paneer makhanwala restaurant style

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.

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paneer makhanwala, paneer makhanwala recipe

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.

paneer makhanwala 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 and Veg makhanwala is often seen in the restaurant menus. Many years back this dish along with Chilli paneer would be mine and my sister’s choice of paneer dish in any restaurant.

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.

mix ingredients for making paneer makhanwala recipe

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.

cook tomatoes and onions - making paneer makhanwala recipe

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 recipe

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.

heat butter or makhan for paneer makhanwala recipe

5. add the ground makhani paste. Stir well.

ground makhani paste to make paneer makhanwala recipe

6. Sprinkle red chili powder. ( I have used Kashmiri red chili powder which gives a bright red color. You can also use deghi mirch).

add red chilli powder - making paneer makhanwala recipe

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.

saute - making paneer makhanwala masala recipe

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.

saute - paneer makhanwala masala recipe

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.

paneer makhanwala masala paste

10. Now add slit green chilies, salt and water.

add water to paneer makhanwala masala recipe

11. Again stir very well and bring the gravy to a gentle simmer for about 2 to 3 mins.

simmer - paneer makhanwala gravy recipe

12. Add sugar and again stir. Add the cottage cheese cubes. Stir gently and simmer for 2 mins.

add paneer to make paneer makhanwala recipe

13. Add the cream, crushed kasuri methi (dry fenugreek leaves) and garam masala powder.

add cream - making paneer makhanwala recipe

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.

check taste of gravy - paneer makhanwala recipe

15. Serve paneer makhanwala garnished with cream, grated paneer, ginger julienne and coriander leaves, hot with naan or roti.

paneer makhanwala, paneer makhanwala recipe

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STEP BY STEP PHOTOS ABOVEMany of my recipes have detailed step by step photos and useful tips to help you make it easily and perfectly.

paneer makhanwala

4.89 from 43 votes
Paneer makhanwala is a popular Indian curry of cottage cheese cubes in a rich buttery creamy makhani gravy.
paneer makhanwala
Author:Dassana Amit
Prep Time:30 mins
Cook Time:30 mins
Total Time:1 hr
Course:main course
Servings (change the number to scale):4 to 5
(1 CUP = 250 ML)


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

other ingredients

  • 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.
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Dassana Amit

Dassana Amitnamaste 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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138 comments/reviews

  1. Went to a great indian restaraunt and was inspired to start exploring more about Indian cooking. Luckily I found your incredible generous outstanding receipes. What a gift to explain a very complicated sophiticated cusines to anyone who is lucky enough to find your site. I cannot stop exploring a new taste everyday, and new combinations. Youhave truly inspired me. I am so excited.. A gift in my mouth…. chef Susan Plunkett

    • thanks chef susan for the kind words. i hope you try cooking indian recipes. indian cuisine is not a complicated cuisine. but the flavors are complex and too good 🙂

  2. wonderful recipes, I am a beginner and dont find any difficulty, thanks to u

    • welcome uzma

  3. Thanks for such nice recipe…. I hv prepared it and everyone in my family loved it.4 stars

    • welcome shweta

  4. Looks really delicious and very well presented.. I am going try it today… Will share it my blog too mentioning the source and providing a link to your website.

    • thanks shubha. crediting with a link is fine.

  5. I was searching for the paneer recipe n pulao recipe . Thank u so much really all the recipes u explained in detail.once again thank u so much4 stars

    • Plz correct my name it’s geetha rao thank u

      • corrected 🙂

    • welcome geetha.

  6. Hi Dasanna,
    I came across your blog recently & have become a fan of ur recipes since then : ) Your recipes are explained so well with detailed pictures and the best part is you give lot of useful tips that really helps beginners like me. I tried ur papdi chat, paneer makhanwala, bhindi do pyaza, eggless banana cake, paneer tikka & vegetable pasta in white sauce. My family appreciated my preparations & parents are very proud of me. I was telling them that all credits go to Dasanna : ) With paneer tikka, I missed reading hung yogurt in the recipe& added regular yogurt & also frozen paneer was used. Although it tasted good, but I hope to get it perfect the next time. I have always searched for a blog where I could look for all kind of recipes & being a vegetarian ur blog just seems perfect. I feel I have a developed a genuine interest in cooking & I must really thank you for that. Best regards,5 stars

    • your comment is truly motivating ans inspiring, pallavi. thanks for the feedback on all the recipes you made so far. also thanks for sharing your experiences. even though the recipes have helped you, the credit goes to you. as you have prepared & cooked the dish 🙂 for paneer tikka, if you use thick yogurt, then also it works fine. better to use fresh paneer or paneer which has been refrigerated and not frozen. we always learn from our experiences 🙂

      • It is my pleasure Dassana 😉 thanks for the detailed reply & ur encouraging words . just a small correction , my name is Pavi

        • Welcome pavi. Not sure how I missed your name 🙂

        • No worries : ) I tried your palak paneer recipe . Instead of paneer, i used tofu. I must say it was superb. This is the best palak paneer that I have ever tasted. The detailed step by step pics really helped. I was not able to comment there, hence thought I will write here. Thanks Dassana!

