Shahi paneer recipe – A royal dish, one of the popular Indian restaurant style paneer recipes. It is served with any aromatic rice, roti, kulcha or naan. Shahi paneer is prepared with nuts, onions, spices, and yogurt or cream that takes it to an exotic level with all the aroma of the spices infused. This is a simple recipe that is made using very less cashews and no cream but yet yields a rich restaurant style shahi paneer.
To make shahi paneer recipe, in most restaurants the aromatic ingredient used is the kewra water without that one may not feel the dish so special. Though kewra water doesn’t add any taste to the food, it definitely brings in a great aroma to mughalai foods. But if you don’t like the fragrance of kewra water, just skip it.
I have not used tomatoes since yogurt is used. Using tomatoes would make the gravy more tangy, if you are one to like the tang you can use it. I have mentioned how to in the notes at the end of the recipe.
If you want to make the shahi paneer recipe with white gravy, just skip using red chili powder and use green chili to add the hint of heat or spice. I have used almonds / badam just to reduce the quantity of cashews. If you like to use all cashews, just replace almonds with cashews.
Restaurant style shahi paneer recipe below
- 1 ½ cup panner cubes (approximately 225 to 250 grams)
- ½ cup thick yogurt, curd
- ¾ to 1 tsp ginger garlic paste
- ¼ tsp. red chili powder (optional)
- ⅛ tsp turmeric
- ¾ tsp. gram masala
- Pinch of saffron optional
- Salt to taste
- 2 tbsp. Ghee or oil
- Kewra water few drops.
- ¾ cup water
- 1 chopped tomato (optional,refer notes)
- 2 to 3 cloves
- 1 to 2 one inch cinnamon stick
- 12 whole cashewnuts
- 8 almonds
- 1 cup cubed onions
- 2 green cardamoms
- 1 green chili slit (optional)
- Add one tablespoon ghee to a pan, heat it. Add cashews, green cardamom, almonds, lightly golden fry them.
- Add cubed onions, green chili and fry until they turn transparent.If using tomato, add it now and fry till mushy. Transfer these to a plate and cool.
- Blend this with very little water to a smooth puree or paste.
- You could fry the paneer lightly in ghee. This step is optional. Keep the fried paneer aside.
- Heat up the same pan with the rest of the ghee or oil, add dry spices, saute until they turn fragrant
- Add ginger garlic paste and fry till the raw smell goes off.
- Add the onion cashew paste, chili powder, garam masala, turmeric and salt. Fry for about 3 to 4 minutes
- Add yogurt. Mix. Cook till it begins to leave the sides of the pan.
- Pour ½ to ¾ cup water. Cook till the gravy thickens. Or till u see the oil begins to separate
- Add paneer and cook for about 3 minutes. If sauted in ghee before then just add paneer and do not cook further. Add kewra water if using and stir.
- Transfer shahi paneer to a serving bowl to prevent it from cooking further
- Garnish shahi paneer with cream or coriander leaves.
How to make shahi paneer recipe
1. Fry paneer lightly in 1 tbsp. ghee and set aside to a plate. This is optional. I choose not to fry.
2. For making the shahi paste, onions and nuts can be blanched or sauteed in ghee. Sauteing brings out the aroma of the nuts and mild sweetness from onions. So i prefer to saute than to blanch. Heat a kadai with 1 tbsps. Ghee. Add green cardamom, cashews, almonds, and fry till they turn slightly golden.
3. Add onions, green chili and fry till translucent. I forgot to add green chili. Take these to a wide plate and cool.If you are in a hurry, just place few ice cubes on the onions and stir them every now and then. Use up the same ice water to puree.
4. Add them to a jar with very little water.
5. Make a smooth paste.
6.Heat the same kadai with rest of the ghee or oil, fry cinnamon & cloves for a min. Do not skip the spices since we do not use much of garam masala powder in this recipe. These tempering spices add flavor to the gravy. I have also added the optional ingredients small bay leaf and shahi jeera. Add ginger garlic paste and fry till the raw smell disappears.
7. Add the ground onion paste, red chili powder, turmeric, salt and garam masala. Fry for 3 to 4 minutes.
8. Add curd.
9. Cook until it leaves the sides of the pan.
10. Add ½ to ¾ cup water,add saffron strands. stir and begin to cook till curry thickens. By then u see the oil begins to separate
11. Add cubed paneer and cook for 3 minutes. If you have already sauted the paneer in ghee, then switch off the stove immediately after adding paneer to gravy. You can also add deseeded slit green chili now for that distinct flavor. Sprinkle kewra water. Give a good stir.
Transfer immediately to a serving bowl else paneer can turn rubbery if left in the hot pan for longer.
shahi paneer is ready. Garnish with coriander leaves or cream. I garnished with pudina, pepper corn & powder as i had nothing else to garnish 🙂