Shahi Paneer

Shahi Paneer

Shahi Paneer is essentially a tomato-based sauce with cottage cheese.

Personally, I would consider this dish to be technical in terms of reaching the right balance of flavour and spice combination.

Let’s get to it. See below recipe and footnotes.

What to expect

  1. Exposure to different spices and how different spice combinations produce different taste.
  2. Exposure to sauce making and sauce textures.


Cooking difficulty: 6/10

Technicality difficulty: 8/10

Crowd pleaser: 8/10

*Above numbers assume the person following the recipe below has some cooking experience. (1:easy ; 10:hard)


This recipe yields ~7 single serving




5 Medium Sized Tomatoes

2 Medium Sized Red Onions

1 Inch Ginger

4 Garlic Cloves

2 Green Cardamom

1 Black Cardamom

½ Inch Cinnamon

3 Cloves

1 – 2 Star Anise

2 Teaspoon Melon Seeds

12 Almonds

12 Cashews

Salt to taste

1 Tablespoon Butter


Optional: Caraway seeds.



Bought packaged cottage cheese

2 Tablespoon Butter

1 Tablespoon Coriander

1 Teaspoon Turmeric

1 Teaspoon Red Chili

Saffron – your color preference

Sugar to taste

Salt to taste

Cream to taste and for silky texture



  1. Process the ingredients (ie. Into small chunks, chop tomatoes, red onions, ginger. Crush almonds and cashews, and so on).
  2. Put all ingredients in a pot, covered. Add water to submerge ingredients. Let boil, then simmer for 30 min – 45 min.
  3. Once cooked, process in a blender until smooth. Pass through a chinois for a more sauce consistency.



  1. Process the ingredients (ie. Dice cheese. Chop herbs. Let saffron steep in 1/2 cup hot water and so on). Melt butter in a pan on medium heat. Add cheese to soften. Add turmeric to cook out with the cheese, then coriander and chili. Add steeped saffron/saffron water.


  1. Add SHAHI PANEER SAUCE into SHAHI PANEER CHEESE. Salt and sugar to taste. Let the sauce reduce a bit if too lose or bland. Add cream last to create a silkier texture.


  1. Observation: In the Shahi Paneer Sauce process, less water yields a lumpy and grainy sauce texture. Submerging the ingredients in water creates a better sauce consistency texture.
  2. Recommendation: In the Shahi Paneer Sauce process, add water to submerge all ingredients. This will fully cook all ingredients evenly, eliminating the possibility for uneven cooking resulting to a grainy sauce. Sauce will be runny at first, but nothing a simple reduction process can’t do.
  3. Observation: Pressure cooker really cooks down the ingredients. Cooking in pot works as well, but will take longer to cook down the ingredients at the same result of a pressure cooker.
  4. Recommendation: If you have a pressure cooker, pressure cook the ingredients. This will really cook/soften the ingredients down which will be easier to blend. This way will also yield you a smoother sauce consistency.
  5. Tomatoes used are beefsteak or hothouse tomatoes.
  6. On the final stage of adding cream to the finished product, keep in mind that cream dulls flavour. So, add cream accordingly or adjust seasonings accordingly. Cream will improve the texture of the sauce.
  7. As I do with any of my cooking, I add more of the herbs or spices I want the taste to accentuate to. I add more coriander than the above recommendation if you like coriander.
Written: 2019