Savor the Royal Flavors of Paneer Shahjahani

Paneer Shahjahani is a dish that epitomizes the grandeur and opulence of Mughlai cuisine. Perfect for special occasions or when you want to indulge in something truly spectacular, Paneer Shahjahani is a must-try for lovers of Indian cuisine. Here’s how to bring this royal dish to life in your own kitchen.


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 them 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 sticks, 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 more than just a dish; it’s a culinary journey that transports you to the royal courts of Mughal India. The rich flavors and luxurious texture of this dish make it a standout choice for any special occasion. By following this recipe, you can create a truly royal experience in your own kitchen, delighting your family and friends with every bite.

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What is Paneer Shahjahani?

Answer: Paneer Shahjahani is a rich and creamy Mughlai dish made with paneer (Indian cottage cheese) in a luxurious gravy of spices, nuts, and cream.

Can I make Paneer Shahjahani ahead of time?

Answer: Yes, you can prepare the gravy in advance and refrigerate it. Add the paneer and reheat gently before serving to maintain the fresh taste and texture.

What can I substitute for cashew nuts in the recipe?

Answer: You can use almonds or a mix of almonds and cashews as a substitute. 

How can I make Paneer Shahjahani less rich?

Answer: To make it less rich, you can reduce the amount of cream and use low-fat milk. Adding more vegetables like peas or bell peppers can also balance the richness.

Is Paneer Shahjahani suitable for a vegan diet?

Answer: You can make a vegan version by using tofu instead of paneer and substituting dairy products with plant-based milk and cream. Ensure all other ingredients are vegan-friendly.

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