#PaneerRecipes #NorthIndianCuisine #PaneerMakhani
A meal that contains Paneer in any form is very special to us. Naturally, I try to make paneer dishes frequently at home either as everyday food or as party spread. One such recipe is ‘Paneer Butter Masala’, one of the popular dishes of North Indian cuisine. The fine blend of paneer, butter, cream in the makhana gravy makes this dish irresistible.
How to make Paneer Butter Masala?
‘Paneer or Cottage Cheese’ is low in fat. It’s a good source of protein and calcium, especially for vegetarians. It is soft, crumbly in texture and has a subtle milky flavour which makes it versatile and adaptable in any kind of menu. Therefore, we have a vast array of paneer dishes that are relished by everyone.
Our all-time favourite recipe is ‘Paneer Butter Masala’, in which the soft yet firm paneer cubes are dunked into a creamy tomato gravy. It has many versions and many names too. It’s called Paneer Makhani, Butter Paneer or Butter Paneer Masala across the country.
My version of this famous recipe is simple, easy-to-make, moderately spiced and yet flavourful as it supposed to be. The tomatoes add slight sweet-sour taste to the gravy which is aptly balanced by cashews and cream. I prefer to use homemade paneer as it can be prepared fresh as per our requirement. Traditionally, onions are not added in makhani gravy. But I have added since it gives nice volume and flavour to the gravy.
Paneer Butter Masala goes well with roti, naan, tandoori roti, lachha paratha, plain or flavoured paratha, steamed basmati rice or jeera rice, veg pulav etc.
- Paneer – 250 gm, cubed
- Butter – 3 tbsp
- Oil – 1 tbsp
- Onion – 2 small-sized, Cubed
- Tomato – 2 large-sized, cubed
- Cashew – 8 or 10
- Ginger – 1 inch piece
- Garlic – 3 or 4 large cloves
- Chilly Powder – 3/4 tsp (as per taste)
- Kashmiri Red Chilly Powder – 1/4 tsp (optional)
- Haldi – a pinch
- Tej Patha – 1
- Garam Masala – 1 tsp
- Jeera Powder – 1/2 tsp
- Dhaniya Powder -1 tsp
- Sugar – 1/2 tsp (optional)
- Milk – 1/2 cup
- Kasuri Methi – 1 tsp
- Salt to taste
- Fresh Cream – 2 tbsp, beaten
- Butter – 1 tbsp
- Fresh Dhaniya – 1 tbsp, chopped
- To make onion cashew paste: Blanch chopped onions and cashews in boiling water for 2 mins and put it in ice cold water immediately. This is done to partially cook the onions and cashews. Let it cool. Strain the water and grind it into a thick fine paste.
- To make tomato puree: Blanch the tomatoes, peel the skin and puree them. Strain and remove the seeds to get a smooth silky gravy.
- Pound ginger and garlic in pestle and mortar or grind into paste.
- To make masala paste: Mix chilli powder, haldi, garam masala, jeera powder, dhaniya powder in 1/2 cup of lukewarm milk and keep aside.
- In a pan, heat butter and oil, add bay leaf, ginger-garlic paste, onion cashew paste and saute for a min on low flame.
- Add tomato puree, masala paste, sugar, salt and saute till nice aroma emits and the butter separates.
- Add crushed kasuri methi and paneer cubes.
- Adjust the consistency of the gravy by adding little amount of water (the water in which onions and cashews are blanched can be used).
- Simmer it for few mins. Before switching off the flame, add fresh cream and Kashmiri red chilly powder (gives nice colour to the gravy).
- Mix well and remove from flame.
- Garnish it with butter and finely chopped fresh dhaniya.
- Serve hot with roti or naan or laccha paratha or pulav.
- You can use store bought tomato puree, ginger and garlic paste too. It doesn’t affect the taste.
- Paneer cubes can be slightly fried in little amount of oil or grilled in oven or toasted in non-stick tava. I prefer to add raw paneer chunks as we like it that way.
- You can use fresh cream in garnishing as well. I haven’t used as I have added generous amount of butter.