Shahi Paneer with Crispy Kale!


Paneer, Almonds, Cashews, Onions, Garlic, Ginger, Tomatoes, Cumin seeds, Bay leaves, Whole cardamom, Cloves, Half-n-Half (or fresh cream), Turmeric powder, Red chili powder, Coriander-cumin powder, Garam Masala,  Fennel powder, Kashmiri Chili powder, Fresh baby kale, Cauliflower florets, Tandoori masala, Freshly ground black pepper.


  1. Soak 3 tbsps each of skinless almonds and cashews in warm water for 2 hours till they are completely softened. Grind them to a fine paste.
  2. In a small bowl, add 3 tbsps of oil, salt, freshly ground black pepper, and 2 tsp of tandoori masala. Whisk well and keep aside.
  3. Chop baby kale roughly and spread in a single layer on a baking sheet.  Drizzle half of the oil-tandoori masala mixture and mix well with clean  hands to ensure that the kale is well coated.
  4. Cut up the cauliflower into small florets and arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet. Drizzle the other half of the  oil-tandoori masala mixture and mix well with clean hands to ensure that the cauliflower is well coated.
  5. Roughly cut up 2 red onions, 4 medium size tomatoes, and peel 2 garlic cloves.
  6. In a pan, heat a little oil and add the onion and saute on medium heat till it starts to soften but not brown. Add 2 whole garlic cloves  and saute for a minute. Then add in the chopped tomatoes. Saute till the tomatoes get mushy.
  7. Add 1 tsp of turmeric, 3 tbsp of red chili powder (I add more because I like it spicy! :)), 2 tbsp of coriander-cumin powder and saute till the spices mix well with the onion-garlic-tomato mixture.
  8. Turn off the heat and blend the mixture till it is smooth. Keep aside.
  9. Heat 2 tbsp of oil in the same pan and add 2 tsp of cumin seeds and when they start to splutter, add 4 bay leaves, 5 cloves, and 3 crushed cardamom. Saute on low heat and add the ground nuts paste. Saute for a couple of minutes and then add the blended mix of onion-garlic-tomatoes with spices.
  10. Add 1 tbsp of fennel powder, 1 tbsp of Kashmiri red chili powder and salt to taste. .
  11. Turn up the heat to medium-high and saute till the nuts/spices start to mix well with the onion mixture and oil starts to leave the sides of the pan.
  12. Reduce heat and add ¼ cup of half-and-half or fresh cream. Add ½ cup of water (or more) to adjust consistency and cover the pan and allow to simmer for 5 minutes.
  13. Cut up paneer in cubes (about 1 cup) and add to the gravy.
  14. Add 2 tsp of garam masala and mix well and allow to simmer for another 5 minutes.
  15. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees (Fahrenheit).
  16. Place the cauliflower and kale in the middle rack of the oven and bake till they get crisp.
  17. Add the shahi paneer gravy to a serving bowl and top with the grilled kale and cauliflower.
  18. Garnish with fresh chopped coriander/cilantro and serve hot with Naans or Pulao.



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