If there is one dish that holds an indispensable position in every regional cuisine across India, it would be the humble paneer. Nearly every state has its own version of paneer recipes to pair with rice, roti, bread and more. Now, paneer seems to have caught the fancy of the world too. Taste Atlas, a travel and food guide platform, has recently released its list of '50 Best Cheese Dishes in the World'. And you guessed it right; paneer (cottage cheese) is featured prominently on the list! In fact, the scrumptious Shahi Paneer has proudly made to the third position, followed by paneer tikka on the fourth.
About Shahi Paneer: History And Origin Of Shahi Paneer:
Rich, creamy and flavourful, shahi paneer is one of the most preferred paneer delicacies across India. That's not all. Even the Indian restaurants abroad find shahi paneer as one of the most popular dishes on their menu. According to Taste Atlas, the dish finds its roots in the Mughal kitchens in India; and hence, it is also referred to as 'Royal paneer' or 'Mughlai paneer'.
A quintessential shahi paneer recipe includes soft and succulent paneer cubes, dunked in a gravy made with tomato, cream and some basic kitchen spices. The dish is then garnished with coriander leaves and served along with Indian breads like naan, roti or puri.
Shahi Paneer Vs Paneer Makhani: What Is The Difference Between The Two?
Looking into the ingredients used to prepare shahi paneer, one might often confuse the dish with paneer makhani. While we agree both the dishes have some basic similarities, but if you dive in deep, you would find some significant characteristics that make them different from each other. Let's look into some major differences between shahi paneer and paneer makhani.
The major difference between the two lies in the ingredients. According to Chef Kunal Kapur, both paneer makhani and shahi paneer belong to the same category of food. But it's the ratio of the ingredients that makes one different from the other. While shahi paneer includes tomato and onion in 2:1 ratio, paneer makhani includes it in 1:1 ratio.
'Makhani' comes from the word 'makhan', which means butter. The generous use of butter in paneer makhani makes the dish creamier in comparison to shahi paneer. Shahi paneer, on the other hand, is lighter and has a gravy with dropping consistency.
Tomato plays a dominant role in shahi paneer recipe, making it a bit sweeter in comparison to paneer makhani. Whereas, paneer makhani is spicy, thanks to the use of ingredients like red chilli, ginger and garlic to name a few.
How To Thicken Shahi Paneer Gravy?
Every person has a unique palate. Hence, we all believe in customising every recipe as per our preferences. If you like your shahi paneer gravy to be thick and creamy, here are some easy tips you can follow.
Tip 1: Adjust water:
You can add less water to your gravy to get a thicker consistency. In fact, put the dish on medium to low flame and stir it occasionally, until you get the consistency right.
Tip 2: Add almonds or melon seeds:
It is possibly one of the easiest ways to thicken your gravy. Add a spoonful of almond or melon seeds paste while preparing the gravy. Always remember to add the paste before you pour water. This will help enhance the flavour of the dish.
Tip 3: Add corn-starch:
Add a tablespoon of corn-starch in a cup of water and mix well until the granules dissolve. Add that your dish while cooking. You can also replace corn-starch with arrowroot powder.
Shahi Paneer Recipe: How To Make Shahi Paneer At Home:
Now that you have got the tips handy, how about making a portion of shahi paneer for your next meal? Sounds like a perfect plan? Here, we bring you a quick and easy recipe that will help you make restaurant-style shahi paneer at home.
All you need to do is get fresh cubes of paneer, some melon seeds and some basic kitchen spices. Then prepare a flavourful gravy with the ingredients, add paneer to it and finally, garnish with coriander leaves. Serve hot. Click here for the detailed recipe.
Enjoy your meal!
About Somdatta SahaExplorer- this is what Somdatta likes to call herself. Be it in terms of food, people or places, all she craves for is to know the unknown. A simple aglio olio pasta or daal-chawal and a good movie can make her day.