Shahi Paneer

Shahi Paneer Recipe

Shahi Paneer, the King of Indian Vegetarian Delicacies, is a North Indian dish that perfectly exemplifies the grandeur of Mughlai cuisine. It boasts a velvety tomato and cream-based gravy with succulent chunks of paneer (Indian cottage cheese). Shahi, meaning "royal," aptly describes this dish's rich taste, texture, and presentation.

Shahi Paneer has a royal history rooted in the Mughal dynasty. It was a favorite dish of the Mughal emperors, who relished its flavors during their lavish feasts. Over the years, this culinary gem has become a symbol of Indian fine dining and is featured in the menus of many Indian restaurants.

What Makes Shahi Paneer So Special?

  • The Creamy Gravy: The luscious tomato and cream-based gravy are the heart of Shahi Paneer, imparting a velvety texture and a harmonious blend of sweet and savory flavors.
  • Rich and Aromatic Spices: A medley of spices, including cardamom, cinnamon, and cloves, infuse the dish with a delightful aroma and a depth of flavor.
  • Succulent Paneer: Soft, homemade paneer is added to the gravy, absorbing the rich flavors and providing a satisfying bite in every spoonful.
  • Garnished with Dry Fruits: Shahi Paneer is often garnished with cashews and almonds, adding a crunchy and nutty dimension to the dish.

How to Prepare Shahi Paneer

Preparing Shahi Paneer is an art that requires attention to detail. Here's a simplified recipe to get you started:

Shahi Paneer Ingredients:

  • 250g paneer (cottage cheese)
  • 2 tbsp ghee (clarified butter)
  • 1 cup finely chopped onions
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup tomato puree
  • 1/2 cup fresh cream
  • 1/4 cup cashews
  • 1/4 cup almonds
  • 1 tsp ginger-garlic paste
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1/2 tsp red chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • Salt to taste
  • Fresh coriander leaves for garnish

Preparation of Shahi Paneer

  1. Paneer Preparation: Start by cutting the paneer into bite-sized cubes. To enhance the flavor, lightly fry them until they acquire a golden hue.
  2. Prepare the Tomato Gravy: In a pan, sauté finely chopped onions until they turn golden. Add ginger-garlic paste and cook until the raw aroma disappears. Then, add tomatoes and cashews, letting them simmer until they soften. Blend this mixture into a smooth puree.
  3. Cooking the Gravy: In a separate pan, heat some ghee and add the whole spices (cardamom, cloves, cinnamon, bay leaves). Pour in the tomato puree and cook until the ghee separates.
  4. Creamy Elegance: Reduce the heat, add cream, and a pinch of saffron. Stir gently to maintain the creamy texture. Season with salt and sugar to taste.
  5. Paneer Unveiled: Add the fried paneer cubes to the creamy tomato gravy. Let them simmer, allowing the flavors to meld.
  6. Garnish with Love: To enhance the presentation and taste, garnish with freshly chopped coriander and a sprinkle of crushed dried fenugreek leaves (kasuri methi).

In the world of Indian cuisine, Shahi Paneer stands as a testament to the grandeur of Mughal traditions. Its blend of spices, creamy texture, and rich history make it a favorite for all who crave a royal dining experience. Whether you're an experienced chef or a beginner in the kitchen, this dish is bound to impress. Give it a try, and let your taste buds revel in the magnificence of Shahi Paneer.

Try out our Matar Paneer or Baigan Bharta Recipe