I think I have mentioned it on this blog – I have love hate relationship with paneer. There are times I absolutely love soft, pillow like paneer slices and there are times I absolutely detest it. S on the other hand is always skeptical about paneer. Infact he doesn’t like plain milk or milk based stuff unless I can dodge it properly. Hence, we buy paneer very sparingly and when we do, I have to find ways to make it tasty! Shahi Paneer is one of the few paneer dishes the husband loves and recently I made this rich creamy gravy and immediately thought of sharing it on the blog. This gravy gets its name from all the rich ingredients that go into making it. I used thick curd/yogurt and a paste of milk & cashews, so needless to say the gravy is lipsmacking good. If you don’t like tomatoes in your gravy, this is the dish for you as this is only onion based gravy! Goes really well with Jeera Rice, Pulao, Naan, Kulcha or Rotis.
To make Shahi Paneer
What I used –
- Paneer/Cottage Cheese, 100 gms
- Onions, 2 medium
- Thick Curd/Yogurt, ½ cup
- Cashews, 10-12
- Hot Milk, ⅓rd cup
- Green Chillies, 1 or 2
- Shahi Jeera/Jeera, 1 tsp
- Dried Bay Leaf, 1
- Cinnamon, 1” piece
- Green Cardamom, 1
- Clove, 1
- Oil, 2 tsp
- Red Chilli Powder, ½ tsp
- Garam Masala Powder, ½ tsp
- Coriander Powder, ½ tsp
- Jeera Powder, ½ tsp
- Turmeric Powder, a generous pinch
- Salt, as required
- Water, as required
- Saffron Strands, a few (optional)
How I made –
1. In a microwave safe bowl, add diced onions with little water and set on high for 5 mins. The onions should turn pale and cooked. Let them cool. Meanwhile, soak cashews in hot milk for ten mins. Make a smooth paste of the onions. Remove on a bowl. Make smooth paste of the cashews too. Set it aside.
2. In a pan, heat oil. Add shahi jeera/jeera, cinnamon piece, green cardamom, clove and bay leaf. As they splutter, add the slit green chillies and the onion paste. Fry for 3-4 mins. Add ginger garlic paste. Close the pan and cook this mixture on medium heat for 5-7 mins until the paste is thick.
3. Add red chilli powder, garam masala powder, coriander powder, jeera powder, salt and turmeric to the cooked onion paste. Stir fry for 2 mins. Add thick curd/yogurt. Mix well and cook for another 4-5mins.
4. Add the cashew paste to the gravy and mix well. Cook for another 3-4mins. Add little water if required. Add the diced paneer cubes and mix well.
5. Top the gravy with saffron milk or strands. Serve hot with hot rotis/naan/phulka/kulcha/jeera rice.
- Onions can be cooked on the stove top but I like the convenience of the microwave. The timing required in microwave can vary. Pls be careful while trying it out.
- If you want to skip curd, add pureed tomatoes. Curd used in this recipe gives a slight tanginess there by perfectly replacing tomatoes.
- Make sure the curd used is thick. If required, strain it in a muslin cloth to remove excess water.
- After adding cashew paste, the gravy thickens immediately. Add more water if necessary.
- The gravy has a natural sweetness from onions, cashews, curd etc. Add a pinch of sugar if desired.
- Saffron is optional but adds to the richness and the beautiful color of the gravy. Mix it with some hot milk or use directly as strands.
- To have soft paneer, put it in hot/boiling water for 5 mins. Paneer stays super soft in the gravy.