Restaurant Style Shahi Paneer at Home | Shahi Paneer Recipe

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Shahi Paneer is a popular vegetarian dish originating from the Indian subcontinent. It is a rich and creamy curry made with homemade paneer (Indian cottage cheese) cooked in a velvety tomato-based gravy.

Shahi Paneer is known for its smooth and creamy consistency, and the combination of aromatic spices gives it a unique and delightful flavor profile. It is usually enjoyed with naan (Indian bread), jeera rice (cumin-flavored rice) or vegetable pulao and is a popular choice in Indian restaurants and households for special occasions or as a part of festive meals.

I’ve made different style homemade masala paneer earlier and it was also a mouthwatering & finger liking dish and was loved by my family as well as my blog visitors.

The dish has gained popularity not only in India but also worldwide due to its delicious taste and vegetarian appeal. Its creamy texture, combined with the subtle blend of spices, makes it a favorite among both paneer lovers and those looking for a flavorful vegetarian option.

Overall, Shahi Paneer represents the rich heritage of Mughlai cuisine and continues to be a beloved dish that exemplifies the indulgence and grandeur of Indian culinary traditions.

Try our other Curry Recipes

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Black Eyed Peas Curry

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About Shahi Paneer

The term “Shahi” translates to “royal” in Hindi, signifying the dish’s regal and indulgent nature.

The dish is believed to have originated during the Mughal era in India when rich and extravagant cuisine was developed in the royal kitchens. Shahi Paneer reflects the essence of Mughlai cuisine, known for its aromatic spices, use of nuts and dairy products, and elaborate cooking techniques.

To prepare Shahi Paneer, paneer is typically cut into cubes or slices and lightly fried until golden brown. This process enhances the paneer’s texture and gives it a slightly crisp exterior. The fried paneer is then added to a luscious gravy made with a base of onions, tomatoes, garlic, and ginger.

The gravy is prepared by sautéing finely chopped onions, minced garlic, and grated ginger in oil or ghee until they turn golden brown. Tomato puree or fresh tomatoes are added and cooked until they break down and blend well with the onion mixture. A variety of aromatic spices, such as cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, and sometimes nutmeg, are added to the gravy, imparting a distinct flavor and fragrance.

To achieve its creamy consistency, the gravy is often enriched with ingredients like cashews or almonds. These nuts are soaked and ground into a smooth paste, which is added to the gravy, providing richness and a nutty undertone. Some variations may also include the use of yogurt or cream to enhance the creaminess further.

The paneer cubes or slices are gently simmered in the prepared gravy, allowing them to absorb the flavors while maintaining their softness. The dish is typically garnished with a drizzle of fresh cream or a sprinkle of dried fenugreek leaves, adding a touch of richness and freshness.

Shahi Paneer is commonly served with Indian bread such as naan or roti, or with steamed rice. It is a popular choice for special occasions, festivals, and celebratory meals, as its rich, creamy, and aromatic flavors make it a delectable and indulgent vegetarian dish.

How to make Shahi Paneer

  • For making the puree gravy base, set a wok on medium heat, add 1teaspoon oil, 1 teaspoon butter, 1 tej patta , 1 teaspoon cumin seeds, 4 pods green cardamoms, 1 inch cinnamon, 2 cloves & 1 black cardamom, stir once and add 2 medium-sized sliced onions, stir well and cook for 2-3 minutes.
  • Further add tomatoes, 3 Kashmiri red chillies, 5 pods garlic , 1inch ginger, 1 green chilli, few coriander stems & salt to taste, stir well/7 cook on medium high heat for 10-15 minutes.
  • You need to cook until the tomatoes are completely mashed.
  • Once they’ve become mushy, add some hot water& stir well, further cover/7cook for 5-10 minutes on medium flame.
  • Now, switch off the flame & cool down the mixture to room temperature, further discard the bay leaf, black cardamom & cinnamon.
  • Once discarded, transfer it in a mixer grinder and grind well to make fine puree, add little water while making the puree.
  • Make sure that you make finely smooth puree.
  • Further use a sieve and strain the puree to get the smooth texture.
  • Finely Strain the whole puree and then it will become very smooth and silky and this will help to make the shahi paneer tasty as it is the base of the dish.

