Shahi Paneer

Creamy Shahi Paneer in a rich gravy made with onions, nuts and cream!

Shahi means “royal” so this dish is as exotic as it can get! Pairs beautifully with naan.

shahi paneer served in a small wok with spoon and a small plate of spices in the background

There are so many ways to cook paneer. Growing up, paneer was not a everyday thing in my house.

It was made on special occasions like birthday parties or on festivals like Diwali, Holi.

So yeah it was something we all looked forward to eating. Now, of course I cook it more often.

From palak paneer to paneer bhruji to paneer parathas, I make everything in my kitchen.

Shahi Paneer is a super popular paneer dish where paneer is cooked in a rich and creamy gravy.

The gravy is little sweet, creamy and wonderfully aromatic.

Everyone has their own way of making shahi paneer, there’s no right or wrong way here.

I prefer to make this recipe with onions only. If you want a tomato based gravy for shahi paneer, check out my recipe for Paneer Butter Masala.

That one has a creamy tomato based curry and is equally delicious.

shahi paneer served in a copper bowl

Creamy Rich Shahi Paneer

This rich gravy gets its richness from nuts and cream. I also add some yogurt for that extra flavor.

Some people also add khoya (dried milk solids) to the gravy to make it extra rich. I thought it was already very rich with the nuts and cream!

For this Shahi Paneer recipe, I first boil the onion with nuts, ginger, garlic and then puree to form a paste.

That paste is then cooked with everything else. It’s pretty simple actually.

I flavor the gravy with few spices like coriander powder, chili powder, black pepper, cardamom powder and very little garam masala.

You can even add turmeric (add very little around 1/4 teaspoon) if you want your gravy to look more yellow.

I usually don’t add turmeric in mine. I do add few strands of saffron at times, though it’s completely optional.

Here are a few tips to make a good restaurant style Shahi Paneer!

✓ use sweet white onion for this recipe. It works best here. Red onion has stronger flavor and we want mellowed down onion flavor here for which white onion works best.

✓ do not use a ton of spices. I prefer using very few spices in this version of shahi paneer. It lets the creamy flavors shine more.

✓add a pinch of saffron strands for that lovely aroma and flavor.

✓ don’t forget to sprinkle cardamom powder before serving!

I cut the paneer pieces into triangles for this recipe. I have made this recipe several times before but I would always just cut paneer into regular cubes.

Sarvesh was after my life that you cannot post a Shahi Paneer recipe without triangle shaped paneer!

According to him, every place in Delhi always has paneer cut into triangles for this recipe. Does it matter?

I don’t know but because he was so adamant about it, I obliged! 😉

This creamy, aromatic Restaurant Style Shahi Paneer pairs well with naan, paratha or jeera rice. Enjoy!

 

Method

1- To a pan add the diced onion, roughly chopped garlic, ginger, green cardamoms, green chilies, cashews, almonds. Add around 2 (16 oz) to 2.5 (20 oz) cups water. Let it boil on medium-high heat for 15 to 20 minutes.

Let it cool down slightly. I remove the skin from the almonds at this point (optional).

2- Once it has cooled down a little, transfer the ingredients to a blender.

3- Blend to a smooth paste. Set aside.

4- Meanwhile cut your paneer. I cut the paneer into triangles for this recipe. Cut into cubes and then cut each cube into triangle.

If using store bought paneer, remember to soak it in hot water for 15 to 20 minutes and then cut it.

The resulting paneer will be much softer.

step by step picture collage of making shahi paneer

5- Now, heat a heavy bottom pan on medium heat. Once hot, add the oil and ghee and then add the cinnamon stick, bay leaf and cloves. Saute the spices for few seconds until fragrant.

6- Stir in the prepared onion-nuts paste into the pan. Cook for 4 to 5 minutes, stir often.

7- Add in the coriander powder, red chili powder, garam masala, sugar, salt, cardamom powder and black pepper powder. Stir the spices and cook for 1 minute.

8- Remove pan from heat and add the yogurt, little at a time and whisking continuously. This is important so that the yogurt doesn’t split. Cook for 1 minute.

Also make sure your yogurt is at room temperature before you add it to the pan.

step by step picture collage of making shahi paneer

9- Add water to the pan and stir.

10- Also, add the saffron strands, if using (crush them before adding) and stir.

11- Let the curry simmer for 5 to 6 minutes. It will thicken as it cooks. Add in the cream and mix.

12- Add the paneer and simmer for 3 more minutes.

step by step picture collage of making shahi paneer

Sprinkle some cardamom powder on top. Serve Shahi Paneer with garlic naan or jeera rice.

shahi paneer served in a small wok with spoon and a small plate of spices in the background

If you’ve tried Shahi Paneer Recipe then don’t forget to rate the recipe! You can also follow me on Facebook and Instagram to see what’s latest in my kitchen!

