Shahi Paneer is a vegetarian Indian curry recipe in which paneer (Indian cottage cheese) is cooked in a delicious, thick, and creamy sauce made with butter, cream, onion, tomatoes, and a few Indian spices.
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Paneer is one of the most popular vegetarian ingredients in India. You will rarely find an Indian buffet without at least one Paneer dish. And, there are hundreds of Paneer recipes in India.
History of Shahi Paneer
The word Shahi means royal in Urdu which was the language of Mughal rulers in India. And, since this dish originated in the Mughlai cuisine and was very popular in Mughal palaces, it got the title Shahi.
It's said that this dish was invented when one of the chefs accidentally dropped Paneer cubes in a gravy he was preparing for some other dish. But when he tasted it, he was very pleased with his invention. Since that accident gave us this delicious vegetarian dish, we can call it serendipity.
Difference between Shahi Paneer and Paneer Butter masala
The method of preparing Shahi Paneer and Paneer butter masala is quite similar. However, the main difference between the two is that Shahi Paneer tastes little sweeter and milder than Paneer Butter masala. The flavors of spices are more prominent in Paneer butter masala and it also feels richer because of more butter, cashew nuts, and cream used in it.
So, if you like mild gravies you will love Shahi Paneer
How to serve
Shahi Paneer can be served in any major meal i.e. lunch or dinner. My favorite way of enjoying it is with some home-made garlic naan. You can serve it with any other Indian bread like roti, lachha paratha, plain paratha or puri.
It can also be enjoyed with a rice dish like Jeera rice. or just steamed rice. Just serve some raita like aloo raita, sprouts raita, or pahadi raita on the side and a delicious Indian vegetarian meal is ready.
More Indian vegetarian recipes
India is a heaven for vegetarians. There is a huge variety of meat-free dishes easily available almost everywhere in India.
If you are also looking for some Indian vegetarian recipes that can easily be made at home then don't miss to check the following recipes:
If you try any of my recipes then please don’t miss to rate it in the comments section below.
Step by step photo instructions
- Blender/ food processor
- Cooking pot
Ingredients for Shahi Paneer paste
- 1.5 cups paneer cubes around 250 grams
- ¼ cup cooking cream
- 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon unsalted butter
- ½ cup cashew nuts
- 4 medium-sized tomatoes roughly chopped
- 2 medium-sized onion roughly chopped
- 5-6 cloves garlic roughly chopped
- 1 clove garlic very finely chopped
- 1 inch piece of ginger roughly chopped
- 1-2 green chilies roughly chopped
- ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 black cardamom
- 3-4 green cardamoms
- 2-3 cloves
- 3-4 black pepper corns
- 1 small cinnamon stick
- ½ + ½ teaspoon kashmiri red chili powder
- ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
- ½ tablespoon dried fenugreek leaves (kasoori methi)
- ¼ teaspoon Garam masala
- Salt to taste
- ½ cup water
- Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a cooking pot. Add cumin seeds, bay leaf, cinnamon stick, black cardamom, green cardamoms, cloves, and black peppercorns. Saute for a few seconds or until the spices become fragrant.
- Add roughly chopped onion and garlic. Cook until the onion becomes translucent.
- Add roughly chopped tomatoes, green chilies, ginger, cashew nuts, salt, and ½ a teaspoon of red chili powder. Mix everything. Add around ½ a cup of water and cover the pot. Cook for around 15 minutes or until the tomatoes turn mushy and then switch off the stove.
- Allow the mixture to reach temperature and then transfer to a blender or food processor and blend to make a paste. If it's too thick, add some water.
- Strain the mixture with the help of a large strainer to get a smooth, creamy paste.
- Heat around 1 teaspoon of butter in a pan.
- Add 1 very finely chopped garlic and saute for a few seconds or until its raw smell goes away.
- Add turmeric powder. ½ a teaspoon red chili powder, and some kasoori methi. Saute for a few seconds.
- Add paneer cubes and saute for 1-2 minutes.
- Next, add strained tomato paste and cook for 2-3 minutes.
- Add cream, garam masala, and the remaining kasoori methi. Mix everything and switch off the stove.
- Use Kashmiri red chili powder as it only gives a bright red color to the dish without adding the heat.
- Adjust the amount of butter and cream as per your liking.
- You may also add a few strands of saffron to add more flavor and a nice color to the dish.
- More recipe tips and tricks are given within the post above. Please follow them to make this recipe.