|250 gms Paneer (cottage cheese), cubed into 1-inch pieces|
|1 medium Tomato, crushed|
|2 medium Onions|
|5-6 Cashew Nuts|
|1 teaspoon Coriander Seeds, roasted|
|1-2 Cloves (lavang)|
|1/2 piece of Bay Leaf|
|A small piece of Cinnamon Stick|
|2 Green Cardamoms|
|1 tablespoon Ginger Garlic Paste|
|1/4 teaspoon Turmeric Powder|
|1/2 teaspoon Red Chili Powder|
|1/2 teaspoon Coriander Powder|
|1 drop of Red Food Color, optional|
|1/3 cup Curd (not sour), beaten|
|1/3 cup Warm Water|
|1/2 teaspoon Sugar, optional|
|2 tablespoons Fresh Cream|
|1/4 teaspoon Garam Masala Powder|
|2-3 strands of Saffron, dissolved in 1 teaspoon water, optional|
|3 tablespoons Cooking Oil or Ghee (clarified butter)|
|Salt to taste|
|1-2 teaspoons Kasuri Methi , for garnishing|
- Grind cashew nuts with roasted coriander seeds into smooth powder and keep aside until required.
- Blanch the onions by following the directions given in the “How to Blanch Onion” recipe and crush the blanched onion to medium coarse paste in a grinder. Heat oil in a kadai (or pan) over medium flame. Add cloves, bay leaf, cinnamon and green cardamom. When they begin to crackle, add crushed onion.
- Stir-fry until it becomes light brown for approx. 3-4 minutes.
- Add ginger-garlic paste, turmeric powder, red chilli powder, coriander powder, a drop of red food color, cashew nut powder (prepared in step-1) and stir-fry for a minute.
- Add crushed tomato puree and salt.
- Stir-fry for approx. 2-minutes.
- Add curd, sugar and 1/3 cup warm water.
- Mix them and let mixture boil until oil starts to separate.
- Takeaway kadai from flame and let the mixture cool for 5 minutes. Discard whole spices (cloves, bay leaf, cinnamon and green cardamom), transfer mixture to a blender jar and blend it to smooth puree in blender or food processor. Again, transfer it to same kadai and place on the stove.
- Add fresh cream, garam masala powder and dissolved saffron.
- Mix well and cook for a minute.
- Add paneer cubes and mix properly to coat them with gravy.
- Cook for 3-4 minutes and turn off flame.
- Garnish it with kasuri methi and serve hot with Punjabi butter naan or tandoori roti in lunch.
- This best shahi paneer recipe uses uncooked paneer (paneer in its basic form); however, you can deep fry paneer cubes in butter/ghee or oil until light brown and add into the curry for variation.
- To give an extra creamy texture and taste to shahi paneer gravy, add 1/4-cup fresh cream instead of 2 tablespoons in step 10 in above recipe.
- Make sure to remove and discard the whole spices before blending the tomato gravy in mixer-grinder.
- To give prepared shahi paneer a tempting look, garnish it with a cream. The contrast of white and yellow-red color of gravy gives it a delicious look.