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PANEER MAKHANI / PANEER MAKHANWALA a North Indian dish made with Paneer (Indian cottage cheese) cooked in rich creamy tomato gravy called Makhani( something cooked and sauteed in butter or thick cream). This dish has got million variations and is similar to Paneer butter masala or makhanwala…., recipe shared here is a simple Punjabi home style preparation which can match the restaurant style. Makhani is a rich kind of Punjabi subzi dish where its literally smothered with homemade butter and the only difference that I saw is they don’t use any garlic in this recipe and makhani style preparation always excludes garlic and includes fresh ginger & fenugreek. This is something I heard from a friend of mine and did follow her instructions in preparing this gravy. It makes a scrumptious side for chapati/ roti / phulkas and with any kind of mild rich dishes, must try for all Paneer lovers!
|Paneer||1 cup ( or 15 pieces cubed)|
|Onion||1 cup (chopped or 1 medium size)|
|Tomato Puree||2 cups|
|Ginger||1 Tablespoon (finely chopped)|
|Kasure Methi (Dry fenugreek leaves)||2 Teaspoons|
|Cumin seeds||1 Teaspoon|
|Cardamom||3 (green type, finely powdered)|
|Cinnamon||1 ( one inch stick)|
|Fenugreek seeds||1/2 Teaspoon|
|Red Chili Powder (Kashmiri type)||3 Teaspoons|
|Red Chili powder (spicy type)||1 Teaspoon|
|Salt||1 Teaspoon or to taste|
|Fresh cream||1/2 cup (or use Half & Half / or use whole full fat milk|
|Garam masala powder||1/4 Teaspoon (optional)|
Heat oil and butter in a sauce pan and fry the cubed Paneer pieces until they turn slightly golden. Remove them from the pan and soak them in little warm warm to keep them moist. (If you want to skip frying paneer then soak the fresh paneer warm water to keep them moist and soft until ready to use)
In the same oil add cinnamon, clove, cumin seeds, fenugreek seeds and bay leaves and toast them for few seconds. Then saute the chopped onions and ginger until they turn golden. Now add the pureed tomatoes along with Kashmiri Red chilli powder, plain red chili powder, garam masala, kasturi methi, crushed or powdered cardamon, sugar and salt. Close with a lid and cook on low flame for 5 minutes. (If your puree in very thick then add 1/4 cup water) Once the masala thick then add half & half cream and fried paneer cubes and let cook for 3 to 4 minutes until the oil separates. Garnish with little kasturi methi leaves and serve hot with roti /phulkas / naan!
- Serves 4 adults approximately
- Paneer is Indian Cottage Cheese available in most Indian stores.
- Canned tomatoes are pre- blanched and come in handy if you are making for a big crowd. Blanch tomatoes to get the tomato puree if its for a small number of people. Canned tomatoes give good color, only downside they have slight tinge of vinegar.
- If using fresh tomatoes then use ripe juicy tomatoes on the vine or roma tomatoes.
- Half & Half – Its half milk and half cream, available all over USA. Either use that or use regular full fat whole milk.
- I’ve used 1/2 cup fresh cream which is quite a lot and if you think you want a light version then reduce to 1/4 cup or just use plain milk. It gives the gravy a rich look and texture, adjust to your preference.
- Kasuri methi – This is dry fenugreek leaves and available in all Indian grocery stores or supermarkets.
- Garam masala powder is optional in addition to the whole masala if you prefer more strong flavor. Adjust accordingly.
- Butter is for rich shinny look adjust according to your preference and use oil instead for low fat version.
- Kashmiri red chili powder gives nice red color to the dish and for the heat i’ve added plain spicy red chili powder. Alternately you can also skip the spicy powder and use few green chilies instead.
- Sugar is a must to balance the tangy tomatoes.