Paneer makhani or Paneer makhanwala recipe made in restaurant style. Indian cottage cheese in simmered tomato cashew gravy, topped with milk cream. One of the simplest & popular Indian paneer recipes that can be made even by a beginner. It goes great in a weekend, occasional or party menu. It can be served with naan, roti, butter naan, plain paratha or with biryani rice or jeera rice.
This recipe is made with very few ingredients and uses no onion making it distinct from the butter paneer or paneer butter masala. This makhani dish is made rich with an addition of few cashews and cream. Cashews can be skipped and doesn’t affect the taste much since cream is used. To get the right taste i suggest sticking on to the quantities mentioned. Fully ripened red tomatoes and a good quality chilli powder that is not very hot contribute to the best color of the gravy.
This recipe has roughly been adapted from the veg makhani and murgh or chicken makhani recipes on this blog. If making for a party, paneer makhanwala can be made one day ahead, without the addition of paneer, cream and refrigerated. The next day allow the gravy to bubble up, add paneer and then the cream.
Step by step photos – restaurant style paneer makhani
1. Soak 8 to 10 cashews in hot water for 5 mins. Meanwhile deseed the tomatoes and chop.
2. Add 2 heaped cups of tomatoes and cashews in a blender jar.
3. Blend to a smooth puree. If your blender doesn’t make a smooth puree, then filter the puree. I do not filter.
4. Heat 1 tbsp butter. Add slit chilli, 2 cardamoms, 2 cloves and 1 small cinnamon stick.
5. When they begin to sizzle, add ginger garlic paste (or ginger paste). Saute until the raw smell goes away.
6. Pour the tomato puree.
7. It will begin to splash immediately, so cover the pan partially. Continue to cook until the tomato puree thickens.
8. Add red chili powder and salt.
9. Stir and cook until it begins to leave the sides. You can adjust more or less chili powder now. I added about 1 ¼ tsp red chili powder since mine was not hot, adjust as needed to suit your taste. Add 1 ¼ tsp garam masala. If your masala is very strong, then use ¾ tsp garam masala and ½ tsp coriander powder. Mix and saute for a minute or 2.
10. Add about 1 cup water, sugar and mix. You may need to adjust the amount of water slightly.
11. Cover and cook on a medium flame until the gravy thickens. You can now see butter begins to float on the gravy slightly. There is not much butter used, so you will only see little traces of butter.
12. Add paneer (Indian cottage cheese).
13. Sprinkle crushed kasuri methi. Gently stir, cover and cook on a medium heat for 2 to 3 minutes.
14. Add cream as desired. I add about ¼ cup of cream and cook until it begins to bubble. This quantity goes well for our taste and it balances the sour taste from tomatoes. You can add more or less to your liking.
Serving suggestions : Paneer makhani can be served with
Indian flat breads like – naan, roti or plain paratha.
Plain or Flavored rice like
This image is with an addition of just 1 tbsp cream.
Pic after addition of ¼ cup of cream to the gravy.
- 8 to 10 cashews or almonds
- 2 heaped cups tomatoes (400 gms before deseeding)
- 2 cups or 200 grams paneer / Indian cottage cheese
- 1 tbsp. butter (solid)
- 2 green cardamoms / elaichi
- 1 small cinnamon stick
- 2 cloves
- 1 green chili slit deseeded
- 1 tsp ginger garlic paste or ¾ tsp ginger paste
- ¾ to 1 ¼ tsp red chilli powder (adjust)
- salt as needed
- ½ tsp sugar
- turmeric as needed
- 1 to 1 ¼ tsp garam masala (adjust)
- ¼ tsp kasuri methi (crushed)
- ¼ cup cream (adjust to suit your taste)
- Blend together tomatoes and cashews (soaked for 5 mins in hot water) to a smooth puree. Filter if the puree is coarse.
- Heat a pan with butter, saute cloves, cinnamon, cardamom, green chili.
- Saute ginger garlic paste for the raw smell to go away.
- Transfer the puree to the pan, Cover partially and cook until the puree thickens.
- Add chili powder, turmeric and salt. Saute until the mix leaves the sides of the pan.
- Add garam masala and saute for 1 to 2 mins.
- Pour 1 cup water and sugar. Adjust as needed to make a gravy.
- Cook until the gravy thickens.
- Drop the panir in the gravy. Stir gently. Cook covered for 2 to 3 mins.
- Pour the cream and allow to bubble.
- Serve paneer makhanwala with roti, naan or jeera rice.