By Deepak Pachauri

Published on: 23 July 2021

Vegetarian

Rating: 5 out of 5.

The best shahi paneer recipe! Deliciously flavorful, aromatic, rich, creamy, and restaurant-style paneer gravy. It will surely become your new favourite paneer dish at home!

Table of contents

  • You’ll Love This Recipe Because
  • About Shahi Paneer
  • 🧾Ingredients You’ll Need
  • 🍳How to make Shahi Paneer
  • 🍽Serving Idea
  • 💭Expert Tips To Make BEST Shahi Paneer:
  • FAQs
  • 📋 Recipe Card

You’ll Love This Recipe Because

  • This homemade shahi paneer is 100 times better than the restaurant one.
  • Shahi means ‘Royal’. Yes, it makes a rich and heavy main dish. Perfect for special occasion family dinner or guest dinner. 
  • You can make it ahead of time and reheat it at the time of serving.
  • It has a medium spicy taste with a slight hint of sweetness. 
shahi paneer with homemade tawa tandoori rotis

About Shahi Paneer

The original shahi paneer is from Mughalai cuisine. It has a white gravy made from onion and yoghurt. No tomatoes are added. Full of nuts saffron and aromatic spices. Very few spice powders are used in the gravy hence it has mild yet tasty flavours.

This recipe is the Punjabi version of shahi paneer. Of course, it is inspired by the Mughlai version but with a completely different taste profile. Tomatoes and spices (along with saffron & aromatics) are used here, so it has orange-red colour gravy just like typical Punjabi gravies.

Very few restaurants serve a white gravy version. Most of them have a Punjabi version on their menu.

🧾Ingredients You’ll Need

All the ingredients are easily available in any Indian grocery store.

onion, tomatoes, cashews, green chilli, cardamoms
paneer or cottage cheese

Ingredient Notes

– Paneer: 200 gms of paneer, it is available in the frozen section in Indian grocery stores. Occasionally I make homemade paneer, but for convenience, I mostly use store-bought.

– Ghee: 2-2 tablespoons, first 2 spoons for sauteing onions and tomatoes and other 2 spoons for making shahi paneer. It adds richness and a nice flavour. You can use oil but you will miss the flavour. Or closest substitution is unsalted butter.

– Cashew nuts: 12-15 cashews helps to make thick, nutty, rich gravy

– Whole spices (cinnamon, green cardamoms): a small piece of cinnamon and 2-3 green cardamoms, these are added while boiling the onion. Then DO NOT discard the spices, grind them along with onions into the fine paste.

– Cardamom powder:  a small pinch of cardamom powder. This makes the gravy aromatic. You must add this to the end. After adding, do not boil or simmer the gravy otherwise it loses its aroma.

– Saffron: 9-10 strands of saffron or Kesar. It is crushed and added to the warm cream, so it releases its colour and flavour at most.

 Onion: 2-3 medium-sized onions. Saute the onions into ghee or oil and blend them into a fine and creamy paste.

– Tomatoes: 2-3 medium-sized tomatoes. They are also an important part of the creamy fine paste along with onions, whole spices and cashew nuts.

– green chilli: 2-3 green chilli

– milk and sugar: 1 cup or 200 ml of milk and 1 tablespoon of sugar to make the gravy more rich and tasty, I have added milk instead of water because it enhances the taste of the gravy. Sugar is added to balance the spices and also to give the required sweetness to the recipe.

🍳How to make Shahi Paneer

1) Soak cashew nuts in hot water for 15-20 minutes.

2) Warm up the heavy cream in the microwave for a few seconds if you do not have a microwave heat the cream in a pan for a min or two. Take few saffron strands, crush and add to the warm cream. Mix and keep it aside. Over time saffron releases its flavour and colour into the cream.

3) Now take 2 table spoons of ghee in a pan after heating it add tomato, onion, green chilli, cinnamon and cardamoms and soaked cashews in a saucepan and saute them. Also, add ⅓ cup of water and turn the heat on medium. Let it cook for 8-10 minutes or till the onions and tomatoes become soft. Let it cool down.

4) Now pour the cooked onion-tomato mixture into a blender or grinder and grind them into a fine and creamy paste.

5) Heat 2 tablespoons of ghee in a pan on medium heat. Once hot, add the prepared paste.

6) Cook with stirring occasionally till it comes thick. It may take around 5-6 minutes.

7) Mix, cook till all the moisture evaporated and it becomes a thick paste. So stir in between and make sure that it is not sticking to the sides and bottom of the pan. If it is spluttering too much then you can partially cover the pan.

8) Now add red chilli powder, coriander powder, and a small pinch of turmeric powder. Mix well and cook for a minute.

9) Now mix milk and sugar.

10) Simmer for 5-6 minutes. Do stir in between.

11) Now add a small pinch of garam masala, shahi paneer masala and Kasuri methi (crushed between your palm). Mix well.

12) Add paneer cubes. Mix and simmer for 1-2 minutes.

13) Now add saffron-cream mixture. Mix and let it come to a simmer.

