Microwave Meals, Mughalai cuisine, Paneer/Tofu Dishes, Vegetable Dishes
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Shahi Paneer Stuffed Okra

shahi-paneer-okra

Coconut, dried fruits, nuts and rich spices are what make exotic Shahi cuisine fit for royalty – and for you and I.

 
Dishes created in imperial kitchens during the rise of the Mughal Empire (in the heart of northern India and on the now India-Pakistan border) echoed the deeply aromatic flavours of Persia.
 
The Mughals, known for their extravagance and majestic style, were no different to their eating habits. Rich sauces made with ground nuts, kebabs, koftas and kormas are some of the most delicious and popular bites to come from this era.
 
My recipe for Shahi Paneer Stuffed Okra is not a traditional Mughlai dish – it’s entirely my own creation cooked up during a 2am food fantasy. I’ve taken my inspiration from the delicious Shahi cuisine I love to indulge in a little too often.
 
By now you must know how I love contrasting flavours and textures, and if you do too, you need to try this. Juicy okra stuffed with homemade paneer which has been spiked with golden sultanas and heady fennel.
 
The individual okra are then drenched in a sweet and tangy sauce laced with cardamom and made creamy with ground cashews. This aromatic sauce is similar to the kind used in my recipe for Melt in the Mouth Paneer Kofta (which, to be completely honest, should be a part of the Mughlai banquet you’re hosting and inviting me to).
 
This is going to be so delicious.
 
 
Shahi Paneer Stuffed Okra
(serves 4)
 
Ingredients
 
500g whole okra, washed and dried (do not cut your okra before washing because they will become sticky and inedible)
 
For the stuffing:
 
350g fresh homemade paneer, crumbled (made from around 2 pints whole milk)
30g sultanas, soaked in hot water and drained
3 tbsp desiccated coconut
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 ½ tsp finely ground fennel seeds
-1 ½ tsp salt (or to taste)
1 very small pinch bicarbonate of soda (to help cook the okra and to keep the paneer light)
 
For the sauce:
 
60g cashew nuts, boiled until tender then ground to a puree
2 tbsp ghee or oil
1 tsp black cumin seeds (shahi jeera) or regular cumin seeds
4 large red chillies, minced (or to taste)
5 tbsp concentrated tomato puree
100g creamed coconut, grated
200ml milk
1 tbsp honey
½ tsp cardamom powder
Salt to taste
 
To garnish:
 
White poppy seeds
Desiccated coconut
 
White poppy seeds (khus khus)
 
Method
 
1. Cut the stems from the washed and dried okra, then split them lengthways, not cutting all the way through. Take your time, you don’t want the okra to fall apart. Set aside.
 
2. In a bowl, crumble together all the ingredients for the stuffing. Use your fingertips to lightly rub the mixture to make sure it’s well combined.
 
 
3. Stuff the okra with the paneer mixture and place on a tray. Enlist the help of a slave if need be.
4. Once all the okra are stuffed, you will need to microwave them in batches of three. Place a third of them in a microwavable dish and cook on high power for 6 minutes. Do not cover. Repeat another two times for the remaining okra. Set aside.
 
5. In a large non-stick pan, heat the oil or ghee and add the cumin seeds, chillies, cashew puree and tomato puree. Cook on a medium heat for 5-6 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients and cook for a further 5 minutes. Place the mixture in a blender and pulse until smooth. If you’re particularly anal, sieve the sauce for an extra silky finish. Return to the pan to heat through until just bubbling.
 
6. To assemble the dish, pile the okra into a large dish, spoon over the sauce and allow to warm through in a moderate/low oven for 5-10 minutes. Be careful, you don’t want to overcook the okra. Serve sprinkled with poppy seeds and desiccated coconut.
 
 
I served my stuffed okra with aromatic turmeric basmati rice, but you can create your own Mughlai feast (the one I already decided you’re having) by pairing it with Peshwari naan and Shahi pulao, or apricot biryani (recipe coming soon). A bowl of creamy doodh vari sev (sweet noodles in cream) would be the perfect way to round off your royal banquet – no pressure or anything.

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34 Comments

  1. Xiaolu @ 6 Bittersweets says

    oO I just made my 1st successful paneer so I'm just looking for other recipes to use it in. This looks fabulous and quite a different way to eat okra than the American style dishes.

  2. Sushma Mallya says

    Lovely clicks, I just loved the recipe as well ill surely try this soon…looks delicious:)

  3. Anonymous says

    what can you do if you dont have/dont want to use a microwave?
    What could you substitue the raisins for if raisins are one the the 3 things you simply cannot eat?
    Looks AMAZING by the way….want to eat it right now!

  4. Sanjana says

    Thanks all!

    Anonymous- You could possibly steam them but you would have to make sure they don't touch the water because the okra will go really slimy. You could also try gently simmering them in the sauce in the oven. Be careful the edges of the sauce don't scorch though! It's a toughie!

    Also, you can swap the sultanas with dried apricots or dried pineapple. Hope this helps!

  5. RavieNomNoms says

    I still haven't tried okra, but I really realllllly wanna try it! This looks great!

  6. Kathy Gori says

    I love okra done this way and such pretty pictures! Even Alan who is not a big okra fan eats it this way! Note to self: Make more paneer.

  7. Raji says

    The okras are looking delicious..I am so glad to have found your space…just drooling over so many of your wonderful recipes.

  8. Priya says

    Omg, seriously very irresistible….Paneer and okra i never thought of making this combo,interesting..

  9. Vaishali Sharma says

    This is the first time I have seen Paneer and Okra Combo..Looks fantastic! Mouthwatering pics!

  10. Kankana says

    this is absolutely new to me .. i do make stuffed okra but never thought of paneer .. excellent :)

  11. sara826 says

    I absolutely love paneer, but I have never seen it like this before! Looks delicious!

  12. Dee D. says

    That looks amazing! Usually, I never like okra, but maybe this will change that :)

  13. WizzyTheStick says

    Your photos are fabulous and this looks very delicious. I have bookmarked to try this recipe

  14. Prathibha says

    Paneer in okra sounds irresistable..love both of dem..looks yumm

  15. Cakewhiz says

    I love shahi paneer but i have never paired it with okras…nice combo :)

  16. Nithya says

    Extremely creative and delicious dish :) Love okras and this is way tooo tooo tempting :)

    Your clicks are awesome :)

  17. expatrecipe says

    Loved the way you have done the recipe with great pictures

  18. Sandhya Hariharan says

    Deadly combo… Aah .. I mean quite an irrestible combo…

    BTW . .glad to know another London Blogger….

  19. Prathima Rao says

    OMG!!! Super duper delicious!!! Totally love this interesting dish!!
    Prathima Rao
    Prats Corner

  20. Peggy says

    I'll definitely be saving this! I'm growing okra in my garden this year, so it'll be perfect to use for this! =)

  21. penny aka jeroxie says

    I know this sound weird but you have given me an idea for a chocolate dessert. :)

  22. deva says

    forget about the recipe…i just come here to oggle your tablescapes! beautiful phood photogging as always my dear!

  23. The Mistress of Spices says

    What an incredible idea! Sounds so rich and delicious…I love it!

  24. Dimpled Devil says

    This looks really yummy!!I will be trying this out soon and will let you know how it came out :) thanks!

  25. Atria C. says

    I have never tried Okar before and it is quite hard here to find one, but your recipie definetely apealls to me:)

  26. Jayasri Ravi says

    something different, really looks yummy, thanks for sharing, lovely click

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