Keep this strained puree aside to be make the shahi paneer.

  • For a making the shahi paneer, start by first adding 1/2 cup curd, 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder, 2 teaspoon coriander powder, 2 teaspoon kashmiri red chili powder & 1 teaspoon cumin powder in a bowl.
  • Whisk well to until the curd is smooth. Keep it aside to be used later.
  • Further, set a wok a big size pan on medium heat, add 1 teaspoon oil & 1 teaspoon butter, 2 green chillies, 1 inch ginger& 1 teaspoon kashmiri red chilli powder.
  • Afterwards lower the flame and add the prepared curd mixture, stir continuously & cook on medium high flame.
  • Cook well until the dahi is cooked and the oil get separated.
  • Now, add the prepared puree gravy base& stir well. Add hot water to adjust the consistency of the gravy as per your preference.
  • Further add, honey & stir well while cooking on low flame for 4-5 minutes.
  • Now add 600 grams paneer, you can cut paneer in any shape, I’ve chosen to cut in triangles. Afterwards, add 1 teaspoon garam masala, a tablespoon of fresh coriander& 5 tablespoon fresh cream, stir well/7 cook on low flame for 1-2 minutes.
  • Raste and check for salt at this stage & further you can adjust the seasoning as per your taste. Finish with some more freshly chopped coriander leaves.

Your shahi paneer is ready , serve hot with tandoori roti, laccha paratha or any indian bread of y  our choice. It also goes well with steamed rice, vegetable pulao or biryani.

Expert tips

Paneer Quality: Use fresh and high-quality paneer for the best results. Freshly made paneer or store-bought paneer kept in the refrigerator works well. Avoid using paneer that is too soft or crumbly, as it may disintegrate during cooking.

Frying Paneer: Lightly fry the paneer cubes or slices before adding them to the gravy. This step adds a delicious texture and prevents the paneer from becoming too soft or mushy in the curry. Use a non-stick pan or add a little oil/ghee to prevent sticking.

Creamy Texture: To achieve a creamy texture, soak cashews or almonds in warm water for about 15 minutes before grinding them into a smooth paste. This paste adds richness and thickness to the gravy. Adjust the quantity of nuts according to your preference for creaminess.

Aromatic Spice Blend: The choice and combination of spices play a crucial role in the flavors of Shahi Paneer. Use whole spices such as cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, and bay leaves for a more aromatic experience. You can also freshly grind these spices for enhanced flavor.

Slow Cooking: Allow the gravy to simmer on low heat after adding the paneer. This helps the paneer absorb the flavors and results in a more flavorful dish. However, take care not to overcook the paneer, as it may become rubbery.

Garnishing: Add a final touch of freshness by garnishing the Shahi Paneer with a drizzle of fresh cream or a sprinkle of dried fenugreek leaves (kasuri methi) before serving. This adds a pleasant aroma and elevates the overall presentation.

Adjusting Spice Levels: Shahi Paneer is typically mild to moderately spicy. Adjust the red chili powder and other spices according to your taste preferences. You can also add a pinch of sugar or honey to balance the flavors, if desired.

Resting Time: Allow the cooked Shahi Paneer to rest for a few minutes before serving. This helps the flavors meld together and enhances the overall taste.

FAQs

 

Q: Can I make Shahi Paneer without frying the paneer?

A: Yes, you can skip the frying step if you prefer a softer texture for the paneer. You can directly add the paneer cubes or slices to the gravy and simmer until they are heated through.

 

Q: Can I make Shahi Paneer with tofu instead of paneer?

A: Yes, you can substitute tofu for paneer if you prefer a vegan version or if you don’t have paneer available. Keep in mind that the texture and flavor will be different, but it can still be a delicious alternative.

 

Q: Can I make Shahi Paneer ahead of time?

