Shashi paneer

Cashew, onion & paneer curry

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


Appears in

Lands of the Curry Leaf

Lands of the Curry Leaf

By Peter Kuruvita

Published 2018

  • About

The literal translation of shahi paneer is ‘royal paneer’, which is a very appropriate name for this dish, fit for a king. Paneer, a homemade cheese, is accompanied with a rich and creamy sauce made from cashews.

Paneer is very delicate, so take care to handle it gently or it will break up very easily. If you like a thicker or thinner gravy, just adjust the amount of water.


  • 125 g ( oz/¾ cup) cashews, chopped, plus extra to garnish
  • 250 ml (9 fl oz/1 cup) milk
  • 3 tablespoons virgin coconut oil
  • 2 small onions, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 Indian green chilli, or to taste, finely chopped
  • 250 ml (9 fl oz/1 cup) tomato sauce, such as the Velvet tomato catsup
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 2 teaspoons Chaat masala
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • a pinch of salt, or to taste
  • 400 g (14 oz) Paneer, cut into cubes
  • 5 coriander (cilantro) sprigs, finely chopped, to garnish


Soak the cashews in the milk for 15 minutes.

Heat 2 tablespoons of the coconut oil in a non-stick wok or frying pan over medium–high heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring now and then, for 3 minutes, until it starts to turn brown. Add the ginger, garlic and chilli and cook for 2–3 minutes.

Stir in the tomato sauce, mixing well, and cook for 5 minutes, or until the oil separates from the mixture.

While the sauce is cooking, put the soaked cashews and milk in a blender and whiz until smooth.

When the oil has separated from the onion mixture, add the ground spices and mix well. Add the cashew mixture and stir until the gravy is smooth.

Stir in the sugar, 375 ml (13 fl oz/ cups) water, and salt to taste. Bring to the boil.

While waiting for the gravy to boil, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon coconut oil in a non-stick frying pan over medium–high heat and fry the paneer cubes until light golden brown all over, turning the cheese gently. Drain on paper towel.

Once the gravy comes to the boil, add the paneer and gently stir it through.

Serve immediately, garnished with fresh coriander and additional broken cashews.