sahai paneer

Shahi paneer is a delicious preparation of paneer cooked in thick creamy gravy with nuts, yoghurt, tomatoes and spices.

As the name suggests Shahi Paneer is originated from Royal Mughlai cuisine.

Mughlai cuisine basically makes use of yoghurt/curd and aromatic spices. Tomatoes were introduced to Indian subcontinent by Portuguese explorers and now this vegetable is so integrally absorbed by Indian cuisine that its very difficult to think about curry preparation without them.


For Onion Tomato Puree:

  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 2-3 green cardamom
  • 1 inch cinnamon
  • 1 black cardamom
  • 3 cloves
  • 2 large onions, sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 inch ginger, chopped
  • 2 medium tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tsp salt/ as per taste

For Curry:

  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 8-10 whole cashews (dry roasted)
  • ½ tsp jeera
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ¼ tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp kashmiri red chilli powder
  • 1 tbsp curd/yoghurt
  • 1/2 cup cream / malai
  • 250 gms paneer / cottage cheese (cut into cubes)
  • few threads saffron / kesar
  • ½ tsp kasuri methi, crushed
  • ¼ tsp garam masala

How to make Shahi Paneer -Step by Step

  1. dry roast cashews on tawa or skillet and cool them.
  2. heat 1 tbsp butter in a wok or kadai and saute 2-3 green cardamom, 1 inch cinnamon,1 black cardamom and 3 cloves.
  3. now add onions, 3 cloves garlic and 1 inch ginger.
  4. saute slightly until onion softens.
  5. further, add 2 tomatoes and saute slightly.
  6. also, add 1 cup water and 1 tsp salt. mix well.
  7. cover and cook for 10 to 15 minutes or until it softens completely with intermitten stirring.
  8. cool the mixture to room temperature and transfer to a blender. blend cashews and this onion tomato mixture to smooth paste without adding any water.
  9. in a large kadai heat 1 tbsp butter and saute ½ tsp jeera and 1 bay leaf. Make paste of turmeric and chilli powder with 1 tbsp water.
  10. keeping flame on low add turmeric and chilli paste.
  11. saute slightly until the spices turn aromatic.
  12. add in the prepared tomato-onion puree and mix well.
  13. further, add ¼ cup cream and 1 tbsp dahi and mix well
  14. add in paneer cubes, few threads saffron and mix well.
  15. cover and simmer for 5 minutes or until flavours are absorbed well. Add 1 cup water to balance the consistency of gravy.
  16. now add ½ tsp kasuri methi and ¼ tsp garam masala. mix well.

Serve hot Shahi paneer with Jeera rice, roti, naan or paranthas.

Recipe Notes

  • Home made fresh dahi should be used preferably to balance sourness.
  • Sourness can further be balanced by increasing the quantity of cream.
  • Other nuts like almonds can also be used with cashews.
  • If using store bought paneer immerse it in warm water for 10-15 minutes.