¼cupplus 1 tablespoon almond flourOR paste of 12 whole raw cashews.
¼cupWaterOR more to adjust consistency
Fistful of chopped fresh coriander/ cilantro.
Spices used -
1generous pinch of Saffron
½teaspoonCardamom powderOR 3 ground elaichi
1.5teaspoonsIndian chili powder/ cayenne
2teaspoonsSugar or honey
2teaspoonsKasoori methiroasted crushed between your palms.
2teaspoonsRose water or Kewra water.See Notes.
Salt to taste.
Start by soaking pinch of saffron in 2 tablespoons warm water.
I usually microwave water for 30 seconds and then soak it.
Heat oil in a thick bottom pan on medium heat.
Once warm add in the onion puree and stir constantly as it tends to splutter.
Cook the puree for 2 minutes.
Add ginger and garlic paste.
Add in the bay leaf, cloves and peppercorns, red chili powder, turmeric, garam masala and 1 tablespoon water to avoid burning.
Then add pureed tomatoes and some salt.
Stir it well and let it cook covered on low heat for 5 minutes.
Now stir in the almond flour or cashew paste, water and let it cook for one minute.
The gravy will start to thicken.
Now add in heavy cream followed by milk, stirring and adding it slowly.
( Heavy cream goes before milk to avoid and curdling)
Cook for 1 minute covered on low heat.
Uncover the pan and whisk in yogurt. Make sure you mix well with the spoon.
Now add in saffron water, cardamom, sugar, ground nutmeg and kasoori methi.
Add in the Paneer and let the gravy simmer for 2 minutes on low to medium heat covered.
Uncover and add in the cardamom powder and Rose water. Mix well and cook for an additional minute.
Add in the chopped coriander and give it a taste check.
Adjust any seasoning if needed.
Serve hot with Naan and / or Rice.
As this curry is not high on tomatoes and much on creamier side, the combination of heavy cream and yogurt seamlessly balances the taste.Almond flour is nothing but ground almonds without skin. Substitute it with Cashew paste if unavailable or you can go for half and half almond cashew combination.Rose water or Kewra have floral notes making this curry very fragrant. Skip if you do not have it. This Paneer curry will thicken as it cools, you may adjust the consistency by adding more water or milk.
Expert Tips -
If Kasoori Methi is soft, microwave it for 30 seconds to a minute. Let it cool down and then crush between your palms.Roated Kasoori Methi upgrades the taste of any North Indian curry.
If Paneeris too hard especially store bought one then soak the cut cubes in hot water for 10 minutes before adding it to the gravy.Further simmer the paneer in the gravy on medium heat for at least 5 minutes. Paneer will become super soft.
As Shahi Paneer is simple to make, it is a great choice for entertaining small or large parties and pot luck.