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Shahi Paneer
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Shahi Paneer

A Royal curry from North India, made with nuts and spices and enriched with succulent creamy paneer.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Main
Cuisine: Indian Mughlai
Servings: 8 -10
Author: Sonal Gupta @ simplyvegetarian777

Ingredients

Ingredients for Shahi Paneer

  • Paneer - 400 gms cubed or sliced thin into squares or triangles.
  • Shahi Paneer Masala - see below
  • Shahi Curry Paste - see below
  • Oil - 2 tsp
  • Turmeric / Haldi - 1/2 tspt
  • Salt to taste
  • Kashmiri lal mirch / Degi mirch / fancy paprika - 1/2 tsp
  • Sugar - 1 tsp
  • Water - 2&1/2 to 3 cups

Ingredients for the Shahi Curry Paste

  • Onion red - 1 medium, chopped roughly
  • Cashews / Kaju - 1/4 cup
  • Melon seeds / Magaj - 1/4 cup
  • Garlic - 3 pods chopped roughly
  • Water - 2 cups
  • Milk - 1/2 cup

Ingredients for the Shahi Paneer Masala

  • Bay leaf - 1
  • Cinnamon stick - 1 small piece
  • Cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp
  • Coriander powder - 2 tsp
  • Fennel seeds - 1/4 tsp
  • Cloves - 3
  • Black pepper pods - 3
  • Black cardamom - 1
  • Green cardamom - 3
  • Red chili whole dry - 1
  • Kasuri methi - 1/2 tsp

Garnish (optional)

  • Kasuri Methi
  • Kashmiri Lal Mirch or Degi Mirch or Fancy Paprika
  • Saffron - few strands

Instructions

Method to make Shahi Paneer Masala with whole dry spices

  • Take a heavy bottom pan. Add bay leaf, green and black cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, black pepper corn, fennel seeds, red chili powder, kasuri methi, coriander seeds, cumin seeds and whole red chili dry to it.
  • Toss these spices in the pan on medium heat for about 3-4 minutes till they are slightly roasted and not brown. Please do not brown the spices.
  • Switch off the flame. Let the spices cool down to room temperature.
  • Grind these spices into a fine spice powder.
  • You can do this step in advance.
  • Set aside.

Method to make Shahi Curry Paste

  • Take a medium size sauce pot. Add onions, garlic, cashews, magaj/melon seeds to it along with 2 cups of water. Bring it to a boil and let it cook on medium heat for about 7-8 minutes till onions become soft and pinkish.
  • Switch off the flame. Let it rest for 5 minutes. Strain the leftover water in the pan and add to the curry later while cooking.
  • Take a blender. Add the boiled and strained onions, garlic and nuts along with 1/2 cup milk to the blender and make a smooth paste. Be careful while running the blender since the paste ingredients might still be slightly hot.
  • The milk will remain fine without curdling since there are no tomatoes in it.
  • Make a fine paste out of the ingredients and set aside.
  • You may make this paste in advance and keep to use for later.

Making the Curry

  • Heat 2 tsp oil in a heavy bottom pan. Add the curry paste and curry masala powder along with sugar, salt, turmeric and kashmiri red chili powder to the pan.
  • Stir all the ingredients well. Cook on medium low heat for about 6-7 minutes, till the paste leaves the sides.
  • Once the paste becomes thick, the yellow color from turmeric will become magical and deepen.
  • Add 2&1/2 to 3 cups of water and the water saved from the boiled onion. Stir and mix it well. Bring it to a boil and then put it on simmer.
  • Add the cut pieces of paneer to it and simmer with the curry for about 6-7 minutes until thick.
  • Garnish with some dry kasuri methi, some kashmiri lal mirch and few saffron threads. This step is optional but beautifully presented dish increases the appetitte 4 times.

Serving the Curry

  • Shahi Paneer is best served with Naan and Jeera Pulav (Cumin Rice) or Lachcha Parantha.

Notes

In case you do not find magaj or melon seeds, use 2 tbsp almonds. To make it vegan, use extra firm tofu in place of paneer, almond or soy milk in place of regular milk. In case you like your curries reddish, you may use 1 medium tomato along with onions etc to bring a little color.