Thursday, October 28, 2010

Shahi Paneer

Shahi Paneer is a mildly spiced paneer dish with rich and creamy gravy. Depending on the restaurant you go to here in the Seattle area, you might see shredded paneer or cubes of paneer in the creamy gravy. We, at my house like the shredded variation better, so I am posting the recipe for the same. This dish is known by many names such as paneer bhurji, mughlai paneer, paneer korma etc. All of them have the same gravy base with minor variations.

500 Grams Paneer, At Room Temperature
2 Tablespoon Ghee,
1-1/2 Teaspoon Chili Powder,
¼ Teaspoon Turmeric Powder,
¼ Teaspoon Asafoetida (Hing),
1 Teaspoon Ginger, Grated
1 Medium Onion, Finley Chopped
1 Cup Frozen Green Peas,
2 Medium Tomatoes,
2 Teaspoon Tomato Paste,
¾ Cup Heavy Cream, or Whole Milk,
¾ cup Water,
1 Teaspoon Poppy Seeds,
1 Teaspoon Watermelon Seeds, or 2 Teaspoon Cashews,
Salt to Taste
1 Tablespoon Sugar,
1-1/2 Teaspoon Garam Masala,
1/8 Teaspoon Cardamom Powder

Keep the paneer out of the fridge for an hour to bring it to room temperature. Once it becomes soft, grate it using the coarse side of the grater. Keep aside. Cut the tomatoes into big pieces. Soak the poppy seeds and watermelon seeds (or cashews) in three tablespoon water for 10-15 minutes then combine it with tomato pieces and grind to a fine paste.

Heat the ghee in a pan. When it is hot, add the cumin seeds. When the seeds start to crackle, add the asafoetida powder and onions. Turn the heat to medium and cover. Cook until the onions turn translucent. Add the peas and stir and cook for about 3 minutes. Now add the ground tomatoes, and the tomato paste. Cover and cook for 7-8 minutes, or until the ghee starts separating on sides. Now add the cream, water, chili powder, turmeric powder, garam masala and salt. Stir to combine the well. Now add the paneer and stir ones making sure not to break the shreds as much as possible. Cover with a splatter and cook for 8-10 minutes or until the paneer has turned soft and the gravy has thickened. Add the cardamom powder and sugar at this point. Cook for a minute, and then take off the heat. Serve hot with paratha.

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