Paneer Makhanwala or Paneer Butter Masala or Paneer Makhani is a rich, creamy, aromatic tomato and cashew based gravy from North Indian cuisine, which is relatively easy to make. It is one of the recipes that is also well loved by many of non-Indian foodies. This is a restaurant style recipe.
I have given alternatives to easily make this recipe vegan. You can easily make this recipe vegan by substituting butter with vegan butter, and by adding cashew cream or additional cashew paste in place of dairy cream. You can replace Paneer with Tofu.
Restaurant Style Paneer Makhanwala | Paneer Butter Masala | Paneer Makhani
As the name suggests, this is a makhani / buttery gravy, made mainly using tomatoes and some cashews as the base, with added cream or malai. This recipe has a vegan version explained, and can be ready in under 30 minutes.
- 4 Tomatoes, chopped
- 8 oz. Paneer / Indian cottage cheese. Use Tofu for vegan version
- 2 tablespoons Butter . Use vegan butter for vegan version
- 1 tablespoon Oil
- 1 Onion (optional), small sized, chopped
- 1/4 cup Cashew nuts
- 4 tablespoons Heavy cream or Malai
- 1/2 inch Ginger, chopped
- 2 pods Garlic (optional), chopped
- 1 teaspoon Kashmiri red chili powder
- Salt to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon Garam masala
- 1/4 teaspoon Cardamom powder
- 2 teaspoons Honey/Sugar/Condensed milk
- 2 teaspoons Kasuri methi / Dried fenugreek leaves
Heat 1/2 tablespoon of oil. Add chopped tomatoes, cashews, onions if using. Add chopped ginger, garlic. Saute it on a medium heat for 5-7 minutes.
Grind the mixture into a very smooth, silky puree. If it is not smooth/silky, feel free to strain it using a strainer.
Heat the remaining 1/2 a tablespoon of oil, add butter. The oil helps keep the butter away from browning.
Add the tomato puree in it. Keep the heat on medium. Add salt. Cover the lid and let it cook on low-medium heat for about 10-12 minutes, stirring a few times in between.
While the gravy is being cooked, heat a few cups of water. Cut the paneer in cubes or triangles and soak it into the water for about 5-10 minutes. It will help make paneer very soft. Once soaked for 5-10 minutes, drain the water out and cover and keep the paneer aside.
Heat a griddle or pan, dry roast the kasuri methi for a couple of minutes.
Now coming back to the gravy, once it has cooked for about 10-12 minutes, add Kashmiri red chili powder, garam masala, dried fenugreek leaves. Mix well. Let it simmer for 5 minutes.
Add honey, sugar, condensed milk as desired. Sharing a secret tip here – the restaurants generally add condensed milk to give it a rich taste.
Add cream/malai and paneer pieces. Let it cook for a couple of minutes and turn off the heat.
Serve in a bowl and garnish it with cream as well as kasuri methi. Enjoy it with naan, tandoori roti, paratha or rice.