Paneer Makhanwala

Paneer Makhanwala – a popular North Indian, vegetarian dish.

Paneer Makhanwala is made by cooking soft paneer cubes in a silky, creamy gravy.This is one of the favourite dishes of many vegetarians and is a ‘must have’  on most party menus. This delicious gravy is quite easy to prepare and is a frequently made paneer recipe at my place. I make this dish so frequently at home, that I wonder why this recipe  took so long to feature in my blog. Anyways, better late than never. Here goes the recipe for Paneer Makhanwala.


For marinating paneer

400 grams cottage cheese (paneer) (How to make Paneer)
1/3 cup curds (dahi)
1/2  tsp turmeric powder (haldi)
1 tsp red chilly powder (laal mirch powder)
1/4 tsp garam masala
1 tsp kasuri methi (dried fenugreek leaves)
salt as per taste (namak)

For the gravy

2 tsp oil  (tel)
3 onions, sliced (pyaaz)
5 cloves garlic ,chopped(lehsun)
1 inch ginger, chopped (adrak)
2 green chillies, chopped (hari mirch)
3 tomatoes, chopped (tamatar)
8 to 10 cashew nuts (kaju)
2 tsp butter (makkhan)
½ tsp turmeric powder (haldi)
1 to 2 tbsp red chilly powder (laal mirch powder)
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp cumin-coriander powder (dhaniya jeera powder)
2 bay leaves (tej patta)
½ inch cinnamon (dalchini)
3 to 4 cloves (laung/lavang)
1 tsp cumin seeds (jeera)
2 to 3 tbsp fresh cream (doodh ki malai)
A pinch of sugar (cheeni)
2 tsp roasted & crushed dry fenugreek leaves (kasuri methi)
1 tbsp chopped fresh coriander leaves (hara dhaniya)
salt as per taste (namak)

For infusing tandoori flavour in the gravy – this step is optional

1 small piece of charcoal (koyla)
½ tsp clarified butter (ghee)
1 tsp roasted dry fenugreek leaves (kasoori methi)

Paneer Makhanwala


  • In a mixing bowl, marinate the paneer cubes with curd, turmeric powder, red chilly powder, garam masala, kasuri methi and salt.
  • Keep this aside for 15 minutes.
  • This can also be kept in the refrigerator overnight.
  • Heat 1 tsp oil in a pan.
  • Add the chopped onion and saute.
  • Add the chopped garlic, chopped ginger, chopped green chillies and saute.
  • Sprinkle a pinch of salt over the onions. This helps the onions to cook faster.
  • Saute and cook till the onions turn soft and golden brown in colour.
  • Add the chopped tomatoes and cashew nuts.
  • Saute and cook till the tomatoes turn mushy.
  • Turn off the heat and allow this mixture to cool completely.
  • After it cools, blend it to a smooth paste.
  • Keep this aside.
  • In a pan, heat 1 tsp of butter.
  • Add the marinated paneer and saute for 4 to 5 minutes. Keep this aside.
  • In another pan, heat 1 tsp butter and 1 tsp oil.
  • Add bay leaves, cinnamon, cloves and cumin seeds.
  • Saute for few seconds.
  • Add the ground masala paste.
  • Add  turmeric powder, red chilly powder, garam masala, cumin coriander powder and mix well.
  • Saute and cook for few minutes.
  • Add a pinch of sugar and fresh cream.
  • Mix well and cook till the gravy becomes smooth and creamy.
  • Now, add the sautéed paneer into it.
  • Cook covered for 4 to 5 minutes.
  • Open the lid and add roasted, crushed kasoori methi and chopped coriander leaves.

Now, if you  like your paneer makhanwala to have a tandoori flavour, you can  follow the following procedure after the gravy is ready, though this step is optional.

  • Place a piece of dry charcoal on an open flame.
  • Let it burn till the charcoal turns red in colour.
  • Pick up the charcoal with the help of tongs and place it in a steel bowl.
  • Place this bowl on the paneer gravy, in the pan.
  • Add half tsp of ghee and 1 tsp roasted kasoori methi  to it.
  • The ghee will melt and smoke will emanate from it.
  • Close the lid and cook for few minutes.
  • Paneer Makhanwala will be infused with smoky flavour.
  • Open the lid and take off the bowl.
  • Serve Paneer Makhanwala with rotis or parathas or naans.

Note: You can also add milk to the gravy to make the gravy extra creamy and smooth.





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