjusting for your own taste.


I love this dish and find it easy to make, it sometimes fills that desire for junk food from the takeaway during a midweek slump. Let me know if you try this or if you have an alternative that you would recommend?

I love to cook, if you happen to follow me on Instagram you will see that we have recently extended our kitchen and I installed an enormous 7 ring stove. The area got christened “Cook Island” and I post many photos of the stuff I enjoy cooking and eating. This might be the first of these posts in a series I will call – Tales from Cook Island where when requested I will detail what I have cooked.


Leave a Comment
  1. Moni / May 21 2015 11:22 pm

    I am so going to make this!! Yes, please post more tales from Cook Island recipes!! 😀

    • Aware of the Void / May 21 2015 11:28 pm

      I have a few in mind to share with you Moni, the GDoc we spoke about remains a confused mess so this might be a better option?

      Top tip, if you use packed paneer for this and you have a little time soak the paneer for 30 mins before hand, not essential but is softens it a bit 😀

      • Moni / May 21 2015 11:31 pm

        This is a dumb question: what is Paneer? And yes, your blog works for me regarding the sharing of recipes!

      • Aware of the Void / May 21 2015 11:36 pm

        Sort of cottage cheese, pretty much identical to ricotta if that helps. Very subtle flavours and easy to make fresh if you feel like a challenge.
        Boiled milk a few drops of lemon juice. Separate the curds and Wye – shape the curds and squash to firm up!

        Or just visit an Asian shop, they will have it 😀

      • Moni / May 21 2015 11:37 pm

        Awesome! Thanks! I will look for it.

      • Aware of the Void / May 21 2015 11:42 pm

        I don’t a quick google, a few aces in Portland list it…not sure what’s local to you but defo a possibility. You could easily use tofu either BTW if that is easier to get? Tofu is harder for me locally, at least I can make the cheese if I have toooooo

      • Moni / May 21 2015 11:47 pm

        Tofu is super easy to get so I might try it with that first. Might be fun to try making it!

      • Aware of the Void / May 21 2015 11:51 pm

        Do you cook tofu at home much?

      • Moni / May 21 2015 11:54 pm

        I do! I used to cook it a lot more than I do now. There is a great cookbook called The Tofu Cookery that I use a lot. I’ve had that book for 18 years

      • Aware of the Void / May 21 2015 11:52 pm

        A light dipping of tofu in cornflour before frying and setting aside to be added at the end same as paneer is the way to go

      • Moni / May 21 2015 11:54 pm


      • Aware of the Void / May 21 2015 11:56 pm

        Let me know if this works for you – I don’t often try writing this stuff down 😀

      • Moni / May 21 2015 11:57 pm

        Will do!

      • Moni / May 24 2015 1:26 pm

        Just wanted to follow up – I made this last night with Tofu and it was really, really good. I’ll be making it again, for sure!

  2. Ema Jones / May 22 2015 4:58 am

    I would love to use this as filling in my corn tortilla for a yummy brunch 😛


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