When I was in India this time, the cook at my parents’ place made this amazing shahi paneer dish at a party that my parents hosted. Now, I have made shahi paneer in the past from a recipe my mother uses. The results have been good, always good. But, both my mom and I liked this recipe. And when I found out it was so easy, I had to try it out for myself.
“Shahi” means royal in Urdu and “paneer” is the name given to Indian cottage cheese. Indian cottage cheese is much firmer than the cottage cheese that we get here in the US. Unlike most cheeses in the world, the making of paneer does not involve rennet as the coagulation agent, thus making it completely lacto-vegetarian and providing one of the sources of protein for vegetarians in India. It is generally unsalted.
Shahi Paneer is the slightly richer version of Paneer Makhani or Butter Paneer (the vegetarian counterpart of the famous Butter chicken). A major difference in the nomenclature comes from the use of nuts and raisins- the former includes them in the recipe, the latter doesn’t.
As how all recipes go, there are various versions of shahi paneer out there in the cyber space, in Indian kitchens and in cookbooks. My mom’s recipe uses dried fenugreek recipes (which I have seen other recipes also mention). But this doesn’t. Yes, there are different versions online, but I like this recipe for its straight forwardness.