close up shot of paneer makhani
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Paneer Makhani (Restaurant style Paneer Butter Masala)

Paneer Makhani is a rich, decadent, mildly spiced and creamy curry that is one of the most favourite and preferred panner curry in Indian restaurants. Cubes of paneer cooked in tomato based sauce, cream and spices.
Course Curries, Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 6 people
Author Geetha Priyanka

Ingredients

1 cup = 250ml ; 1 tbsp = 15ml

    For makhani sauce/base gravy

    • 2 tbsp Oil
    • 2 medium Onion roughly chopped
    • 4 cloves Garlic
    • 1 inch Ginger peeled and roughly chopped
    • 3 medium Tomatoes chopped
    • 1/4 cup Cashews
    • 3 Green cardamom
    • 4 Cloves
    • 1 inch Cassia bark (dalchini)

    For curry

    • 3 tbsp Butter
    • 3 tsp Chilli powder
    • 1 tsp Garam masala
    • 1 tsp Coriander powder
    • Salt as required
    • 1/2 tsp Sugar
    • 1/4 cup Double cream
    • 200 gms Paneer cut into cubes
    • 1/2 cup Water
    • 1 tsp Kasoori methi (dry fenugreek leaves)

    Instructions

    • Soak cashews in hot water for 10-15 minutes.
    • Meanwhile heat oil in a pan on medium flame, add cardamom, cloves, cinnamon and sauté for few seconds or until aromatic.
    • Now add onion, ginger, garlic and sauté for couple of minutes or until onion turns soft.
    • Add tomatoes, sauté and cook for 5-8 minutes or until they are soft and mushy.
    • Allow tomato mixture to cool down.
    • Grind soaked cashews and tomato mixture to a smooth paste.
    • In the same pan, heat butter on low flame.
    • Add chilli powder and keep stirring for few seconds.
    • Now add makhani sauce, water and mix well.
    • Add garam masala, chilli powder, coriander powder, salt, sugar and mix until well combined.
    • Increase the heat to medium and cook gravy for 10-15 minutes or until butter separates from gravy.
    • Add paneer cubes, double cream and cook for 3-5 minutes and turn off the heat.
    • Finally crush dry fenugreek leaves between palms and mix well.
    • Serve hot and delicious paneer butter masala with naan or chapathi or jeera rice.

    Video

    Notes

    If the paneer is hard, soak them in warm water for 5-10 minutes to retain its softness.
    Dry fenugreek leaves adds a subtle flavour to this dish, so try not to skip it.
    Sugar enhances the tomato flavour in the curry, you could swap honey for sugar.
    You could swap ginger-garlic paste for fresh ginger and garlic.
    I've used kashmiri chilli powder that has milder heat and adds bright colour to the dish. You could swap it with normal chilli powder, but make sure to adjust the quantity based on how hot the chilli powder is and to suit your preferred spice levels.
    We generally prefer thick gravy, you can add more water while cooking to thin it down. 
    You could add little water while grinding if you find it difficult to get smooth paste without water.
    If you are panning to make this dish for a party, you can make ahead makhani sauce and keep it in refrigerator for 2-3 days. On party day just toss paneer with rest of the dry spices, cream and and makhani sauce.