Shahi Paneer | How to Make 1 of India’s #bestpaneer recipes

“Shahi” means Royal and “Paneer” means Cottage Cheese – together it represents a rich gravy built around Cheese. Are you interested in knowing how the recipe got its name? Keep reading till the end to find out.

Shahi Paneer is a North Indian gravy recipe of Paneer (Indian solid fresh cheese), in a thick gravy made up of cream, tomatoes, and other rich Indian spices. How to make Shahi Paneer? It’s simple but involves a set of few intricate processes.

Shahi Paneer Recipe Grubvineweb

Table of Contents

Rich, creamy, spicy and a royal touch is what a bowl of Shahi Paneer represents. Cottage Cheese, Vegetables, Nuts, Milk and a selection of rich Indian spices is what you find when you break the recipe down. However the daunting name shouldn’t put you off, it is not the most complicated recipe out there, though it requires a series of intricate steps to make it delightful in taste and royal in look.

Shahi Paneer is available in almost all North Indian restaurants in India and across the world now but centuries ago. The ingredients then, were so expensive and scarce in India – that the recipe was reserved only for the royal class. So without further delay, let’s go through the recipe card below and step by step instructions with pictures below the card. (Together they should help you understand how to make Shahi Paneer – one of the best Paneer recipe in India). Dive into the written recipe below or have a look at the step by step preparation. However, if you wish to learn how to make Shahi Paneer restaurant-style in Hindi, with English subtitles jump to our Shahi Paneer recipe video.

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Shahi Paneer Recipe Grubvineweb

Shahi Paneer Recipe | #bestpaneer

Shahi Paneer is a North Indian gravy preparation of Paneer (Indian solid fresh
cheese), in a thick gravy made up of cream, tomatoes and other rich Indian
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Total Time 45 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Servings 2 persons
Calories 655 kcal


  • 200 gram Paneer (Indian Non-melting cheese)
  • 20 gram Butter (Makkhan)
  • 1 teaspoon Cumin seeds (Zeera)
  • ½ teaspoon Black Peppercorns (Kali Mirch)
  • 1 small-bark Cinnamon (Dalchini)
  • 2 Green Cardamoms (Choti Elaichi)
  • 2 Cloves (Long)
  • ½ Black Cardamom (Moti Elaichi)
  • 50 gram Cashew (Kaju)
  • 1 large Onion (Pyaaz)
  • 5 cloves of Garlic (Lehsun)
  • 1 inch Ginger (Adrak)
  • 2 medium Tomatoes (Tamatar)
  • Salt (as per taste)
  • ½ cup Milk (Doodh)
  • 1 teaspoon Coriander powder (Dhania powder)
  • ½ teaspoon Turmeric powder (Haldi powder)
  • teaspoon Red Chili powder (Lal Mirch powder)
  • 2 tablespoons Fresh Cream (Malai)


  • 1 teaspoon Dried fenugreek leaves (Kasuri Methi)



  • Cut Paneer into cubes or any shape as desired, slice the Onion, chop the Tomatoes, crush the Black Cardamom in Mortar & Pestle & grate about 1 inch of Ginger
  • Place a kadai (wok) & turn on the gas
  • Add 30g Butter & grease the inner base of the Kadai
  • Once the butter melts, add 1 teaspoon Cumin seeds, 1/2 teaspoon Black Peppercorns, 1 small bark of Cinnamon, 2 Green Cardamoms, 2 Cloves, ½ Black Cardamom (crushed) & mix them together, ½ cup Cashew (50g) & sauté till it turns Golden brown
  • Add the sliced Onions & sauté till they turn light brown
  • Add 5 cloves of Garlic, the grated Ginger & sauté a little
  • Add the chopped Tomatoes now followed by Salt – as per taste (we used 2 teaspoons) & mix the salt uniformly with all the other ingredients
  • Cover the kadai (wok) with a lid & let it cook for 10 minutes
  • The vegetables would have softened by now, at this point turn off the gas and keep the kadai (wok) aside to let the contents cool down
  • Once they cool down, transfer the contents to a grinder, add ½ cup Milk & grind down to a coarse paste.
  • Take a strainer (Channi) & take out a smooth paste leaving the coarse elements on the strainer (This is to make the gravy smooth however it is not critical to do this)

Final preparation

  • Place a kadai (wok) & turn on the gas
  • Add 15g Butter & grease the inner base of the Kadai
  • Add 1 teaspoon Coriander powder, ½ teaspoon Turmeric powder, ½ teaspoon Red Chili powder & mix together in the molten butter
  • Add the gravy paste we had prepared earlier and mix together
  • Cover the kadai (wok) with a lid & let it cook for 8 to 10 minutes
  • After 8 to 10 minutes, add the Paneer cubes (or any other shape of Paneer you may have prepared)
  • Coat Paneer uniformly with the gravy mix & cover the kadai (wok) with a lid to cook for 10 minutes
  • Add 1 teaspoon Garam Masala powder & mix gently
  • Add 1 teaspoon Fresh Cream & mix gently
  • (Optional) 1 teaspoon Dried Fenugreek leaves (Kasuri Methi can be added as well)
  • Shahi Paneer should now be ready for serving.



Please note: The flame of the gas was set to low-medium throughout the making of this recipe unless we have indicated otherwise in the instructions. We normally cook at this level and hence our food gets cooked much slower than others. However, we believe - the best taste culminating from all the rich ingredients can only be enjoyed if cooked slowly. 
Keyword Cheese, curry, gravy, Grubvine, Grubvineweb, punjabi style, recipe, Shahi Paneer
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Shahi Paneer Recipe Origins

Shahi Paneer was possibly born when the Mughals ruled India, which makes it a recipe – “centuries-old”. This was one of the few vegetarian dishes they liked. Its origin is part of general folklore about that era. 

The story goes like this – the Shahi Khansama (chef) accidentally poured cubes of Paneer directly into the gravy. (They were intended to be a made into Koftas).

This wasn’t allowed to be taken to the emperor at that time, but the accidental result appealed to everyone in the kitchen and thus the recipe was refined with dry fruits and milk extracts later to be included in the roster of the weekly menu.

Once in the roster, the dish gained more popularity than the Kofta dish and is believed to be continued henceforth as the most preferred choice, when it came to vegetarian items for the Royal family members. The name of the dish, like most dishes of that era (Shahi Kofta, Shahi Tukda, etc.) was titled to represent the likeness of the royal families in the Mughal era. That is how Shahi Paneer came into existence and continues to please us royally.

General Guidelines for Cooking Shahi Paneer

We set the flame of the gas to low-medium throughout the making of this recipe unless we have indicated otherwise in the instructions. We mostly cook on low-medium to cook our food slowly. However, we believe – you can only enjoy the best taste culminating from all the rich ingredients if cooked slowly. Follow these instructions and you are guaranteed to enjoy one of the best paneer recipes of India.
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