BrokeAss Gourmet

BrokeAss Gourmet

Shahi Paneer (or Tofu)

  • Prep Time 0:20
  • Cook Time 0:15
  • Estimated Cost $13.00 ($9.50 w/ tofu)

If my group of friends had an equivalent of 90210’s Peach Pit, it would be Lahore Karahi at O’Farrell and Leavenworth in San Francisco. Owner/chef Zulfiqar “Guddu” Haider would be our version of Nat and my very good friend Andrew Kaufteil, Lahore’s biggest champion, would be our very own Brandon Walsh (or maybe Dylan?).

We usually go in a big group and order one of everything for the table. It’s all mind-blowingly delicious (and shockingly cheap), but the dish I always make sure we get extra of is Guddu’s shahi paneer. Cubes of fresh paneer cheese in a flavorful, creamy sauce, spooned over some hot Basmati rice—I would be happy if that was all we ordered.

Here’s my attempt at replicating it. I won’t even pretend it’s close to as good as Guddu’s, but I must say, it hits the spot. If you can’t get your hands on fresh paneer, use firm or extra-firm tofu. Tofu is, essentially, a fresh soy cheese and it has a similar consistency and flavor to paneer.


  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter $1 for a stick
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped Pantry
  • 1 small white onion, chopped $0.50
  • 3/4 cup half-and-half $1 for a pint
  • 1 1/2 tsp curry powder $1.50 for 1 oz
  • 1 tsp chili powder $1.50 for 1 oz.
  • 1 tbsp sugar Pantry
  • 2-3 tsp sriracha ("rooster sauce") $1.50 for 17 oz.
  • salt and pepper to taste Pantry
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil Pantry
  • 6 oz. paneer or firm/extra-firm tofu, cut into 1" cubes $5 for 8 oz. paneer $1.50 for 14 oz. tofu
  • fresh cilantro for garnish $1 for a bunch

Recipe Serves 2-3


  1. Heat butter in a medium pot over medium heat. Add garlic and white onion and cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring occasionally until very fragrant.
  2. Pour half-and-half over the garlic and onions and stir once. Add curry powder, chili powder, sugar, sriracha, salt and pepper. Adjust seasonings as desired and reduce heat to medium-low.
  3. In a medium frying pan, heat vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Cook paneer or tofu for 1-2 minutes on each side or until lightly browned. Transfer to half-and-half mixture in pot and stir gently to combine.
  4. Cook paneer/tofu in the sauce for 3-5 minutes, or until the half-and-half has thickened and is very creamy.
  5. Serve hot over rice.

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What They're Saying

Andrew, on Oct 16, 08:38 AM, wrote:

Readers: Shahi paneer deserves your attention! It is one of life’s great pleasures – it will set your tongue on a tailspin. Thank you, Gabi, for honoring the great Guddu. You and I are officially friends for life.

Love always,

Easy Indian Recipes, on Mar 17, 10:21 AM, wrote:

Hi! Your shahi paneer recipe was nominated as one of the “Best Shahi Paneer Recipes on the Net”. To vote for it, please visit – your recipe is positioned at #104 (random order).

Lawyers Red Deer, on Jan 13, 08:38 AM, wrote:

Keep on sharing great ideas and information! We appreciate it and continue your great work!