        • thanks pavi. even i make the same recipe with tofu at times. works well with both tofu as well as paneer. we have disabled comments on old posts due to lack of time.

  7. Hi Dassana, I enjoyed making paneer makhanwala according to your recipe and folks at home enjoyed having it for dinner. Thank you.5 stars

    • thanks divya for letting us know 🙂

  8. thank you.. the best paneer recipe i have ever tried..5 stars

    • welcome supritha

  9. I have tried several recipes from your site. I must say, you are a real genius! Your simple outline of a usually complicated recipe, the numerous tips and the step-by-step detailing are fantastic…so much so that I, who rarely leave a comment in any of the sites I visit, have been prompted to do so here! Keep up the good work! May we see a cookbook from you in the near future.. God bless!
    Just an additional opinion : blanching the paneer in hot water (and not frying them) renders them very soft and makes this dish just like in the restaurant.

    • thanks sandra for your motivating & encouraging comment. i am planning to have an ebook. hope the book comes out soon. i know about blanching the paneer in hot water. mostly i use fresh just made paneer, so don’t i blanch it. but i will add this point for the reference of readers. thanks sandra once again.

      • Hi
        Dear Sir/ chef
        This is fantastic recipe thanks
        Chef anwar

        • welcome, chef anwar

  10. Just tried it over the weekend and was simply great!5 stars

    • thanks divya

  11. Thanx Dassana,I have tried many receipes of yrs and they arevvery easy to make and with the ingredients which are already present in our kitchen.I hope u will further always think of the normal housewifes and make sure that the hardest receipe also becomes simple.Thanx once again for the wonderful receipes.5 stars

    • thanks jaya. i always keep this fact in mind while preparing recipes. but to be honest, not all recipes are simple and easy. but i do experiment with various methods and techniques and post the recipes which everybody can make.

  12. Hi

    I have tried this and it came out excellent. Thanks for the wonderful recipe. It tasted exactly like that of a restaurant. With this recipe a South Indian like me could make this north indian food very confidently. My husband (an IHM passout ) liked the taste and was asking about the preparation. Thank you once more. going to try more recipes of yours5 stars

    • welcome sini. glad to know that the blog is helping you in making north indian recipes. keep visiting and yes do try some more recipes. also, feel free to ask any query on recipes.

  13. Hey Dassana. Thank you so much, this is the second paneer recipe i’ve tried and result was YUM!!!

    Thanks again!!

    • welcome sachin

  14. I ran out of words ………

  15. Hi amit
    please upload paneer butter masala dabha style…
    Can I get ur videos for all recipes or any booklet.
    Thank you

    • welcome ajay. i will try to add dhaba style paneer butter masala. there are no recipe videos or book as of now.

  16. Hi Dassana,
    Thanks for this recipe

    • welcome neelu

  17. Thanx dassana… ur recipes are just awsum and easy to cook

    • welcome kanchan

  18. Hi,
    I just cooked paneer makhani, however daal cheeni is in excess. nw there is no taste. wht to do nw, as it is almost cookd. plz rply asap

    • if there is no overpowering taste of the dalchini, then its fine.

  19. Tried it today. Awesome awesome . Exactly restaurant style.
    Thnx a ton for posting fantastic recipes in such easy way…

    • thanks for the feedback vibha. it helps 🙂

  20. Hi Dassana 🙂 love your recipes for their simplicity. I just drop in from office and cook something new from your recipes. Tried Paneer Makhanwala with jeera rice today, the guests thought it was my recipe :D. Keep posting more.5 stars

    • thanks priyanka for this positive feedback.

  21. Dear Dassana, Tried your wonderful recipe and it came out fantastic. Everybody at home loved it. Thanks for sharing this recipe. Just wanted to know if it is ok to add honey to a boiling gravy as I read somewhere that as per Ayurveda heating or adding honey to something hot makes it toxic?4 stars

    • thanks radhika. according to ayurveda, honey should not be added to hot drinks or anything hot or heated above 40 degrees C/104 degrees F. the honey become toxic. so as per ayurveda, honey cannot be added in this recipe. but then honey cannot be added even to the hot teas or milk. in spite of knowing this, i do add honey to my herbal teas at times 🙂 even adding honey in baking recipes like bread, cookies and cakes is not recommended as per ayurveda. but we do have have such baking recipes. for this paneer makhanwala recipe, you can let the gravy cool down a bit and then add honey. apart from honey, you can also add sugar. i will mention this aspect in the notes section too.

