If you are shy to try Shahi Paneer (often pronounced ‘shy puh-neer’), you are surely missing out. So don’t be shy, heat the pan and reach out for some paneer (cottage cheese).
‘Shahi’ stands for anything ‘royal, imperial’ so it goes without saying that the Shahi Paneer is a melange of rich ingredients such as cottage cheese, tomatoes, a range of spices, butter, nuts etc. and the richness of its taste is on offer for all rich and royals – those in the heart and stomach that is. Perfect for special occasions or for making any ordinary dinner special – best served with naan bread or chapati, Shahi Paneer is the shining veneer on your sumptuous dining agenda.
Ingredients I Used
Paneer (Cottage cheese) 400 grams
Onion quartered 2 large
Oil 2 tablespoons
Black peppercorns 4-5
Cinnamon 1 inch stick
Bay leaf 2
Orange Food Color a pinch
Ginger-Garlic paste 1 tablepoon
Cumin Powder 1 teaspoon
Cashewnut paste 1/4 cup
Cream 1/2 cup
Coriander Powder 1 teaspoon
Garam masala Powder 1/2 teaspoon
Salt to taste
Red Chilli Powder 1 teaspoon
Lets Cook now
Step one: Cut the paneer into half inch wide and preferably in triangle shape. Grind the onion and tomato to a fine paste. I have included the cashew nuts in it. You can paste them separately if you wish to.
Step two: Heat the oil in a non-stick pan. Add the cloves, peppercorns, cinnamon sticks and bay leaf and sauté till fragrant.
Step three: Add onion-tomato paste and sauté for three to four minutes on low heat so it does not get coloured. Add the ginger-garlic paste and continue to sauté for half a minute.
Step four: Add the cashewnut paste (if you have made them separately), coriander powder, red chilli powder, cumin powder and sauté for another two minutes. Add the food color and let it simmer till the water from the tomato-onion paste gets absorbed and turn into a thick gravy.
Step five: Stir in the cream, saffron and garam masala powder and salt to taste. Add the paneer and stir gently to mix. Sprinkle green cardamom powder and serve hot with Pulau or Naan bread.
Top tips: You can add Kastoori Methi ( Fenu greek leaves) just before removing the Shahi Paneer from the heat. You can also add dollops of butter for making the gravy more flavourful and rich.