Juliet: “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet”.
I am nothing but tempted to start this post with the famous monologue of William Shakespeare! Well I am neither out of the mind nor had 2-3 glasses of wine but just tempted and why not while there is huge confusion over three Paneer based dishes: Paneer Makhanwala, Paneer Makhani and Paneer Butter Masala and I am here to share the recipe of one of those! Paneer Makhanwala it is. All the three dishes taste awesome and almost distant cousin of one another according to me. In fact sometimes taste almost same and to be very frank I am not much confident about the difference. For me Makhanwala gravy or Makhani gravy is something prepared with a base of Tomato but not Onion while Onion has to be added in Butter Masala and there is difference in between Makhanwala gravy and Makhani gravy as well where in Makhanwala gravy Cashew Paste has to be added but not in Makhani and rest of the ingredients are almost same in all the three dishes! By the way are you getting annoyed with this devastated comparison between three Paneer Dishes 😛 ; or you are remembering college days where we were obliged to write those pathetic comparisons 😀 ! Well I am neither annoyed nor angry but satisfied after having my portion of Paneer Makhanwala along with Roti and so does Pasta! After all she loves the sweeter taste of this particular dish and I have a week point for the deadly combination of Tomato and Kasuri Methi!
Though I personally love Paneer Makhani over Paneer Makhanwala if you consider the difference I mentioned but when it comes to the name Makhanwala is on top of my list! It sounds super cute especially when Punjabi’s pronounced it “Makkhkhalwala” and that thing is literally “Makhkhan marke” in North India! Nowadays whenever I (and Pasta) crave for North Indian dishes I prefer to cook it at home or else we try to go out for food. I found the nearby options for home delivery are pathetic with North Indian Dishes in Kolkata though there are places where you can find authentic and ITC Sonar is one of those for sure. Now obviously it is not possible to go to ITC to have Paneer each time 😉 and the safest thing is to make it your own honey like I do! Believe me it tastes good; almost similar to Restaurant style Paneer Makhanwala!
Coming to the recipe, fortunately it requires some basic ingredients and that is actually a speciality of North Indian Cuisine especially Punjabi food! They believe in simplicity and that reflects in their food! A community responsible for generating Tandoori Chicken and what a story behind it (do check my post just in case you wanted to know). Let me however go straight to the recipe of Paneer Makhanwala where you need some tomatoes, ginger, and garlic, cashew nut, Kasuri Methi and some spices along with fresh Paneer or Cottage Cheese! This is something I prepare quite often at my place apart from Matar Paneer or Shahi Paneer .
- Paneer: 250 g
- Tomato: 4
- Ginger Paste: 1 Tsp.
- Garlic Paste: 1.5 Tsp.
- Cashew Nut: 75 g
- Fresh Cream: 50 ml
- Butter: 1 Tbsp.
- Kasuri Methi: 1 Tsp.
- Kashmiri Red Chili Powder: 1 Tsp.
- Garam Masala Powder: 1 Tsp.
- Turmeric Powder: ½ Tsp.
- Sugar: 1 Tsp.
- Salt: to taste
- Soak Cashew Nut in water for 15 minutes and make a thick but smooth paste of Cashew Nuts.
- Make a smooth paste of Tomatoes and keep that aside.
- Cut Paneer into Cubes.
- Take Butter in a deep bottom pan and heat it.
- Add Tomato paste to the butter and start cooking in low flame until raw aroma of tomato goes completely and butter leaves the side of the pan. Stir in between.
- Add Ginger and Garlic paste and cook for around 2-3 minutes more.
- Add Turmeric Powder, Garam Masala Powder, Salt and Sugar to the gravy and give a thorough mix.
- Now add Cashew nut paste and cook till the rawness of cashew nut goes completely. This will take around 5-7 minutes in low flame.
- If required add ½ cup water to the gravy.
- Now add crushed Kasuri Methi mix it properly.
- Add fresh Cream and using a spatula smooth it and mix properly with the gravy and add ½ cup of water to it.
- Add Paneer chunks and cook for 5 minutes and reduce the gravy based on your preference. Ideally it should be medium thick.
- Switch the flame off and serve Paneer Makhanwala with you choice of Bread or Rice.
You can skip adding Garlic in case wanted do make a No onion no Garlic version of the dish