Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Shahi Paneer

Last night, I made shahi paneer, dal makhani and naan. I've made shahi paneer once before. It was good but not amazing. Last night, it was amazing. I'm so proud. 

I have read all sorts of complicated recipes to make this, involving a gazillion spices, yogurt, cream, etc. Here is MY version of the recipe (which is brilliant, by the way) and requires nothing complicated. No butter, no cream, the healthier-than-usual shahi paneer or paneer makhani. Whatever you want to call it.

Here's the recipe:


1 pound (»450g) paneer (cottage cheese), cut into 2 inch cubes
1 cup of tomato puree
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 tbsp olive oil
paste of 4 large cloves of garlic
paste of 2 inch piece of ginger
1 tbsp cumin seeds
pinch of asafoetida
4 tbsp of cashew nut paste
2 tbsp of coriander powder
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tbsp of deggi mirch (I use this specifically to give the dish a bright orange color and a little heat)
Deggi mirch is an important Indian spice made from a unique blend of special varieties of colorful red capsicums and Kashmiri red chilies. It has a mild heat and a deep red-orange color. It can be found in Indian grocery stores.
1 tsp sugar
Salt to taste


1. In a pan, heat the oil. Once the oil is hot, add cumin seeds and asafoetida. 

2. Once the cumin seeds turn into a light brown color, add the onions and the ginger-garlic paste. Once the onions are translucent, add the tomato puree. Now I said 1 cup puree, which I thought was good enough but if you want more curry, go ahead and add more. 

3. Add coriander powder, turmeric powder and salt. Meanwhile, take a quarter cup of cashew nuts, soak in hot water and put it in the microwave for 2 minutes. 

4. Microwaving makes the cashew nuts softer and easier to grind. Add some water to them and grind into a smooth paste.

5. Add this paste to the curry and mix well.

6. By this time, the curry will become thick so add some hot water to it to reach your desired consistency. I don't like it to be too dry or too watery. I like a semi-thick curry.

7. After you add the water, add some deggi mirch powder. I actually added two tablespoons because my husband likes it spicy. But if you can't handle too much spice, stick to just one tablespoon. Add some sugar and let it come to a boil. Taste check for salt. Once you're happy with the taste of the curry, add cubes of paneer and stir it in.

If your paneer is store-bought, I would suggest soaking the paneer cubes in warm water to make them soft. My paneer was homemade and it was soft enough to eat so I just added it directly to the curry. 

8. Let it come to a boil and turn off the heat. And that's it! :)

9. Garnish it with some chopped cilantro and you're ready to eat.

It's that easy. No cream, no butter and it tastes just as creamy and tasty as it does in restaurants. Give it a try.


No comments:

Post a Comment