Its like butter chicken, but vegetarian! 🙂
What is Paneer Makhani?
Paneer makhani is a popular punjabi curry made with paneer, tomatoes, cashews, spices & cream. Paneer is an Indian cows milk cheese that doesn’t melt when heated. Almost like tofu, but creamier. ‘Makhan’ translates to butter. So paneer makhani is paneer cooked with butter. The curry is rich and creamy with a slight tangy sweetness from the tomatoes. This dish can also very easily be made vegan by swapping out the paneer for tofu and butter and cream for vegan versions of the same.
The curry is smooth tangy and creamy with just a hint of sweetness. It is normally served with plain basmati rice. Or if you want to be extra fancy try it with some muttar pulao (rice with peas) or naan. Or toss it in some pasta – the curry makes a fabulous pasta sauce! Or turn it into a wrap!
Give it a go and let me know what you think! 🙂
- 3 tbsp butter
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 1 Tbsp ginger, crushed/finely chopped
- 1 Tbsp garlic, minced
- 1 tsp garam masala see below of link to make your own
- 1 tsp kashmiri red chili Powder (or more for a spicier flavour!)
- 1 tsp cumin Powder
- 1/4 tsp turmeric
- 1 tsp fenugreek leaves
- 1 tsp salt or to taste
- 2 Tbsp tomato paste
- 1/4 cup raw cashews
- 1/2 cup heavy cream or whipping cream Use coconut cream for vegan version
- 350 g paneer, cubed
- 1 tsp sugar optional
- 1 cup water or as needed
- fresh cilantro for garnish
- Heat a large sauce pan or pot on medium heat with 3 tbsp butter, add the finely chopped onions and a pinch of salt. Saute until they they turn translucent.About 5-8 minutes.
- Add 1 Tbsp minced garlic and 1 Tbsp minced ginger and cook for another minute or so till fragrant.
- Add 1 tsp each of garam masala, kashmiri chilli powder, cumin powder, fenugreek leaves, and 1/4 tsp turmeric. Cook for a minute. If it looks like the spices are burning, add a tsp or two of water.
- Add 2 tsp tomato paste, 1 tsp salt, and 1/4 cup cashews. Cook for another minute.
- Add 1 cup water, and bring to simmer. Cover, turn the heat to medium low and cook for about 25-30 minutes. Check every 5 minutes or so to make sure the curry isn't sticking or burning. Add more water if the curry is looking too dry.
- Turn off the heat. Wait for the mixture to cool down, and then blend till smooth. (be careful to not blend the hot liquid!)
- For an extra smooth curry, strain the blended mixture through a sieve to remove all excess cashew pulp (I normally just skip this part).
- Add in 1/2 cup heavy or whipping cream, cubed paneer, sugar (if using), and extra water, if needed.
- Turn the heat back on and simmer for another 10 minutes until paneer is softened.
- Garnish with chopped cilantro and a drizzle of more cream.