Hello to all foodies and specially shahi paneer lovers. Shahi paneer is one of the most popular recipes in India and mostly in Northern part of India. From Punjab to Delhi and UP to Rajasthan, shahi paneer has its hold on every platter.
Shahi Paneer is a Royal Dish !!
From Its name only shahi paneer seems to be royal and rich in taste. And this is true in all its scenario, whether it is looks or taste, you will feel a royal appeal everywhere in Shahi Paneer.
Just like me for 99% paneer lovers shahi paneer is reason to love it.
Shahi Paneer is too sweet in taste ?
No not at all, shahi paneer is not that much sweet in taste. Actually many of dhabha and restaurant make shahi paneer in a way that this misconception is roaming around foodies that shahi paneer has strong sweet flavor.
As many cook shahi paneer in gravy with main ingredients like tomato sauce, this is a main reason of this wrong fact that shahi paneer has a strong sweet flavor. In this recipe of shahi paneer I will tell you how to make authentic shahi paneer with its traditional flavors without much sweetness.
Before recipe of Shahi paneer let me give some Tips to Make shahi paneer
- Cashew paste (Kaju ki paste) can give a real rich flavor to shahi paneer.
How to make cashew paste?
Firstly boil kaju in water or milk. Then grind them to make its paste. By Boiling cashew you can make its paste more smoother. Cashew paste should be super smooth to give a silky texture to shahi paneer.
Cashew has its many health benefits which makes it a healthy input to shahi paneer nutrition chart.
Some benefits of cashew are that it Prevents Cancer, Lowers High Blood Pressure ,Helps Hair growth, Healthy Bones, Healthy Nerves, Prevents Gallstones, Helps in Weight Loss etc.
Weight loss can’t be a benefit of cashew in case of Shahi Paneer 😀
- Never make direct paste of onion and tomato for shahi paneer. Many of my friends make paste of onion and tomato for the gravy of shahi paneer. But the correct way to make onion tomato paste is, firstly cook them and then blend them smooth. It will give a smooth texture to shahi paneer gravy without adding too much of cream. So more your want gravy for shahi paneer, then use extra onion and tomato. Don’t add lot of extra cream to make more gravy in shahi paneer dish, as this will only put up your calories not taste in dish.
After reading this article on shahi paneer surely scroll up and click on below links to read two of my intersting articles on Onion and Tomato.
One is How to Choose Right onion and other one is How to Peel Tomato without any hassels.
- Whole spices can do wonders for shahi paneer. Whole spices means khade masale, like dal chini (cinnamon), tez patta (bay leaf), long (clove), elaichi (cardamom) and more. Many of my friends add garam masala in shahi paneer, garam masala is powder mix of these whole spices. But this can be your biggest mistake while making shahi paneer. Never relace whole spices with garam masala.
Whole spices will give a hidden aroma in shahi paneer and in contrast to them garam masala will overlay all flavors in dish.
Garam masala can’t be used in each and every dish, in many dishes it do wonder but if you are using it in all then it can do blunder.
- How to use cream or malai in shahi paneer is always a tricky situation in recipe. So never add malai or cream to shahi paneer in early stage. As if you add malai or cream in early stage, then it will only add up a layer of ghee over shahi paneer. So always add malai or cream to gravy in last stage so that it will contribute to smooth gravy of shahi paneer.
If you are using malai, then firstly beat it and then use it.
- Do you fry paneer cubes for shahi paneer? Then please stop doing it, because it will only harden the paneer. If you really want to fill paneer with the aroma of gravy, then just cut down its cubes and add it into gravy. Now while cooking paneer in gravy, it will add aroma to paneer cubes.
These are some simple tips to make shahi paneer just like restaurant style.