A: Yes, Shahi Paneer can be made ahead of time. Prepare the curry and store it in the refrigerator. When ready to serve, gently reheat the curry and add the paneer cubes. This allows the flavors to further develop and makes it convenient for entertaining or meal planning.

 

Q: How can I make Shahi Paneer spicier?

A: If you prefer a spicier Shahi Paneer, you can increase the amount of red chili powder or add a chopped green chili along with the other spices. Adjust the spice level to your taste by gradually adding more until it reaches your desired level of heat.

 

Q: Can I freeze Shahi Paneer?

A: It is not recommended to freeze Shahi Paneer, as the texture of the paneer may change and become crumbly upon thawing. It is best enjoyed fresh or stored in the refrigerator for a couple of days.

 

Q: What can I serve with Shahi Paneer?

A: Shahi Paneer pairs well with Indian bread like naan, roti, or paratha. It also goes well with steamed rice, pulao, or biryani. Add a side of raita (yogurt-based condiment) or salad to complement the flavors.

 

Q: Can I make Shahi Paneer without nuts?

A: Yes, if you have nut allergies or prefer to omit nuts, you can skip adding cashews or almonds to the gravy. The curry will still be delicious and creamy with the other ingredients. You can adjust the consistency by adding a little more cream or milk if needed.

If you like this recipe then try our Other Paneer Recipes

Chilli Paneer

Paneer Pakode

Matar Paneer 

Masala Paneer

Homemade Paneer

 

Please be sure to rate this recipe or leave a comment below if you have made it. For more veetarian inspirations, Sign Up for my emails or follow me on Instagram Youtube, Facebook or Pinterest.

Shahi Paneer Recipe Card

North Indian Kitchen
Shahi Paneer made in punjabi style. Fresh cream and homemade spices makes it more & more delicious. It can be serve with chapati or vegetable pulao.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian, Mughlai
Servings 4
Calories 331 kcal

Equipments

1 Kadai
1 Mixer Grinder
1 Mash

Ingredients

For Heavy Base Puree

  • 1 teaspoon Oil
  • 1 tablespoon Butter

Whole Spices

  • 1 teaspoon Cumin seeds
  • 1 piece Bay Leaf
  • 3 pieces Black Peppercorns
  • 1 inch Cinnamon
  • 4 pods Green Cardamom
  • 1 piece Black Cardamom
  • 2 pieces Cloves
  • 2 medium sized Onions (sliced)
  • 4 medium sized Tomatoes (diced)
  • 3 pieces Kashmiri Red Chili (whole)
  • 5 pieces Garlic
  • 1 inch Ginger
  • 1 piece Green Chili
  • A few Coriander Stems
  • 20 pieces Cashew Nuts
  • Salt to taste

For Shahi Paneer

  • ½ cup Curd

Powdered Spices

  • ½ teaspoon Turmeric powder
  • 2 teaspoon Coriander powder
  • 2 teaspoon Kashmiri red chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon Cumin powder
  • 1 teaspoon Oil
  • 1 tablespoon Butter
  • 2 pieces Green chilies
  • 1 inch Ginger (julienned)
  • 1 teaspoon Kashmiri red chili powder
  • Hot water as required
  • 1 tablespoon Honey
  • 600 grams Paneer
  • 1 teaspoon Garam Masala
  • 1 teaspoon Kasuri Methi
  • Fresh Coriander as required (chopped)
  • 5 tablespoon Fresh Cream

