If you are a vegetarian in India, you better love paneer. Because paneer is the star of many veggie dishes, and a premium ingredient. Most restaurant menus are studded with paneer this and paneer that. Until you start wondering whether all the vegetables have gone on strike.
Luckily for me, I do love paneer. In case you never heard of it, it is a form of fresh Farmer’s Cheese or Queso Blanco without any additives, not even salt. Paneer is best when made fresh at home. And then some dairies make a very good version of it. Paneer should be as fresh as you want your mozzarella to be.
I have blogged about a few different versions of paneer tikka here. The Lasooni Paneer Tikka or Creamy garlicky Paneer was my favorite. And this year also seems to be the time when I am creating a lot of dishes from mango. So when I came across dry Alphonso powder in the store the other day, I just had to grab it.
You can serve my mango infused chili paneer as a dry appetizer or as a stir fry with some rice. I made some pan gravy which embodied all the spices and flavors used here really well.
The inspiration for my mango infused paneer is barbecue sauce. Not traditional BBQ sauce but fruit sweetened sauces like those made using pineapple. I used vinegar to balance the sweetness and a hefty amount of Kashmiri Chili powder or paprika. Ginger and garlic gave the paneer a nice flavor and that was pretty much it.
I think this mango infused chili paneer falls more under ‘modern’ cuisine than Indian or Chinese. The recipe is very very simple and uses minimum ingredients. This is the philosophy I have used in all my daal recipes in my book 30 Days of Daal. You should definitely check it out when you get a chance.
What does it taste like? Well, nothing like mango for sure! So in case you were dreading how ‘aamras’ or mango juice will taste when combined with spices, don’t worry. You just taste the sweetness which balances the chili/ paprika really well. In fact, you will be hard pressed to tell that there is any mango here at all.
This dry mango powder had sugar as an ingredient, and I used only 50g of it. Even if it was half sugar, that is not a lot.
Mango Infused Chili Paneer looks pretty, tastes hot and sweet and is an excellent quick and easy appetizer for your next party.
Mango Chili Paneer Recipe
- 50g Dry Alphonso Powder
- Or ½ cup mango jam
- 400g Paneer
- 1 Tbsp ginger grated
- 1 Tbsp garlic crushed
- 1-2 Tbsp Kashmiri Chili Powder/ paprika
- 1 tsp cayenne pepper
- ½ cup vinegar
- 1 tsp soy sauce (optional)
- 2-3 medium onions chunks
- 1 bell pepper chunks
- 4 Tbsp oil
- 2 Tbsp AP flour
- 1 cup water
- Whisk together the dry Alphonso powder, paprika, pepper, ginger, garlic and vinegar to form a paste or marinade.
- Cut paneer in cubes. Cut onions and peppers in equal sized cubes. Toss gently in the marinade.
- Heat oil in a nonstick wok.
- Add the paneer and vegetable slices a few at a time and sear them on each side. Repeat for remaining paneer and veggies.
- Add flour to remaining oil and whisk until it bubbles. Add remaining marinade and water and bring to a boil.
- Simmer until sauce coats the back of a spoon.
- Serve the mango infused paneer with the pan gravy or sauce.
- Note: Dry Alphonso powder may not be available everywhere. Use mango jam instead. It should give similar results.
Stop ordering the same old boring takeout and make this yum marinade. Perfect for a lazy weekend spent watching TV or having fun with friends. Please do let me know how this worked for you.