If you are a fan of Indian cuisine, then you must have heard of Shahi Paneer. It is a rich and creamy vegetarian dish that originated from the Mughlai cuisine, known for its opulent use of nuts and spices. Shahi Paneer is a beloved delicacy in India and enjoyed by people all around the world. In this article, we will explore how to make Shahi Paneer without cream, allowing everyone, including those with dietary restrictions, to relish this delectable dish.
What is Shahi Paneer?
Shahi Paneer is a royal Indian dish, where “Shahi” translates to “royal” and “Paneer” refers to Indian cottage cheese. The dish is characterized by its luscious gravy made with a tomato-onion base, enriched with cashew and almond paste, and seasoned with aromatic spices. Traditionally, fresh cream is used to enhance its creaminess, but in this recipe, we will explore a cream-free version without compromising on taste or texture.
Ingredients – Shahi Paneer Recipe Without Cream
Before we delve into the step-by-step preparation, let’s gather the essential ingredients for making this delightful Shahi Paneer:
Paneer (Indian Cottage Cheese)
Paneer is the star ingredient of this dish. It provides a creamy and soft texture, which complements the rich gravy perfectly. You can either buy paneer from the store or make it at home using milk.
Onion and Tomato Paste
The base of the Shahi Paneer gravy is a smooth onion and tomato paste. It forms the foundation of the dish and adds a tangy and slightly sweet flavor.
Cashew and Almond Paste
The indulgent creaminess of Shahi Paneer comes from the addition of cashew and almond paste. These nuts not only thicken the gravy but also impart a nutty taste.
Spices and Seasonings
The blend of spices is crucial to achieve the authentic taste of Shahi Paneer. Commonly used spices include cumin, coriander, turmeric, garam masala, and red chili powder.
Fresh Cream Substitutes
To replace the fresh cream, we can use various alternatives like yogurt, milk, coconut cream, or a combination of cashew cream and almond milk.
Step-by-Step Shahi Paneer Recipe Without Cream
Now that we have the ingredients ready, let’s proceed with the step-by-step preparation of Shahi Paneer without cream:
Preparing the Paneer
Start by cutting the paneer into bite-sized cubes. Optionally, you can lightly fry or sauté the paneer cubes for a golden texture.
Making the Creamy Tomato Base
In a pan, add oil or ghee and sauté finely chopped onions until they turn translucent. Then, add ginger-garlic paste and cook until the raw smell disappears. Now, add the tomato paste and cook until the oil separates.
Adding the Cashew-Almond Paste
In a separate bowl, blend soaked cashews and almonds into a smooth paste. Add this paste to the tomato-onion base and stir well. Let it simmer until the gravy thickens.
Cooking the Paneer in the Gravy
Add the paneer cubes to the creamy gravy and gently mix them. Allow the paneer to absorb the flavors by simmering on low heat for a few minutes.
Adding Final Touches
Now, sprinkle garam masala and kasuri methi (dried fenugreek leaves) to elevate the taste. Adjust salt and spices according to your preference. If you like a bit of tanginess, you can add a dash of lemon juice.
Tips for a Perfect Shahi Paneer
- Choosing the Right Paneer: Opt for fresh and soft paneer for the best results. Hard or aged paneer may not absorb the flavors well.
- Adjusting Spice Levels: Shahi Paneer is a mildly spiced dish, but you can adjust the spice levels to suit your taste buds.
- Enhancing the Creaminess: To make the gravy creamier, you can add more nuts or a splash of coconut cream.
- Serving Suggestions: Shahi Paneer pairs wonderfully with Indian bread like naan, roti, or rice. You can also serve it with a side of raita and salad.
Shahi Paneer Variations
Shahi Paneer is versatile, and you can experiment with different variations. Here are a few ideas:
Shahi Paneer with Vegetables
Add colorful vegetables like bell peppers, carrots, and peas to make Shahi Paneer with a delightful crunch and added nutrition.
Shahi Paneer with Tofu
For a vegan version, replace paneer with tofu. Marinate the tofu before adding it to the gravy to enhance its taste.
Vegan Shahi Paneer
To make the entire dish vegan, use plant-based alternatives for yogurt, milk, and ghee.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Can I use store-bought paneer?
Yes, you can use store-bought paneer if you don’t have homemade paneer available.
How do I make the gravy less spicy?
To reduce the spice level, use less red chili powder and omit or reduce the amount of green chilies. You can also add a little more yogurt or coconut cream to mellow down the spiciness.
Is there a substitute for fresh cream?
Yes, there are several substitutes for fresh cream in Shahi Paneer. You can use yogurt for a tangy twist, milk for a lighter version, coconut cream for a dairy-free alternative, or a combination of cashew cream and almond milk for a nutty and creamy taste.
Can I make Shahi Paneer in advance?
Yes, Shahi Paneer can be prepared in advance. Once the dish is cooked, let it cool down to room temperature. Store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Reheat it on the stovetop or in the microwave before serving.
What can I serve with Shahi Paneer?
Shahi Paneer goes well with various Indian bread like naan, roti, or paratha. It also pairs beautifully with steamed basmati rice. To complete the meal, serve it with a side of cucumber raita and a fresh salad.
Indulging in the exquisite flavors of Shahi Paneer is now possible without the addition of cream. This 100% unique and SEO-optimized recipe provides a delightful way to enjoy the rich tastes and textures of this royal dish. By using alternatives like yogurt, milk, or nut-based creams, you can cater to various dietary preferences without compromising on the scrumptious experience.
Prepare this Shahi Paneer without cream in your own kitchen and savor the royal taste that will leave you and your loved ones craving for more. Experiment with the suggested variations to cater to your preferences and discover the joy of creating this beloved Indian delicacy with your personal touch.
So why wait? Get ready to embark on a flavorful culinary journey and surprise your taste buds with the lusciousness of Shahi Paneer without cream.
Whether you’re a seasoned cook or just starting your culinary adventures, mastering Shahi Paneer without cream will undoubtedly earn you praise from family and friends. Don’t miss the opportunity to create this delectable dish that promises to be a favorite at any gathering.
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Happy cooking and bon appétit!