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
Ingredients for Shahi Paneer paste
- 1.5 cups paneer cubes
- 2 tbsp cream
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1/2 teaspoon kashmiri red chili powder
- 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1/4 teaspoon dry fenugreek leaves powder (kasoori methi powder)
- A pinch of garam masala
- Salt as per taste
- Chopped coriander leaves for garnishing optional
- Heat 1/2 tablespoon butter in a pan. Add all the ingredients for the paste, except water and saute for around a minute.
- Add water, cover the pan and allow to cook for around 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, switch off the gas and allow the mixture to reach room temperature.
- Once the cooked ingredients reach room temperature, put everything in a grinder and make a fine paste.
- Strain the paste with a large strainer to get a nice smooth and creamy paste.
- Heat 1 tablespoon butter in a pan. Add chili and turmeric powder. Saute for a few seconds.
- Add shahi paneer paste, mix and cook for around 3-4 minutes. Add more water if the gravy is too thick.
- Next, add paneer cubes and cream. Mix and cook around 2 minutes, stirring continuously.
- Finally, add garam masala, kasoori methi, mix and cook for another minute. Switch off the gas.
- Garnish with chopped coriander leaves or kasoori methi and serve hot with roti, naan or rice.
- 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.