‘Paneer’ (Indian Cottage Cheese) is always almost every vegetarian’s favorite option when they are ordering at a restaurant or menu for any party. Even non vegetarian like me prefer to have ‘paneer’ a lot. I enjoy ‘paneer’ in every form! The soft cubes of ‘paneer’ with reach taste of cashew, fresh cream, garam masala and kasuri methi (dry fenugreek leaf) melts in your mouth with every bite you take.
‘Shahi’ means Royal and as the name suggests this is a Royal Cottage Cheese dish to be served on special occasion. Dry fruits, yogurt, Indian spices and fresh cream are added to make this dish royal and rich. I have added both yogurt and tomato to this dish. But you can use either of these. I find adding yogurt makes any gravy or curry rich, even not adding fresh cream. And it is healthier option too. If adding tomatoes, then do add cream as both tomatoes and cream really goes well with each other. Let’s see how to make ‘Restaurant Style Shahi Paneer’ at home!
Ingredients to serve 4:
- Cottage Cheese or Paneer – 200 gms (Cut into cubes)
- Tomato – 1 (Roughly chopped)
- Yogurt – 2 Tbsp
- Onion – 1 (Big – roughly chopped)
- Green Chilli – 2
- Cashew nuts – 10-12 (Soaked)
- Garlic – 6-7 Cloves
- Ginger – 2”
- Red Chilli Powder – 1 tsp
- Coriander Powder – 1 tsp
- Turmeric Powder – ½ tsp
- Garam Masala – ½ tsp
- Kasuri Methi or Dry Fenugreek Leaves – ½ tsp
- Fresh Cream – 4 tsp
- Oil – 2 Tbsp
- Salt – To taste
- Heat 1 Tbsp oil in a pan or kadai, add the paneer cubes and shallow fry it for 2 – 3 minutes till light golden. Remove the paneer cubes from the pan and add soak them to warm water for 5-10 minutes. It helps to retain the softness of the paneer.
- In a blender, add the ginger, garlic & chilli. Make a smooth paste and set it aside.
- Next in the same pan or wok add onions. Sauté until golden.
- Add the ginger-garlic-chilli paste and cook until the raw smell goes away.
- Next add the tomatoes and cook on medium heat until they are cooked completely and the oil separates from the spices. Turn off the flame and cool it completely.
- Once the mixture cools down, blend it to a smooth paste along with soaked cashews and yogurt.
- Pour the paste back into the wok. Keep it on low flame and cook it for another 3-4 minutes.
- Next add the dry spice powders except kasuri methi. Season with salt and add the cream. Add water if required. Mix well and cook for another few minutes.
- Add the paneer cubes. Mix them very gently with light hand. And for that restaurant-like flavour crush some kasuri methi over it and give it one last stir.
- Serve with Butter Naan or Whole Wheat Garlic Naan.