shahi paneer recipe with step by step photos – this is a delicious and rich creamy gravy made with cottage cheese. the creaminess comes from onions, nuts and curd. this is one of the popular and rich cottage cheese recipes from the mughlai cuisine.
shahi means royal and as the name suggest this is a royal paneer dish. literally translated to royal cottage cheese. dry fruits, yogurt, saffron, whole spices and sometimes cream is added to make this dish royal and rich.
the shahi paneer gravy or sauce is onions-almonds-cashew-melon seeds based. so this is very rich with the addition of dry fruits and yogurt. the result is a creamy, aromatic, semi sweet gravy with soft paneer cubes which you are going to love. best to make it for a festive time or special occasions.
you can serve it with rotis or naan or paratha or rumali roti or tandoori roti. you can also serve it with rice-based dish like jeera rice or veg pulao or ghee rice.
how to make shahi paneer
1. cook onions, cashews, almonds, magaz/melon seeds, ginger and garlic in 1.5 cups water for 8-10 minutes.
2. simmer till the onions become soft. strain the stock and keep aside.
3. when cooled, make a paste of the cooked onions, ginger, garlic and dry fruits, adding 1 or 2 tsp of the strained water.
making shahi paneer
4. heat 2 to 3 tablespoons oil in a pan. fry all the whole garam masala till they release their aroma in the oil.
5. add the ground onion-dry fruits paste and saute till the oil starts to leave the sides of the paste. then add the dry spice powders.
6. mix well.
7. now add the whisked yogurt, the strained stock+water, salt and sugar.stir well and simmer for 10-12 minutes on a low flame or till the gravy thickens slightly.
8. add the cardamom powder and crushed saffron.
9. stir and add the paneer cubes. if adding cream, you can add the cream with the paneer. simmer for 1-2 minutes till the paneer is cooked. add the kewra (pandanus) essence and stir (optional step).
10. garnish it with some coriander leaves and serve the shahi paneer with jeera rice or rotis or naan.
tips for making shahi paneer
- in this recipe, i have not used cream nor i have used butter or ghee. feel free to use cream or butter if you want them.
- i have not added tomatoes to this dish since i have used yogurt (curd). but you can substitute yogurt with tomato puree in the same proportions as mentioned in the recipe and still make a delicious shahi paneer. if adding tomatoes, then do add cream as both tomatoes and cream really go well with each other.
- vegans can make the same shahi paneer recipe with tofu and cashew yogurt. i won’t advise using soy or peanut yogurt for this dish as these will ruin the taste. if using cashew yogurt then you don’t need to add cashews while making the paste.
if you are looking for more paneer recipes then do check:
main ingredients for shahi paneer
- 200 grams paneer (cottage cheese)
- 1 to 1.5 cups strained stock (got from boiling the onions with dry fruits) + water OR 1.5 cups water
- ½ cup full fat fresh curd (yogurt or dahi) - whisked till smooth
- 1 teaspoon coriander powder (dhania powder)
- ½ teaspoon red chili powder
- ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
- ¼ teaspoon garam masala powder
- ¼ teaspoon cardamom powder (elaichi powder)
- 1 or 2 tablespoon full fat cream OR 70-80% fat cream (amul cream which is available in india can also be used), optional
- a pinch of saffron (kesar) - crushed
- 1 or 2 drops of kewra water (screwpine water) - optional
- salt and sugar as required
for the paste
- 1 medium sized onion - roughly chopped
- 2 tablespoons chopped cashews
- 1 tablespoon almonds
- 1 tablespoon magaz or melon seeds without the skin
- 3 to 4 garlic - chopped
- 1 inch ginger - chopped
- 1 tej patta (indian bay leaf)
- 2 to 3 cloves (lavang)
- 2 to 3 green cardamom (hari elaichi or choti elaichi)
- 1 to 2 black cardamom (badi elaichi)
- 1 inch cinnamon (dalchini)
- ½ teaspoon shah jeera (caraway seeds)
- 2 to 3 tablespoon oil or ghee or butter
preparation for shahi paneer
- boil onions, cashews, almonds, magaz, ginger and garlic in 1.5 cups water for 8-10 minutes till the onions become soft.
- strain the stock and keep aside.
- make a paste of the cooked onions, ginger, garlic along with the dry fruits adding 1 or 2 tsp of the strained water.
making shahi paneer
- heat 2 to 3 tablespoons oil in a pan.
- fry all the "whole spices" mentioned in the above list till they release their aroma in the oil.
- add the ground onion-dry fruits paste and saute till the oil starts to leave the sides of the paste.
- add the dry spice powders and stir.
- now add the whisked yogurt, stock+water, salt and sugar.
- stir well and simmer for 10-12 minutes or till the gravy thickens slightly on a low flame.
- if using cream, then whisk the cream till smooth and keep aside.
- add the cardamom powder and crushed saffron.
- stir and add the cubed paneer. if adding cream, you can add the cream with the paneer.
- simmer for 1-2 minutes till the paneer is cooked.
- add the kewra (pandan) essence and stir. addition of kewea is optional.
- garnish it with some coriander leaves and serve the shahi paneer with jeera rice or rotis, naan or phulkas.