Chilli Tofu – Indian Chilli “Paneer” Recipe. Chilli Paneer is an Indo-chinese fusion stir fry served with fusion noodles or fried rice. Crisp Tofu replaces the Paneer cheese in this delicious and quick version. Vegan Gluten-free Nut-free Recipe
Chilli Paneer is a popular dish from Indian-chinese cuisine. The cuisine evolved in the Chinese community who lived in Eastern India by adjusting and adding more Indian ingredients to chinese recipes. Indo-chinese is an extensive cuisine with options like Manchurian sauce with cauliflower or veggie balls(in my book), hakka noodles, Sichuan fried rice, hot and sour and manchow soups, chop suey, chow meins and others. These recipes even if they use a common/known name, are often different from their US or other country counterparts.
These fusion recipes are flavorful with abundant garlic and ginger, spicy and fun. In the vegetarian options, veggies or paneer make up the bulk of some dishes. There are specific sauces that have evolved for this cuisine like the chili garlic sauce or the vinegary green chili sauce that are often available in Indian stores or online. I make a quick chili ginger vinegar sauce from scratch for this Chilli tofu. The green chile sauce is flavorful and hot to preference (use mild to hot green chilies to preference). Tofu is cubed and crisped, then garlic, and veggies are cooked. The sauce is added and cooked lightly and tofu is tossed back in to coat. Serve this delicious dish with cooked rice or grains or over noodles of choice.
Crisp up the Tofu.
Add onion, chili, garlic until translucent.
Add peppers and other veggies in.
Add the blended chili ginger vinegar sauce and cook to bring to a boil.
Add the tofu and cook to coat.
Serve hot over a bowl of rice.
- 1 green chile, hot or moderate heat
- ½ to ¾ inch knob of ginger
- 1.5 to 2 tbsp soy sauce, use tamari to make gluten-free
- 1 tbsp white vinegar
- ½ tsp sugar
- ½ tsp cayenne (or use a combination of cayenne and paprika for less heat)
- ¼ cup water
- 14 oz firm tofu
- 1 to 2 tbsp cornstarch or arrowroot starch
- ¼ tsp black pepper
- ¼ tsp salt
- 2 tsp oil
- ½ medium onion thinly sliced
- 5 to 6 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
- ½ green chile, finely chopped
- 1 green bell pepper thinly sliced
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1 tsp cornstarch mixed in ¼ cup or more water
- Make the chilli sauce mixture. Blend all the ingredients under the sauce mixture until well blended.
- Drain and Press the Tofu using a tofu press. Or slice and fold paper towels over the slices and press using a heavy weight for atleast 10 minutes.
- Cube the tofu and toss with starch, black pepper and salt. Add more starch if needed.
- Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. When hot, add the tofu cubes and cook until golden on some edges. Stir occasionally. 6 to 8 minutes.
- Remove from the pan. Add onions, green chili and garlic to the pan and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, or until translucent. Add green bell pepper and cook for 2 minutes.
- Add the blended sauce mix, bring to a boil and cook for a minute.
- Add in the tofu and salt and mix in. Add starch mixed in water and mix in. Bring to a boil to thicken. Taste and adjust salt, tang and heat. Simmer for another minute or so for he flavors to infuse or thicken if needed. Garnish with black pepper or pepper flakes, and sliced scallions and serve as is or over cooked rice or grains.
Local people(Seattle and surrounding). Seattle’s first vegan & gluten-free cooking school opens in a few weeks!
Find out about the classes (ethnic cuisines, easy weekday meals, spice blending 101 etc) and all the fun at Fire and Earth Kitchen’s fb page or site. It’s a brand new school, and they need all the support!