200 gms paneer (cottage cheese)
1.5 cups strained stock (got from boiling the onions with dry fruits) + water or 1.5 cups water
½ cup full fat fresh yogurt/curd/dahi, whisked till smooth
1 or 2 tbsp full fat or 70-80% fat cream (optional) (amul cream which is available in india, can also be used)
1 tsp coriander powder/dhania powder
½ tsp red chili powder (lal mirch powder)
¼ tsp turmeric powder (haldi)
¼ tsp garam masala powder
¼ tsp cardamom powder (elaichi powder)
a pinch of saffron/kesar, crushed
kewra essence/vetiver, 1 or 2 drops, optional
salt and sugar as required
for the paste:
1 medium sized onion, roughly chopped
2 tbsp chopped cashews (kaju)
1 tbsp almonds (badam)
1 tbsp magaz or melon seeds without the skin
3-4 garlic/lahsun, chopped
1 inch ginger/adrak, chopped
whole spices or garam masala:
1 bay leaf (tej patta)
2-3 cloves (laung)
2-3 green cardamom (hari elaichi or choti elaichi)
1-2 black cardamom (badi elaichi)
1 inch cinnamon (dal chini)
½ tsp shah jeera/caraway seeds
2-3 tbsp oil or ghee or butter
boil onions, cashews, almonds, magaz, ginger and garlic in 1.5 cups water for 8-10 minutes till the onions become soft.
strain the stock and keep aside.
make a paste of the cooked onions, ginger, garlic along with the dry fruits adding 1 or 2 tsp of the strained water.
fry all the whole garam masala or whole spices mentioned in the above list till they release their aroma in the oil.
add the ground onion-dry fruits paste and saute till the oil starts to leave the sides of the paste.
add the dry spice powders and stir.
now add the whisked yogurt, stock+water, salt and sugar.
stir well and simmer for 10-12 minutes or till the gravy thickens slightly on a low flame.
if using cream, then whisk the cream till smooth and keep aside.
add the cardamom powder and crushed saffron.
stir and add the cubed paneer. if adding cream, you can add the cream with the paneer.
simmer for 1-2 minutes till the paneer is cooked.
add the kewra (pandan) essence and stir – optional step
garnish shahi paneer with some coriander leaves and serve the shahi paneer with jeera rice or rotis, naan or phulkas.