Paneer Makhani | How to Cook Fresh & Simple Paneer Makhani

Paneer Makhani is a popular Punjabi vegetable that is definitely visible in any Punjabi Dhaba or restaurant menu. To make it, the soft cheese pieces are cooked in a spicy and creamy gravy of tomatoes, cashews, onions, cream, and butter. This recipe explains how to make vegetables in the traditional Mughlai way. Let's get started.

Paneer Makhani

What is the difference between paneer butter masala and paneer makhani?

I think Paneer Makhani and Paneer Butter Masala are the same dishes. Makhani can be translated to “buttery”. Both have a rich buttery gravy, with tomato and heavy cream base. There is an even richer version that has cashew nut paste, Shahi Paneer, which is also slightly sweeter than Butter Paneer.

Is butter chicken the same as makhani?

Technically yes, both can be called “Butter Chicken”, as the onion-tomato based gravy is the same, and laced with heavy doses of white butter or thick cream. “Makhani” (“with butter”) comes from “Mak'khan”, the Hindi word for butter.

Ingredients

For Curry

  • ½ cup Water
  • 5 cups Tomato diced
  • ½ cup Onion sliced
  • 8  Garlic cloves
  • 1 small piece Ginger 
  • 1 Bay leaf
  • 1 Black cardamom
  • 1 stick Cinnamon
  • 3 Cardamom
  • 3 Cloves
  • 1-2  green chilies
  • 1 tbsp Kashmiri chili powder
  • 1 tbsp Butter
  • 12 Cashew nuts
  • Salt as per taste
Paneer Makhani

On Pan

  • 2 tbsp Butter
  • ½ tbsp Ginger chopped
  • 1  Green chili
  • 2 cups Paneer cubes
  • Salt as per taste
  • 1 tsp Kashmiri chili powder
  • ½ tsp Dried Fenugreek (methi) leaves 
  • 1-2 tsp Sugar (optional)
  • 3-4 tbsp Cream 

Time

  • Preparation time – 15 minutes
  • Cooking time – 40 minutes
  • Total time - 55 minutes
  • Serves - 4

Suggestions and Variations:

  • Dry Kashmiri red chilies have been used to bring a deep red color without making the gravy too spicy. If it is not available, you can use any kind of dry red chili (or 1/2 tsp red chili powder). Kashmiri red chili is less pungent in taste, if you are using any other type of dry red chili then reduce its quantity or else the vegetable will become pungent.
  • Soak the frozen cheese cubes in hot water for 15 minutes before using, and then remove from the water and add to the gravy.
  • To make it spicier, increase the amount of garlic and dry red chilies.
  • Cashew nut makes the gravy thick and creamy. If it is not available, you can use almonds or white poppy seeds instead.
  • Butter adds four moons to the taste of this paneer vegetable, however, you can also use oil in its place if you wish.
Paneer Makhani

Method for making paneer makhani

  • In a deep pan, add all the ingredients listed below for "Curry". Bring to a boil, then cover and
  • Cook for 25 minutes.
  • Turn off the heat and remove the bay leaf, black cardamom, and cinnamon. Let cool for a while now and
  • Then grind it into a fine puree and set it aside.
  • In a separate pan, melt the ginger in the melted butter and stir for a minute. Add paneer cubes and
  • Cook for another minute. Add the chili, stir and add to the curry. Cook for 5-10 minutes and add
  • Yes. Turn off the heat and add the cream and dried methi leaves powder. Stir and serve hot.

Preparation for paneer makhani

1. Paneer Makhni or Paneer Makhanwala (with butter) is one dish that is like a one-pot dish. That is we cook everything in one single pot, puree it and finish it in the same pot. Just in case even if you are thinking of any other recipe don't.

2. This is the simplest and the tastiest Paneer Makhni. To make Paneer Makhni we take a little water in a pan.

Paneer Makhani

3. Very little. In this goes roughly chopped Tomatoes, a little sliced Onion, Garlic, this is Ginger, Bayleaf, Black Cardamom, Cinnamon, Green Cardamom.

4. Now we add Cloves, Green Chilli, Kashmiri Chilli Powder, a little Butter, just a little. A handful of Cashew nuts. Generous amount of Salt. Let's give it a nice stir.

5. After mixing everything together we cover it with a lid and then we let it cook patiently over the mild flame for about 20-25 minutes.

6. Tomatoes are completely mashed. In fact, the Cashews in this are also soft. We'll turn off the gas.

7. Before grinding, we cool it down a bit and these Bayleaf needs to be removed and Black Cardamom is also removed. With that remove the Cinnamon too.

8. We remove these 3 spices because when we grind it these spices will take it to a darker shade. So we have to remove them.

9. This goes in the blender. Now we will grind this. This has blended nicely. And as it is so finely blended we need not strain it. Just in case something isn't fine with your mixer or you see some chunk you may strain it.

10. We'll take some Butter. A good amount of butter. Now you might take less butter if you don't want too much butter.

11. In fact, if you like Onion, Garlic food to eat. You may avoid adding Onion, Garlic, and Ginger, in this. Butter has melted.

Adding paneer to paneer makhani

12. First, we add a little chopped Ginger to it. Ginger, Butter, and Green Chilli are 3 ingredients that give a nice flavor to Paneer Makhani or Butter Chicken.

Paneer Makhani

13. We add Green Chilli into this. Lightly saute this. Now we add the Cottage Cheese (Paneer) into this. Just lightly cook them.

How to make paneer makhani

14. It may seem that the butter is in excess but understand that in this gravy we didn't add a lot of butter we added just a little butter. And there is butter in Paneer Makhani. And just in case you don't like to eat, add a lot of butter you can always cut it down.

15. Sprinkle some salt. We add a little Kashmiri Red Chilli to this. And immediately after this, we add the gravy You have to be careful that the Chilli doesn't burn. So the Chilli, light stir and then the curry.

16. Gently mix it. Nice, soft, silken, creamy Makhani curry. Curry is very versatile. We have added Paneer in this now. If you want, you may add mushrooms, or mix vegetables in this.

17. You may add chicken in this. At the same time if you want to make "Matar Paneer" (Peas and Cheese) Make this same gravy toss the Peas and Cheese in the butter and then add the same gravy to it.

18. That will be a different style of "Matar Paneer" But again very tasty. Cook this for about 5 minutes over the mild flame. Add some salt. As per seasoning.

19. Now, Turn off the gas and after that, we add into this Cream. Lightly mix it. With that goes dried Fenugreek leaves powder You may crush it completely or keep it a bit coarse. Up to you.

20. Now a lot of recipes tell you to add sugar or honey to this. You can add some sugar. But it is added only when your tomato is too sour Especially those Desi Tomatoes we get in the summers They are too sour.

Paneer Makhani

21. A little sweetness offset's them. It should not be very sweet. This is just perfect. It doesn't need sugar. And our Paneer Makhani is done. We need to plate to serve this.

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