Mughlai Shahi Paneer Korma

‘Shahi’ literally translates to royal in Hindi and Mughlai Shahi Paneer Korma is an exquisite Mughlai cuisine dish prepared in a style fit for royalty and is one of the most popular vegetarian curries in Indian cuisine that can be made on special occasions and festivals. Mughlai Shahi Paneer Korma is a thick creamy gravy prepared by emulsifying tomatoes, onions, ground cashews, ground almonds, ghee and cream, with soft, melt in the mouth chunks of paneer and with a melange of whole and ground spices. Shahi paneer tastes great with traditional Indian flat-breads like roti or naan, and rice. Shahi Paneer can be cooked in both white and red gravies.

INGREDIENTS

  • Paneer (Cottage cheese) – 400 grams (cut into cubes)
  • Onion – 2 Nos. large (roughly chopped)
  • Melon Seeds – 1/4 Cup (30 grams)
  • Cashewnut – 1/4 cup (40 grams)
  • Almond – 1/4 cup (40 grams)
  • Ghee – 4 Tablespoons
  • Cumin Seeds (jeera) – 1 Teaspoon
  • Caraway Seeds (Shahi Jeera) – 1 Teaspoon
  • Cinnamon (dalchini) – 1 inch stick
  • Black Cardamom (kali elaichi / badi elaichi) – 5 Nos.
  • Cloves (laung) – 5 Nos.
  • Bay leaf (tej patta) – 2 Nos.
  • Mace Powder (javitri) – 1/2 Teaspoon
  • Ginger Paste – 1 Tablespoon
  • Garlic Paste – 1 Tablespoon
  • Green Chillies – 3 Nos. (slit)
  • Sugar – 1 Teaspoon
  • Garam Masala Powder – 1 Teaspoon
  • Black Pepper Powder – 1 Teaspoon
  • Coriander Powder – 1 Teaspoon
  • Turmeric Powder – 1/2 Teaspoon
  • Red Chilli Powder – 1 Teaspoon
  • Yogurt (curds) – 125 grams (whisked)
  • Fresh Cream – 150 ml.
  • Tomato Puree – 200 grams
  • Saffron – 2 pinches
  • Dried Fenugreek Leaves (Kasuri Methi) – 1 Tablespoon
  • Rose Water – 1 Teaspoon
  • Green Cardamom Powder – 1/2 Teaspoon
  • Salt – To taste
  • Coriander leaves – As required for garnish
  • White butter – As required for garnish
  • Saffron strands (crushed) – As required for garnish

DIRECTIONS

  1. Soak the melon seeds, cashew nuts and almonds separately in water for about 30 minutes. Remove almond skin and in a blender grind the melon seeds, cashew nuts and almonds separately to a smooth paste and keep aside.
  2. Take a kadhai, put it on low flame and add roughly chopped onions in it along with 30 ml water. Let the onions cook for sometime, if water dries up add some more water. Cook on low flame till the onions soften and keep aside.
  3. Take the blender again, add cooked onions and grind to a fine paste. Keep the onion paste aside.
  4. Heat ghee in a kadhai over medium flame and add cumin seeds, caraway seeds, cinnamon stick, black cardamom, cloves, bay leaf and a little amount of mace powder. Stir the whole spices for a couple of minutes, when they crackle put ginger paste, garlic paste to it and cook for few seconds. Then add the ground onion paste and chopped green chillies. Saute all the ingredients until aromatic.
  5. Now add in sugar, garam masala powder, black pepper powder, coriander powder, turmeric powder, red chilli powder and saute on low flame.
  6. Next, add the ground almond paste, cashew nut paste and melon seeds paste. Saute again for 2 minutes on low flame.
  7. Add in the yogurt, cream, tomato puree, saffron, kasoori methi and salt to taste. Mix well and simmer until it turns into a thick gravy. Add the paneer and stir gently to mix without breaking the paneer. Cover and cook ensuring paneer does not lose its softness
  8. Remove from heat, add rose water and green cardamom powder to the dish, stir gently.
  9. Garnish with coriander leaves, white butter, crushed saffron strands and serve hot with rice or pulao and naan.