Shahi Paneer is definitely my favorite Indian dish and one of my global favorites as well.
Not so long time ago, precisely 8 months ago, I was not really a fan of Indian food. I tried it a few times and it was not my type of spice mix. Although, I must admit I only tried it in a few restaurants which were not specialised for Indian food. They just offered one or two dishes of this type. So, when my new boyfriend mentioned that he is totally in love with Indian food and he actually used to cook Indian food every day… it is not enough to say that I was disappointed, I was also panicking silently that he will start again with this Indian stuff.
And then, when I was in Novi Sad for three months, one evening he said that he will bring his favorite meal for dinner, that he will pick up some take out from his indian friend who has a restaurant. I couldn’t even repeat “shahi paneer” after him 🙂
Anyway, this shahi paneer was amazing! It was something completely different from what I’ve tried before. I ate it in another Indian restaurant in Belgrade after that, and we prepared it at home a few times but that first one really carved in my memory as the most tasteful.
First of all, you will need to buy or prepare paneer cheese. If you decide to prepare it by yourself, I wrote about it in this post and it’s really easy and simple.
And here it goes:
1.Heat ghee in a pan on medium heat and add the onion. Let it fry until translucent and then add the spices: ginger, turmeric, coriander, asafetida, curry and grated cumin. We also added “Garam Masala” Indian spice mix, just because we had it at home.
If you want to know more about Indian spices, you can read it here.
2. Dice three medium tomatoes and put them in the pan, together with half spoon of sugar.
Let it cook for 5 minutes with closed lid on reduced heat. Then add 1 dcl (3.5 oz) of water and let it cook for another 5 minutes.
3. Add half a table spoon of asafetida, one chilly, one spoon of tomato paste and a little bit of salt. If you don’t have asafetida, you can add minced garlic.
4. Reduce all the excess liquid and then slowly add 2 dcl (7 oz) of milk and cook for 10 minutes.
5. While the sauce is being cooked you can use this time to prepare the rice.
Indians prepare rice slightly different. Heat one spoon of ghee in a saucepan and then add one cup of basmati rice. Stir continuously until the most of the rice changes into it’s specific white color. At this moment add two cups of boiling water.
Cover the saucepan with the lid and let it cook for 3 minutes on reduced heat and then for approximately 5 minutes on low heat. Once all the water is absorbed, the rice is cooked!
6. Now back to the sauce! Slice paneer cheese on small cubes (bite size), add it to the sauce. Turn the heat off, mix all together and let it rest for a few minutes with closed lid.
And that’s it! Serve it with rice on the side.