Restaurant-Style Shahi Paneer

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Shahi paneer, literally translating to “royal cottage cheese,” is a luxurious vegetarian dish from North India. It features paneer, a fresh, soft cheese made from milk, bathed in a rich, creamy gravy bursting with flavor. The gravy typically incorporates nuts, spices, and sometimes even cream, making it a perfect centerpiece for any vegetarian feast.

This recipe will guide you through creating this restaurant-quality dish at home, complete with a nutritional breakdown and answers to frequently asked questions. So, grab your ingredients, put on your apron, and get ready to experience the magic of shahi paneer!

Shahi Paneer Recipe - Restaurant Style Cottage Cheese Curry   CookingShooking
Shahi Paneer Recipe – Restaurant Style Cottage Cheese Curry CookingShooking

Ingredients:

For the Paneer (Optional):

1 gallon whole milk

  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice or white vinegar

  • For the Gravy:

    3 tablespoons ghee or vegetable oil

  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 inch ginger, grated
  • 1 green chili pepper, chopped (optional)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 green cardamoms
  • 1 black cardamom
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 cloves
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon red chili powder (adjust to preference)
  • 1/2 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 cup chopped tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup cashews
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream (optional)
  • Salt to taste
  • Chopped fresh cilantro, for garnish

  • Directions:

    Making the Paneer (Optional):

    1. In a large pot, heat the milk over medium heat until it simmers gently. Do not let it boil.
    2. Stir in the lemon juice or vinegar. The milk will start to curdle and separate into whey (liquid) and curds (solids).
    3. Let the mixture sit for 5 minutes, then strain it through a cheesecloth-lined colander.
    4. Gather the cheesecloth and gently squeeze out any excess whey. Rinse the curds under cool water to stop the cooking process.
    5. Hang the cheesecloth with the curds for at least 30 minutes, or until the paneer reaches your desired firmness.

    Making the Gravy:

    1. Heat the ghee or oil in a large pan or Dutch oven over medium heat.
    2. Add the onions and cook until softened and translucent, about 5 minutes.
    3. Stir in the garlic, ginger, and green chili pepper (if using) and cook for another minute.
    4. Add the bay leaf, green cardamoms, black cardamom, cinnamon stick, and cloves. Sauté for 30 seconds, releasing the wonderful aromas of the spices.
    5. Stir in the coriander, turmeric, red chili powder, and garam masala. Cook for another minute, allowing the spices to bloom and coat the onions.
    6. Add the chopped tomatoes and cook until softened and mushy, about 10 minutes.
    7. In a blender or food processor, grind the cashews into a smooth paste. Add a little water if needed to achieve a pourable consistency.
    8. Add the cashew paste to the pan with the cooked spices and tomatoes. Simmer for 5 minutes, allowing the flavors to meld.
    9. Pour in some water (about 1/2 cup) to achieve your desired gravy consistency. Season with salt to taste.
    10. (Optional) If using, stir in the heavy cream for an extra touch of richness.
    11. Gently add the paneer cubes to the gravy. Be careful not to break them.
    12. Simmer for 5 minutes, letting the paneer absorb the delicious flavors.
    13. Garnish with chopped fresh cilantro and serve hot with rice, naan, or roti.

    Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

    Calories: 450-500 (depending on oil and cream usage)

  • Fat: 25-30g
  • Saturated Fat: 10-15g
  • Cholesterol: 30mg
  • Sodium: 500mg (depending on salt level)
  • Carbohydrates: 30-35g
  • Fiber: 2-3g
  • Protein: 20-25g

  • Conclusion

    Shahi paneer is a delightful and versatile dish that is sure to impress your guests. The combination of creamy gravy, soft paneer, and aromatic spices creates a truly unforgettable culinary experience. Whether you’re a seasoned cook or a beginner venturing into Indian cuisine, this recipe provides a clear and easy-to-follow guide to creating this restaurant-worthy dish at home.

    FAQs: