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Shahi Paneer Recipe – This is Mughalai paneer recipe. Soft paneer pieces are simmered in rich, creamy, aromatic and flavorful white gravy.
Mughlai Shahi Paneer Recipe (paneer in white gravy)
For cashew paste:
- 2 tablespoons Cashew nuts
- ¼ cup Water
For onion Paste:
- 1 medium or 1 cup Onion roughly chopped
- ½ cup Water
For saffron-cream mixture:
- 2 tablespoons Heavy whipping cream
- few strands Saffron
For shahi paneer recipe:
- 6 oz or 175 grams Paneer cut into ½ inch pieces
- 1 tablespoon Oil
- 2 Cloves
- 3 Peppercorns
- ½ inch Cinnamon stick
- 1 Bay leaf
- 2 Green chilis slit
- 1 teaspoon Ginger paste or freshly grated
- 1 teaspoon Garlic paste or freshly grated
- ¼ cup Plain yogurt (dahi or curd)
- ¼ teaspoon Garam Masala
- ¼ teaspoon Cardamom powder
- Salt to taste
- Soak cashews in ¼ cup water for about 15-20 minutes.
- Make smooth paste out of it in grinder or blender.
- Warm up cream in the microwave and dissolve few saffron strands in it.
To make onion paste
- Take onion and water in a pan on medium heat. Let it simmer for 10-15 minutes or till onions get soft.
- Let it cool down a bit. Once cooled, grind into smooth paste.
Making shahi paneer recipe:
- Heat the oil in a pan on medium heat. Once hot add whole spices and fry for 30-45 seconds.
- Add ginger paste, garlic paste and slit green chilies, saute for few seconds.
- Mix in onion paste and salt. Cook it till all the moisture evaporates and it starts to leave the sides of the pan.
- Add prepared cashew nut paste. Stir well.
- Add yogurt and immediately mix well. If required add little water for gravy consistency and let come to a simmer.
- Add garam masala and cardamom powder. Mix well.
- Add paneer pieces. Stir very gently.
- Add cream-saffron mixture. Mix and let it simmer for 2 minutes.
- Turn off the stove.
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate for 1 serving (~3/4 cup)
This gravy is made from boiled onions, yogurt, cashews and saffron.
We are using boiled onion paste here. It helps to keep the gravy nice and white. If we fry the onions, it will caramelize and becomes darker or brown in color. Thus the color of the gravy will change and we don’t want that. Because we are making paneer in white gravy.
Here we are using good amount of yogurt. Make sure that your yogurt is not sour otherwise the end product will taste sour.
Since it is royal dish, saffron is used. It gives unique flavor to the dish. Also it gives slight yellow tinge to the gravy color.
Mughlai cuisine is known for distinctive aromatic and rich flavors. The taste may vary from mild to spicy. Today’s paneer dish has mild yet rich flavors, hence it gives authentic mughlai taste and flavors.
This is usually made on special occasion or for special guests as this is quite rich. So it is not advisable to have it on everyday basis.
I had this curry in many different restaurants. Some serves onion-tomato based red gravy while some serves only onion based white gravy. I got confused, what is the traditional way of making it? After reading in one cookbook, I came to know that Mughlai paneer recipe has white gravy (made from nuts, onions, yogurt, cream). I shared this today. While Punjabi Shahi paneer is made from nuts, onion, tomato, cream and spices.
I have used slit green chilies which is the only spicy ingredient in the recipe so use accordingly. I have not chopped the chilies because I wanted to keep gravy really smooth. If chopped chilies are added it ruins the look of the gravy.
How to make shahi paneer recipe (Step by step photos):
1) Soak cashews in ¼ cup water for about 15-20 minutes.
2) Make smooth paste out of it in grinder or blender.
3) Take ½ cup of water and chopped onion in a saucepan. Bring it to a boil on medium heat.
4) Let it simmer for 10-15 minutes or till onions get soft. let it cool down a bit.
5) Meanwhile warm up cream in the microwave and dissolve few saffron strands in it. Saffron will impart its nice color into the cream.
6) Now cooked onion is cooled. Grind into smooth paste using grinder or blender.
7) Heat oil in a pan on medium heat. Once hot add whole spices (cloves, peppercorns, cinnamon and bay leaf) and fry for 30-45 seconds. You will get nice aroma of the spices.
8) Add ginger paste, garlic paste and slit green chilies, fry for few seconds.
9) Mix in onion paste and salt.
10) Cook it till all the moisture evaporates and it starts to leave the sides of the pan. Do not let the paste get brown color.
11) Add prepared cashew nut paste.
12) Stir it well.
13) Add plain yogurt.
14) Mix well. If required add little water for gravy consistency and let come to a simmer.
15) Add garam masala and cardamom powder.
16) Mix well.
17) Add paneer pieces.
18) Stir very gently.
19) Add cream-saffron mixture.
20) Mix and let it simmer for 2 minutes. Turn off the stove.
It is ready to serve. Remove it to a serving bowl. Garnish it with more crushed saffron. It is optional though. If not serving right away then keep it covered in the pan till serving time.