14) Lastly, add cardamom powder and turn off the stove.

15) Stir well and it is ready to serve.

🍽Serving Idea:

  • Serve shahi paneer with garlic naan or tandoori roti or laccha paratha. Serve Indian onion salad (aka pyaaz lachha) and salted lassi on the side.
  • Instead of serving with Indian bread, this gravy tastes good with plain basmati rice or jeera rice.

💭Expert Tips To Make BEST Shahi Paneer:

  • You should not simmer for longer after adding paneer pieces. Otherwise, the paneer will get chewy.
  • If making ahead of time for guests. Then do not add paneer and cardamom powder beforehand. At the time of serving when you re-heat, add these two. So paneer stays soft and cardamom does not lose its aroma and flavour.
  • Always crush Kasuri methi between your palm before adding. By doing so, it releases its flavour at most.
  • Sometimes, Kasuri methi catches up moisture (if living in a humid climate) and you cannot crush it into powder. In that case, toast it into the microwave for 45 seconds. Let cool down and then crush.

FAQs

How to cut the paneer in a triangular shape?

Cut the paneer into big square pieces. Then cut the square piece diagonally to make triangles.

Does boiled onion give a raw taste of onions in the shahi paneer gravy?

No, it does not. Boiled onions mean cooked onions. So it sure doesn’t give a raw taste.

What can I use instead of cashews?

You can use almonds or melon seeds (Magaz seeds)

Tried this recipe? Please leave a star rating in the recipe card below and/or a review in the comment section.

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Shahi Paneer (Restaurant Style)

By Deepak Pachauri

Rating: 5 out of 5.

The best Punjabi shahi paneer recipe! Deliciously flavorful, aromatic, rich, creamy, and restaurant-style paneer gravy.

Course: Main Course

Cuisine: Indian

Servings: 3

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients  

  • 10-15 cashews
  •  1/2 cup of water
  • ¼ cup Heavy whipping cream or fresh cream or malai (Warm)
  • 9-12 strands Saffron crushed
  • 2-3 medium Red onion roughly chopped
  • 2 Green chilli roughly chopped
  • 2-3 Green cardamoms
  • ½ inch Cinnamon stick
  • 200 grams Paneer cut into triangles or cubes
  • 2-2 tablespoons Ghee (clarified butter)
  • 2-3 medium Tomatoes chopped
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 ½ teaspoon Red chilli powder
  • 1 teaspoon Coriander powder
  • ⅛ teaspoon Black pepper powder
  • 1 teaspoon Sugar
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon Garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon Kasoori methi (Dried fenugreek leaves) lightly crushed
  • ⅛ teaspoon Green cardamom seeds powder

Instructions 

Prep:

  • Soak cashew nuts in hot water for 15-20 minutes.
  • Warm up the heavy cream in the microwave for a few seconds if you do not have a microwave heat the cream in a pan for a min or two. Take few saffron strands, crush and add to the warm cream. Mix and keep it aside. Over time saffron releases its flavour and colour into the cream.
  • Now take 2 table spoons of ghee in a pan after heating it add tomato, onion, green chilli, cinnamon and cardamoms and soaked cashews in a saucepan and saute them. Also, add ⅓ cup of water and turn the heat on medium. Let it cook for 8-10 minutes or till the onions and tomatoes become soft. Let it cool down.
  • Now pour the cooked onion-tomato mixture into a blender or grinder and grind them into a fine and creamy paste.
  • Heat the ghee in a pan on medium heat. Once hot, add the prepared paste.
  • Cook with stirring occasionally till it comes thick. It may take around 5-6 minutes.
  • Mix, cook till all the moisture evaporated and it becomes a thick paste. So stir in between and make sure that it is not sticking to the sides and bottom of the pan. If it is spluttering too much then you can partially cover the pan.
  •  Now add red chilli powder, coriander powder, and a small pinch of turmeric powder. Mix well and cook for a minute.
  • Now mix milk and sugar.
  • Simmer for 5-6 minutes. Do stir in between.
  • Now add a small pinch of garam masala, shahi paneer masala and Kasuri methi (crushed between your palm). Mix well.
  • Add paneer cubes. Mix and simmer for 1-2 minutes.
  •  Now add saffron-cream mixture. Mix and let it come to a simmer.
  • Lastly, add cardamom powder and turn off the stove.
  • Stir well and it is ready to serve.

Note

  • Cardamom powder must be added at the end of the cooking process. After adding, do not boil or simmer the gravy otherwise it loses its aroma.
  • You should not simmer for longer after adding paneer pieces. Otherwise, the paneer will get chewy.
  • Always crush kasuri methi between your palm before adding. By doing so, it releases its flavour at most. Sometimes, kasuri methi catches up moisture (if living in a humid climate) and you cannot crush it into powder. In that case, toast it into the microwave for 45 seconds. Let cool down and then crush.


If you are a South Indian food lover, also check our recipes for Instant Rava IdliMasala Dosa, Instant Rava appe recipe, Sambhar, coconut chutney.

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