      • Thanks Dassana for the detailed explanation. Your site is my ready reckoner for all kinds of cooking ! 🙂

        • welcome radhika

  22. Hi
    I am a south Indian and never tried paneer recipe before.But ur recipes are working out for I tried this one and it was tasty.thanks for providing such clear method of making recipes that if any one cooking for the first time can make it delicious.5 stars

    • welcome vasanti. nice to know that you are liking the recipes.

  23. Hi, Dassana,

    The recipe itself and the texture of the dish you made looks amazing.I was just curious and was wondering about where did you get the fresh bay leaf from ? I really don’t know if I can get fresh bay leaf in Canada or not but I would be very much thankful to you if you let me know.
    Again I must say you are doing wonderful job by posting such a tempting recipes.I have tried couple of them and they have turned out very nice.

    • thanks kanak. the fresh bay leaves are from my mom’s terrace garden 🙂 i also have a plant, but the leaves are still small.

  24. Hi this was d first recipe i tried from your posts n i just cant tell u how well it turned out…..simply amazing… Perfect restaurant taste… Thanks5 stars

    • welcome pooja. nice to know that you liked the recipe.

  25. It really taste like a restaurant style.Everyone liked very much.Thank u friend.5 stars

    • welcome priya and thanks for the positive feedback.

  26. Looks amazing! Paneer at its best. And as someone who is particular about how food images should look, I love your photography as well!4 stars

    • thanks aditya

  27. Love the makhanwala recipe, I have an eye on this serving bowl…looks very unique 🙂

    • thanks sharmilee

  28. Hi dassana

    I wanted to comment on the paneer butter masala but couldn’t see comment box there.

    I have tried both these recipes but for some reason my recipes involving tomatoe puree are not turning out good.For butter masala you told to cook the tomatoes for 12 mins. I cooked for over 20 mins in a non stick cookware but still the taste of gravy was like tomatoes. Do you know what wrong I m doing here.


    • hi shruti, the comment box on most recipes have been removed for technical reasons. we will add them soon. i think its the quality of tomatoes. the tomatoes should have some sweetness in them. they should not be tart or sour. the sourness should be a pleasant one without giving an acidic feeling in the mouth. i make so many gravy dishes with tomatoes, but had a problem only once. i knew the tomatoes were sour but still added them to the gravy and i got a really sour gravy. there will be a slight taste of tomatoes, a slight tang is there, but these gravies don’t taste like a tomato rasam. there is also a slight sweetness coming from the cream and also creaminess from the cashews. i would suggest you to add ripe red tomatoes which are not too sour or tart. tomato puree will cook faster, so there is no need to cook for a long time. also add some honey instead of sugar. the honey neutralizes the acidity and brings a balance in the dish.

  29. hey dassana m a guy but love to cook good food.but you know what your food recipes are great and awesome..just tried 5 of them randomly and all turned out to be yummy.god bless…keep posting such good recipes…please post double ka meetha if possible….

    • thanks saurabh. double ka meetha and shahi tukra is similar. i will be posting one of them soon.

  30. It tasted really good….. Ur recipes r making my family members happy…!! 🙂5 stars

    • welcome soorya

  31. Hi,
    You post delicious recipes. But whenever i prepare paneer dishes it becomes tangy. Is there anything we have to add extra while preparing tomato puree.
    thank you.

    • welcome archana. you can balance the tang by the addition of honey. honey also reduces the acidity of the tomatoes. you can also use sugar instead of honey. also add cream because that also balances the tang. another option is cashew paste.

  32. Awesome pics. I love this recipe n make it often for guests

    • thanks megha

  33. superb!!!!!!!!5 stars

  34. paneer makhanwala is an exotic dish to feast at home…


  35. Hi,
    Thanks for this recipe. I was searching this recipe. In many hotels Menu it is a famous dish. I was interesting in this receipe, but i was not aware of how to make it. I will try now. Thanks a lot. One thing to ask – what is the meaning of 2 single strands of Mace? you have mentioned in ingredients list?? Please reply.

    • welcome archana. just remove two strands/strings from the mace flower petal. mace is a strong spice and if you add two much then it will ruin the dish. do share your feedback.

      • hi amit,
        just wondering if there is any substitution for mace strands?
        can i use nutmeg powder instead?

        • yes, you can add nutmeg powder. one to two pinch of nutmeg powder is enough. add nutmeg powder at the last.

        • My mouth was watering reading your recipes– I love food and cooking—thank you for your detailed description of the recipes and your effort of pictorial representation—- one thing I need to bring to your notice -/ honey should not be heated or cooked– hope you don’t take offence

        • thanks abhaya. no offence at all. i know about this aspect of honey. when i made this recipe, i did not know. but after reading some ayurveda books, i came to know that honey should not be heated. thats why i have mentioned in the notes sections of the recipe details about adding honey.