shahi paneer

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 paneer, shahi paneer recipe

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

preparation

1. cook onions, cashews, almonds, magaz/melon seeds, ginger and garlic in 1.5 cups water for 8-10 minutes.

making shahi paneer recipe

2. simmer till the onions become soft. strain the stock and keep aside.

making shahi paneer recipe

3. when cooled, make a paste of the cooked onions, ginger, garlic and dry fruits, adding 1 or 2 tsp of the strained water.

paste for making shahi paneer

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.

spices for making shahi paneer recipe

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.

making shahi paneer recipe

6.  mix well.

add yogurt for making shahi paneer recipe

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.

shahi paneer gravy recipe

8. add the cardamom powder and crushed saffron.

making shahi paneer, making shahi paneer recipe

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).

shahi paneer, shahi paneer recipe

10. garnish it with some coriander leaves and serve the shahi paneer with jeera rice or rotis or naan.

shahi paneer, shahi paneer recipe

tips for making shahi paneer

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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:

shahi paneer

4.92 from 50 votes
Author:Dassana Amit
Prep Time:20 mins
Cook Time:20 mins
Total Time:40 mins
Course:main course
Cuisine:indian,mughlai
Calories: 296kcal
Servings (change the number to scale):4
shahi paneer is a delicious creamy gravy made with cottage cheese, onions, nuts, curd and spices.
(1 CUP = 250 ML)

INGREDIENTS

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

whole spices

  • 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

INSTRUCTIONS

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.
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dassana amit

Founder, Chef, Recipe Developer, Food Photographer >> MORE ABOUT US

namaste and welcome to vegrecipesofindia.com which i started in feb 2009 and is a pure vegetarian blog. i have been passionate about cooking from childhood and began to cook from the age of 10. later having enrolled in a home science degree greatly enhanced my cooking & baking skills and took it to a different level which i now share as foolproof recipes. i was formally trained both in mainstream indian as well as international cuisines.

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183 comments/reviews

  1. I accidentally found this site, while searching for good recipes as I had to cook a lot of food for an official team building event, last year. The detailed description for preparation methods including photos and a calculator is a big help for making food in large quantities. I really appreciate all the effort, Best of luck 🙂5 stars

  2. I made it for my husband. Although I wasn’t well. The recipe was super easy and came out tasteful. My husband loved it. Thanks a ton.5 stars

  3. I made the recipe.It was amazing.Thanks for telling us the tip about creaminess. 🙂

  4. its very very tasty. the first time i made it, by mistake i added tomato puree and curd together which decreases the taste of this but today i made it second time when i made it [today] , my family licked the fingers of themselves. its such a wonderful dish
    everyone must try and eat.:)

    • thanks mehak for sharing this feedback. either you can add curd or tomato puree. both can make the dish sour. it also depends on the amount that is added. i am glad that you liked this shahi paneer recipe. happy cooking.

  5. This dish is so delicious.Thanks to you for this recipe.I am a keralite and tried this recipe many time I failed in all.But this time I succeeded in making tasty shahi paneer.

  6. This looks amazing – I’m just a little unsure, could I clarify, do you use the strained onions and nuts and then blend them into a paste? X

  7. As usual I am always ur fan and here in US when mostly we depend on home made food ,ur bolgs is saving our souls…further I made first time shahi paneer and it turned awesome…however I added lil more water seems n then adjusted the consistency by adding 2 tb spoon corn floor….is it ok to add that? any other way to make it lil thicker…

    • thanks shweta. corn flour can be added, but with corn flour the taste of the gravy will change. if paneer is not added, then the gravy can be simmered for some more minutes till it thickens. another way to thicken is by adding boiled mashed potatoes. another option is to use rice flour. rice flour will give a neutral taste and it won’t overall affect the taste of the gravy. other than that some more cashew paste can be added. a very rich approach would be to add some cream. but with more cream the taste can get affected. hope these suggestions help.

  8. A 5 star recipe. Enjoyed eating it as much as I enjoyed making it. Thanks for posting it.
    Regards
    Kuldip5 stars

  9. I made the way it is mentioned. AWESOME! Better than any restaurant. Making certain changes in the way we cook brings so much of difference in the taste.5 stars

    • Thanks Rashmi. Glad to know that you liked this shahi paneer recipe. I agree with you sometimes even small changes can spoil or make a positive difference to the final dish.