Now lets jump to Recipe of Shahi Paneer Recipe
Ingredients for Shahi Paneer Recipe
- Cottage cheese (Paneer) – 250 gram
- Cashew Paste (Kaju paste) – 25 g
- Onions (Pyaz) – 2
- Tomatoes (Tamatar) – 300 grams
- Green chilies (Hari Mirch) – 2
- Refined Oil (Tel) – 1½ tablespoons at 2 different times
- Bay leaves (Tez Patta) – 2
- Cloves (Long) – 2
- Black Cardamon (Moti elaichi) – 1
- Ginger Garlic paste (Adrak lasun ki paste)– 2 teaspoons
- Salt (namak)– to taste
- Red Chili Powder or Paprika (lal mirch powder)– ½ teaspoon
- Tumeric (Haldi) – 1 pinch
- Coriander powder (dhania powder) – 1 teaspoon
- Water (pani)– according to our preference
- Tomato sauce (Tamatar ki chutney) – 1 teaspoon
- Fresh cream / malai – 100 grams + 25 grams
- Coriander (dhaniya) – 1 handfuf
Lets to preparation for our Shahi paneer
- Firstly defreeze paneer before using it in dish. Means you have to take out paneer from refrigerator and let it come to room temperature. By This excess water will be drain out of paneer. If you use freezed or refrigerated paneer directly into dish, then after some time it will drain milky white water in dish only.
- Now lets make cashew paste, for that you just have to boil cashew nuts in water or milk. Then blend that boiled cashew nuts to make its smooth paste.
- After that chop coriander and keep it aside. Coriander will add a fresh feel to shahi paneer and will give a refreshing touch to its color. Golden orange gravy with green coriander, can you imagine how soothing it will be.
- Oh some important work which we have to do before almost all North Indian main coarse dishes. Yes cut down onion tomatoes and green chillies. Don’t do much efforts on onion and tomatoes, just roughly chop them, in last they have to be converted into shapless gravy only.
- So in this preparation only let me tell you how to make gravy base for shahi paneer with Onion, tomatoes and green chilles.
- Firstly heat up 1 1/2 tbs of oil in a pan or kadhai. Add your roughly chopped onions into it. Now cook them for around 3-5 minutes and stir them occasionally.
- After that add tomatoes and green chillies to it,now cover your pan with a lid. Cook them in their own steam for 10 minutes. Like this your onion and tomatoes will be totally cooked and don’t have any raw flavors in it.
- After that off the flame of pan, let them little cool down. Transfer all to a mixer jar and blend them into a smooth puree. This will be base for our Shahi Paneer smooth and silky gravy.
- Last but now the least, cut down paneer into cubes. I prefer that cubes should not be too big or too small, they should be like 1 inch cubes. But you can also see some more shapes in shahi paneer like triangular flat pan slices. So you can play around shapes after all it is your own dish.
Main Steps of Shahi Paneer Recipe
- Firstly heat up oil in a pan. Heat it just little, as we have to flavoured it with whole spices, and too hot oil will burn those spices.
Now just after that add bay leaves, cloves and black cardamom to it. Now stir them for 2 minutes. Like these your whole spices will inject there flavors into refined oil. You can use this method for other dishes also to make tasteless oil into flavored one.
After your whole spices are turning red or darker in color, remove them from oil. If you want you can keep them in oil only and let them spread their aroma into dish.
- Now add ginger garlic paste in oil and stir it carefully, don’t let it burn.
After that add your puree base that we made up of onion tomato and green chilli. Stir it regularly and just after that add salt, red chilli powder, turmeric and coriander.
- Stir everything properly and lower the flame, so that our mixture will not burn.
Now add cashew nuts paste and some water as per the sauce gravy consistency. As I earlier told you that cashew paste is key element to add smooth texture & rich taste to shahi paneer gravy.
- Now cook it for 2-3 minutes and now we will add something which can be a negative for your dish if you put it in excess. Yes that is tomato sauce, we will put only 1 tsp of tomato sauce in our gravy, not more than that. Many of my friends put too much of tomato sauce in shahi paneer and in the end you will get a sweet tomato gravy. So never add too much tomato ketchup into it otherwise it will ruin your whole dish.
- After that lower the flame and now will add cream to our shahi paneer gravy. Cream should be add in this stage only, if you add cream in early stage then it will turn into ghee because of regular cooking. So we always add cream in last stage so that it will add taste and texture to gravy.
- If you are using malai instead of packed cream, then firstly beat it and make it smooth.
I personally like to add malai in shahi paneer as it adds traditional flavor to shahi paneer.
- With that add coriander leaves to it, this will add a fresh flavor to your shahi paneer.
Now add paneer cubes to gravy and cook it for few more minutes till it get cooked. Cook it on medium flame.
Don’t overcook paneer otherwise it will become hard and elastic. Check paneer if it absorb salt and flavors of gravy at that time off the flame and your shahi paneer is ready to be served.
While serving shahi paneer garnish it with cream.
