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Recipe: Twice-As-Tasty Paneer Makhani

By Chef SANJYOT KEER
May 17, 2022 17:24 IST
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Chef Sanjyot Keer gives the classic Paneer Makhani recipe a break by whipping it up with an interesting spicy, nutty gravy.

This version of paneerwallahs' fave dish can be served with jeera rice or steamed rice and parathas or naans for an Indian-inspired feast.

Photograph: California Walnuts

Paneer Makhani

Serves: 3-4

Ingredients

  • 4 medium-sized tomatoes, cut in quarters
  • 1 onion, cut in quarters
  • 4-5 garlic pods, roughly chopped
  • ½ inch ginger, roughly chopped + ½ tsp julienned ginger
  • 2-3 Kashmiri red chillies
  • 1/3 cup walnuts, chopped
  • 1 tsp dhania or coriander powder
  • 1 tsp Kashmiri red chilly powder
  • 1 tsp jeera or cumin powder
  • 2 tbsp ghee or extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 green chilly, slit lengthwise
  • 1 tbsp honey or sugar, optional
  • ¼ cup yoghurt, whisked
  • Pinch garam masala
  • 1 tsp kasuri methi, or dried fenugreek leaves, toasted
  • 300 gm paneer, cut into cubes
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tsp butter
  • 200 ml water

Method

  • In a saucepan, saute the chopped tomatoes, onion in 1 tbsp ghee.
    Add the garlic, ginger, Kashmiri red chillies, salt, coriander powder, red chilly powder, jeera .
    Add the water, cover and cook for about 7-8 minutes.
    Add the walnuts and cook for another 3-4 minutes.
    Take off heat and let the mixture cool.
    Transfer into a mixer and grind to a fine paste.
  • In the same saucepan add the remaining ghee.
    Add the slit green chilly and the ginger.
    Saute for half a minute.
    Pass the makhani paste through a sieve and add it to the pan.
    Adjust the seasoning, add the honey/sugar and bring to a simmer.
    Lower the heat and add in the yoghurt.
    Cook for 3-4 minutes more and then add the paneer cubes.
    Finish off with the garam masala powder and the freshly toasted kasuri methi.
    Add the butter and serve hot with steamed rice, pulau, rotis or naans.

Note: Vegans can consider using this recipe to make Vegan Cheese Makhani or Tofu Makhani. Ideally the tofu should be roasted in a pan with a little oil till light pink. Also the butter and ghee in the recipe should be replaced with cashew butter.

For a Jain version of this recipe, omit the onions, ginger, garlic and up the spice a little and add additional spices or flavours like asafoetida, a dash of mustard oil, chopped leek leaves, ginger powder and a little cream.

For a low-cal version of the recipe skip the butter and ghee and use only the olive oil.

Sanjyot Keer is a chef, content creator and founder of Your Food Lab. He was the food producer of MasterChef India and made it to the Forbes India Tycoons of Tomorrow 2018 list.

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Chef SANJYOT KEER