This post has been updated from the recipe archives, first published in April 2015.

Shahi Paneer

Creamy Shahi Paneer is one of the most popular paneer recipes! This rich curry is made with onions, nuts and lightly flavored with spices. Goes so well with naan!

shahi paneer served in a small wok with spoon and a small plate of spices in the background
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Keyword shahi paneer
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 4
Calories: 270 kcal
Author: Manali
5 from 1 vote
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Ingredients

  • 1 medium white onion, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 1 inch ginger, roughly chopped
  • 4-5 whole green cardamom
  • 1 green chili, roughly chopped, add more if you want more spice
  • 10 whole cashews
  • 10 whole almonds
  • 3-3.5 cups water, 24-28 oz, divided
  • 1 tablespoon ghee, 15 ml
  • 1 tablespoon oil, 15 ml
  • 1 inch cinnamon stick
  • 1 whole bay leaf
  • 3 whole cloves
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon red chili powder, or adjust to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1/8 teaspoon cardamom powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2-3/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • 1/4 cup plain whole yogurt
  • pinch saffron strands, optional
  • 225 grams paneer, cut into triangles
  • 2-2.5 tablespoons heavy cream

Instructions

  1. To a pan add the diced onion, roughly chopped garlic, ginger, green cardamoms, green chilies, cashews, almonds. Add around 2 (16 oz) to 2.5 (20 oz) cups water. Let it boil on medium-high heat for 15 to 20 minutes.

    Let it cool down slightly. I remove the skin from the almonds at this point (optional).

  2. Once it has cooled down a little, transfer the ingredients to a blender. Blend to a smooth paste. Set aside.

  3. Meanwhile cut your paneer. I cut the paneer into triangles for this recipe. Cut into cubes and then cut each cube into triangle.

    If using store bought paneer, remember to soak it in hot water for 15 to 20 minutes and then cut it. The resulting paneer will be much softer.

  4. Now, heat a heavy bottom pan on medium heat. Once hot, add the oil and ghee and then add the cinnamon stick, bay leaf and cloves. Saute the spices for few seconds until fragrant.

  5. Stir in the prepared onion-nuts paste into the pan. Cook for 4 to 5 minutes, stir often.

  6. Add in the coriander powder, red chili powder, garam masala, sugar, salt, cardamom powder and black pepper powder. Stir the spices and cook for 1 minute.

  7. Remove pan from heat and add the yogurt, little at a time and whisking continuously. This is important so that the yogurt doesn't split. Cook for 1 minute.

    Also make sure your yogurt is at room temperature before you add it to the pan.

  8. Add water to the pan and stir. Also, add the saffron strands, if using (crush them before adding) and stir.

  9. Let the curry simmer for 5 to 6 minutes. It will thicken as it cooks. Add in the cream and mix.

  10. Add the paneer and simmer for 3 more minutes.

  11. Sprinkle some cardamom powder on top. Serve Shahi Paneer with naan or jeera rice!

Recipe Notes

  1. If you are looking for a creamy tomato based gravy for Shahi Paneer, try this Paneer Butter Masala recipe.
  2. I haven't tried it myself but if you want to make this vegan: replace plain whole milk yogurt with plain almond milk yogurt, cream with coconut milk and paneer with tofu. If you do try to make this vegan, let me know. I would love to know how it turned out.
Nutrition Facts
Shahi Paneer
Amount Per Serving
Calories 270 Calories from Fat 180
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 20g 31%
Saturated Fat 9g 45%
Cholesterol 39mg 13%
Sodium 197mg 8%
Potassium 343mg 10%
Total Carbohydrates 13g 4%
Dietary Fiber 2g 8%
Sugars 6g
Protein 9g 18%
Vitamin A 16.7%
Vitamin C 15.5%
Calcium 28.6%
Iron 5.9%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

 

16 thoughts on “Shahi Paneer

  1. So I’ve never had shahi paneer, but this truly looks delicious, Manali. (As you can probably tell, my Indian food experience is still pretty limited…but I have become fond of a few of the dishes I’ve played with.) I’m trying to think of an American version of a dish like this where everyone has a different version and it’s wildly popular. Maybe like an Italian red sauce (not American I know), but that’s not even a great analogy. Either way, thanks for sharing…this post is making me hungry!


  2. Just made this and it is so good! I like the different ways you can serve Paneer. I’ve only been cooking Indian cuisine for a couple months and your blog is fantastic!

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