paneer makhani / Indian paneer butter masala
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: Indian
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
Paneer makhani or makhanwala is a creamy rich dish made with soft and velvety cubes of paneer and dunked in tomato and cream sauce slathered generously with butter, hence also known as paneer butter masala
  • Paneer / Indian cottage cheese : 200 gm
  • Tomatoes (ripe and red color) : 4 large
  • Butter (melted): ½ cup
  • Cream : ¾ cup
  • Ginger paste : 2 tsp
  • Kashmiri red chilli powder : 2 tsp
  • Garam masala powder (Kashmiri): 1 tsp
  • Kasoori methi / dried fenugreek leaves (roasted and powdered) : 2 tsp
  • Sugar / honey : 1 tbsp or according to taste
  • A bay leaf, two-three pods of green cardamoms, few cloves, peppercorns and a small stick of cinnamon
  • Salt to taste
  1. Cut the paneer / Indian cottage cheese into cubes or in any desired shapes and soak them in warm milk.
  2. Blanch the tomatoes, peel them off and puree them in a blender.
  3. Heat the pan slightly and pour the melted butter in it. Toss the spices ( bay leaf, green cardamoms, cloves, peppercorns and cinnamon) for a minute and add the ginger paste. Fry for couple of minutes and pour the freshly prepared tomato puree. Stir it well and add the red chilli powder. Cook on low heat for few minutes and sprinkle the sugar or honey over it. Mix it well and continue cooking on low heat.
  4. Add the milk soaked cubes of paneer along with little water and let it simmer for few minutes. Paneer will slowly absorb the flavour and will acquire the taste in the process.
  5. Sprinkle the garam masala, salt and kasoori methi over it, stir in and let it cook for couple of minutes.
  6. Stir in the fresh cream, simmer it for a while till the cubes of paneer soaked the rich tomato gravy and absorb the flavours.
  7. Serve the hot paneer makhni / Indian butter masala with plain roti or naan or kulcha or try it with jasmine scented white rice.
Store-bought paneer are usually very stiff and hard pressed, so soaking them in warm milk will keep them soft and velvety. Never pour or add the butter in a smoking hot pan, butter will get burnt. For extra rich color, blanch the tomatoes, peel off the skin and then puree it. Tomato puree made this way are rich in color and gives a smooth luxuriant texture to the gravy. Roasting the kasoori methi before grinding them into fine powder will enhance the flavour and gives a smoky touch to the dish.
Recipe by saffronstreaks at