This paneer makhani recipe couldn’t get any easier! You’ll love this quick pressure cooker makhani sauce and that you will get buttery, rich, creamy, smooth gravy every time by following these simple steps.
This delectable paneer makhani is loved by everyone and is one of the most popular Indian restaurant style recipes.
Restaurant style Paneer Makhani:
The makhani word means ‘with butter’. So this paneer makhani dish (or makhani sauce in general) is loaded with butter. If you follow the recipe then you will have super delicious restaurant style paneer makhani dish. I have also mentioned notes and tips on how to make makhani sauce as a big batch, and store for later use to make different dishes.
Key ingredients for paneer makhani recipe:
- Tomatoes – Always use plum tomatoes. To make makhani sauce, tomatoes are pressure cooked along with green chilies and red chili powder. Then ground into the smooth puree. Boiling tomatoes and chili powder together give nice, natural deep red color to the sauce. Always use ripe tomatoes, otherwise gravy becomes too sour.
- Butter – Addition of a good amount of butter makes the gravy rich. Always use good quality unsalted butter.
- Heavy cream – Addition of cream makes the makhani sauce creamy and rich. After adding cream, gravy becomes red-orangy color from deep red color.
- Paneer – Of course, paneer is the hero of the dish. You use store-bought or homemade paneer.
- It has a hint of sweetness from butter, cream, and sugar
- It has slight tang from tomatoes that balances out from sweetness.
- It is mildly spiced because less amount of spice powders used compared other Indian curry recipes.
Difference between paneer makhani & paneer butter masala:
- As per my opinion, paneer makhani and paneer butter masala are similar but not exactly same.
- Both recipes use butter and cream for rich, butter taste
- The makhani sauce is made without onions vs butter masala gravy has onions.
- Makhani gravy is mildly spiced. Butter masala has more flavor of whole spices and little heavier on masala powders (spice powders) hence the name has ‘masala’ in it.
How to make Makhani sauce?
- Take chopped tomatoes, green chilies, red chili powder and salt in a pressure cooker. Or you can use an instant pot.
- Mix it well. No need to add any water. As tomato gets cooked, it leaves enough water. If using an instant pot, you may need to add 3-4 tablespoons of water.
- Cover with the lid, put the weight on. Let it whistle 2 times on medium heat. For instant pot, cook on manual for 3 minutes. Let the pressure go down by itself, then open the lid. Let it cool down for some time.
- Make smooth puree in the blender or grinder. Keep it aside.
- Heat the butter and oil in a pan on medium heat. We are adding little oil with butter, so butter does not get burn quickly. Once the butter starts melting, add ginger paste and garlic paste. Saute for 1 minute or till the raw smell of garlic goes away.
- Then add prepared puree, stir well.
- Cook till all the moisture is evaporated and fat is separating from the sides. If it splutters a lot, partially cover the pan with lid. Do stir occasionally to make sure that it is not sticking to the bottom of the pan.
- Then add remaining red chili powder, coriander powder, and garam masala.
- Mix well and cook for a minute.
- Then add the water to make gravy consistency. Also, add sugar. Simmer for 2 minutes.
- Then add kasoori methi. Do crush them between your palm to release its flavor. Stir well.
Makhani sauce is ready. Let it cool down and then you can store in an airtight container.
NOTE: If using it within a few days then add heavy cream at this time and store. If you are going to freeze it for later use then do not add at this time. Freeze the cream-based sauce is not a good idea.
Storing makhani sauce:
- In the refrigerator, it stays good or 2-3 days.
- In the freezer, it stays good for 3 months. Make a big batch and freeze in the small portions and use as needed.
Ways to use makhani sauce:
- Make different makhani dishes like paneer makhani, vegetable makhani (by adding steamed or pan-fried mixed vegetables), mushroom makhani (by adding sauteed, cooked mushrooms), malai kofta makhani (by adding paneer kofta or vegetable koftas).
- You can add boiled chickpeas or any other beans in the makhani gravy.
- Non-veg options: chicken makhani, egg makhani by adding boiled eggs. Disclaimer: I am vegetarian, so I have not tried these recipes, just giving the options.
- Use the makhani sauce to make Indian style pizza instead of marinara sauce.
- You can make pasta dish by adding boiled pasta, few veggies, and cheese.
How to make paneer makhani recipe?
- Heat up the makhani sauce in a pan. Add paneer cubes. If the sauce is too thick then you can add a splash of water.
- Let it simmer for 3-4 minutes.
- Lastly, add heavy cream and mix. Taste and adjust the salt, sugar.
- Then turn off the stove and serve.
What to serve with paneer makhani?
- Paneer makhani is best served with garlic naan or naan or tandoori roti.
- It can be served with plain basmati rice or jeera rice.
Paneer Makhani Recipe (Makhani Sauce / Gravy)
For pressure cooking:
- 4 medium Tomato cut into big chunks
- 2 Green chili roughly chopped
- 1 teaspoon Red chili powder
- Salt to taste
For paneer makhani recipe:
- 3 tablespoons Butter
- 1 tablespoon Oil
- 2 teaspoons Ginger paste or freshly grated or crushed
- 2 teaspoons Garlic paste or freshly grated
- 1 teaspoon Red chili powder
- 1 ½ teaspoons Coriander powder
- ½ teaspoon Garam masala
- ½ teaspoon Sugar
- ½ to ¾ cup Water
- 200 grams or 7 oz Paneer cut into small cubes
- 1 teaspoon kasoori methi (Dried fenugreek leaves) crushed lightly
- ¼ cup Heavy whipping cream
Pressure cooking tomatoes:
- Take chopped tomatoes, green chilies, red chili powder and salt in a pressure cooker.
- Mix and no need to add any water. Cover with the lid, put the weight on. Let it whistle 2 times on medium heat.
- Let the pressure go down by itself, then open the lid.
- Once it cools down slightly make a smooth puree in the blender or grinder. Keep it aside.
- To cook in instant pot, cook on manual (high pressure) for 3 minutes.
Making paneer makhani recipe:
- Heat the butter and oil in a pan on medium heat.
- Once the butter starts melting, add ginger paste and garlic paste. Saute for 1 minute or till the raw smell of ginger garlic goes away.
- Then add prepared puree, stir and cook till all the moisture is evaporated and fat is separated from sides.
- If it splutters a lot, partially cover the pan with lid. Do stir occasionally to make sure that it is not sticking to the bottom of the pan.
- Then add remaining red chili powder, coriander powder, and garam masala. Mix well and cook for a minute.
- Then add the water to make gravy consistency. Also, add sugar and simmer for 2 minutes.
- Then add kasoori methi, paneer, and mix. Simmer for 3-4 minutes.
- Lastly, add cream. Mix well.
- Paneer makhani is ready to serve.
- We are using a good amount of tomatoes, so always use ripe tomatoes. Unripe tomatoes will make the gravy sour.
- For this recipe, please use plum tomatoes for best result.
- Adjust the amount of sugar, as per the tanginess of the gravy. If the tomatoes are less sour then you may need to reduce the sugar amount.