Paneer Makhani Recipe

June 1, 2011

As promised, here’s the paneer makhani recipe that I shared at yesterday’s New York Times Cafeteria.  Their team did a great job of recreating the recipe. It was a lot of fun to step into their kitchen to be greeted with the smells of an Indian home kitchen with packages of authentic Indian spices littering the counter.

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Paneer Makhani
Recipe type: Main Dish
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
We've been wrapping the paneer makhani with fresh basmati rice, yogurt and �EUR" if you want�EUR"a salsa of diced onions, cucumbers, tomatoes and green chiles�EUR"in a large burrito wrap. Spice things up with a dollop of coriander chutney. I like to omit all of the extras and just enjoy the spicy-sweet, creamy makhani sauce wrapped with rice and yogurt or simply over a bowl of rice.
  • 1 block paneer cheese, cut into 16 matchsticks
  • 4 juicy, ripe tomatoes, skinned
  • 2 green chiles
  • 1 tablespoon ginger-garlic paste
  • 2-inch stick cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon coriander powder
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 tablespoon dried fenugreek leaves
  • 1 teaspoon black poppy seeds
  • 1-2 tablespoons almond butter
  • 2 tablespoons yogurt, whisked until smooth
  • 2 teaspoons salt (to taste)
  • 1 �EUR"2 teaspoons sugar
  1. Quarter tomatoes and puree in a food processor with the green chilis.
  2. Add cooking oil to a deep skillet on medium heat. Add g-g paste and cinnamon stick and cook for about 30 seconds.
  3. Add the tomato-chili puree and cook for about 10 minutes until some liquid has evaporated and oil separates.
  4. Stir in all of the spices and the almond butter. Cook for another 8-10 minutes.
  5. Fold in the yogurt. Add salt and sugar.
  6. Gently add the paneer and stir until well coated.


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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Pavani June 1, 2011 at 7:26 am

Yumm… Paneer makhani looks delicious.


KateLynn June 1, 2011 at 9:29 am

This looks awesome! I’m wondering if I can substitute super firm tofu? (But if I get over to the Indian market I’ll definitely look for the paneer cheese).


David Levy June 1, 2011 at 1:11 pm

This sounds divine! I have made paneer with spinach and love it. You don’t have to pre-fry the cheese for this recipe?


nithya June 1, 2011 at 1:50 pm

@Pavani – thanks! It’s quite delicious. I love the spicy and sweet.

@KateLynn – If you use tofu, I would get the extra firm and pan fry it before adding it to the sauce. I don’t think unfried tofu will hold up as well as unfried paneer (see my next response).

@David – I’ve made this dish both ways – fried paneer and paneer cut up straight from the package into the sauce. Both work well, and for this sauce I almost prefer it fresh. Plus if you skip the frying, it’s so much faster and healthier. If you make a really liquidy curry like Mattar Paneer, I don’t think fresh would work well. Leave me a comment and let me know how it turns out!


Anne June 2, 2011 at 3:38 pm

Nithya-Goodness, that makhani looks divine. Do you make your own paneer or do you buy it? If you buy it, can you recommend a brand/place to get it? Last time I got some at Kalustyan’s but it wasn’t very good.


nithya June 5, 2011 at 4:50 pm

Hi Anne – Thanks! I buy mine from the store 🙂 I usually buy it from Kalustyan’s or Little India (across the street and one block south). My favorite brand is Nanak. They sell a few, which I’ve tried, but have found them to be really hard.

Hope that helps! Let me know if you try it out.


MKK June 27, 2011 at 7:43 pm

Looks amazing! Is there anything I could use instead of the almond butter? I have almost everything else on hand except that!


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