Paneer makhani recipe with step by step photos – succulently cooked cottage cheese cubes in a smooth sauce of tomatoes and cream, which is lightly spiced with a hint of tang and sweetness.
This is simple and easy to make delicious paneer makhani recipe. The flavors of this dish is more home style and its not a restaurant style recipe. The gravy is lightly spiced and taste good.
The makhani gravy or sauce is usually made up of pureed tomatoes, ginger, garlic, red chili powder and cream. The same sauce is also used for Paneer butter masala And Paneer makhanwala. basically both are same for me. Just that the spicing varies from recipe to recipe. In some variations, cashew paste is also added. Cashew paste does help in giving a smooth, creamy texture to the gravy.
In this paneer makhani recipe, I have not used cashew paste. I did get a few requests from readers, asking me to post some Punjabi recipes without the use of expensive stuff like cashew, almonds etc. Hence this paneer makhani post.
The recipe is very easy to make. You can use ready-made tomato puree too. Paneer can be brought ready from out or you can make paneer at home. I always make paneer at home. However, this time a few of the paneer cubes broke in the gravy. I cooked the milk too much while making the paneer. Sometimes I am also in a hurry and impatient to cook and finish a task.
Paneer makhani is best served with rotis, parathas or with naans. I served with naan and a side veggie salad. You can also serve paneer makhani with jeera rice.
How to make paneer makhani
1. First rinse and chop the tomatoes (250 grams or 4 to 5 medium ripe and red tomatoes).
2. In a blender or grinder make a smooth puree of the chopped tomatoes. No need to add any water while blending the tomatoes.
3. Crush the ginger & garlic in a mortar-pestle to a paste (1 teaspoon ginger garlic paste, or ½ inch ginger + 3-4 small garlic).
Making paneer makhani
4. Melt 2 tbsp butter in a pan. Add 1 tej patta (Indian bay leaf) and then the crushed ginger-garlic. Saute till the raw aroma of the crushed ginger-garlic goes away.
5. Add the tomato puree.
6. Stir well and add ½ tsp red chilli powder. Keep on sauteing till the fat leaves the sides of the tomato paste.
7. Meanwhile chop 200 grams cottage cheese in cubes, squares or triangles.
8. After 15 minutes on a low flame, the tomatoes and spices have sauteed well and the fat leaving the sides of the mixture is clearly seen.
9. Now add 1.5 cups water.
10. stir very well and let the gravy/sauce come to a gentle simmer.
11. Simmer the gravy till it reduces and thickens a bit.
12. Add ½ inch ginger julienne and 1-2 slit green chilies. Simmer for a minute.
13. Stir and then add salt, ½ tsp crushed kasuri methi (dry fenugreek leaves) and ½ to 1 tsp sugar. Also add the paneer cubes and simmer for 2 to 3 minutes.
14. Add 2 to 3 tbsp cream. I used amul cream.
15. Stir gently but well so that the cream is mixed uniformly with the gravy without breaking the paneer cubes. Switch off the flame.
16. Lastly sprinkle ¼ tsp garam masala and again stir gently. Check the seasonings and add more salt or sugar if required.
18. Serve paneer makhani hot with rotis, parathas or naan or with jeera rice.
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- 200 grams paneer (cottage cheese)
- 250 grams ripe and red tomatoes or 4 to 5 medium ripe and red tomatoes
- 2 to 3 tablespoon cream - low fat 25% to 35% fat
- 2 tablespoon butter
- 1 tej patta (indian bay leaf)
- 1 teaspoon ginger garlic paste or ½ inch ginger + 3-4 small garlic crushed to paste in a mortar-pestle
- ½ teaspoon red chilli powder or kashmiri red chilli powder or deghi mirch
- 1 to 2 green chillies, slit (hari mirch)
- ¼ teaspoon garam masala powder or tandoori masala powder
- ½ to 1 teaspoon sugar - add as required* check notes
- ½ inch ginger, julienned
- ½ teaspoon kasuri methi leaves, crushed (dry fenugreek leaves)
- 1.5 cups water
- salt as required
making tomato puree
- First rinse and chop the tomatoes (250 grams or 4 to 5 medium ripe and red tomatoes).
- In a blender or grinder make a smooth puree of the chopped tomatoes. No need to add any water while blending the tomatoes.
- Keep the tomato puree aside.
making paneer makhani
- Melt butter in a pan. First add the tejpatta/bay leaf and saute for a few seconds till aromatic.
- Then add the crushed ginger-garlic paste and saute till the raw aroma of the ginger-garlic goes away.
- Add the tomato puree and stir well.
- Now add the red chili powder and saute this mixture till the fat begins to leave the side of the tomato paste. Takes about 14 to 15 on a low flame. Keep on stirring often.
- When you see the tomato mixture clumping together and the fat leaving the sides, then add water.
- Stir and simmer till the gravy or sauce thickens a bit. Takes about 7 to 8 mins on a low flame.
- Then add the slit green chilies and ginger julienne. Stir and simmer for a minute.
- Add sugar, salt and crushed kasuri methi (dry fenugreek leaves).
- Stir and then add the paneer cubes.
- Simmer the gravy for 2 to 3 minutes till the paneer cubes are cooked.
- Lastly add cream and gently stir. Switch off the flame and then sprinkle with garam masala. Give a gentle stir again.
- Serve the paneer makhani with rotis, naan or jeera rice.
Nutrition Info Approximate values
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