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Cant Decide Between Butter Paneer And Shahi Paneer? 5 Factors To Help You Choose

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When it comes to Indian cuisine, traditional Indian food wouldn’t be complete without the spotlight on delectable Indian paneer dishes. Paneer, with its unique taste and texture, has become an essential ingredient in a variety of beloved Indian recipes. From the mouthwatering paneer tikkas to the irresistible crispy paneer snacks and the indulgent creamy paneer gravies, it’s a key player in the world of Indian food. We’ll dive into two classic Indian paneer dishes: shahi paneer and paneer makhani. Both dishes are a creamy, rich indulgence that sends taste buds on a delectable journey. But what sets these traditional Indian foods apart from each other? Kick back and read through the article for some interesting facts on paneer makhani versus shahi paneer.
Also Read: Tired Of Store-Bought Paneer? Here’s How To Make Soft Paneer At Home

Famous Indian Food: Why Is It Called Shahi Paneer? What Does Shahi Paneer Contain?

It won’t be an exaggeration to say that shahi paneer is one of the most preferred traditional Indian foods across the country (and abroad). So much so that it secured the third position on the 2023 list of ’50 Best Cheese Dishes in the World’, released by travel and food guide platform Taste Atlas. According to Taste Atlas, shahi paneer finds its roots in the Mughal kitchens of India and hence got the name ‘shahi’, meaning ‘royal’.
Shahi paneer is a quintessential creamy paneer gravy that includes succulent pieces of paneer, mixed in a rich gravy made with tomatoes, cream, cashew nuts, and a host of Indian spices. You can pair it with jeera rice, roti, paratha, or naan for a wholesome Indian meal. Click here for the recipe.

Famous Indian Food: Is Paneer Makhani Same As Butter Chicken? What Is Paneer Makhani Made Of?

Butter chicken is one traditional Indian food that defines the cuisine across the world. To put it simply, paneer makhani is the vegetarian cousin of the famous Indian food butter chicken, where succulent pieces of chicken are replaced with humble paneer cubes.
Traditionally, the dish includes a creamy gravy made of onion, tomato, cream, and loads of butter (makhhan) that adds to the richness of the creamy paneer gravy. It tastes the best when paired with naan or tandoori roti and onion and makes for a wholesome meal. Click here for the recipe.

Shahi Paneer Vs. Paneer Makhani: What Is The Difference Between The Two Indian Paneer Dishes?

According to Chef Kunal Kapur, “You need to understand that the recipes of shahi paneer and paneer makhani are almost the same. These traditional Indian foods contain almost the same ingredients. But what makes them different from each other is the proportion of the ingredients. So, get the ratio right and make the perfect shahi paneer and paneer makhani every single time”. Based on his statement, we delved into the recipes to dig out the striking difference between the two famous Indian foods.
Also Read: Paneer Turning Chewy? Don’t Worry! Here’s A Secret Ingredient To Keep It Soft

Photo Credit: iStock

Here’s The Difference Between Shahi Paneer Vs. Paneer Makhani:

Difference 1: Mughlai Cuisine Vs. North Indian Cuisine:

If you look into the history of shahi paneer and paneer makhani, you will see that the dishes have different roots altogether. While shahi paneer is said to have its origin in a Mughlai kitchen, paneer makhani finds its roots in the food culture of North India, especially Old Delhi.

Difference 2: Ingredient Ratio:

If you look into the recipes of both dishes, you will see a difference in the proportion of tomato and onion. While shahi paneer includes tomato and onion in a 2:1 ratio, paneer makhani uses the two ingredients in a 1:1 ratio. Alongside, paneer makhani uses more butter in the recipe in comparison to shahi paneer, making the former glossier and creamier than the other.

Difference 3. Taste Comparison:

If you look into the recipes of both traditional Indian foods, you would find shahi paneer is sweeter due to the dominating role played by tomatoes. On the other hand, paneer makhani tastes creamier and spicier due to the heavy use of ingredients like red chilli, garlic, and ginger alongside butter (makkhan).

Difference 4. Gravy Base:

While the shahi paneer uses tomato as the key ingredient for the gravy, paneer makhani uses cashew nuts to complement the butter for a creamier texture. The difference in the key ingredients of the respective gravies makes the two traditional Indian foods look and taste different from each other.

Difference 5: Gravy Texture:

Due to the heavy use of butter, paneer makhani is creamier in nature. On the other hand, shahi paneer has a lighter texture than gravy, with a dropping consistency.
Now that you know all about the two traditional Indian foods and their differences (shahi paneer vs. paneer makhani), we suggest, try both dishes at home and decide for yourself. Enjoy your meal.

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