Simple, wholesome Vegetarian & Plant-based Recipes

Paneer Makhani (Restaurant style recipe + Video)

Paneer Makhani is a rich, decadent, mildly spiced and creamy curry that is one of the most favourite and preferred panner curry in Indian restaurants. Cubes of paneer cooked in tomato based sauce, cream and spices. This is a gluten free recipe.

paneer makhani in a bowl with onion slices and coriander in small bowls

Paneer makhani also known as paneer butter masala is a delicious curry that pairs well with chapathi, naan, kulcha and jeera rice. This classic curry is perfect for any party or special occasions. Check out other restaurant style recipes in this blog here paneer jalfrezi, potato 65, pineapple stuffed paneer tikka, jeera rice

Is paneer makhani recipe adaptable?

You could adapt this recipe to suit your taste preference. For no onion-garlic version curry, you could substitute onion and garlic with asafoetida to infuse garlicky flavour to the curry. For healthy version, you could swap yogurt for double cream. Mix in whisked yogurt along with kasoori methi at the end.

How to make perfect paneer makhani?

To make delicious and perfect paneer makhani, use fresh and soft paneer. Always use red, ripe and flavoursome tomatoes in this recipe. Unripe or sour tomatoes ruins the taste and flavour of this classic curry. Cashews add creamy and silky consistency to the sauce, so do not skip or substitute it with other nuts.

Let’s see how to make classic paneer makhani in detail.

Ingredients

1 cup = 250ml ; 1 tbsp = 15ml

Gluten free

For makhani sauce (base gravy)

Oil: 2 tbsp

Onion: 2 medium, roughly chopped

garlic: 4 cloves

Ginger: 1 inch, peeled and roughly chopped

Tomatoes: 3 medium, chopped

Cashews: 1/4 cup

Green cardamom: 3

Cloves: 4

Cassia bark (dalchini): 1 inch

For curry

Butter: 3 tbsp

Chilli powder: 3 tsp

Garam masala: 1 tsp

Coriander powder: 1 tsp

Salt: as required

Sugar: 1/2 tsp

Water: 1/2 cup

Double cream: 1/4 cup

Paneer: 200 gms, cut into cubes

Kasoori methi (dry fenugreek leaves): 1 tsp

Instructions

Soak cashews in hot water for 10-15 minutes.

Meanwhile heat oil in a pan on medium flame, add cardamom, cloves, cinnamon and sauté for few seconds or until aromatic.

Now add onion, ginger, garlic and sauté for couple of minutes or until onion turns soft.

Add tomatoes, sauté and cook for 5-8 minutes or until they are soft.

process shot of cooking onion tomato and cashew masala

Allow tomato mixture to cool down.

Grind soaked cashews and tomato mixture to a smooth paste.

onion tomato cashew mixture in blender before and after grinding

In the same pan, heat butter on low flame.

Add chilli powder and keep stirring for few seconds.

Now add makhani sauce, water and mix well.

Add garam masala, chilli powder, coriander powder, salt, sugar and mix until well combined.

Now increase the heat to medium and cook gravy for 10-15 minutes or until butter separates from gravy.

Add paneer cubes, double cream and cook for 3-5 minutes and turn off the heat.

Finally crush dry fenugreek leaves between palms and mix well.

process shot of making paneer makhani curry

Serve hot and delicious paneer butter masala with naan or chapathi or jeera rice.

close up shot of paneer makhani

Notes

If the paneer is hard, soak them in warm water for 5-10 minutes to make it soft.

Do not skip dry fenugreek leaves as it adds subtle flavour to this dish.

Sugar enhances the tomato flavour in the curry, you could swap honey for sugar.

You could swap ginger-garlic paste for fresh ginger and garlic.

You could substitute double cream with heavy or whipping cream. In some countries it is labelled as thickened cream.

I’ve used kashmiri chilli powder that has milder heat and adds bright colour to the dish. You could substitute it with normal chilli powder, but make sure to adjust the quantity based on how hot the chilli powder is.

We generally prefer thick gravy, you could add more water while cooking to thin it down.

You could add little water while grinding if you find it difficult to get smooth paste without water.

If you are panning to make this dish for a party, you can make ahead makhani sauce and keep it in refrigerator for 2-3 days. On party day just toss paneer with rest of the dry spices, cream and makhani sauce.

close up shot of paneer makhani
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5 from 1 vote

Paneer Makhani (Restaurant style Paneer Butter Masala)

Paneer Makhani is a rich, decadent, mildly spiced and creamy curry that is one of the most favourite and preferred panner curry in Indian restaurants. Cubes of paneer cooked in tomato based sauce, cream and spices.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Total Time35 mins
Course: Curries, Main Course
Cuisine: Indian
Servings: 6 people
Author: Geetha Priyanka

Ingredients

1 cup = 250ml ; 1 tbsp = 15ml

    For makhani sauce/base gravy

    • 2 tbsp Oil
    • 2 medium Onion roughly chopped
    • 4 cloves Garlic
    • 1 inch Ginger peeled and roughly chopped
    • 3 medium Tomatoes chopped
    • 1/4 cup Cashews
    • 3 Green cardamom
    • 4 Cloves
    • 1 inch Cassia bark (dalchini)

    For curry

    • 3 tbsp Butter
    • 3 tsp Chilli powder
    • 1 tsp Garam masala
    • 1 tsp Coriander powder
    • Salt as required
    • 1/2 tsp Sugar
    • 1/4 cup Double cream
    • 200 gms Paneer cut into cubes
    • 1/2 cup Water
    • 1 tsp Kasoori methi (dry fenugreek leaves)

    Instructions

    • Soak cashews in hot water for 10-15 minutes.
    • Meanwhile heat oil in a pan on medium flame, add cardamom, cloves, cinnamon and sauté for few seconds or until aromatic.
    • Now add onion, ginger, garlic and sauté for couple of minutes or until onion turns soft.
    • Add tomatoes, sauté and cook for 5-8 minutes or until they are soft and mushy.
    • Allow tomato mixture to cool down.
    • Grind soaked cashews and tomato mixture to a smooth paste.
    • In the same pan, heat butter on low flame.
    • Add chilli powder and keep stirring for few seconds.
    • Now add makhani sauce, water and mix well.
    • Add garam masala, chilli powder, coriander powder, salt, sugar and mix until well combined.
    • Increase the heat to medium and cook gravy for 10-15 minutes or until butter separates from gravy.
    • Add paneer cubes, double cream and cook for 3-5 minutes and turn off the heat.
    • Finally crush dry fenugreek leaves between palms and mix well.
    • Serve hot and delicious paneer butter masala with naan or chapathi or jeera rice.

    Video

    Notes

    If the paneer is hard, soak them in warm water for 5-10 minutes to retain its softness.
    Dry fenugreek leaves adds a subtle flavour to this dish, so try not to skip it.
    Sugar enhances the tomato flavour in the curry, you could swap honey for sugar.
    You could swap ginger-garlic paste for fresh ginger and garlic.
    I've used kashmiri chilli powder that has milder heat and adds bright colour to the dish. You could swap it with normal chilli powder, but make sure to adjust the quantity based on how hot the chilli powder is and to suit your preferred spice levels.
    We generally prefer thick gravy, you can add more water while cooking to thin it down. 
    You could add little water while grinding if you find it difficult to get smooth paste without water.
    If you are panning to make this dish for a party, you can make ahead makhani sauce and keep it in refrigerator for 2-3 days. On party day just toss paneer with rest of the dry spices, cream and and makhani sauce.

    KEEP IN TOUCH

    Do let me know if you make this delicious paneer curry. I love to get feedback from readers.

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