Shahi Methi Paneer ( Cottage cheese in rich creamy onion-cashew sauce with the flavors of fenugreek leaves). I found a similar recipe from here , by my favorite blogger Dassana Amit(Vegrecipesofindia fame).
The moment I hear the word ‘Shahi‘ – cashew paste , onion-tomato paste cooked in generous amount of ghee is what I get reminded of. The Persian kings knew how to live life to the fullest and enjoy food. Anything that start with ‘Shahi‘ or ‘Mughalai‘ or ‘Nawabi‘ is one rich malai based or cashew based recipe which our Persian ‘Bhaaijaans‘ incorporated into our cuisine.
This is one such recipe which is very rich in taste and also less cumbersome to prepare .
Take 4 small bunches of methi leaves / mendhiya keerai / fenugreek leaves. Chop its roots and wash only the leaves thoroughly , and set it aside.
Take 2 big onions , chop them roughly , add it to the blender. With this add an inch of ginger piece , 4 garlic cloves , 1 handfull of broken cashew and 3 green chillies. Add little water and grind it to a smooth paste. Take a wok add 2 tbsps of butter, on medium heat , saute a tsp of cumin seeds and add 3 chopped tomatoes. Once the tomatoes are cooked , take another blender jar , add the tomatoes and grind it to a smooth paste.
In a small cup take 4 tbsps of warm milk and add few strands of saffron and set it aside.
In the same wok , on medium heat , add 1 tsp of ghee. Add the fenugreek leaves and suate it until the leaves wilt. To this add turmeric ,red chilly powder , coriander-cumin powder . Take this in a plate and keep it aside.
In the same wok , on medium heat , add 2 tbsps of ghee and 4 tbsps of oil. Add the onion-cashew paste and saute it until aromatic (it took me about 5 minutes). Then add the tomato paste , and saute it for another 2 minutes. At this stage add the prepared methi mixture . Add a cup of water and mix. Now add required amount of salt and garam masala , mix . Allow this to boil for about 5 minutes. Meanwhile chop the paneer to your desired size . Now add the milk-saffron mixture to the gravy along with the paneer and mix. Transfer this to serving dish and serve it hot with phulkas ,naan or roti.
Shahi Methi Paneer
For the onion paste
For the tomato paste
For the methi Mixture
- Chop the methi leaves from its roots and soak in water for about 10 minutes. Drain this water (You’ll see the sediments) wash it again or until you get a clear water after each rinse. And set it aside.
- Take a blender jar and make the onion paste(add little water while grinding). Keep this paste ready in a cup.
- Take a small cup and soak saffron strands in 1/2 a cup of lukewarm milk.
- Take a wok , on medium heat , add 1 tbsp of ghee , crackle the cumin seeds for about 30 seconds , then add chopped tomatoes and saute until tomatoes are soft and cooked. Take this mixture in the same blender jar that you used for onion paste. Blend it to a smooth paste.
- In the same wok , on medium heat , add 2 tbsps of ghee. Saute the methi leaves until it wilts. Add all the powder ingredients(mentioned under ‘methi mixture’) and saute for about a minute. Take it off the heat and keep this mixture in a cup or plate.
- In the same wok ,on medium heat , add butter and oil , add the onion paste and saute it continuously with out burning it. It should leave its raw smell. This took me about 7 minutes.
- Now add the tomato paste and mix.
- At this stage add the methi mixture and mix. Add a cup of water and lower the heat , add required amount of salt for this dish and a tsp of sugar to balance the bitterness from the methi leaves . Let it boil for about 5 minutes.
- Meanwhile chop the paneer into small cubes. Add it to the boiling gravy and mix. While mixing do not break the paneer cubes. Mix it carefully.
- Add a tsp of garam masala and the milk-saffron mixture. Mix this well and switch off the heat.
- Transfer this to a serving bowl and serve it hot.