Paneer Shahjahani: Fit for Royalty

This exquisite recipe combines the creamy goodness of paneer with a luscious, nutty gravy, making it a feast for the senses. Whether you’re hosting a special dinner or simply want to treat yourself to a regal meal, Paneer Shahjahani is a perfect choice. Let’s explore how to create this royal delight step-by-step.


For the Paneer

  • 250 grams of cubed paneer, or cottage cheese
  • 2 tablespoons of 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. 
    • Add the paneer cubes and fry them until they turn golden brown.
    • Remove the paneer cubes and place them on a paper towel to drain any excess oil.

Preparing the Gravy

  1. Making the Cashew Paste
    • Drain the soaked cashew nuts and grind them into a smooth paste using a little water if needed. Set aside.
  2. Spices and Aromatics
    • In the same pan, add a little more ghee or oil if needed.
    • Add the cumin seeds, cardamom pods, cinnamon stick, cloves, and bay leaf. Sauté until aromatic, about a few seconds.
  3. Onion and Tomato Base
    • When the onions are golden brown, add the finely chopped onions and sauté.
    • After adding the ginger-garlic paste, sauté for a further two minutes.
    • When the oil begins to separate from the mixture, add the tomato puree and continue to cook. 
  4. Incorporating Spices
    • Add the salt, red chili powder, and turmeric powder. 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 the fresh cream and milk, and mix well to form a smooth, creamy gravy.
    • If using, add the saffron milk at this stage for an extra touch of luxury.
  7. Final Touches
    • Add the fried paneer cubes to the gravy and let it 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 that 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, you can adjust the consistency by adding a little water or milk.

Paneer Shahjahani is a dish that embodies the grandeur and elegance of royal cuisine. By following these steps, you can bring a touch of royalty to your dining table, impressing your family and guests with a meal fit for kings and queens. Enjoy the rich flavors and luxurious texture of this remarkable dish!

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What is Paneer Shahjahani?

Answer: Paneer Shahjahani is a rich and creamy Indian dish made with paneer (cottage cheese) cooked in a luxurious, nutty gravy, originating from royal kitchens.

Can I make Paneer Shahjahani without cream?

Answer: Yes, you can substitute cream with full-fat milk or yogurt for a lighter version. The taste will vary slightly, but it will still be delicious.

What can I serve with Paneer Shahjahani?

Answer: Paneer Shahjahani pairs well with naan, roti, or steamed basmati rice. It also goes well with pulao or jeera rice for a more elaborate meal.

How do I store leftover 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 make Paneer Shahjahani vegan?

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

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