paneer makhanwala recipe with step by step photos. cottage cheese in a buttery, creamy, tangy and mildly sweet sauce. this delicious paneer makhanwala recipe has a restaurant like flavors and taste.
the recipe is a variation of paneer butter masala, paneer lababdar and paneer makhani. basically makhani gravy is added in all these recipes. so some people say paneer makhani and paneer makhanwala is the same recipe and some say paneer makhani and paneer buter masala are same. all this confusion is because of similar gravy and the butter (makhan) which goes in the preparation of these recipes.
i won’t go into this discussion because at the end what matters is the taste. basically all these makhani recipes taste awesome. generally, the makhani gravy does not have onion. however, in this recipe, i have added onion along with some whole spices. if you like creamy buttery taste in a paneer dish then you will love this recipe.
the method to make paneer makhanwala is similar to my shahi paneer recipe except for the ingredients added. this is a rich curry and so is very filling. along with the butter and cream i have also added cashews. a good paneer recipe when you have guests at home or to make during a festival or celebration. i made this dish for my parents who have currently visited us.
paneer makhanwala is best served with naan or tandoori rotis. the next best is to serve with chapatis or phulkas.
how to make paneer makhanwala
making makhani paste
1. first mix chopped onions, tomatoes, ginger, garlic, cashews, mace, cinnamon, cloves and cardamom with 1 cup water.
2. cook everything till the tomatoes and onions soften without a lid. allow this mixture to cool. about 14 to 15 minutes on a medium flame.
3. then add everything including the stock in a good blender or grinder. grind to a smooth paste. remember there should be no small pieces of cashews. everything should be ground very well to a smooth paste. add water if required while blending. but better to avoid adding water, if possible. as if you add water, then while sauteing the masala splutters.
making paneer makhanwala
4. then heat butter in the same pan. add tejpatta/indian bay leaf (this is fresh tejpatta) and saute for a few seconds.
5. add the ground makhani paste. stir well.
6. sprinkle red chili powder. ( i have used kashmiri red chili powder which gives a bright red color. you can also use deghi mirch).
7. stir well and saute the masala on a medium flame. if the mixture starts spluttering, then keep a lid half covered on the pan. let the moisture reduce and the spluttering will stop. but do stir in between.
8. keep on stirring often. you have to saute the masala till you see the butter leaving the sides. it has to be sauteed so well. this takes time but patience is the key. you have to stir often. the masala would start clumping together and begin to reduce slowly.
9. here is how the masala should look like with the fat oozing from the sides. this sauteing took me about 20 minutes on a medium flame.
10. now add slit green chilies, salt and water.
11. again stir very well and bring the gravy to a gentle simmer for about 2 to 3 mins.
12. add sugar and again stir. add the cottage cheese cubes. stir gently and simmer for 2 mins.
13. add the cream, crushed kasuri methi (dry fenugreek leaves) and garam masala powder.
14. stir and switch off the flame. check the taste of paneer makhanwala gravy and add more salt, sugar or red chili powder if required.
15. serve paneer makhanwala garnished with cream, grated paneer, ginger julienne and coriander leaves, hot with naan or roti.
more paneer recipes
for ground makhani paste
- 1 medium to large onion OR 80 grams onions OR ¾ cup roughly chopped onions
- 3 to 4 medium tomatoes OR 160 to 170 grams tomatoes OR 1.5 cups roughly chopped tomatoes
- ½ inch ginger - chopped
- 3 to 4 medium garlic - chopped
- 2 single strands of mace
- 2 to 3 green cardamoms
- 1 inch cinnamon
- 2 to 3 cloves
- 2 tablespoon whole cashews OR about 10 to 12 cashews
- 1 cup water
- 250 to 300 grams paneer - cut into cubes or squares (cottage cheese)
- 1 to 1.5 teaspoon kashmir red chili powder or deghi mirch (if using a hot variety of red chili powder, then add ½ to ¾ teaspoon)
- ¼ cup low fat cream (i used amul cream)
- 1 tej patta (indian bay leaf)
- 1 green chili - slit
- 1.5 cups water or as required
- ¾ teaspoon kasuri methi - crushed (dry fenugreek leaves)
- ¼ teaspoon garam masala powder
- ½ teaspoon sugar OR 1 teaspoon honey - or add as required as per your taste
- 2 to 2.5 tablespoon butter at room temperature
- 1 tablespoon cream for garnishing
- 1 tablespoon grated paneer for garnishing (optional)
- ½ inch ginger - julienne
- salt as required
- few chopped coriander leaves for garnish (cilantro leaves)
making makhani paste
- first mix chopped onions, tomatoes, ginger, garlic, cashews, mace, cinnamon, cloves and cardamoms with 1 cup water.
- cook everything til the tomatoes and onions soften without a lid. cook for about 14 to 15 minutes on a medium flame. allow this mixture to cool.
- then add everything including the stock in a good blender or grinder. grind to a smooth paste.
- remember there should be no small pieces of cashews. everything should be ground very well till smooth.
making paneer makhanwala
- heat butter in the same pan. add tejpatta (indian bay leaf) and saute for a few seconds.
- add the ground makhani paste. stir well.
- sprinkle red chili powder. ( i have used kashmiri red chili powder which gives a good color. you can also use deghi mirch).
- stir well and saute the masala on a medium flame.
- keep on stirring often. you have to saute the masala till you see the butter leaving the sides. it has to sauteed so well. this takes time but patience is the key.
- takes about 20 to 22 mins on a medium to high flame. check the step by step pics (picture no 9) for the consistency of how the masala paste should be before you proceed to the next step.
- now add slit green chilies, salt and water. again stir very well. cook for 2 to 3 mins.
- then add sugar and again stir. if you want to add honey instead of sugar then kindly check the notes section below.
- add the paneer cubes and simmer for 2 mins.
- add the cream, crushed kasuri methi (dry fenugreek leaves) and garam masala powder.
- stir and switch off the flame. check the taste of gravy and add more salt, sugar or red chili powder as required.
- serve paneer makhanwala garnished with cream, grated paneer, ginger julienne, and cilantro leaves, hot with naan or roti.
- as per ayurveda, honey should not be added to hot drinks or anything hot or heated above 40 degrees C/104 degrees F. the honey becomes toxic.
- for this paneer makhanwala recipe, you can let the gravy cool down a bit and then add honey. you can also add sugar instead of honey.