Shahi Paneer Recipe
Mughlai shahi paneer gravy, a wonderful & rich paneer curry for your naan, kulcha and jeera rice. This vegetarian and gluten free curry is straight from Mughal kitchens expect there is no meat here. Shahi paneer is a popuar vegetarian version of meat based shahi dishes full of onions, nuts, cream and saffron.
For shahi paste
- 1 large onion cubed
- 15 almonds
- 15 whole cashews
For making shahi paneer curry
- 2 tablespoon butter
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 inch cinnamon stick
- 2 green cardamoms
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 teaspoon minced ginger garlic or paste
- 1/2 cup yogurt plain curd, fresh and whisked well
- 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1 teaspoon garam masala
- Salt to taste
- 1/8 teaspoon saffron strands
- 1 teaspoon kewra water
- 1/4 cup fresh cream
- 200 grams cubed paneer Indian cottage cheese
- 3 cups water divided
- 2 tablespoons cilantro leaves chopped
For making gravy sauce for shahi paneer
Bring 2 cups water to a rolling boil. Add 1 cup cubed onions, 15 almonds and 15 whole cashews. Cook in medium heat for 5-6 minutes. Remove from flame and drain excess water.
Drain and grind to a smooth paste.
Dry roast a good fat pinch of saffron for few seconds in a small pan in lowest flame. Soak the roasted saffron in 2-3 tablespoons warm milk. Keep aside until use.
Drain and grind to a smooth paste.
Heat 2 tablespoons butter in a heavy pan. Add 1 inch cinnamon stick, 1 bay leaf, 2 green cardamoms and 1 teaspoon cumin seeds. Fry for a minute.
Add the prepared paste, minced ginger and garlic and saute very well for 5-6 minutes until the butter separates from sides. Now in low flame, slowly add the whisked yogurt and mix. Cook in low flame for 3-4 minutes further.
Now add ground turmeric, red chili powder and garam masala powder. Mix well and saute very well for 2-3 minutes.
Add 1 cup water and mix well. Also add salt to taste. Simmer the curry for 5-6 minutes. Now add saffron soaked milk, kewra water, fresh cream and mix well. Simmer for another 2 minutes.
Add fresh cream
Finally add paneer cubes and simmer for 3-4 minutes.
Remove from flame. Shahi paneer is ready to serve. This shahi paneer tastes wonderful when served warm. You can garnish with cilantro leaves, more saffron and rose petals. Kasuri methi is not used in shahi paneer.
Yogurt- Yogurt or curd is the base of this curry so use real fresh curd. If you are using homemade curd make sure it is fresh, thick and not sour.
If your curd is bit watery or not very fresh, just add 2-3 tablespoons fresh cream and whisk well before using.
Make sure to whisk the curd very well and add slowly in low heat.
Nuts- Nuts are used in this recipe to give a rich taste and creamy texture. I like to use a equal mix of cashews and almonds here.
Cashews lend a wonderful creamy taste and almonds adds a rich texture and flavor. if you want to make a lighter curry you can reduce cashews and increase almonds.
In some recipes you will find only cashews. You can make shahi paneer with cashews alone but almonds add a nice flavor and texture.
Onions- onions along with nuts and yogurt form the base of this curry. Do not reduce the quantity of onions as it will alter the volume of gravy.
Whole spices- whole spices are used for delicate yet good flavor. For this restaurant style recipe for shahi paneer you will need bay leaf, green cardamom, cinnamon stick and cumin leaves.
Along with spices we are also adding some basic spice powders like red chili powder, garam masala powder, ground turmeric for flavor. Use best quality spice powders for good flavor.
Paneer- Use fresh soft paneer for best taste. I recommend homemade paneer for this recipe. if using store bought paneer, place the paneer cubes in warm water for 20-30 minutes, rinse thoroughly and use in recipe.
Saffron- Saffron lends a wonderful, rich, warm and delicate flavor to this curry. I suggest you use a good fat pinch for authentic flavor.
I dry roast the saffron for few seconds so that it easier to crush and you get the most of the flavor.
Tomatoes- if you want to add tomatoes to this shahi paneer gravy recipe, just blanch 2 large tomatoes along with onions and nuts. You can also add 1 cup tomato puree after adding shahi paste.
Serving: 3g | Calories: 153kcal | Carbohydrates: 10g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 25mg | Sodium: 106mg | Potassium: 198mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 390IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 93mg | Iron: 1mg