  10. Hv tried for d frst tym at my in laws’ house. Following d exact recipe. Just cudnt blv it turned out to b soooo delucious. Exactly d way get in hotels. My new family luvd it lyk anythng coz its a new dish fr thm being bengali. Thnkuuuu sooo much.5 stars

  11. Great recipe! I have tried it a few times and its been appreciated all the time. Today, my 7 year old asks for seconds. She said that this was the best curry ever!

    Thank you!5 stars

  12. I loved this shahi paneer recipe very much. I nade it the second time today and it turned out awesome again! Thanks for such an easy and tasty recipe!5 stars

  13. I have tried this recipe twice.. and it was supposed yuummmmy.. exactly like restaurant style . Thnx a ton Amit for all your recipes.. they hardly fail in taste…. Previously I used to check different recipes of same dish I want to cook. But now I only read Ur’s. And follow it as it is. Shahi Paneer is really aussom.5 stars

  14. Hello mam… Mera question hai ki kya shahi paneer me hum tomatoes puree add kar sakte hain…?
    Thank u…5 stars

    • kirtika, there are two versions – one is this version, which has a curd+nuts base and the other is with onion-tomato base. in this recipe avoid adding tomatoes as with the proportion of curd (half cup) and tomatoes, the gravy becomes too acidic and not good for health. if it was just 1 or 2 tablespoons of curd, them tomatoes could have been added.

  15. Hi dassana,
    Today i made this recipe. It was so delicious. But i have a recipe request. Can you share the bhakarwadi snack recipe?
    Actually i want to make this snack at home.5 stars

  16. Dassana
    You are my teacher. When i want to make something new recipe i find your blog first. Can you share bhakarwadi snack recipe?5 stars

  17. At the outset, let me say that this and other receipes on the site are amazing. I am sort of forced to stay-at-home dad , as my wife recently started working. This site has saved us from eating outside food as well as ,trying out dishes , which are not easily available. Thanks for all the receipes and guidance.

    Now, I have few questions:-
    1. I have seen you talking about ‘when-oil-leaves-the-side’, for various receipes. I am not sure if I have seen that situation, even after a long time. I have followed your instructions to the letter but am unsuccessfull. Is there any other indicator to the same thing?
    2. In continuation of above, we add the masala after the oil has left the side of onion/tomato paste. I am wondering if we should saute, the masala, for few minutes before adding the water or the next things like chole.
    3.I am not good at cutting either onion or tomato. I am wondering if instead of cutting them, I can use them as paste using blender/mixer. Do you think, using paste of onion instead of finely cut onion , will impact the taste?

    Thank you in advance.

    • thanks a lot raj. your queries answered below:

      1. when sautéing the onion-tomato masala, the first sign to know that it is done is that it becomes glossy. the second sign is that the masala paste sticks to each other and leaves the sides of the pan. if you continue to fry or sauté, then you will see oil releasing from the masala itself. you will also see the oil releasing from the sides. the trick here is to stir continuously after the masala becomes one and leaves the sides of the pan.

      2. you can either add the spice powders before sautéing or once the onion-tomato paste is done. both ways can be done. water is always added after the spice powder is cooked.

      3. you can use pastes. the taste does change when using onion paste or tomato puree. with chopped onions and tomatoes, the taste is different. but with pastes, the dish does taste good. in fact you can even mince onions and tomatoes and use them.

  18. Amit, I am somewhat new to cooking and find your recipes to be excellent. Thank you for the hard work behind creating them!
    My most common complain with paneer dishes is that the paneer can come across as raw or uncooked. That is, it does not imbibe the flavor of the gravy. Will that be a concern in your recipe since there is no paneer marination step and the cooking time after paneer is added is only 1-2 minutes.

    • thanks gurdas. i usually add paneer cubes towards the end and they do get the taste of the gravy. usually homemade paneer need not be cooked for a long time as then they become hard.

      • Thank you so much for all the recipes. All turn out to be so good. Just a question. If we want to multiply the quantity which ingredients to multiply or double?5 stars

        • thanks sangeetha. for recipes where a set proportion is used eg like cakes, breads or sweets, the ingredients can be increased proportionately. but in gravy or curry recipes, it becomes tricky to increase the proportions as the flavors are complex. the ingredients have to be eyeballed and added using the method of ‘andaaz’ or approximation.

  19. it’s an amazing recipe. I have tried it a few times and it has never disappointed me. Thank you for sharing.

  20. Awesome recipe.. What should be the amount of sugar to be added? Is the gravy required to be a bit sweetened?

    • sandeepta, you can make without onion and garlic. taste will change. just add a pinch of hing to the recipe to mimic the flavors or both onion and garlic.