Monday, May 7, 2012

Paneer Makhani/Paneer Butter Masala

Paneer Makhni is the  delicious Punjabi cuisine  made with the Indian cottage cheese in the rich and creamy gravy .  This exotic gravy recipe is a very popular throughout India and served best with Garlic naans. Paneer Makhni looks very difficult to be prepared at home. But I tell you this recipe can be prepared in no time with the available spices in your pantry. The main ingredient to this gravy is the Dry fenugreek leaves,where we Indians call it as "Kasuri Methi" adds extra flavour to this gravy. There are slight variations in this recipe.Some people like the plain paneer cubes into their gravy and some like to fry the paneer cubes  before adding to the gravy. This is as per one's choice. But I like to flavoured the paneer before adding it to this particular recipe. And here is the recipe.....

Paneer - 8 oz

 For Paneer Tikka
  • Yogurt - 2 tbsp
  • Ginger past - 1/2 tsp
  • Garlic paste - 1/2 tsp
  • Red chilly powder  - 1 tsp
  • Coriander powder - 1tsp
  • Chat masala powder -1/2 tsp
  • Salt to taste

 For the Gravy
  • Cloves - 4 no
  • Cinnamon stick - 1 inch
  • Green cardamom - 2 no
  • Mace (Javitri) - 1 piece
  • Bay leaves - 2 no
  • Shahi Jeera (caraway seeds ) - 1 tsp or cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp
  • Red chilly powder - 2 tsp
  • Cumin powder - 1tsp
  • Coriander powder - 1tbsp
  • Garam masala powder - 1 tsp
  • Ginger paste - 1 tsp
  • Garlic paste - 1 tsp
  • Green chilli paste - 1 tsp or Green chillies - 3
  • Onion,chopped - 1 large
  • Tomato puree - 3 cups
  • Cilantro - 3 tbsp
  • Cashewnuts - 20 to 22
  • Kasuri methi - 1 tbsp
  • Heavy cream - 1/4 cup
  • Butter - 6 tbsp
  • Oil - 3 tbsp (optional)
  • Sat to taste
  • Water as needed


 For Making Paneer Tikka
  • Cut the paneer into 1/2 inch of pieces.
  • Combine all the ingredients mentioned for the marination of the paneer in one bowl.
  • Add the paneer cubes into it and coat all the cubes with the masala.
  • Refrigerate the paneer cubes and Marinate it for atleast 1 hour.
  • For the best result marinate the paneer cubes for 24 hours.
  • Preheat the oven at 400 deg F.
  • Place the marinated paneer cubes in the baking sheets,slightly spray the cubes with cooking spray or you can brush the cubes with the oil.
  • Bake the cubes for about 25 minutes or till done.

For Making Gravy
  • Roughly chop the onion and boil them until they are soft. When done drain and cool the onion and grind it into smooth paste.Keep it aside
  • Soak the cashewnuts in hot water for 30 minutes. Then grind the cashewnuts into smooth paste by adding required amount of water.Keep it aside.
  • Place the pan on medium flame and add 2 tbsp of butter  into it.
  • When butter melts, add shahi jeera or cumin seeds,cloves, cinnamom stick, javitri,bay leaves and green cardamom. Fry till you get nice aroma from the spices.
  • Then add onion paste and fry till paste slightly changes its original colour.Stir in the ginger paste,garlic paste and green chilly paste. Fry till raw smell goes off from all the paste.
  • Now add red chilly powder,cumin powder and coriander powder to the onion paste.Fry for a minute.
  • Add tomato puree and mix well.Cover and cook till the gravy leaves the sides of the pan. In between keep an eye and stir the gravy,because gravy might stick to the bottom. Take care while stirring the gravy drops may splash on you.
  • When you see oil separating out of the gravy, add about 1 cup of water. You can add water as per  your choice. At this point let the gravy be thin because the gravy will become thick after you add cashew nut paste.
  • Add garam masala and adjust the salt.Cook for 5 to 6 minutes.If you find the gravy is still thick, add more water and adjust the gravy.
  • Add cashew nut paste and remaining butter.  Cover and cook till the raw smell goes from the paste and also the gravy becomes thick. Stir frequently because the gravy may stick to the bottom and will burn quickly.
  • Then add crush kasuri methi and stir well.
  • Finally add heavy cream and paneer tikka and simmer the gravy for about 5 minutes. Turn off the flame and garnish with the chopped cilantro.
  • Paneer makhni is ready to serve with  naan, garlic naan, parathas or flavoured rice.