Paneer makhani, It’s also known as paneer butter masala, is a popular North Indian dish that is creamy, flavorful, and rich in texture. Made with soft and succulent chunks of paneer (Indian cottage cheese), it is a vegetarian delicacy loved by vegetarians and non-vegetarians alike.
Simmering cubes make the paneer dish in a velvety tomato-based gravy flavored with aromatic spices and finished with a generous dollop of cream. The result is a deliciously indulgent dish perfect for special occasions or when you want to treat yourself to something special.
Here is the paneer makhani recipe
- 200 grams of paneer
- 3 medium-sized tomatoes
- 2 medium-sized onions
- 2-3 cloves of garlic
- 1-inch piece of ginger
- 1 green chili
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 teaspoon coriander powder
- 1 teaspoon garam masala
- 1 teaspoon red chili powder
- 1 teaspoon kasuri methi (dried fenugreek leaves)
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1/4 cup cream
- Fresh coriander leaves for garnish
- Cut the paneer into small cubes.
- Blanch the tomatoes in boiling water for a few minutes until the skin peels off. Remove the skin and blend them to make a smooth puree.
- In a pan, heat 1 tablespoon of butter and add cumin seeds. Add finely chopped onions, garlic, ginger, and green chili when they start to splutter. Fry until the onions are translucent.
- Add the tomato puree, coriander powder, garam masala, red chili powder, turmeric powder, salt, and kasuri methi to the pan. Mix well and let it cook on low heat for 5-7 minutes.
- Add the paneer cubes to the gravy and cook for another 5-7 minutes.
- Stir in the cream and let it simmer for a few more minutes until the gravy thickens.
- Garnish with fresh coriander leaves and serve hot with naan, roti, or rice.
- You can add cashew or almond paste to the gravy for a richer flavor.
- To make it spicier, increase the amount of red chili powder or green chili.
- If you prefer a smoother texture, you can blend the gravy after step 4.
History of paneer makhani
The origins of paneer makhani can be traced back to the Mughal era in India, where it was known as “makhani murgh” or “butter chicken.” The dish was first created in the kitchens of the Mughal emperors, who were known for their lavish feasts and extravagant lifestyles.
Over time, the recipe for makhani murgh evolved to include paneer instead of chicken, making it a popular vegetarian alternative to the original dish. Creamy tomato-based gravies, flavored with aromatic spices and finished with a generous amount of butter or cream, became a signature style of Mughlai cuisine and continue to be popular today.
In the 1950s and 60s, as India gained independence and its economy began to grow, the popularity of paneer makhani spread beyond the royal courts and became a favorite among the masses. Today, it is a beloved dish in Indian cuisine and can be found on the menus of Indian restaurants around the world.
The dish has also undergone many variations and adaptations, with some adding additional ingredients like vegetables, nuts, or raisins to the gravy. However, the core ingredients and preparation remain the same, with paneer and a rich, creamy gravy being the show’s stars.
Does paneer makhani have protein?
Yes, paneer makhani is a dish rich in protein, thanks to using paneer (Indian cottage cheese) as the main ingredient. Paneer is a good source of protein, and it is low in carbohydrates and fat.
A typical serving of paneer makhani (approximately 100 grams) contains about 11-12 grams of protein, equivalent to the protein found in an egg or a small serving of chicken. The dish also contains other nutrients like calcium, vitamin B12, and phosphorus, essential for maintaining good health.
So, if you are looking to add more protein to your diet, paneer makhani is an excellent option. It is a delicious and satisfying dish that is easy to prepare, and it provides a good amount of protein to help fuel your body and keep you feeling full and satisfied.
What is paneer makhani made of?
Paneer makhani, or paneer butter masala, is a vegetarian North Indian dish made with soft and succulent cubes of paneer (Indian cottage cheese) simmered in a creamy tomato-based gravy. The dish is typically made with the following ingredients:
- Paneer: The main ingredient, which is a type of Indian cottage cheese that is made by curdling milk and separating the curds from the whey.
- Tomatoes: Used to make a smooth puree that forms the gravy base.
- Onions: Finely chopped and sautéed to add flavor to the gravy.
- Ginger and garlic: Finely chopped and added to the onions to add flavor and aroma to the dish.
- Spices: A blend of aromatic herbs like cumin, coriander, garam masala, red chili powder, and turmeric gives the dish its characteristic flavor and aroma.
- Kasuri methi: Dried fenugreek leaves that add a slightly bitter and earthy flavor to the dish.
- Butter and cream: Used to give the dish its signature rich and creamy texture.
- Salt: Used to season the dish according to taste.
To make paneer makhani, the paneer is first cut into small cubes and then simmered in creamy tomato-based gravy flavored with spices, herbs, and other ingredients. The dish is typically served hot with naan bread, roti, or rice, making it a delicious and satisfying meal that vegetarians and non-vegetarians love.
Paneer makhani is a delightful and creamy vegetarian dish perfect for any occasion. It is easy to make and will impress your family and friends with its rich and comforting flavors. So next time you’re craving something indulgent, try this recipe and treat yourself to a delicious paneer makhani feast.