Shahi Paneer (Indian Cottage Cheese cooked in rich gravy)



Today's recipe is my all time favourite dish and it's name is Shahi Paneer. This dish is my mother's recipe or you can say secret recipe. This one is sometime which takes me to childhood memories. I use often ask my mom to prepare Shahi Paneer for me and she only use to cook in some special occasions, gatherings and kitty party. The most delicious Paneer recipe I have eaten. I tried to create the same taste as of my mother to some extend but I think she cooks far better than me. There are several methods of cooking this recipe. Some are in white gravy and some are in orange gravy. But this one is some where between white and orange. The term Shahi means royal which means rich gravy based sauce. This Shahi Paneer came to India with Mughals. It used to be cooked in royal kitchen with more than 50 spices but nowadays nobody have so much time to spent in cooking so this one is the most simplified version of it.




In this recipe, first I diced the soft Paneer into cubes. For the gravy, I used onion, garlic and ginger paste. Add tomato puree for tanginess. For that creamy and rich taste and flavour I used poppy seeds, almonds and cashew nut paste. Cooked it throughly. The use of dry spices in this gravy is very less. The spices such as red chilli powder, coriander powder and little garam masala is enough to give every taste and flavour to the dish. When the gravy is cooked, I added the diced paneer. To end it off with, I heated little bit of ghee (clarified butter) in a small pan, added red chilli powder to it. When all the flavour of the chilli powder infused in the ghee. I added it to the shahi paneer gravy. 




The detailed recipe is as follows:-

Preparation Time:- 20 minutes  Cooking Time:- 30 minutes                               Standing Time:- 10 minutes  Total Time:- 50 minutes

Number of Servings:- 2-3 persons

Measurements:-
1 cup = 250 ml
¾ cup = 200 ml
½ cup = 125 ml 
1/3 cup = 80 ml
1 tablespoon = 15 ml
1 teaspoon = 5 ml
½ teaspoon = 2.5 ml
¼ teaspoon = 1.25 ml

Ingredients:-

* Paneer (Indian Cottage Cheese):- 200 grams 
* Onion:- 1 large
* Ginger:- 1 inch long
* Garlic Cloves:- 4-5
* Tomato Puree:- 2 tablespoon
* KhusKhus/ Poppy Seeds:- 2 tablespoon
* Kaju/Cashew-nuts:- 6-7
* Badam/Almonds:-6-7
* Raisins:- 10-12
* Coriander Powder:- 1 teaspoon
* Garam Masala Powder:- 1 teaspoon
* Red Chilli Powder:- 1/2 + 1/2 teaspoon
* Sugar:- 1/2 teaspoon
* Kasuri Methi:- 1/4 teaspoon
* Dried Mint Leaves:- 1/4 teaspoon
* Salt:- to taste
* Oil:- 3 tablespoon
* Ghee/ Clarified Butter:- 1 teaspoon
* Water:- 1 cup + 1/2 ( for grinding almonds, cashew-nuts and poppy seeds.)

Method:
1.  Dice the paneer into medium size square. Soak the poppy seeds, almonds and cashew-nuts in 1/2 cup of water for 10-15 mounts. After 15 minutes grind it into a smooth paste. Keep it aside. Now grind onion, garlic and ginger into fine paste with a help of water if required.









2. Heat oil in a pan. When heat add the onion garlic paste and sauce it till the raw flavour are gone and the oil is separated from the onion, garlic and ginger paste. Add the tomato puree and cook for 2-3 minutes till the oil is separated from it. Add coriander powder, 1/2 teaspoon of red chilli powder, salt and gram masala. Cook Well. The flame should be over medium heat.








3. Add the cashew-nut, almond and poppy seed paste to the pan. Cook till the oil is separated from the gravy. Add 1 cup of water to it. Cover and bring it to boil till the water is reduced to half. It will take 5-7 minutes. Check for seasoning at this moment. Add sugar to the gravy. When the gravy is fully cooked, add the diced paneer pieces to the pan. Do not stir it too much as the paneer pieces will break. Toss with light hands. Cover and cook for 2-3 minutes over low heat.









4. Add the dried mint and Kasuri methi to the gravy. Toss lightly and switch off the flame. Cover and give a standing time of 10 minutes to the dish.




5. After 10 minutes, take the paneer out in the serving bowl. Heat 1 teaspoon of ghee in a small frying pan. Once heated. Switch off the flame and add 1/2 teaspoon of red chilli powder to the pan. Mix well with the ghee. (Make sure that you don't burn the chilli powder.) Pour that over the paneer gravy. 





Your mouth watering Shahi Paneer is ready to be served.

Note:-

People living outside India, and not aware of all the Indian spices you will mostly get all of them in the Indian stores near your place. 

* If you don't have any one the either nuts at your home, you can use Magaz seeds or melon seeds instead of that.

Serving Tip:- Serve with roti, paratha, naan or jeera rice (cumin flavoured rice.)




Do try my recipe and leave for comments below. Till then Happy Cooking.!



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