Shahi paneer recipe | Restaurant style Shahi paneer

Shahi Paneer is a very rich and decadent, North Indian curry. Cubes of paneer (Indian Cottage cheese) are simmered in a creamy, nutty and luscious onion-tomato curry, with mild and sweet undertones of whole spices and floral notes of saffron. Shahi paneer is thus Shahi, which simply means Royal in Hindi.

With all its royal decadence, Shahi paneer is most certainly apt for a King’s meal. But you don’t really have to be a King to enjoy Shahi paneer. You can do so right in the comfort of your home by following this simple recipe that delivers results just like the restaurant ones. Okay, I’m going to be a little boastful and say it is much better than the restaurant ones, at least the ones served here in the US. Everything tastes the same!


You guys know I love paneer. When it comes to dining outside, paneer tops my list amongst the vegetarian dishes. It is also very common to spot paneer dishes for parties and wedding buffets. And more often than not, paneer makhani and shahi paneer are most certainly present. They are absolute party favorites.

Let me walk you through a gist of the recipe. It may seem like a lot of ingredients, but believe me, most of them are pantry staples. It all starts with working on an onion-tomato-nut mixture seasoned with whole and powdered spices, all of which is ground and strained into a silky smooth masala paste. An important tip I’d like to share here is that do not skip straining the paste. Strain twice if you must! Next, you cook down this paste, season with kasoori methi and garam masala. Some water/ milk goes in next to adjust the consistency, add the paneer cubes and finish off with some butter, cream (of course) & my favorite part of this recipe- saffron infused milk! That final touch really makes this dish -“Shahi”! The sweet and exotic aroma of saffron elevates this dish, I highly suggest using it, but of course, you can omit if you wish to.

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Step by step instructions

1.Heat oil in a skillet, add in shahi jeera, dried red chillies and whole spices. Sauté on low heat until spices turn fragrant.

2.Add minced ginger and garlic, sauté until fragrant.

3.Add in sliced onions, sauté until translucent.

4.Add cashew nuts and almonds, sauté another few seconds.

5.Add red chilli, cumin, coriander, turmeric powder, salt and sauté another minute until the rawness of the spices goes away.

6.Add chopped tomatoes, sauté until mushy and it leaves oil. Remove the pan from the heat and let this mixture cool down a bit.

7.Transfer the cooled mixture to the blender and blend to a smooth paste. Use little water or milk if required to facilitate grinding. Strain this paste (do not skip) and collect it in a bowl. Strain twice for best results.

8.Heat 2 tbsp butter plus 1 tbsp oil in a heavy bottomed pot/kadai, add bay leaves and green chillies, sauté for few seconds.

9.Add the strained paste, mix well, cover and let it cook for 5-8 minutes or until the oil separates from the sides and floats on top. Stir occasionally to prevent it from burning at the bottom.

10.Add garam masala, kasoori methi and sugar. Mix well and sauté another 30 seconds.

11.Add water/milk, mix well and bring to a boil. Check for seasoning and adjust accordingly.

12.Add paneer cubes, mix and let it simmer covered for 2 minutes.

13.Finally, add cream, remaining butter and saffron milk along with saffron strands. Mix gently, ensuring that the paneer cubes do not break, simmer covered for 2-3 minutes.

14.Sprinkle cilantro, dish out and serve with a drizzle of cream, sliced nuts, and saffron.

Shahi paneer recipe | Restaurant style Shahi paneer

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Serving Size: 4 people

Shahi paneer recipe | Restaurant style Shahi paneer

Shahi Paneer is a very rich and decadent, North Indian curry. Cubes of paneer(Indian Cottage cheese) are simmered in a creamy, nutty and luscious onion-tomato curry, with mild and sweet undertones of whole spices and floral notes of saffron. Shahi paneer is thus Shahi, which simply means Royal in Hindi.

Ingredients

    For the ground masala paste
  • Whole spices (1/2 inch cinnamon, 2-3 cloves, 2-3 green cardamom, 3-4 peppercorns, 1 blade of mace)
  • 1/2 tsp shahi jeera
  • 2 nos. Kashmiri red chillies, broken in half
  • 4 large garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 inch ginger, skin peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 6-7 nos. cashew nuts
  • 6-7 nos. almonds, blanched and skin peeled
  • 1 nos. medium onion, sliced, about 1 & 1/2 cup
  • 3 nos. tomatoes on vine, about 2 & 1/4 cup roughly chopped tomatoes
  • 1/2 tsp red chilli powder/cayenne pepper (adjust as per desired heat)
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tbsp coriander powder
  • 1/2 tsp cumin powder
  • Salt, to taste
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • For the final curry
  • 200 grams paneer (Indian cottage cheese), cut into cubes
  • 1 nos. bay leaf
  • 1-2 nos. green chillies, slit lengthwise
  • 1 tsp dry roasted and crushed kasuri methi (dried fenugreek leaves)
  • 1/4 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp sugar, to balance the tartness of the tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup water/milk
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream/malai
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 7-10 strands of saffron, soaked in 1 tbsp of warm milk for 10-15 minutes
  • Cilantro leaves, as required, for garnish

Instructions

  1. Heat oil in a skillet, add in shahi jeera, dried red chillies and whole spices. Sauté on low heat until spices turn fragrant.
  2. Add minced ginger and garlic, sauté until fragrant.
  3. Add in sliced onions, sauté until translucent.
  4. Add cashew nuts and almonds, sauté another few seconds.
  5. Add red chilli, cumin, coriander, turmeric powder, salt and sauté another minute until the rawness of the spices goes away.
  6. Add chopped tomatoes, sauté until mushy and it leaves oil. Remove the pan from the heat and let this mixture cool down a bit.
  7. Transfer the cooled mixture to the blender and blend to a smooth paste. Use little water or milk if required to facilitate grinding. Strain this paste (do not skip) and collect it in a bowl. Strain twice for best results.
  8. Heat 2 tbsp butter plus 1 tbsp oil in a heavy bottomed pot/kadai, add bay leaves and green chillies, saute for few seconds.
  9. Add the strained paste, mix well, cover and let it cook for 5-8 minutes or until the oil separates from the sides and floats on top. Stir occasionally to prevent it from burning at the bottom.
  10. Add garam masala, kasoori methi, and sugar. Mix well and saute another 30 seconds.
  11. Add water/milk, mix well and bring to a boil. Check for seasoning and adjust accordingly.
  12. Add paneer cubes, mix and let it simmer covered for 2 minutes.
  13. Finally, add cream, remaining butter and saffron milk along with saffron strands. Mix gently, ensuring that the paneer cubes do not break, simmer covered for 2-3 minutes.
  14. Sprinkle cilantro, dish out and serve with a drizzle of cream, sliced nuts, and saffron.
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Regards,

Freda

11 comments

  1. hummingbirdthyme says:

    I love paneer recipes and your descriptions of them are swoon-worthy! This one looks amazing, I can (almost) smell the wonderful aroma! Mmmmmm. Thanks for the recipe!

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