Shahi Paneer Our Go-To Meal That Could Compete With Restaurant Version

Shahi Paneer
Image credits: Raman via Unsplash

Sahi Paneer is a delicious, flavorful and easy to cook meal. The dish is famed for its rich, creamy and thick consistency, and one can’t argue that it is a meal fit for royalty. 

Even though it’s simple, it still tastes superior and sometimes even much better than those cooked in a restaurant. Carry on reading to discover our take on the popular paneer dish that is bound to be a favorite in many Indus homes. 

Shahi Paneer – What Is It? 

Shahi paneer is a delicious Punjabi curry that you cannot afford to miss out on making. It is often called “shahi paneer ki sabji” or “shahi paneer masala.” Even though it’s popular in northern India, you’ll soon see why its popularity stretches throughout South Asia and other parts of the world. Shahi is a word that stems from“royalty” during the Shahanshah

This dish has been around since the Mughal Empire. Do you see why it’s a dish fit for royalty? The name is linked to the shahi 1526-1707 royalty who formed part of Pakistan, India, Afghanistan and Bangladesh. 

While the original shahi paneer recipe focused on creating a white creamy onion sauce with nuts and saffron, the modern version and Punjabi adaptations include several other ingredients. 

The version made with cream doesn’t taste as spicy, and this is also great for people who prefer a less hot version of this meal. So, without further ado, let’s see how to make shahi paneer. If you haven’t tried this lip-smacking curry, then now’s the time to give it a go.

Shahi Paneer Recipe 

Here is an easy shahi pan recipe that you can make at home and in the comfort of your home, for your family. You’ll be able to enjoy this delicious dinner served with roti or naan. 

Ingredients: 

The following will make the cashew nut paste that you’re going to need a bit later on.

  • Cashew nuts 
  • ¼ cup hot water 

For the cream feature

  • Saffron (crushed)
  • Heavy whipping cream or fresh cream 

Other ingredients needed to complete this mouthwatering shahi paneer recipe: 

  • 1 red onion (chopped)
  • 1 green chilli (chopped) 
  • A piece of ginger (chopped)
  • 2 – 3 garlic cloves (chopped) 
  • Cinnamon stick 
  • 2 – 3 green cardamoms 
  • 170g paneer (cut into cubes) 
  • 2 tablespoons oil or ghee 
  • 2 tomatoes (chopped and pureed) 
  • 1 teaspoon of coriander powder 
  • 1 teaspoon of chilli powder 
  • ⅛ black pepper powder (you can also use freshly ground pepper)
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala 
  • ½ teaspoon sugar 
  • Salt to taste 
  • 1 teaspoon kasuri methi
  • ⅛ cardamom seeds crushed (or use the powder)

An Easy Method to making the sought after and super-delicious shahi paneer 

Begin by soaking the cashew nuts in hot water. Do this for about 20 minutes. 

Use the microwave to warm the cream and also add some saffron in it before mixing and setting it aside. 

For the pastes and purees do the following:

Add the onion, ginger, garlic, cinnamon, cardamoms, cloves, chilli and water to a saucepan and allow these ingredients to cook for 10 minutes.  

  • Make a tomato puree by blending the tomatoes in a blender or food processor
  • Make the cashew paste by mixing the cashews with some hot water and blending them into a paste.
  • For the onions, after it has been cooked from the saucepan with spices, blend them into a paste. 

Shahi Paneer Recipe 

Here is an easy shahi pan recipethat you can make at home and in the comfort of your home, for your family. You’ll be able to enjoy this delicious dinner served with roti or naan. 

Ingredients: 

The following will make the cashew nut paste that you’re going to need a bit later on.

  • Cashew nuts 
  • ¼ cup hot water 

For the cream feature

  • Saffron (crushed)
  • Heavy whipping cream or fresh cream 

Other ingredients needed to complete this mouthwatering shahi paneer recipe: 

  • 1 red onion (chopped)
  • 1 green chilli (chopped) 
  • A piece of ginger (chopped)
  • 2 – 3 garlic cloves (chopped) 
  • Cinnamon stick 
  • 2 – 3 green cardamoms 
  • 170g paneer (cut into cubes) 
  • 2 tablespoons oil or ghee 
  • 2 tomatoes (chopped and pureed) 
  • 1 teaspoon of coriander powder 
  • 1 teaspoon of chilli powder 
  • ⅛ black pepper powder (you can also use freshly ground pepper)
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala 
  • ½ teaspoon sugar 
  • Salt to taste 
  • 1 teaspoon kasuri methi
  • ⅛ cardamom seeds crushed (or use the powder)

An Easy Method to making the sought after and super-delicious shahi paneer 

Begin by soaking the cashew nuts in hot water. Do this for about 20 minutes. 

Use the microwave to warm the cream and also add some saffron in it before mixing and setting it aside. 

For the pastes and purees, do the following:

Add the onion, ginger, garlic, cinnamon, cardamoms, cloves, chilli and water to a saucepan and allow these ingredients to cook for 10 minutes.  

  • Make a tomato puree by blending the tomatoes in a blender or food processor
  • Make the cashew paste by mixing it with some hot water and blending it into a paste.
  • After the onions have been cooked from the saucepan with spices, blend them into a paste. 

