Paneer Makhanwala is one of the famous gravies of North Indian cuisine and it is made with Paneer (Indian Cottage Cheese). Here The soft paneer is cooked in rich and creamy gravy of tomatoes and spices. The flavor of Watermelon Seeds paste brings an ultimate taste into this.
Paneer Makhanwala is also called as Paneer Makhani or Paneer Butter Masala and this dish is one of the most popular paneer recipes in Indian cuisine. The perfect combination of spiciness and creaminess of its gravy makes it simply irresistible and versatile. You can serve it with Tandoori Roti, Indian Chapati, Naan or even with Steamed Rice. It is going to satisfy your palate like never before.
Paneer is quite often in my weekly menu and I usually make it a point to include one paneer item in my menu when we have guests over. Yesterday I made it for my guests and well all enjoyed it with Roti and Salad. Let’s see how to make this famous Punjabi dish at home.
Paneer Makhanwala Recipe is the famous Punjabi Dish made with Paneer and wholesome flavors of Tomatoes and Spices.
2 cups Paneer
2 medium Onions, sliced
4 tomatoes, coarsely chopped
1 inch Ginger, chopped
6 Garlic pods, chopped
1/2 cup Milk
1/2 cup fresh Cream (optional)
1/2 tsp garam masala powder
1 tsp Kashmiri Red chilli powder
1 tsp Coriander powder
1/2 tsp Cumin seeds powder
1/4 Turmeric powder
1/2 tsp Kasuri methi
1/2 tsp Cumin seeds
1/4 cup Water melon seeds or 12 cashew nuts
1/4 tsp Sugar
2 tbsp Oil
1 tbsp Butter
Salt to taste
Cut paneer into one inch cubes and immerse them in a bowl of warm water and cover it with lid until its usage.
Heat 1 tbsp oil or ghee in a pan and fry ginger and garlic pieces until slight brown, add sliced onions and fry until it is brown in color. Add a pinch of sugar while frying onion,it speeds up the caramelize process of onion.
Now add tomatoes, coriander powder,cumin seeds powder,turmeric powder and some salt and fry for a minute. Let this mixture cool a bit.
Grind the onion-tomato mixture to a very fine paste adding water if required.
Grind the watermelon seeds with 1/2 cup of water into a very fine paste.
Heat remaining oil in a kadai/pan and crackle jeera and then add the pureed onion-tomato mixture into it and fry well until the masala leaves the oil in the edges.
Add paste of watermelon seeds and mix well,let it cook for a couple of minutes.Add more water to get the right consistency.
Add red chili powder,garam masala and kasuri methi(slightly roast it on pan and crush it with your hands before adding) to it and mix well.
Meanwhile gently squeeze extra water from paneer pieces and keep them aside.
Now add paneer pieces to the gravy and simmer for 2-3 mins.Turn off the flame and let the gravy cool a bit.
Add milk to it and mix well and switch on the flame and stir in fresh cream and give a stir on low heat. Boil for 2 minutes.
Finally add milk after the gravy is cooled a bit which avoids curdling the gravy.(Here I did not add cream to the gravy, I added only milk after I removed the gravy from heat)
Add 1 tsp butter to it and garnish with coriander.Adding butter at the end will enhance the taste.
You can fry the pieces of paneer just before adding into gravy.
Punjabi's generally make this paneer dish in ghee. You can also do that, but then it will be too high in calories.
Tasty Indian Recipes
I like to add watermelon seed paste instead of cashew paste as the fat content in water melon seeds is comparatively lesser than the cashew nuts. The taste of water melon paste to the gravy is better than the cashew nut paste, it gives a flavor of particular dhaba style gravy.
You can avoid cream in this dish and add little milk instead for making it completely a low-fat version recipe.