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Shahi Paneer, translating to “royal cottage cheese,” is a crown jewel of North Indian cuisine. This rich and flavorful dish features paneer, a fresh, unaged cheese, bathed in a creamy and aromatic gravy. The name aptly describes the experience, offering a taste fit for a king (or queen!).

While Shahi Paneer might sound intimidating, it’s surprisingly achievable in your own kitchen. This recipe, inspired by the culinary maestro Sanjeev Kapoor, breaks down the process into simple steps, ensuring restaurant-quality results at home.

Shahi Paneer  शाही पनीर  Sanjeev Kapoor Khazana
Shahi Paneer शाही पनीर Sanjeev Kapoor Khazana

Ingredients:

Paneer: 400 grams (about 14 oz), cut into cubes

  • Onions: 2 large, finely chopped
  • Oil: 2 tablespoons
  • Cashew Nuts: 15-20, roughly chopped
  • Tomatoes: 5 medium, finely chopped
  • Red Chili Powder: 1 teaspoon
  • Coriander Powder: 1 tablespoon
  • Turmeric Powder: A pinch
  • Salt: To taste
  • Butter: 2 tablespoons
  • Cream: ½ cup, plus additional for garnishing (optional)
  • Dried Fenugreek Leaves (Kasuri Methi): 1 teaspoon, crushed
  • Garam Masala Powder: 1 teaspoon
  • Green Cardamom Powder: ¼ teaspoon

  • Directions:

    1. Sautéing the Base: Heat oil in a large, non-stick pan (kadai) over medium heat. Add the chopped onions and cashews. Sauté until the onions become translucent and soften, about 5-7 minutes.

    2. Introducing the Tomatoes: Add the chopped tomatoes to the pan and cook for 10-12 minutes, stirring occasionally. You want the tomatoes to soften and release their juices, creating a pulpy mixture.

    3. Spice Up Your Life: Now comes the flavor party! Add the red chili powder, coriander powder, turmeric powder, and salt. Stir well and cook for another minute, allowing the spices to bloom and release their fragrance.

    4. Blending Magic: Transfer the cooked mixture from the pan to a blender jar. Add a little water to aid the blending process if needed. Blend until you achieve a smooth and creamy tomato puree.

    5. The Creamy Transformation: Return the blended tomato puree to the pan. Reduce heat to low, cover the pan, and simmer for 10 minutes. This allows the flavors to meld and intensify.

    6. Creamy Luxury: After simmering, uncover the pan and increase the heat slightly. Add the butter and cream, stirring well to incorporate them into the sauce. The cream will add a luxurious richness to the dish.

    7. Paneer Takes Center Stage: Gently add the cubed paneer to the creamy sauce. Let it simmer for another 2-3 minutes, allowing the paneer to absorb the flavors.

    8. Final Touches: Sprinkle the crushed kasuri methi, garam masala powder, and green cardamom powder over the pan. Give it a gentle stir to combine. Taste and adjust seasonings with salt if needed.

    9. Royal Presentation: Turn off the heat. Garnish with a drizzle of additional cream (optional) and fresh coriander leaves for a pop of color. Serve hot with your favorite Indian flatbreads like roti, naan, or paratha.

    Nutrition Facts (Per Serving):

    Calories: Approximately 400-500 (depending on the fat content of cream and butter used)

  • Fat: 20-25 grams
  • Carbohydrates: 30-35 grams
  • Protein: 20-25 grams

  • Note: This is a general estimate, and the actual nutritional content can vary depending on the specific ingredients and brands used.

    Conclusion:

    Shahi Paneer is a treat for both your taste buds and your culinary skills. With its vibrant colors, rich flavors, and creamy texture, it’s sure to become a star on your dinner table. So, ditch the takeout menu and impress your loved ones with this restaurant-worthy dish made in the comfort of your own home.

    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

    1. Can I use a substitute for paneer?

    Yes, if paneer is unavailable, you can use firm tofu, cubed and pan-fried, as a decent alternative.

    2. How can I adjust the spice level?

    Start with the recommended amount of red chili powder, and adjust to your preference. You can always add more later but remember, you can’t take it away!

    3. What vegetables can I add to Shahi Paneer?