4.1/5 rating (46 votes)

Paneer Makhani

Paneer in a Butter Sauce

  • Heat Medium
  • Serves 4
  • Prep 10 mins
  • Cook 30 mins

Creamy paneer cooked in a delicious, velvety smooth, bright red butter sauce that is delicately spiced to give a uniquely flavoured dish. Finished with cream or butter for a bit more decadence!

Hari says

My friend made this for me recently and it was different to my version and I was intrigued by her sauce. I went through her recipe and we took the best bits of both our dishes and recreated it with our own new recipe. The sauce is thick, lusciously red and like velvet, the paneer has to be made fresh and left to solidify for at least an hour and then chopped into large cubes. The two parts are then brought together to produce this lovely dish. Once you have tried it with paneer why not add a few vegetables in as well.

To buy the main ingredients for my Makhani, check out my curry kit here.

  • Ingredients
  • Method
  • 400g paneer, diced

Tomato Sauce

  • 2 medium red onion, roughly chopped
  • 2-3 green chillies, roughly chopped
  • 1 tsp ginger, grated
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 4cm stick of cassia bark
  • 4 green cardamom pods
  • 3 cloves
  • 5 whole black peppercorns
  • 7 ripe red tomatoes roughly chopped/400g tin plum tomatoes

Makhani Sauce

  • 3 tbsp ghee
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 2 tsp coriander seeds, crushed
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp Kashmiri chilli powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp kasoori methi (fenugreek)
  • 2-4 tbsp greek style yogurt or cream
  • 1 cup hot water
  • 1 tbsp honey 
  • knob of butter


  • 10ml cream
  • Handful of fresh coriander leaves, chopped


  1. Put onion, ginger, garlic, chillies, green cardamom, black pepper, cassia bark, salt into a pan and cover with water (approx. 1L) and bring to the boil.
  2. Add a tin of tomatoes to the pan and leave to simmer for 15-20 min on medium heat stirring occasionally.
  3. After the sauce has reduced and the mixture has come to a thick saucy consistency remove it from heat. Let the mixture cool down remove the cassia bark and discard.
  4. Blend to a fine sauce, for a very smooth sauce you can strain it through a sieve.
  5. In a second pan heat the ghee and add the cumin seeds. As soon as they crackle stir in the tomato sauce very carefully.
  6. Fry the sauce then stir in turmeric, Kashmiri chilli, crushed coriander, dried fenugreek and stir for 2-3 minutes. 
  7. Once the sauce has thickened reduce the heat and stir in the yoghurt or cream, honey and butter.
  8. Cook for a minute or two and add the fresh homemade paneer. Stir to coat with the sauce then leave to simmer for 5 minutes on a gentle heat. Add a little hot water to loosen the sauce if required and the honey.
  9. Garnish with coriander leaves and top with a dash of cream before serving.

Served with

I like this dish on its own with either roti or rice.......actually just roti

Nutritional information

Typical values* per Serving
Fat (g)4.9
of which saturates (g)2.9
Carbohydrates (g)6.2
of which sugars (g)5.4
Fibre (g)1.2
Protein (g)2.2
Salt (mg)0.82
*Based upon calculated values, supplied by myfitnesspal.com. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated.

Useful equipment

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“ Thank you for printing this recipe for my delicious Paneer Makhani ”


Comments (8)

  • Gill


    09 December 2020 at 19:28 |
    Hi Hari, I think this is one of the best curry dishes i have ever done. Few bits left over for tomorrows lunch...cant wait. 10/10 with bells on it


    • Hari Ghotra

      Hari Ghotra

      11 December 2020 at 15:40 |
      Hi Gill
      Well I am so happy to read that yay! I hope lunch was just as good! Thanks for trying it Hari


  • Rick


    08 January 2017 at 05:58 |
    I keep going back to this recipe over and over again, it's so good. The last time I made it I accidentally cooked the cumin seeds until they were dark brown but not burned. That gave the sauce too deep of a flavor. However after adding the sugar it became very savory. Fool proof recipe! Thanks Hari!


    • Hari Ghotra

      Hari Ghotra

      08 January 2017 at 21:02 |
      Hi Rick i'm so with you!! I love this dish too its a bit different when you get started but it's a good one!! Hari


  • Annie


    24 September 2016 at 12:29 |

    Can I use butter instead of ghee?

    Looks delicious :)


    • Hari Ghotra

      Hari Ghotra

      30 September 2016 at 16:54 |
      Hi Annie yes if you would prefer just don't let it burn. Hope it comes out tasty. Hari


  • Barry Barker

    Barry Barker

    11 August 2016 at 15:52 |
    Is there a particular variety of green chili that you use? I live in the US and with so many different cuisines there are a lot of different green chillis, Thai, Mexican etc.


    • Hari Ghotra

      Hari Ghotra

      11 August 2016 at 15:56 |
      Hi Barry with Indian dishes we tend to use the long thin green chillies called rocket, finger or serrano chillies. They are fairly hot but have a lovely freshness too. If you can't find them then Thai chillies are good but you may need to reduce the number as they can be hotter. Hope this helps Hari


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Hari Ghotra