Paneer Makhani (or Butter Paneer) is one of those classical north Indian recipes, a regular in many Indian households and restaurants across the globe.
This recipe goes by different names, Butter Paneer, Paneer butter masala, Paneer Makhanwala, Shahi Paneer, etc. The spice levels of the Makhani sauce can vary based on a region, family or individual preference. Some like their paneer raw, while others prefer them fried.
Related Recipes: Chili Garlic Paneer, Akbari Mushrooms, Paneer Tikka Kebab
About the recipe
Refer to my post on Makhani Sauce for the base gravy.
Makhani Sauce is a versatile base sauce which adds flavor and texture to your curry. I recommend having this sauce in your freezer at all times. If your Makhani sauce is ready and paneer cubes done, it’s just matter of minutes and restaurant style “Paneer makhani” is on the table!
Onions and tomatoes cooked with spices and nuts and ground to a smooth paste. Thats it! Your sauce is ready ?
Paneer Makhani can be the key to make you a hit at your next party. So what are you waiting for…let’s get started with the recipe!
For Makhani Sauce
- 1 medium sized Red Onion sliced
- 4 oz Tomato paste
- 15 whole cashew nuts
- 2 tsp Ginger garlic paste
- 4 whole Green chili
- 5 whole Dried red chilli Kashmiri red chilies (preferred). Use Cayenne: Paprika in 1:3 ratio as a substitute
- 5-8 cloves
- 5-8 cardamon grains removed
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- 3 tbsp butter or 'Ghee' or Olive oil/ Coconut oil/ any other cooking oil (for dairy-free)
- 2 whole bay leaves
- 1 tbsp honey
- 2 tbsp half and half cream dairy free substitute like coconut milk/ almond milk can also be used
- 1 tbsp dried fenugreek leaves (found in Indian grocery stores)
- Salt to taste
- 400 grams Paneer cut into 1/2 inch cubes (found in Indian grocery stores)
- 1/2 cup Red Onion diced into 1/2 inch pieces
- 1 tsp butter or cooking oil
- Salt to taste
- Water as required to dilute the sauce if necessary
Making Makhani Sauce
- In a medium sized non stick pot, melt 2 tablespoons butter.
- Once heated, add onions and stir fry until they turn pink.
- Add cashews, ginger garlic paste, cardamom seeds, cloves, cinnamon and salt and cook until fragrant.
- Then add tomato paste and cook for a minute. Now add Thai green chillies and dried red chillies.
- Cook for another minute. Remove the pot from heat and let it cool.
- Add the cooled mix and water into a blender/ food processor to get a thick gravy consistency.
- In the same pot, heat the remaining tablespoon butter. Add bay leaves and cook until fragrant.
- Next add the gravy from the blender/ food processor. Stir for 2 minutes while adding honey.
- Finally add half and half cream and crushed dried fenugreek leaves and cook for a minute.
- The ‘Makhani sauce’ is ready.
- Transfer the makhani sauce into a jar/ container and in the same pot, heat butter/ cooking oil.
- On a medium flame, add the diced onions and stir fry for 2 minutes.
- Now add the paneer cubes and salt and stir fry for another 2 minutes.
- Next add required amount of makhani sauce. At this point you might like to add a little water to get a semi gravy consistency.
- Bring it to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes. This allows the flavors from the gravy to get into paneer cubes.
- Remove from heat and transfer to a serving dish.
- Enjoy hot Paneer Makhani with Rotis/ parathas (Indian flatbread), naan or plain steamed white rice.
- Green chili and Red chili quantities can be adjusted according to your preference.
- Paneer cubes can be fried and added as well. In this case, as soon as you remove paneer after frying, soak them in water. This would prevent paneer cubes from turning hard and rubbery.
- You can marinate paneer cubes as well.