Paneer Makhani/Paneer Butter Masala

(Fried Indian Cottage Cheese in a delicious Onion-Tomato Gravy)

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Prep Time: 10 mins
Cooking Time: 25-30 mins
Serves: 4-5

1 block Paneer, cut into 1 inch cubes (approx 2-3 cups, I used store bought)
2-3 tbsp fresh Cream (I used single cream)
1 tsp Sugar (Optional but recommended)
1 tbsp Kasuri Methi/Dried Fenugreek Leaves
1 tbsp+1 tbsp Oil/Ghee
2 tbsp Coriander Leaves, finely chopped
Salt to taste

Ground to Fine Paste:
For Onion Paste:
1 large or 2 medium Onions
½ tsp Jeera/Cumin Seeds
1 inch Cinnamon
3 Cloves
3 Green Cardamoms
1 Bay Leaf
½ tbsp Khus-Khus/White Poppy Seeds
3 cloves of Garlic
1 inch Ginger

For Tomato Paste:
1 can chopped Tomato/3 Large Juicy Tomatoes
10 Cashews
1 tsp Garam Masala
1 tsp Kitchen King Masala (Optional but recommended)
¼-½ tsp Amchur/Dry Mango Powder (Adjust acc to taste)
½ Turmeric Powder
½ -1 tsp Kashmiri/Deghi Chilli Powder (gives lovely bright red colour) 
Heat 1 tbsp oil or ghee in a pan and add paneer blocks. Fry these pieces on both the sides till they turn golden, about 3-5 mins, and place them in a bowl of water for about 15 mins. It’s best to fry them in batches if you can’t fit them in a pan in single layer.
Grind onion and tomato paste with all the ingredients listed above to smooth consistency separately and keep it aside till required.
Heat another tbsp of oil in a same pan and add cumin seeds. When it starts to sizzle and turn light brown in colour, mix in onion paste. Keep stirring at medium heat till onion paste turns light brown in colour and becomes little dry, about 6-8 minutes. This is an important step as if the paste is not fried well it will make the gravy bitter. Make sure that you continously stir the paste and it doesn’t stick to the pan.
Now add kasuri methi and sugar and stir for another minute.
Mix tomato paste and stir well. Simmer the heat and let it cook for 4-5 minutes, stirring in between to make sure it doesn’t stick to the pan.
Increase the heat to medium and add a cup of water, salt to taste and mix well. Cover and cook for another 5 minutes. Open the lid and adjust the seasonings.
If you find the gravy too thick, add about another ¼-½ cup of water. Drain water and mix in fried paneer pieces and cream. Simmer the gravy and let it cook uncovered for another 5-7 minutes.
Switch off the flame and mix finely chopped coriander leaves. Serve it hot with any Roti or Jeera/Saffron Rice and enjoy. It tastes better the next day.

Other Paneer recipes blogged so far,

Labels: Cashew Nuts, Currys, Fresh Cream, Onions, Paneer, Poppy Seeds, Tomat