Paneer Shahjahani: A Mughlai Delight

Paneer Shahjahani is a luxurious and creamy dish that traces its origins to the grand Mughlai cuisine. Known for its rich, aromatic, and nutty gravy, this dish is a true representation of royal Indian flavors. Whether you’re planning a festive feast or a special dinner, Paneer Shahjahani is sure to impress. Here’s a detailed guide to creating this Mughlai delight at home.


For the Paneer

  • 250 grams paneer, cut into cubes
  • 2 tablespoons ghee or oil

For the Gravy

  • 2 large onions, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon ginger-garlic paste
  • 2 large tomatoes, pureed
  • 1/2 cup cashew nuts, soaked in warm water for 30 minutes
  • 1/4 cup fresh cream
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 green cardamom pods
  • 1-inch cinnamon stick
  • 2-3 cloves
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon red chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • Salt to taste
  • Fresh coriander leaves for garnish


  • Saffron strands soaked in warm milk (for extra richness)
  • Silver leaf (for a royal touch)


Preparing the Paneer

  1. Frying the Paneer
    • In a pan, heat up two tablespoons of ghee or oil.
    • After adding, cook the paneer cubes till golden brown.
    • Remove the paneer and drain on a paper towel.

Preparing the Gravy

  1. Making the Cashew Paste
    • Drain the soaked cashews and grind into a smooth paste using a little water if needed. Set aside.
  2. Spices and Aromatics
    • In the same pan, add more ghee or oil if needed.
    • Add cumin seeds, cardamom pods, cinnamon stick, cloves, and bay leaf. Sauté until aromatic.
  3. Onion and Tomato Base
    • Finely chop the onions and cook them until they get golden brown.
    • Sauté the ginger-garlic paste for an additional two minutes.
    • Cook the tomato puree until the mixture separates from the oil.
  4. Incorporating Spices
    • Add turmeric powder, red chili powder, and salt. Stir thoroughly and heat for a short while.
  5. Adding Cashew Paste
    • Add the cashew paste and cook for 5-7 minutes, stirring continuously to prevent sticking.
  6. Cream and Milk
    • Add fresh cream and milk, mixing well to form a smooth, creamy gravy.
    • If using, add saffron milk for an extra touch of luxury.
  7. Final Touches
    • Add fried paneer cubes to the gravy and simmer for 5-7 minutes, allowing the paneer to absorb the flavors.
    • Sprinkle garam masala and mix well.

Garnishing and Serving

  1. Garnish
    • Garnish with fresh coriander leaves and, if desired, silver leaf for a royal presentation.
  2. Serving
    • Serve Paneer Shahjahani hot with naan, roti, or steamed basmati rice.
Tips for Perfect Paneer Shahjahani
  • Fresh Paneer: Use fresh, high-quality paneer for the best results. Homemade paneer can elevate the dish.
  • Creaminess: Adjust the amount of cream and milk to achieve your desired level of creaminess. For a richer taste, you can add more cashew paste or cream.
  • Sautéing: Ensure the onions are well sautéed until golden brown, as this forms the base flavor of the gravy.
  • Consistency: The gravy should be smooth and creamy. If it becomes too thick, adjust the consistency by adding a little water or milk.

Paneer Shahjahani is a dish that captures the essence of Mughlai cuisine with its rich flavors and luxurious texture. By following this recipe, you can recreate the magic of royal kitchens in your own home, making any meal a special occasion. Enjoy the opulence and indulgence of Paneer Shahjahani and share this exquisite experience with your loved ones.

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What is Paneer Shahjahani?

Answer: Paneer Shahjahani is a luxurious Mughlai dish featuring paneer cubes in a rich, creamy, and nutty gravy, known for its royal and aromatic flavors.

Can I make Paneer Shahjahani without cashew nuts?

Answer: Yes, you can substitute cashew nuts with almonds or a mix of almonds and cashews. 

What dishes pair well with Paneer Shahjahani?

Answer: Paneer Shahjahani pairs well with naan, roti, steamed basmati rice, or pulao. It complements other Mughlai dishes like biryani or dal makhani.

How do I store and reheat Paneer Shahjahani?

Answer: Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2-3 days. Reheat gently on the stovetop or in the microwave before serving.

Can I use tofu instead of paneer for a vegan version?

Answer: Yes, you can use tofu instead of paneer and substitute dairy ingredients with plant-based milk and cream for a vegan version of Paneer Shahjahani.

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