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Chilli Paneer Dry

Chilli Paneer Dry

This Chilli Paneer Dry celebrates some of the most popular Indian spices. The spices I am referring to are ajwain seeds (carom seeds), black peppercorns, mustard seeds, cumin seeds, fennel seeds and cloves.
In this preparation, we make a fantastic masala paste with these spices. Paneer pieces are first fried in butter. They are then coated with the freshly ground masala with water. It’s simmered to a thick consistency making it a chilli paneer dry! It goes well with Indian bread like naan, roti, chapati, or paratha.

Chilli Paneer Dry - Enjoy with some Indian Bread
Chilli Paneer Dry – Enjoy with some Indian Bread

Paneer, the Indian cottage cheese, is a traditional ingredient in Indian cuisine. Paneer’s mild flavours and fantastic texture makes it an ideal vehicle to highlight some of the fabulous spice blends in the country. We have tons of classic preparations celebrating this wonderful ingredient. Paneer butter masala, shahi paneer, chilli paneer (Indo-Chinese style), kadai paneer, paneer tikka masala, etc. are some of the most famous delicacies.

When we are eating out at an Indian restaurant, we always order one of these dishes. We sometimes cook some of them at home as well! But I have always wanted to try out something that’s not a “regular” paneer dish. I have been experimenting with the ingredients, and this recipe is the result of many trial and errors.

Chilli Paneer Dry is served
Chilli Paneer Dry is served

Spice Masala

Rooted in a traditional style, this spice masala is the hero of this preparation. We start by frying the spices in butter. The wonderful aromas they release, especially the ajwain (carom) seeds, is the highlight. Into this aromatic spice mix, we add some oil and fry onions with chilli powder, turmeric powder, and coriander powder. We have to keep frying till the onions are almost crisp.

The crispy onions and fried spices is a tasty mix in itself. I struggled to resist the temptation to eat it all, and save it for the paneer!

Check out this recipe and give it a try! It’ll take you less than 30 minutes to make this dish from scratch.

Chilli Paneer Dry

This chilli paneer dry celebrates some of the finest Indian spices. It takes just 30 minutes to make this simple, flavourful delicacy from scratch!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time35 mins
Course: Appetizer, Main Course, Main Dish, Side Dish
Cuisine: Indian
Servings: 4 people


  • 200 grams paneer cut to small pieces
  • 1/2 teaspoon ajwain seeds carom seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 3 cloves
  • 1 teaspoon kashmiri chili powder
  • 2 medium onions finely chopped
  • 1 green chilli chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander powder
  • oil
  • salt
  • 1 inch butter
  • Cilantro (Coriander leaves) to garnish


  • Melt some butter in a pan.
  • On a medium flame, fry the ajwain, black peppercorns, mustard seeds, cumin seeds, fennel seeds and cloves.
    Fry the spices in butter
  • Add some oil, wait for it to be hot and add the finely chopped onions.
  • Stir well, and let it cook till the onions turn translucent.
    Add onions to the frying mix
  • Add chilli powder, coriander powder, turmeric powder, salt, and green chillies.
  • Mix well, and cook till the onions turn almost crispy. Switch off and let it cool.
    Masala is almost ready
  • Once the fried mixture has cooled down, transfer it to a mixer jar.
    Fried masala mix is ready to be blitzed
  • Blitz to a fine paste adding 1/4 cup water.
    Finely ground masala is ready
  • Heat some butter in a pan, and fry the paneer pieces on a medium flame.
  • Shake the pan to toss the paneer pieces around a get a good coating of butter.
    Fry paneer in butter
  • Fry the paneer pieces for a minute, Empty the contents of the blender to the pan, add 1/2 cup water, and mix well.
    Masala is mixed with the fried paneer
  • Bring to boil, simmer for a couple of minutes and switch off.
  • Garnish with some coriander leaves. Serve hot (that's a must) with some fresh Indian bread (naan, roti, chapati, or paratha).


I sliced the paneer to small, 1cm cubes. That makes it easier to get a good, uniform coating of the masala
If you find butter too rich, replace it with a vegetable oil of your choice. It'll still taste great!
Even though we call them ajwain "seeds", technically they are fruits and not seeds. That's for the trivia!


  1. Oh I love Paneer! Definitely need to try this one. Looks so good :-).

  2. This sounds so good. I love paneer and I really need to try this recipe.

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