How to Make Shahi Paneer? A Lip-Smacking Delight from the Heart of Punjab!
Ever wondered what it feels like to bite into a piece of heaven?
If you’re a fan of Indian cuisine, you’re probably familiar with the rich, creamy, and utterly delightful dish known as shahi paneer.
Especially when it comes to the shahi paneer dhaba style or the authentic Punjabi shahi paneer, the flavour journey is nothing short of exquisite. Ready for a culinary adventure?
Let’s dive in!
What is Shahi Paneer?
For those who might be new to this delicacy, Shahi paneer is a royal North Indian dish made from soft chunks of paneer (Indian cottage cheese) immersed in a creamy tomato and onion gravy.
The ‘shahi’ in its name translates to ‘royal,’ hinting at its majestic taste and legacy. Now, imagine if the traditional Punjabi dhabas – those roadside eateries known for finger-licking dishes – gave it their own twist. That’s where the magic happens!
Let’s get cooking, shall we?
- Paneer: 250 gm, cubed
- Tomatoes: 3, pureed
- Onions: 2, finely chopped
- Ginger-garlic paste: 1 tbsp
- Cream: 1/2 cup
- Cashew paste: 2 tbsp
- Spices: Turmeric, red chili powder, garam masala, salt – as per taste
- Bay leaf, cardamom, and cloves – for the aromatic touch!
- Oil or butter for cooking
- Fresh coriander for garnishing
Step-by-Step Royal Procedure:
Heat oil or butter in a pan.
Toss in the bay leaf, cardamom, and cloves. Allow the aromas to release.
Add the finely chopped onions and sauté them until they turn translucent.
Stir in the ginger-garlic paste and fry until the raw smell disappears.
Pour in the tomato puree, watching the colours merge and change.
After a couple of minutes, as the gravy thickens, add your spices: turmeric, red chilli powder, garam masala, and salt. Mix them well.
Introduce the rich cashew paste and cream to the pan. This step infuses the gravy with its regal touch.
Let the gravy simmer gently for a few minutes.
Gently add the soft paneer cubes to the gravy, ensuring they are well immersed.
Allow all the ingredients to blend and absorb the flavours for another 5 minutes.
Finish off the dish by garnishing it with fresh coriander.
There you have it, your delectable Punjabi Shahi Paneer, ready to be savoured! Experience the rich culture and tradition in every bite. Enjoy!
Shahi Paneer: A Regal Dish With Pro Tips
Shahi Paneer, originating in the royal kitchens of India, is a sumptuous curry made with paneer (Indian cottage cheese) in a rich, creamy gravy. Here are some expert suggestions to make this dish truly standout:
Always use fresh paneer for the best texture and taste. If using store-bought, soak the paneer cubes in warm water for 10-15 minutes before using. This makes them softer and ensures they absorb flavours better.
Opt for ripe, red tomatoes. Blanch the tomatoes first, peel and puree them to get a smooth gravy. This gives a velvety texture and a vibrant colour to the gravy.
Almonds and cashews are commonly used. Soak the nuts in warm water for at least an hour or in hot water for 30 minutes. This makes blending easier and results in a smoother gravy.
Always dry roast the spices (like cumin seeds, coriander seeds, cardamom) for a few seconds before grinding. This elevates their flavour.
After adding the spices, ensure you cook the masala till the oil separates from it. This ensures all the flavours meld and the raw taste disappears.
Apart from the nuts, add a little heavy cream at the end of the cooking process for added richness. Ensure not to boil rigorously after adding the cream, as it can split.
Finish with crushed kasuri methi (dried fenugreek leaves) for an aromatic touch. Fresh coriander and a drizzle of cream can also be used for garnishing. For an added royal touch, sprinkle some edible gold or silver leaves (varak).
Shahi Paneer is best served with soft naans, jeera rice, or pulao. Make sure to serve it warm to appreciate its complete flavour profile.
If you have leftovers, store them in an airtight container in the fridge. Before reheating, add a splash of water or milk to retain the curry’s creaminess.
Shahi paneer, with its creamy, flavorful gravy and soft chunks of paneer, is undoubtedly a dish fit for royalty.
Whether trying to understand its essence, distinguish it from other popular dishes, or are simply curious about its preparation, this delightful Punjabi treat never ceases to fascinate.
With roots in history and a taste that transcends borders, Shahi paneer remains a testament to the rich culinary heritage of India. Next time you savour this dish, remember you’re not just having a meal but partaking in a legacy.
Dive into our world of flavours! Follow us now for more delicious recipes.
What are the ingredients of Shahi paneer?
What is the difference between paneer and Shahi paneer?
How to make Shahi Paneer at home by Sanjeev Kapoor?
What is the English name of Shahi Paneer?
Is Shahi Paneer good for health?
However, the dish also includes cream and cashew paste, which can be high in calories. Moderation is key! Opting for low-fat cream or reducing its quantity can make it healthier.