Why are you giving me royal cheese off?
No, no, I am not giving you a royal cheese off! ‘Royal cheese’ is the straightforward and simplistic translation of ‘shahi paneer’. The shahi refers to the imperial court of Mughals, one of the most influential dynasty to rule India for close to 300 years, where this recipe for making shahi paneer was first developed in the royal kitchen.
However, the recipe that I am sharing is the one that my mom perfected over the years. She makes fresh paneer every week (yes, it’s true!) so she is looking for creative ways to make paneer dishes. This recipe is different from the other shahi paneer recipes, especially the ones served in restaurants, in that it replaces heavy cream with milk so it’s lighter on the stomach but still really delicious. It’s not as daunting as it looks to make, so go on, give it a try.
- 250 gram paneer Indian cottage cheese, cubed
- 2 medium onion 2-3 inch in diameter
- 2 inch ginger peeled and finely chopped
- 3-4 green chillies
- 3 medium tomatoes 2-3 inch in diameter
- 3 large garlic cloves peeled and finely chopped
- 2-3 tbsp ghee clarified butter or cooking oil
- 1/2 tsp turmeric powder haldi
- 1 tsp cumin seeds zeera
- 2 tsp coriander powder dhania powder
- 1 tsp garam masala
- 1 cup milk
- 2-3 cups water
- 1 tbsp dried fenugreek leaves kasoori methi
- fresh green coriander leaves (handful) finely chopped
- salt to taste
Roughly chop the onions, tomatoes, chillies and half of ginger. Finely grind in a blender to get a smooth paste.
Heat the oil in a pan and add cumin seeds and turmeric. As soon as the cumin seeds start to sputter, add the onion and tomato mix from the blender. Also add the remaining half of the finely chopped ginger.
Turn the heat to low and saute’ for 15-20 minutes (perhaps even longer) until the oil starts leaving the sides of the pan and the whole mixture start to stick together. Please stir continuously so that the mixture doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan.
Add the chopped garlic and saute’ for another 5-6 minutes.
Mix in the garam masala, coriander powder and salt.
Add water, milk and cheese and bring it to boil and simmer for another 3-4 minutes
Mix in the dried fenugreek leaves and chopped coriander leaves and you are done!
Serve it with freshly made paranthas or naan!
However, if the the dish still seems dry at the end, you can add more milk and water at the end. If you do add more water, please boil the water first and then after you add it to the dish, please simmer it for 2-3 minutes.
Shahi Paneer Served With Naan