Shahi Paneer- one of the most popular, paneer-based gravy featuring in every North Indian cuisine restaurant’ s menu and could easily be identified as a star dish of that restaurant. We will check out how to make this dish in today’s blog post. You can also check out our videos on YouTube Channel (links at the bottom of this post).
Paneer- I had a hate-love relationship with this dairy product. Having spent my childhood, detesting the sight, smell, and taste of Paneer, I find it amusing how and when did I started adoring it and then loving it to the core. I am nineties kid, born and brought up in a middle-class family, which meant Paneer was a luxurious item and would be available only on very special occasions- which meant someone special visiting us for the lunch at our home. I remember, having visited Nani’s house during summer vacation and she, trying to pamper me, decided to cook Matar Paneer for lunch. I, on the other hand, couldn’t stand the smell of paneer getting deep fried in the pan. I do not remember what innovative ideas I did employ to avoid paneer on my lunch plate, but that’s how I grew up avoiding paneer.
Somewhere during my teenage years, I became more accommodative and did not mind having paneer dishes served on my plate. It’s curious, how our taste buds evolve over the years- dishes or food items that we detest at some point, may become our favorites. With Smita, she had always had a very neutral and balanced stance towards paneer. Neither she detested nor craved for it but wouldn’t mind eating it whenever it was served in her plate.
- Almonds .........30g
- Melon Seeds ...15g
- Peppercorns .......1/2tsp
- Green Cardamom....5
- Black Cardamom......2
- Red Chili pwdr......1/2 tsp
- Garam Masala pwdr...1/2 tbsp
- Jeera pwdr...1/4th tsp
- Coriander pwdr ....1/2 tsp
- Salt .....to taste
- Onions (finely chopped)..100g
- Bay leafs ....2
- Paneer (cubed)...250g
- Curd (whisked)...125g
- Boil 2 cups of water. Add following ingredients to water- Onions, Ginger, Garlic, Almonds, Cashewnuts, Melon Seeds, Cardamom-Green, Black, Cloves, Peppercorns. Cover and Cook for 8-10 mins.
- Remove and reserve stock. Allow boiled ingredients to come down to room temperature. Grind into fine paste (1/2 cup water).
- Heat 4-tbsp Cooking Oil in a pan. Put Bay leaf. Add chopped Onions and fry until it becomes brown in color. It turns Brown in 8-10 mins
- Add paste and cook on low heat- add water during bhunao to prevent burning of masala. Cover and Cook for 15 mins on low heat.
- After 15 mins, add following powders- red chili powder, jeera powder and coriander powder. We will add garam masala later. Mix well.
- Cook for 3-4 mins on low heat. Add whisked curd on low heat (to prevent curdling) and mix well. Add about ¾th cup water. Cook for 4-5 mins on low heat.
- Add Garam Masala , Salt to taste and mix well. Add Paneer cubes and mix well. Cover and Cook on low heat. Cook for 2-3 mins on low heat.
- Shahi Paneer is ready to be served. Serve hot with Paratha and/or Jeera rice
That was some anecdotal remembrance of Paneer. Coming back to this dish, it’s an absolute delicacy- smooth almost silk like texture, neither too sweet, nor too spicy. A dish that is perfectly balanced on taste, would sit at the center of the table, along with its best companions (according to me) – Ajwaini Paratha and Jeera rice, followed with a small helping of a dessert (I had Shrikhand) to complete what we call as “a perfect meal” in spiritual terms- “Bliss”😊
Click to watch recipe videos