Instructions
 

  • For making the puree gravy base, set a wok on medium heat, add 1teaspoon oil, 1 teaspoon butter, 1 tej patta , 1teaspoon cumin seeds, 4 pods green cardamoms, 1 inch cinnamon, 2 cloves & 1black cardamom, stir once and add 2 medium-sized sliced onions, stir well and cook for 2-3 minutes.
    2. Further add tomatoes, 3 Kashmiri red chillies, 5 pods garlic , 1inch ginger, 1 green chilli, a few coriander stems & salt to taste, stir well/7, and cook on medium-high heat for 10-15minutes.
    3. You need to cook until the tomatoes are completely mashed.
    4. Once they've become mushy, add some hot water& stir well, further cover/7cook for 5-10 minutes on medium flame.
    5. Now, switch off the flame & cool down the mixture to room temperature, further discard the bay leaf, black cardamom & cinnamon.
    6. Once discarded, transfer it in a mixer grinder and grind well to make fine puree, add little water while making the puree.
    7. Make sure that you make finely smooth puree.
    8. Further use a sieve and strain the puree to get the smooth texture.
    9. Finely Strain the whole puree and then it will become very smooth and silky and this will help to make the shahi paneer tasty as it is the base of the dish.
    10. Keep this strained puree aside to be make the shahi paneer.
    For a making the shahi paneer
    11. Start by first adding 1/2 cup curd, 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder, 2teaspoon coriander powder, 2 teaspoon kashmiri red chili powder & 1teaspoon cumin powder in a bowl.
    12. Whisk well to until the curd is smooth. Keep it aside to be used later.
    13. Further, set a wok a big size pan on medium heat, add 1 teaspoon oil & 1 teaspoon butter, 2 green chillies, 1inch ginger& 1 teaspoon kashmiri red chilli powder.
    14. Afterwards lower the flame and add the prepared curd mixture, stir continuously & cook on medium high flame.
    15. Cook well until the dahi is cooked and the oil has separated.
    16. Now, add the prepared puree gravy base& stir well. Add hot water to adjust the consistency of the gravy as per your preference.
    17. Further add 1 tablespoon honey & stir well while cooking on low flame for 4-5 minutes.
    18. Now add 600 grams paneer, you can cut paneer in any shape, I've chosen to cut in triangles. Afterwards, add 1teaspoon garam masala, a tablespoon of fresh coriander& 5 tablespoon fresh cream, stir well/7 cook on low flame for 1-2 minutes.
    19. Raste and check for salt at this stage & further you can adjust the seasoning as per your taste. Finish with some more freshly chopped coriander leaves.
    Your shahi paneer is ready

Video

Notes

  • While traditional Shahi Paneer uses regular paneer, you can experiment with different types of paneer such as smoked paneer or malai paneer for added flavor and texture.
  • You can use either fresh tomatoes or tomato puree for the gravy. If using fresh tomatoes, blanch them in hot water for a few minutes, remove the skin, and blend them into a smooth puree.
  • If you prefer a lighter version of Shahi Paneer, you can replace heavy cream with low-fat cream or plain yogurt. This modification will result in a slightly tangier flavor and a lighter consistency.
  • If the gravy becomes too thick, you can add a little water or vegetable broth to adjust the consistency. Conversely, if you prefer a thicker gravy, you can simmer it for a longer time to reduce the liquid content.
Nutrition Facts
Shahi Paneer Recipe Card
Amount per Serving
Calories
331
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
28
g
43
%
Saturated Fat
 
15
g
94
%
Polyunsaturated Fat
 
1
g
Monounsaturated Fat
 
2
g
Cholesterol
 
69
mg
23
%
Sodium
 
46
mg
2
%
Potassium
 
204
mg
6
%
Carbohydrates
 
12
g
4
%
Sugar
 
3
g
3
%
Fiber
 
2
g
8
%
Protein
 
11
g
22
%
Vitamin A
 
294
IU
6
%
Vitamin B1
 
1
mg
67
%
Vitamin B2
 
1
mg
59
%
Vitamin B3
 
1
mg
5
%
Vitamin B6
 
1
mg
50
%
Vitamin B12
 
1
µg
17
%
Vitamin C
 
5
mg
6
%
Vitamin D
 
1
µg
7
%
Vitamin E
 
1
mg
7
%
Vitamin K
 
3
µg
3
%
Calcium
 
304
mg
30
%
Vitamin B9 (Folate)
 
12
µg
3
%
Iron
 
1
mg
6
%
Magnesium
 
40
mg
10
%
Phosphorus
 
93
mg
9
%
Zinc
 
1
mg
7
%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Keyword Shahi Paneer
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