The Girl That Made It All > Recipes > Thai Basil Paneer

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Thai Basil Paneer

July 16, 2019

Meatless Monday… or Tuesday? So Meatless Monday is a thing in our house unless your practicing Hindu in-laws are visiting… then it’s also Tuesday. Most non-vegetarian Hindus do not eat meat on that day out of respect for Hanuman.

Unfortunately (or fortunately), I am a carnivore. Not eating meat means boring food. Enter paneer to the rescue! Paneer is a non-melting cheese that can take on the flavors you add to it (similar to tofu but better tasting)!

I wanted something different. Not the same old boring Indian style paneer. A couple of weeks ago, I had attended a dinner party of a friend who also loves to cook. He made the most amazing Thai Basil Chicken. He didn’t use any fish sauce which is common in Thai cooking. Instead, he added soy sauce to get the saltiness that fish sauce brings to a dish. Genius! It made me think about paneer and how I could get the same Thai flavor and make it vegetarian. Hence… Thai Basil Paneer!

You will need shallots, garlic, kecap manis (Indonesian sweet soy or any sweet soy sauce), soy sauce, white pepper and of Thai basil. Do not substitute Thai basil with Italian basil! They taste completely different. You can also add Thai bird chili to give it the spice that it usually has. I opted out since my kids were going to eat it too. My husband added it later to his food.

Ingredients minus a lime

For this dish, you need to mince the shallots and garlic. Using a pull chopper makes it so easy. You can find one on Amazon, here

Here is the recipe:

Thai Basil Paneer

Print Recipe
Serves: 6 Cooking Time: 15


  • 2 tbs oil
  • 4 shallots, minced
  • 6 cloves garlic. minced
  • 1.5 pounds paneer, crumbled
  • 3 tbs (or more depending on your brand) kecap manis
  • 3 tbs soy sauce (I used low sodium)
  • 1 tsp white pepper
  • 1/2 lime
  • 2-3 thai bird chili, chopped (optional)



1) Heat up a pan with oil. Once hot, add shallots and garlic. Saute for 3-5 minutes until shallots are translucent.


2) Add paneer and combine with shallots and garlic. Cook until paneer is warmed through.


3) Pour kecap manis and soy sauce over paneer mixture. Stir, combine and cook for 2 minutes.


4) If you are using Thai chili, add it now along with basil. Combine until basil is wilted.


5) Add white pepper and taste for seasonings. If you want it saltier (add soy) or sweeter (add kecap manis).


6) Take it off from the heat finish it off with a squeeze of lime juice.

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About Me

I am a software test manager by day and a wife, mom and cook by night. Cooking is my hobby. I don't eat to live, I live to eat.

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The Girl That Made It All

The Girl That Made It All