There are two major presentations for this curry recipe. One is red gravy which makes use of the onion-tomato tandem as base. The other one is plain white which obviously uses NO tomato to keep off the red, but only makes the onion as base. In this recipe, we are going to talk about the latter which actually explains our title. Shahi paneer in white gravyThe gravy has cashew, heavy cream (or malai) and yogurt as key ingredients. Expect creamy, aromatic and extremely flavorful dish that will surely make you crave for more.
Shahi Paneer Recipe
Shahi Paneer (Paneer in White Gravy)
For the saffron-cream mixture:
- 2 tbsp. heavy whipping cream
- Few strands of saffron
- Soak the cashew nuts into ¼ cup of water for about 15-20 minutes.
- After 20 minutes, get your blender or grinder and make a paste out of the soaked cashew.
- Get half a cup of water and boil the chopped onions into a saucepan over medium heat.
- Simmer for 10-15 minutes or at least until the onions have softened and let the mixture cool down.
- For the meantime, warm up cream in the microwave and dissolve a few strands in it.
- After the onions have cooled down, make a smooth paste out of them.
- Heat oil in a pan over a medium heat and once hot, add the cloves, cinnamon stick, peppercorns and bay leaf.
- Fry them within 30-45 seconds until you smell the nice aroma they give off.
- Add the green chilies, garlic & ginger pastes and fry for a few more seconds.
- Add the onion paste and salt, and then cook until the moisture evaporates. You can also see the mixture leave the sides of the pan.
- Add the cashew paste and stir well before adding the yogurt. You can add a little water to help you achieve the gravy consistency and bring it into a simmer.
- Mix in the garam masala and cardamom powder.
- Add in the paneer pieces and stir the mixture gently.
- Lastly, mix in the cream-saffron mixture and let it simmer for about 2 minutes before turning off the stove.
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This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition data is gathered primarily from the Spoonacular Database, whenever available, or otherwise other online calculators.
Alternative Method: Shahi Paneer in Instant Pot
- 200g paneer (Indian cottage cheese), cut into cubes
- 2 tbsp ghee (clarified butter)
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 2 tomatoes, pureed
- 1/4 cup cashew nuts
- 1/4 cup fresh cream
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 tsp ginger-garlic paste
- 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
- 1/2 tsp red chili powder
- 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
- 1/2 tsp garam masala
- 1/2 tsp kasuri methi (dried fenugreek leaves)
- Salt to taste
- Fresh coriander leaves for garnish
- Sauté Onions and Spices:
- Turn on the Instant Pot and select the “Sauté” function. Add ghee and let it melt.
- Add cumin seeds and sauté for a minute.
- Add finely chopped onions and ginger-garlic paste. Sauté until the onions turn golden brown.
- Add Pureed Tomatoes:
- Pour in the tomato puree and cook until the ghee starts to separate.
- Blend Cashews:
- Meanwhile, blend the cashew nuts with a little water to make a smooth paste.
- Add Cashew Paste:
- Add the cashew paste to the Instant Pot and cook for a couple of minutes.
- Spice it Up:
- Add red chili powder, turmeric, garam masala, and salt. Stir well.
- Pressure Cook:
- Add paneer cubes and mix them in the masala.
- Pour in the milk, close the Instant Pot lid, and set it to “Pressure Cook” for 2 minutes.
- Quick Release and Finish:
- After the cooking cycle, use the quick release method to depressurize the Instant Pot.
- Open the lid, stir in the fresh cream, and add kasuri methi for that unique flavor.
- Garnish and Serve:
- Garnish the Shahi Paneer with fresh coriander leaves.
- Serve it hot with naan, roti, or rice.
Tips for making Shahi Paneer
- Paneer Quality: Use fresh and soft paneer for the best results. You can even lightly fry the paneer cubes before adding them to the gravy to enhance their texture.
- Cashew Paste: Ensure that the cashew paste is smooth and creamy. It adds a delightful richness to the dish.
- Balancing Flavors: Adjust the level of spiciness by regulating the amount of red chili powder. If you prefer a milder version, reduce the quantity.
- Creamy Texture: Don’t skip the addition of fresh cream; it imparts the characteristic creamy texture to Shahi Paneer.
- Overcooking: Be cautious when using the “Sauté” function on the Instant Pot; overcooking can cause the spices to burn and result in a bitter taste.
- Insufficient Sautéing: Ensure that the onions are sautéed well, and the ghee has separated before adding the tomato puree. This is crucial for the base flavor.
- Choosing the Right Tomatoes: Use ripe and flavorful tomatoes to make the tomato puree. It greatly influences the taste of the gravy.
- Balancing Cream: Adjust the quantity of fresh cream to your preference. Too much cream can make the dish overly rich.
- Naan or Roti: Shahi Paneer is traditionally served with Indian bread like naan or roti. Their mild flavors complement the richness of the dish.
- Jeera Rice: The mild cumin flavor of jeera rice is a perfect match for Shahi Paneer. It’s an excellent option if you prefer rice.
- Fresh Coriander: A sprinkle of fresh coriander leaves adds a burst of freshness and color to the creamy gravy.
- Saffron Strands: For a truly royal touch, you can soak a few saffron strands in warm milk and drizzle it on top.
- Lassi: A cool and refreshing glass of sweet or salted lassi balances the richness of Shahi Paneer.
- Mango Lassi: The sweet and fruity notes of mango lassi are a delightful accompaniment.
- Individual Servings: Serve Shahi Paneer in small individual bowls, garnished with chopped nuts and fresh cream, for an elegant presentation at a dinner party.
- Thali Style: Create a thali (platter) with Shahi Paneer, bread or rice, raita, and pickles for a complete and satisfying meal.
Frequently Asked Questions about Shahi Paneer
- Can I make Shahi Paneer ahead of time and reheat it? Yes, you can prepare Shahi Paneer in advance and store it in the refrigerator for up to 2-3 days. Reheat it on the stove or in the microwave, and it will taste just as delicious.
- What type of paneer works best for Shahi Paneer? Soft and fresh paneer is ideal. You can even lightly fry the paneer cubes before adding them to the gravy to enhance their texture.
- Is Shahi Paneer too spicy? Shahi Paneer is typically mildly spiced. You can adjust the level of spiciness by regulating the amount of red chili powder. If you prefer a milder version, reduce the quantity.
- Can I freeze Shahi Paneer for later use? While it is possible to freeze Shahi Paneer, the texture of the cream may change upon thawing. It’s best enjoyed fresh or refrigerated for a few days.
- What are some variations of Shahi Paneer? There are many variations of Shahi Paneer, including adding vegetables like bell peppers or green peas, or even making a dry version by reducing the amount of gravy. Experiment to find your favorite variation.
Indulge in the regal flavors of Shahi Paneer. Learn to make this classic Indian dish at home and serve up a royal feast. Find the perfect recipe here.
Experience the culinary brilliance of Chef John at Food And Meal Restaurant. With over 20 years of global expertise, My innovative creations and unwavering dedication to cooking have earned me a well-deserved reputation. My passion for gastronomy is showcased in every dish, combining fresh, local ingredients with harmonious flavors and captivating presentations. My ability to tell a story through my food reflects my profound understanding of culture and emotion.