One Pot Paneer Makhni

Paneer 3

Paneer Makhni is the most beloved dish by every vegetarian in India. Its no surprise that it has gained so much popularity out of India as well. I grew up eating it pretty much every weekend – it was what me and my sisters liked ordering from a nearby restaurant Every Weekend! There are a gazillion versions of how different restaurants make this dish but the basic recipe remains the same. I myself have gone through an evolution of making a very elaborate recipe with loads of prep etc. to a more simpler one with lesser effort and ingredients. This is the easy version 🙂

I used store bought spice mixes and that sort of takes care of adding a long list of spices. Also this recipe is a one pot recipe and is pretty darn easy to do. The flavor of this dish is on the money but the only obstacle of making this outside of India is the freshness of paneer or Indian cottage cheese. In North America there are just a few brands that make paneer and most of them add a lot of flour to increase the shelf life of paneer – which results in a pretty tough cheese. There are many recipes out there for making paneer at home from scratch – if you are feeling enthusiastic you can go that route (it is fairly easy), but for a quick and easy version of the recipe, store bought paneer will do.

Paneer 1

Paneer 2

Paneer 4

Serving for 4 people

Ingredients

400 grams paneer, cut into small triangles or cubed

2 medium size tomatoes, diced

1 large onion, diced

1 small piece ginger, peeled

2 dried red chilies

handful of raw cashews

1 tbsp tomato puree

2 tsp kitchen king masala

2 tsp garam masala

1/4 tsp turmeric

2 tsp kasoori methi

1/4 cup heavy cream

3 cups water

1 tbsp neutral oil

salt

2 tsp sugar

  1. Soak the dried red chilies in hot water for 30 minutes.
  2. Using a mortar pestle pound soaked chilies and ginger together to form a rough paste. Keep aside.
  3. In a heavy bottom  pot heat oil on medium heat.
  4. Add onions, a couple pinches of salt and 1 tsp sugar. Stir to mix well and continue to cook till the onions turn light golden color.
  5. Add chili ginger mixture and cook for a minute.
  6. Add all the spices except kasoori methi. Stir to mix well and cook for a couple of minutes or till the spices turn fragrant.
  7. Add tomatoes and cashews and mix well.
  8. Add water, tomato puree and the rest of the sugar and salt. Mix well and cook covered (stirring occasionally) on medium low for about 10 to 12 minutes or till the tomatoes start to break down.
  9. Once everything is all soft and mushy, transfer the mixture into a large mixing bowl and turn it into a smooth puree using a hand blender.
  10. Pass this sauce through a fine mesh strainer and transfer it back into the pot you’ve been using. Really press down on the mixture while straining as you only want any un-blended chunks of ingredients removed from the mixture so that you can get a smooth sauce.
  11. Start cooking the sauce on medium heat and taste for adjusting the seasoning.
  12. Add paneer and kasoori methi and continue to cook for about 5 minutes. If the sauce looks too thick – add a little water and if its too liquid-y then cook it uncovered for a few minutes to evaporate some moisture.
  13. Add the cream and mix gently. Give it another taste and adjust the seasoning if need be.
  14. Serve hot with naan or over steamed rice.