Shahi paneer is a royal Mughlai dish where paneer is cooked in a rich yogurt, nuts and seeds gravy. This restaurant style shahi paneer is super delicious and quick to make. Serve it with roti, naan, plain basmati rice or with flavored rice.
For best results follow my detailed step-by-step photo instructions and tips.
Add one tablespoon ghee to a pan, heat it. Add cashews, green cardamom & almonds. Fry them until light golden, for a minute.
Next add cubed onions, green chili (optional for heat) and fry until they turn transparent. If using tomato (optional), add them now.
Cook the entire mixture till the onions soften or mushy. You may add little water or oil if the pan is too dry.
Cool completely & blend this with very little water to a smooth puree or paste.
This step is optional. You can fry the paneer lightly in ghee. Keep the fried paneer immersed in hot water for about 15 mins. This helps to soften the paneer.
How to make shahi paneer
Heat up the same pan with the rest of the ghee or oil.
Add cumin, cloves & cinnamon.
When the spices sizzle, add ginger garlic paste and fry till the raw smell goes off. This takes about 1 to 2 mins.
Next transfer the onion cashew paste, chili powder, garam masala, turmeric & salt.
Fry for about 3 to 4 minutes until the raw smell of the spice powders goes away.
Meanwhile, beat the curd well in a separate bowl with a fork until smooth.
Lower the flame completely and then add it to the pan. Mix well. Tip: Alternately, you may temper the yogurt first to avoid splitting. For this add, 1 to 2 tbsps of cooked onion nut mixture to the beaten yogurt in the bowl and mix well. Then add that to the pan.
Mix and cook till it thickens and begins to leave the sides of the pan. Pour ½ to ¾ cup water. Add saffron if using.
Cook till the shahi paneer gravy thickens and you see traces of oil over the gravy.
Taste the gravy and add more salt if desired.
Add paneer and cook for about 2 minutes on a low heat. If using fried paneer, turn off the heat immediately after adding to the gravy.
Pour kewra water & cream if using and stir. Transfer shahi paneer to a serving bowl to prevent it from cooking further.
Garnish shahi paneer with cream. You can also sprinkle some crushed pepper for extra heat.