Shahi paneer is known for its mildly spicy, creamy, and sweet flavor that comes from a unique and interesting combination of ingredients and spice. And when the time comes that you crave something as delicious as a traditional shahi paneer, it would be quite difficult to find a restaurant that offers this dish. Knowing how to make shahi paneer like restaurant style allows you to cook this wondrous Indian recipe in the comforts of your own home.
Shahi Paneer, Paneer Makhani, and Paneer Butter Masala: What’s the difference?
If you are ever familiar with India and Indian cuisine, you may have heard of the running joke that the shahi paneer, paneer makhana, and paneer butter masala are all the same. At first glance, this may be true as all dishes look quite the same. However, there are some notable differences between dishes, especially when it comes to the ingredients and the taste.
Shahi paneer is made using different pastes made from nuts, tomatoes, and cream. It has a notably nutty and fruity flavor and a notable orange-yellow color because of the saffron added to the cream.
The paneer makhani uses a unique and specific ingredient which is the makhana or the white butter. This type of butter is made using the fatty layer of boiled milk and is further processed to separate the whey from the butterfat. The end product is pure white butter that is free from sodium and other preservatives present in the more common yellow butter. Compared to the shahi paneer, the paneer makhana uses a lot more tomatoes and butter.
Lastly, the paneer butter masala is the counterpart dish of the paneer makhani that uses yellow butter. Much like the paneer makhana, the paneer butter masala uses tomatoes as its base and has a notable burnt orange tint to it.
Health Benefits of Shahi Paneer
Aside from fulfilling your cravings, there are also several health benefits of shahi paneer that will make you want to learn how to make shahi paneer like restaurant style. Considering that shahi paneer includes nuts, tomatoes, and cheese as its primary ingredients, this dish is known to be high in protein, magnesium, and other vitamin nutrients.
This makes it an amazing dish for those who are following a diet program for weight loss, as well as those trying to maintain proper blood sugar levels. Aside from that, the shahi paneer is a type of vegetable curry that could be further transformed into a delicious vegan recipe.
How To Make Shahi Paneer Like Restaurant Style
Considering that there are little to no Indian restaurants in the US that offer shahi paneer, learning how to make shahi paneer like restaurant style allows you to simply cook the dish yourself whenever you are craving some spicy and sweet curry. Here is our step-by-step guide on how to cook amazing shahi paneer at home:
What you need:
For a single serving, prepare:
- 170 grams of paneer.
- 2 tablespoons of ghee
- 1 ¼ cups of chopped tomatoes
- 1 ½ teaspoon of red chili powder
- 1 ½ teaspoon of coriander powder
- ½ teaspoon of sugar
- 1 teaspoon of garam masala
- 1 teaspoon of Kasuri methi
- ¼ teaspoon of cardamom seeds powder
- 1 medium-size green chili, chopped
- 1 cup of chopped red onion
- 8-10 cashew nuts
- 2-3 cloves of garlic, chopped
- 6-7 strands of saffron
- ½ inch sliced garlic
- 2 cloves
- 2 green cardamoms
- ½ inch of cinnamon stick
- ¼ cup of heavy whipping cream
- 2 cups of water
How to do it:
- First, soak the cashew nuts in hot water for about 10 to 20 minutes.
- While waiting, place the heavy cream in the microwave and let it warm in a low setting. Crush some saffron strands and add them to the heavy cream. Mix and set aside to let the flavor and color of saffron seep into the cream.
- In a pan, saute the onion, garlic, ginger, cloves, green chili, cardamoms, and cinnamon. add 1/3 cup of water and let it cook until the onion is soft and mushy. Set aside to cool down.
- Using a food processor or a blender, grind the soaked cashew nuts to create a paste. Then, take the onion mixture and make a paste as well. Lastly, make a tomato paste using the chopped tomatoes and some salt and pepper to taste.
- Take a pot and cook the onion paste on some ghee. Continue stirring until the paste becomes smooth and thick after 4 to 6 minutes.
- Once the onion paste is cooked, add the tomato paste and cook until the mixture loses all moisture and becomes thick. Stir the pot from time to time to keep the paste from sticking at the bottom and burning.
- Season the paste by adding the red chili powder, black pepper, and coriander. Mix the paste well before adding the cashew paste, one cup of water, and sugar.
- Let the pot simmer for 4-6 minutes with occasional stirring before adding the garam masala and the crushed Kasuri methi.
- Gently add the paneer to the pot and let it cook for 1-2 minutes. Be sure not to overcook the paneer to maintain its shape.
- For the creamy flavor, pour in the saffron-cream mixture and gently stir the pot.
- Take the pot out of the heat and top it with some cardamom powder before closing with a lid to cool for at least 5 minutes.
- Transfer to a bowl and serve with some basmati rice, jeera rice, garlic naan, or tandoori roti.
When it comes to luscious and creamy Indian dishes, there is no doubt that shahi paneer should be at the top of the list. Enjoy the slight heat and the creamy goodness of shahi paneer anytime with our easy guide on how to make shahi paneer like restaurant style. Just make sure to use as many traditional Indian spices to replicate the authentic flavors and wonders that are the delicious shahi paneer.