A crowd pleaser - Paneer Makhni

beautiful garden of the resort was glistening with the golden
lighting. The drinks were getting mixed flamboyantly, the pretty
ladies were elegantly showing off their solitaires and the music was
trying to find its audience. As the party was getting warmed up, the
sublime quietness couldn't be mistaken.

that very precise moment, she entered. Dressed to kill, in that bold
yet so sophisticated red dress. The white stilettos, added not just
height, but lot of grace and poise to the demure beauty. Many pairs
of eyes turned quickly to greet, while others preferred to show
ignorance; while making a mental note to know her in person. 

walked across the length of the room, in that confident gait, which
only a self assured one can possess. She stopped, right in front of
the hosts. Soon there were warm hugs, cheerful greetings and “that”
laughter. The full throttled one. As if someone just popped open a
bottle of champagne. The camaraderie attracted all the friendly
souls. And soon the casual banter, the jokes broke the ice. Her
charisma and warmth worked as the spark, that brightened the whole

music became racier, the dance floor became busier and the chatter
became louder. The party has just begin. Such was the power of that
effervescent crowd pleaser!!

dish has the same impact. Can brighten the simplest of the menu. Can
intermingle with different varieties of dishes. Can cater to a wide
variety of taste buds. Yet stand deliciously, on its own. Definitely
a crowd pleaser.

translated - “paneer” is “cottage cheese” and “makhni” is
“made of butter or buttery”. So its as sinful, as the name.
Cottage cheese in rich tomato gravy, with indulgent amount of butter,
traditionally. Reduced here, to keep us all fitted in that gorgeous
“little black dress” and “tuxedos”. Amen!

Paneer Makhni Recipe

(Absolutely delicious curry of soft cottage cheese cubes, in rich and aromatic tomato gravy.)


  • 200
    grams paneer (cottage cheese). See note*

  • 3-4
    large ripe tomatoes

  • 1
    tbsp cashews, soaked in little water

  • 2-3
    tbsp butter. See note*

  • 1
    tbsp ginger- garlic paste. See note*

  • Some
    whole spices – 1 bay leaf, 2 cardamom, 2 cloves, 1/2” cinnamon

  • ½
    - 1 tsp red chilli powder

  • 1
    tsp coriander powder

  • ¼
    garam masala powder

  • Pinch
    of sugar

  • ½
    tsp kasuri methi/dry fenugreek leaves, crushed

  • 1/2
    tbsp tomato paste

  • salt
    & black pepper, as required


  • 1
    tbsp fresh cream

  • Ginger,
    finely chopped or coriander, chopped


  1. Wash
    and chop tomatoes. Puree the tomatoes in a blender. Also grind
    cashews with very little water, to a smooth paste.

  2. If
    using frozen paneer, defrost and keep in warm water, till used. Even
    fresh paneer, should be kept in warm water, to soften it.

  3. Heat
    a wok. Add butter and as it melts, add the aromatic spices. Add the
    ginger-garlic paste and saute for a minute.

  4. Then
    add the tomato puree. Add salt, sugar, red chilly powder and
    coriander powder. Keep flame on medium heat, and let it cook well,
    till it thickens like a sauce. Stir in between

  5. After
    about 15 mins, add tomato paste. Stir. Then add about a cup of water

  6. Now
    add the cashew paste. Cook for another 2-3 mins. Add black pepper,
    garam masala and crushed kasturi methi. Check seasoning.

  7. When
    the desired consistency of gravy is achieved, remove paneer cubes
    from warm water, and add to gravy. Finish off a with a dollop of
    fresh cream

  8. Garnish
    with green chillies/ginger or chopped coriander leaves and serve
    warm, with Indian bread or rice.


  • Butter
    gives the dish its unique taste. Substituting with oil will effect
    the taste quite a bit.

  • Always
    keep paneer in warm water, to retain softness. I simply microwave
    frozen paneer cubes in water for 3-4 mins.

  • Kasturi
    methi imparts an earthy flavour to the dish and is highly

  • You
    can remove the whole spices, before serving the dish

  • You
    can also use little milk to adjust consistency, if not using cream.
    But cream will make it real “restaurant style”

  • Some
    people like this gravy sweet, some mildly spicy. So adjust the spice
    level according to your taste. And usage of sugar to cut the
    tartness of tomatoes.

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