paneer makhani recipe, how to make paneer makhani

paneer makhani recipe - succulently cooked cottage cheese cubes in a smooth sauce of tomatoes and cream, which is lightly spiced with a hint of tang and sweetness.
4.82 from 27 votes

paneer makhani recipe with step by step photos – 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 with a hint of tang and sweetness.

paneer makhani recipe

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.

if you are looking for more paneer recipes then do check:

paneer makhani recipe

Author:Dassana Amit
Prep Time:10 minutes
Cook Time:35 minutes
Total Time:45 minutes
Course:main course
Cuisine:north indian
Servings (change the number to scale):2 to 3
4.82 from 27 votes
paneer makhani recipe
paneer makhani recipe - succulently cooked cottage cheese cubes in a smooth sauce of tomatoes and cream, which is lightly spiced with a hint of tang and sweetness.

INGREDIENTS FOR paneer makhani recipe

(1 CUP = 250 ML)
  • 200 grams paneer (cottage cheese)
  • 250 grams ripe and red tomatoes OR 4 to 5 medium ripe and red tomatoes (tamatar)
  • 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 (adrak lahsun ka 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

HOW TO MAKE paneer makhani recipe

making tomato puree for paneer makhani

  • 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 paneer makhani 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.


* addition of sugar depends upon your taste as well as the tanginess present in the tomatoes. add more if required.
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preparation to make paneer makhani

1. first rinse and chop the tomatoes (250 grams or 4 to 5 medium ripe and red tomatoes).

tomatoes for paneer makhani recipe

2. in a blender or grinder make a smooth puree of the chopped tomatoes. no need to add any water while blending the tomatoes.

tomato puree for paneer makhani recipe

3. crush the ginger & garlic in a mortar-pestle to a paste (1 tsp ginger garlic paste, or 1/2 inch ginger/adrak + 3-4 small garlic/lahsun).

ginger garlic paste for paneer makhani recipe

making paneer makhani

4. melt 2 tbsp butter in a pan. add 1 bay leaf/tej patta and then the crushed ginger garlic. saute till the raw aroma of the crushed ginger garlic goes away.

frying spices for paneer makhani recipe

5. add the tomato puree.

tomato puree for paneer makhani gravy recipe

6. stir well and add ½ tsp red chilli powder. keep on sauteing till the fat leaves the sides of the tomato paste.

preparing paneer makhani masala

7. meanwhile chop 200 grams paneer/cottage cheese in cubes, squares or triangles.

paneer cubes for paneer makhani recipe

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.

paneer makhani masala

9. now add 1.5 cups water.

making paneer makhani recipe

10. stir very well and let the gravy/sauce come to a gentle simmer.

making paneer makhani recipe

11. simmer the gravy till it reduces and thickens a bit.

preparing paneer makhani recipe

12. add ½ inch ginger julienne and 1-2 slit green chilies. simmer for a minute.

adding ginger to paneer makhani recipe

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.

paneer for paneer makhani recipe

14. add 2 to 3 tbsp cream. i used amul cream.

cream for paneer makhani recipe

15. stir gently but well so that the cream is mixed uniformly with the gravy without breaking the paneer cubes. switch off the flame.

simmer - making paneer makhani recipe

16. lastly sprinkle ¼ tsp garam masala and again stir gently. check the seasonings and add more salt or sugar if required.

garam masala for paneer makhani recipe

18. serve paneer makhani hot with rotis, parathas or naan or with jeera rice.

paneer makhani



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dassana amit

Founder, Chef, Recipe Developer, Food Photographer >> MORE ABOUT US

namaste and welcome to which i started in feb 2009 and is a pure vegetarian blog. i have been passionate about cooking from childhood and began to cook from the age of 10. later having enrolled in a home science degree greatly enhanced my cooking & baking skills and took it to a different level which i now share as foolproof recipes. i was formally trained both in mainstream indian as well as international cuisines.

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122 comments/reviews

  1. I like to make vegetarian Indian meals for our friends. This dish is always the star of the show. It is easy to make and so tasty.

  2. Dassana thank you so much. Tried this recipe today and it turned out to be delicious. The best part is the ease in the process of making it. All the ingredients are easily available and your pictures helped me to gauge that i don’t go wrong.

  3. Dassana

    Can i keep tomato-ginger-garlic paste in the freezer and use for recipes that ask for little or no onion?