Now for the easy shahi paneer recipe

  • Heat some oil, and when the oil is hot, add the onion paste to this oil
  • Stir it until it gets thicker for about 5 or 10 minutes 
  • Next, add the tomato puree previously prepared and then add salt to taste
  • Next, add the coriander powder, chilli powder, black pepper and cook for one minute
  • Add cashew paste and sugar and continue mixing the combination 
  • Add the kasuri methi and garam masala 
  • Next, add in the paneer cubes  
  • Pour in the saffron and cream mixture previously prepared 
  • Lastly, add the cardamom and stir well
  • The shahi paneer is now ready to serve with some flatbreads

Shahi Paneer Version Two

How to make shahi paneer differently using the same and more or other ingredients as seen in the first one here. 

Ingredients  

  • 1/2 medium-sized onion red or white (chopped) We prefer white for this one
  •  2 tablespoons of cashew nuts (chopped)
  • 1 tablespoon almonds
  • 1 tablespoon of musk melon seeds minus the skin
  • ¾ teaspoon garlic (chopped)
  • Ginger
  • 1 cup of water 

Extra ingredients 

  • Oil 
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder 
  • ¼ garam masala 
  • ½ teaspoon chilli powder or cayenne pepper 
  • ½ cup of curd or thick greek yoghurt 
  • Stock from the onions and nuts that will boil later 
  • Saffron strands 
  • ¼ teaspoon cardamom powder
  • 200g paneer 
  • Heavy cream as needed 
  • 1 teaspoon rose water or screw pine (optional) 

More whole spices include: 

  • 3 cloves 
  • 3 green cardamoms
  • Cinnamon
  • 1 black cardamom 
  • ½ teaspoon shah jeera 

Method to making restaurant style shahi paneer 

Rinse the nuts you’ll use in the recipe and set them aside in a bowl. 

Next, cook the onion, melon seeds, garlic, almonds, cashews and ginger in some water for a quick 10 minutes.

Strain the stock to use it later.

After the onions have cooled down, add it to the nuts, garlic and ginger and allow it to cook, forming a paste in the stock water previously kept aside.

Next, whisk the curd or thick yoghurt until it is smooth and then set it aside for a bit later.

Now, add the spices listed above and then saute on medium to low heat. Be careful not to let it burn since spice tends to burn very quickly.

Add the onion paste into this mixture of spices and stir it while it cooks for 7 minutes. 

Next, add the dry spices, garam masala, red chilli powder, coriander powder and mix. 

Following the above steps, continue with the rest:

  • Add the curd, stock and water as needed
  • Mix it and allow it to simmer for about 10 minutes
  • Next, throw in the cardamom powder and saffron
  • Add the paneer and cream and give it another stir
  • Turn off the stove plate’s heat.
  • As an optional step, go in and add rose water or the pine screw water 

Finally, garnish the dish with saffron and cardamom leaves, then serve it with steamed rice, roti or naan bread. 

Quickfire Tips

Tip #1 – You can add more cream and butter to make the dish even more rich and creamy. Not everyone enjoys it like this and it does somewhat take away the spicy bite, but people also want the rich, creamy smoothness of this royal-style shahi paneer. 

However, cream to a curry helps bring out the flavor while making it richer and yummier with toned down spice, yet the bite is still there.
Tip #2 – Make sure to crush the kasuri methi between the palms of your hands, as this helps to release the flavor and fragrance.
Tip #3 – Only add the cardamom and paneer right at the end just before serving. If the cardamom is added too soon, then the aroma will fade and if the paneer is added too soon, it may go tough.
Tip #4 – If you’re not using nuts, then seeds are fine on their own.
Tip #5 The purpose of the Shahi paneer is to be a milder form of curry, easy to eat and simply delicious. 

Nutritional Value Estimates 

  • Calories – 300 kcal 
  • Carbohydrates – 16g
  • Fat 34g 
  • Saturated fat – 20g
  • Cholesterol – 90 mg
  • Sodium – 104mg
  • Protein – 11g
  • Potassium – 399mfiber 4g
  • Sugar 6g
  • Fiber 4g
  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin C
  • Calcium 317mg

Time factors

Average prep time is 15 minutes, cook time 30 minutes and a complete-time of 45minutes. 

FAQ 

How can I make my shahi paneer thick?

You can thicken the paneer with cream and the paste from the cashew will also increase the thickness. If you’re okay with adding more nuts, then you can go ahead. If not you may add extra yoghurt and cream.

What goes well with shahi paneer?

Shahi paneer is served with roti or naan bread. People also enjoy it with a side of rice.

How can I keep my paneer soft while making shahi paneer?

You can soften the paneer by placing it in steaming hot, warm water. First, cut them into cubes and then leave them in water for maybe 3 minutes before you start cooking with them.

How many calories are there in shahi paneer?

It all comes down to how it is made, the ingredients for example, more cream, yoghurt and butter, may be richer in calories and fat. On average, some shahi paneer recipe calories may be well over 250 – 300kcal.

Conclusion To Making Shahi Paneer

Shahi Paneer is an excellent dish to show off with, when you’re having guests over. Treat them to some famous paneer made in the smoothest, richest form. Once you’ve made this, we’re almost 100% certain that it will become a favorite in your home too. 
Have you made any type of shahi paneer before? If not, have you tried this one? Share your experience, ingredient preference and tips.