Shahi Paneer

Shahi Paneer or Indian cottage cheese in a white creamy cashew gravy/sauce is a splendid delicacy of North India. Wikipedia search says ‘Shahi’  is an Indo-Persian term for royal; being true to its name this dish is extremely rich and savory and leaves you wanting for more. Paneer is my favorite and cashews are BBC’s favorite so this dish gets its royal place in our kitchen. I would highly recommend it for household parties as it is a pleasant variation from the usual veg /paneer dishes.

So if you have not already tried this one out, go ahead and enjoy this lip-smacking preparation of the Indian cuisine.

Ingredients:

  • Paneer – 250 gms
  • Onions, choppped – 1 large or 2 medium
  • Ginger grated or chopped – 1 tsp
  • Garlic grated or chopped- 1 tsp
  • Tomato, chopped – 1 medium
  • Red chilli powder / Green chilli paste – to taste
  • Coriander powder – 1 tsp
  • Garam Masala powder – 1 tsp
  • Salt – to taste
  • Sugar (optional) – to taste
  • Cashews – 15-20 whole pieces
  • Milk – 1-2 tbsp
  • Cream / Half and Half / Milk – 2 tbsp or to taste

Method:

  • Cube the paneer into desired size (1 inch by 1/2 inch) and boil it in water for 2 minutes. This is mainly done if the paneer has been refrigerated so that it becomes a little soft. If the paneer is already soft omit boiling it in water.
  • Soak the cashews in milk and keep aside for sometime. You can do this prior to preparing for this dish as the cashews need to soften up for grinding.
  • Heat oil in a pan, add the chopped onions and saute till it changes color.
  • Add ginger and garlic paste and mix well.
  • Add the chopped tomatoes and cook covered till the tomatoes become mushy. Keep stirring in between.
  • Add green chilli paste/red chilli powder, coriander masala, garam masala powder and salt and mix till the spices are well mixed.
  • Put off the flame, take out the mixture onto a dry plate and let it cool. Once cooled grind the fried mixture into a smooth paste, adding water as required.
  • Meanwhile heat the same pan, add oil if required and lightly fry the paneer for 1-2 minutes till it gets a lightly brown color. Do not over fry the paneer.
  • Add the paste of fried mixture done earlier to the fried paneer and mix gradually taking care not to break the paneer cubes.
  • Grind the soaked cashews into a fine paste. (There is no harm if some broken pieces of cashews remain in the paste).
  • Add the cashew paste to the paneer mixture and mix well.
  • Add little water as per the desired consistency and cover and cook.
  • Add Cream / Half and Half / Milk and mix well.
  • Adjust salt and let the gravy simmer for a couple of minutes.
  • Garnish with a dash of cream if desired.
  • Serve warm with roti or naan. If reheating, add some butter or Cream / Half and Half / Milk for for replenishing the flavors.

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