    • avoid tomato. just make ginger-garlic paste. tomatoes can spoil. any paste or puree made with tomatoes stays good for a few days only. if preservatives are added, then these can be preserved for months too. for ginger-garlic paste, you can add some oil, a bit of salt and some turmeric, to preserve it for more than a month. you can check the post on ginger-garlic paste, i have already shared on website.

      • Thanks so much Dassana!! I read somewhere that onion-tomato paste (which will have ginger-garlic too) can be kept in the freezer. I understand now i cannot do this either?? 🙁 What do you recommend? I am a working mother, so need some things readily available so cooking gets done in a jiffy

      • sharmila, for onion paste, you can fry onions in bulk. make a paste and refrigerate. in any dish, when you add this paste, it tastes good. for ease of frying onions, what you do is thinly slice the onions. then sundry it for a few hours. then fry it. this way the onions will get browned quickly. avoid tomato paste or tomato puree. preservatives have to be added in these for a longer shelf time. for coconut, you can grate 1 coconut in your free time and then freeze it. you can also make onion-tomato gravy paste. just brown onions, tomato, ginger, garlic in some oil and then grind it. this can then be freezer in ice cube tray and you can use whenever you want. i somehow forgot to mention this to you.

        hope this helps.

  4. Hi,will try this paneer recipe today as my son loves paneer but is allergic to cashews.. Was looking for a paneer recipe without cashews..

  5. Beautiful. Absolutely delicious. Thank you so much for sharing this and so many other recipes. You make cooking so much easier and something to look forward to instead of something that I used to run away from.

  6. Dear Dassana
    Am a great fan of yours and have been following you after making your atta bread . But my query today is another tough one . We have just found that my husband is allergic to tomatoes , milk and milk products and a couple of other things . My problem is how to substitute tomatoes in our punjabi curries also in rajmah etc . Any suggestions please . If I use mango powder how will I get the right colour and the taste would also go for a toss . Help please .

    • renu, difficult as usually curd is used instead of tomatoes. so here you cannot even use curd. there is no substitute as such for tomatoes. to give volume in the gravy, you can add onion paste. even onion based gravies taste good. but you need to saute the onion paste till its golden. then you can add a bit of amchur powder for sourness. even with fried onion paste (where sliced onions are fried till golden brown and then made into a paste) any gravy tastes good. a totally different option is to add grated coconut paste or coconut milk like its done in the konkan, goan and south indian cuisine. even rajma in a coconut based paste or coconut milk tastes good. hope this helps.

  7. Thank you so much for the recipe! 🙂 I have never cooked a paneer dish before, infact I hardly cook 😀 Your recipe turned out amazing and everyone just loved it !! 🙂

  8. Thanks so much for sharing this nut free recipe. My daughter loves paneer but can’t eat the usual butter masala recipes as she is allergic to cashew nuts. This has been very well received! I regularly try your recipes, with much success, as being a British born Bengali, I like to try dishes from different regions and need help cooking authentic Indian recipes. Keep up the good work!

  9. Hey!
    I can’t thank you enough for the recipe. Paneer is my husband’s favourite but I am not a pro at cooking. I simply followed your recipe and it turned out absolutely brilliant. Very similar to the restaurant quality we get in Delhi. Being a north Indian, I can vouch that it tastes very authentic.
    Would have loved to upload a pic but don’t know how.

  10. Hey Dassana, I’m a big fan of your
    Thanks a lot!!
    i have no cream …. so what should I add to skip cream….

  11. I don’t generally leave behind comments on blogs. Just get the info I want and dash off. But this was too good to not let you know and appreciate. It was super simple and my daughters really loved it. Thank you Dassana for the wonderful veg recipes.

  12. I tried it last week and it was really good….I kinda of reduced the sauce a little too much, but it ended up being really good anyways….Next time I make it I will triple the recipe:D…..Thank you so much for the recipe:D

      • Thank you. I finally made it . I only added half an onion. It was excellent. Got polished off 🙂
        I did do one more thing I would like to share- I soaked the paneer in hot water for 5 minutes and drained. It was soft and nicer. This trick works when paneer was bought few days ago and is in the fridge.
        Thank you for the easy recipe.

  13. THANKS for the wonderful step by step instructions with pictures!! I can’t wait to get brave enough to try this!!!! I have been wanting to for quite some time and I am no cook!!! So the fact that you were able to inspire me to want to cook is even more amazing!!

  14. Loved this recipe.made this for dinner yesterday.the step by step pictures r a great help.thankyou so much for the wonderful blog.

  15. Thank you so much for your sweet recipes, everyone in my family loves it.. U are so awesome.. Keep up your work…I love the way u simple but taste fabulous.