Friday, 3 May 2013

Paneer Makhani

paneer makhani in a balti dish
This is my version of paneer makhani (butter paneer masala) which is one of my favourite Indian restaurant dishes. The recipe is adapted from this one on Archana's Kitchen blog, but I changed the amounts of spices used and altered the ingredients slightly. I'm sure this doesn't give quite the same flavour, but the resulting gravy tasted pretty good to me (and the rest of the family). I made this recipe using my own home-made paneer cheese.

Serves 4
  • 1 tbsp butter or vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, grated
  • 1 large clove of garlic, crushed
  • 2 heaped tsp grated ginger
  • 2 tsp garam masala
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp fenugreek leaves (kasoori methi) or 1 tsp ground fenugreek
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp ground black pepper
  • 2 whole green cardamom pods
  • 1 chilli, deseeded and finely chopped (add more or less to taste)
  • 500 ml/1 pt passata
  • 2 tsp sugar (add more or less to taste)
  • 3 tbsp double cream or 25g/1oz grated creamed coconut, optional
  • 200g/8oz paneer, cubed and fried in 1 tbsp vegetable oil
Heat the butter/oil in a pan and add the onion, garlic and ginger.
Fry on a gentle heat until the onion just starts to colour.
Add the remaining spices and cook for a further minute.
Add the passata and sweeten to taste.
Simmer on a low heat for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, fry the paneer cubes until golden brown, remove and blot on kitchen towel.
Add the paneer (or vegan alternative) to the sauce and simmer for a further 10 minutes before removing from the heat and stirring in the cream/creamed coconut, if using. 
Serve with rice, naan or chapatti.
Remember to remind everyone about the cardamom pods!

Alternatives: Use meat-free/Quorn 'chicken' pieces instead of paneer if preferred. Add to the sauce as above and simmer for 15 minutes.
For a mild, child-friendly curry, omit the chilli, remove the children's portions, checking for cardomon pods, and then add a little hot chilli sauce to the remaining adults' portions. 
For a vegan or lower-fat option, swap the paneer for pressed, firm tofu (fry as for paneer), or tinned chickpeas and sliced mushrooms (lightly cook the mushrooms and drain the juices before adding to the sauce).

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  1. Looks glorious! I'm going to have to start putting all the great veggie curry recipes I see on blogs into one fat gorgeous curry folder! We had a takeaway one the other day, but something homemade would have been just as good. And you make your own paneer too, double good.

    1. Thanks very much. That sounds like a great idea.

  2. Il looks sooooo good! I will make this soon!

    1. Thanks, I was quite impressed with it myself!


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