Shahi Paneer Recipe Picture by Picture
Prepare all ingredients, chop onion & tomato. Cut Paneer into cubical pieces.
Heat up oil and cook whole spices in it to make oil flavorful. After that take them out of oil.
Cook Tomato, onion and green chilli in hot oil.
Blend cooked onion, tomato and green chilli. Blend them smooth for gravy.
Put ginger garlic paste to it and then add gravy in it. After that spices to gravy and mix them well.
Now add cashew paste to gravy of shahi paneer.
Add cream and coriander to shahi paneer gravy. and with that add paneer cubes to it.
After cooking it little bit, garnish shahi paneer with cream and serve it with naan or lachha paratha.
Made For Each Other
Now let me tell you some dishes which are perfectly compatible with shahi paneer. In friend and family circle of Shahi Paneer we have naan, lachha paratha, dal makhani and jeera rice.
If you want to serve shahi paneer then best Indian bread is naan and lachha paratha. You can also read my recipes of naan and lachha paratha or my more Indian Bread Recipes.
Most of dhaba & restaurants have shahi paneer and dal makhani combined in thali combos, by that you can understand they are truly made for each other dishes. If till now you didn’t try both together, then surely try it. You will surely get a royal experience.
How to make Homemade Paneer
With this recipe of shahi paneer let me tell you how to make Home Made Paneer. Many times my friends say that their shahi paneer didn’t turned well because of quality of paneer. Sometime they got hard paneer, or sometime it had a sour flavor. So a simple solution is that you can make paneer at home only.
Homemade paneer is even better in quality and you are sure about its hygiene factor.
It is very much easy to make homemade paneer.
You just need milk and lemon juice to make homemade paneer. For this process you have to boil milk and then put lemon juice to it. One paneer and water get separated due to this reaction, then you can give paneer a cubical solid form.
Here you can read How to Make Homemade Paneer recipe in detail with pictures. Just click on link for that. You can also watch video of this recipe of homemade paneer.
In this homemade paneer recipe I will also tell you how to make proper cubes of paneer at home.
I hope you will like my recipe of homemade paneer, surely share your experience if you try it at home.
Now lets last this recipe with some health benefits of Paneer.
In this recipe of Shahi Paneer our main ingredients is paneer. So we should know how paneer can benefit our health. Paneer is also known as cottage cheese in English. Paneer is one of the main food items in India and south east Asia. It is a milk product and very much popular for its health benefits for all age groups.
Paneer has a treasure of nutrients like calcium and protein. So it is also advisable to have paneer in regular routine to all those who have deficiency of calcium or protein.
For pure vegetarians paneer is one of the main source to fulfill the nutrients like calcium and protein in their day to day diet.
I am 50+ in age and my doctor strictly said me to have at least 50 gms of paneer daily in my diet.
Let me elaborate the health benefits of paneer or cottage cheese.
Boon for Diabetics- For diabetics paneer or cottage cheese is the kind of safe cheese options. It is low on carbohydrates but high on protein. Like this it fulfills the protein portion of diet without increasing carbohydrates. So by these kind of foods with low carbohydrates, food release energy slowly and there will be no hypes in sugar levels.
Antioxidants Properties- This cottage cheese/ paneer keeps your body away from cancer. Yes its antioxidants properties prevents from developing cancer in your body. Its properties like selenium also prevents damages to your cells and DNA.
Minerals Factor- Yes your paneer also have zinc, magnesium & potassium. Many of us only know paneer for its protein and calcium, but moreover it also have many more minerals. Zinc as a mineral is important for all major organs like brain & kidney and it also improves digestion and immune system of body.
Paneer has lot of magnesium in it. Magnesium regulates your heart workings, it also prevents diseases like constipation, asthma and pain in joints. Magnesium also make our muscles and nerves functioning properly, and this is one of the basic need of our body to work in a better way
Potassium in paneer lower our stress and with that it also low the blood pressure that is a big benefit for high blood pressure patients.
Weight Loss properties- Last but not the least paneer also have weight loss properties. It improves metabolism in your body and it results in your weight loss. Moreover when we eat other food like lamb or chicken for protein, then they come up with lot of fat, but comparatively to that paneer balance your diet with less amount of fat.
I hope you all like my recipe of Shahi Paneer and they way of touching each and every aspect of the dish.
Surely share your experience of reading my article in comments.