Tuesday, 31 March 2020

Butter Paneer or Paneer Makhani | Easy Paneer Butter Masala recipe | How to make perfect makhani gravy at home


Butter paneer or Paneer makhani - Indian cottage cheese, paneer in silky smooth tomato base.

Butter paneer is one of the most adorable dishes among vegetarians in India. Paneer was really a new thing for me until I came to Chennai. Being a non-veg lover, I generally don't prefer such veg substitutions in my plate. Like any other Keralites, I am so happy with a plate of rice and fish curry.

But things have been changed with time and now I started cooking paneer dishes at least once in a week for my kids. They are so fond of this protein, might be due to their contact with north Indian friends.  They usually ask me to cook some special dishes which were not even familiar to me. They will describe its taste, looks and they want me to cook  that , even without seeing the recipe. In the beginning, it was really a problem for me, because of the ignorance in cooking. Luckily, now I understood the basics of some those dishes and today, I will share the most demanding recipe of my kids and their friends, the paneer makhani.

Butter paneer or paneer makhani is a well-known recipe from India which is made with Indian cottage cheese, the paneer and tomato based gravy. The word makhani denotes buttery and the paneer is the Indian cottage cheese which is considered as a milk-based protein substitute among vegetarians. In olden days, paneer was not that much popular in Kerala. Now a day, we can find this protein in almost all supermarkets in Kerala.

The sweet silky smooth makhani gravy is the highlight in the paneer makhani recipe. It forms the basic gravy or sauce for so many other popular dishes too. Slight orange, red colored gravy is generally sweet in nature,but you can make it little bit spicy with the addition of chili powder or green chilly. There are so many ways to prepare makhani gravy. Here I am sharing the easiest one which I normally follow at home. Also, I assure you, you can make restaurant like tasty paneer makhani by following this recipe.  This delicious dish can be served with any roties like chapati, nan, parotta etc.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Paneer butter masala recipe | Paneer makhani recipe | How to make butter paneer or paneer makhani at home | How to make silky and smooth makhani gravy at home

Indian cottage cheese stewed in semi-sweet tomato base

Preparation time: 10 minutes | Cooking time: 20 minutes |  Total time: 30 minutes
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Ingredients


  • 200 gram paneer (Indian cottage cheese)
  • 3 medium bright colored well-ripe soft tomatoes
  • 1 small onion
  • 4-5 garlic cloves
  • 1 small piece ginger
  • 1 green chilly (Optional)
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala
  • 1 to 1.5 tbsp Kashmiri chili powder
  • 2.5 to 3 tablespoons of sugar
  • 3 tbsp fresh cream
  • 1 tbsp kasoori methi (dried fenugreek leaves)
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 bay leaf 
  • 1 small piece of cinnamon
  • 1 black cardamom
  • 3 green cardamom
  • 3 cloves
  • 1.5 to 2 cups of water
  • 1 stalk coriander leaves, finely chopped
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Direction of preparation of paneer makhani


Makhani gravy is a tomato based gravy which is used in a popular base for many Indian dishes. It is a sweet gravy with beautiful buttery aroma.  The taste of paneer makhani depends on the taste of this gravy, so let me explain the easy way of making makhani gravy. 
  1. To make makhani gravy, we need well ripe and bright red tomatoes. The tomatoes determines the smoothness and texture of gravy to a great extent. Here as I stated above, we will prepare 200 gm paneer, for that we need only three medium tomatoes. Cut them into two or four portions and add in a saucepan or kadai in which you are planning to make the makhani gravy. 
  2. Also add one small roughly chopped onion, garlic, ginger and green chilies. The green chilly is optional, it is just to make the gravy little spicy. If you are making the gravy for kids, then better to avoid it. 
  3. Now add whole spices like bay leaf, black cardamom, cinnamon, green cardamom and cloves. Also add some spice powders like coriander powder, garam masala and Kashmri chili powder. Do not add too much coriander powder ,we need to get a balanced taste of it. The Kashmiri chili powder will give a bright red color to our gravy. 
  4. Pour water to the veggies. The water level should be slightly above the vegetable level. I used only 1.5 cups of water and this will be enough to make the whole gravy. 
  5. Then cook on high flame, till it boils. Then reduce the flame and cover with a lid. Cook over low flame till the tomatoes turn soft.
  6. Once the tomatoes and other spices turned soft, switch off the flame and wait till they cool slightly. Once it cools down and able to touch with your hands, then remove the skin of tomatoes carefully. Also remove bay leaf and black cardamom from the sauce pan. 
  7. Transfer all the cooked veggies into a mixer jar and strain water into a small bowl and keep aside. Do not discard this water. We will use this while making the gravy. 
  8. Then put soaked cashews and grind into a smooth paste. Grind only when the veggies are cool down completely and keep aside. (Note: You can cook the cashews along with the veggies. It will turn soft along with the veggies.)
  9. Meanwhile, heat a pan and melt butter. Always keep the flame medium and never allow the butter to get clarified or burn. You can use up to three tablespoons of unsalted butter and this butter gives a beautiful aroma to the gravy.
  10. Then put paneer and sprinkle a pinch of chili powder and salt. Fry till it slightly steamed. This step is optional, but this step helps to keep the paneer intact and will prevent from breaking. Now cut into small cubes and keep aside. 
  11. In the same pan put remaining Kashmiri chili powder and saute immediately until the raw smell vanishes. This step is essential to get a beautiful color to the makhani and no need to add any artificial color to our dish. Always keep the flame low or medium and stir immediately after adding the chili powder. 
  12. Once the raw smell vanishes put the ground paste and mix immediately. The paste should be grounded till smooth and if the tomato paste is not come out smooth or you forget to remove the skin of tomatoes, then sieve trough a strainer and then use. 
  13. You can see a bright orange red color to the gravy. This is what we are looking for. Let it cook for five minutes over medium flame until it reduce a bit. Then add the gravy in which we cooked tomatoes. Mix well and check the consistency. If you feel the gravy is thick, then pour some boiled and cooled water and attain right consistency. 
  14. Once the gravy start to boil, put kasoori methi and salt. Give a nice stir. 
  15. Then add sugar. Makhani gravy is usually sweet in nature,  you can use two to three tablespoons of sugar depending on the sourness of tomatoes. Do a taste test and adjust its taste. 
  16. Continue to cook the gravy until it reaches the right consistency. Pour some fresh cream and let it boil. The color of the gravy will fade as soon as you add fresh cream. But never avoid this, as fresh cream is a taste booster in this dish.
  17. Put cubed paneer and mix carefully. Just boil for a minute. As it is already cooked and don't need to cook again. 
  18. Once the gravy boils well, you can switch off the flame and then put one stalk coriander leaves chopped. 
  19. Paneer makhani is ready now, serve with roti, nan or pulao

Happy cooking
Anju       

No comments:

Post a comment