Shahi Paneer

Shahi Paneer

Prep Time : 20 mins
Cook Time : 20 mins
Total Time : 40 mins


For cooking onions and nuts

  • ½ cup chopped onions or 1 medium sized onion
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cashews
  • 1 tablespoon almonds
  • 1 tablespoon magaz or melon seeds without the skin
  • ½ teaspoon chopped garlic or 3 to 4 small to medium-sized garlic
  • ½ teaspoon chopped ginger or 1 inch ginger
  • 1.5 cups water

Other ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons Ghee (clarified butter) or oil or butter
  • 1 teaspoon Coriander Powder (ground coriander)
  • ¼ teaspoon Garam Masala
  • ½ teaspoon red chili powder or cayenne pepper
  • ½ cup Curd (yogurt), 125 grams – whisked till smooth
  • 1 to 1.5 cups strained stock (got from boiling the onions with nuts) + water or 1 to 1.5 cups water
  • ½ to 1 teaspoon sugar or add as required
  • salt as required
  • ¼ teaspoon cardamom powder
  • 15 to 20 strands saffron – crushed lightly
  • 200 grams Paneer (cottage cheese)
  • 1 tablespoon heavy cream or add as required – optional
  • 1 teaspoon kewra water (screwpine water) or rose water – optional

Whole spices

  • 1 tej patta (Indian bay leaf)
  • 2 to 3 cloves
  • 2 to 3 green cardamoms
  • 1 black cardamom
  • 1 inch cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon (caraway seeds) shah jeera



  • Take the nuts and seeds in a bowl and rinse them a couple of times with water. Drain all the water and set aside.
  • Cook onions, cashews, almonds, magaz or melon seeds, ginger and garlic in 1.5 cups water for 8 to 10 minutes until the onions soften.
  • Strain the stock and set aside. Let the onions cool at room temperature.
  • Make a fine paste of the cooked onions, ginger, garlic along with the dry fruits adding 2 to 4 tablespoons of the strained water.
  • Whisk fresh curd (yogurt) till smooth and set aside.

Sautéing onion paste

  • Heat ghee in a frying pan on medium-low to medium heat.
  • Fry all the whole spices (listed in the above ingredients) until they release their aroma in the ghee. Be very attentive here, as spices are delicate and can burn quickly if you aren’t paying attention.
  • Add the ground onion paste and mix very well. On a low heat sauté stirring non-stop for 7 to 8 minutes or until the fat starts to leave the sides of the paste.
  • Add red chilli powder or cayenne pepper, garam masala powder and coriander powder. Mix well.

Adding curd and simmering further

  • Reduce heat to a low or switch off the heat. Add the whisked yogurt, 1 to 1.5 cups of the strained stock and additional water, sugar and salt as required.
  • Mix very well and simmer gravy for 10 to 12 minutes until it thickens.
  • Add the cardamom powder and crushed saffron.
  • Stir and add the cubed paneer and cream.
  • Mix gently and switch off heat.
  • Add the kewra water and stir. You can even add rose water.
  • Garnish Shahi Paneer with some coriander leaves or mint leaves or a few saffron strands. Serve the Mughlai Shahi Paneer with cumin rice or roti, naan or paratha.

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