Thursday, July 30, 2020

Paneer Butter Masala | Restaurent and Dhaba Style | Tips To Make Perfect Creamy Gravy

I just happened to make this, because I wanted to use an open tub of fresh cream. Yes Paneer Butter Massala cannot be made without cream. If you want authentic real restaurant style gravy I will say please don’t skip cream.

How Paneer Butter Masala does taste like?

Very lightly spiced, tomato based gravy; thickened with cashews, cream and butter (ofcourse!). It is an indulgent dish, something in which you shouldn’t count calories or fat. For same reason it is also called as Paneer Makhani or Makhani Vale Paneer.

How to make restaurant style Paneer Butter Massala at home?

Yes, it is very easy to make restaurant style Paneer Butter Massala at home if you keep in mind the following tips.

-Do not overboard the gravy with spices and masalas. It has to be subtle. So if you use kitchen king masala power or any other spice powders, then stop it.

-Use nuts to thicken the gravy. Cashews are the best choice. You can use almonds too, but in that case soak the almonds and remove the skin. Again, do not go crazy with nuts too; you do not want super thick gravy.

-Put the paneer in the hot water and let it sit there for 20 minutes. This will soften the paneer and you will have that melt in mouth paneer cubes.

-Use butter and cream (full fat). There is no alternative for these too if you want good true paneer butter massala.

-To get that beautiful colour, use Kashmiri red chilli powder.

-Lastly use garlic, onion and tomatoes also in limited quantity. You do not want any of this to overpower the whole gravy.

How to make Dhabha style Paneer Butter Massala at home?

Okay, so those of you don’t know, dabha is a roadside restaurant in India. You will see so many dabhas on the highways, serving local cuisine. They are most commonly found next to petrol stations, and most are open 24 hours a day.

To make dabha style paneer butter masala you need to apply dhungar method or coal method. Here basically you heat up a piece of a coal till its red hot. Then place this charcoal in a steel bowl and place the bowl on the top of the paneer gravy. Add around ½ teaspoon of ghee on the coal and you will see smoke or fumes coming out it, immediately cover the pan with the lid and let it sit there for 2 minutes. Then remove the bowl and discard the coal. This method will give you that smokey paneer effect you get in the dhabha.

Is Paneer Butter Masala Healthy?

No absolutely not. Unlike other paneer dishes such as palak paneer or mutter paneer this paneer dish is loaded with calories and fat. It is not everyday kind of a paneer subji either –it is a royal treat that you can have once in a while.

What are variations to Paneer Butter Masala?

Over the years, trying paneer butter Massala at various places in india, UK and many European countries I have learnt some variations and I would like to share that with you all.

You can add makhane (fox nuts) in the gravy and it tastes good with paneer.

I have seen restaurants even adding peas (matar) with paneer gravy and it was a good twist too.

But my most favourite combination has been chunks of bell peppers in the paneer makhani gravy and in my recipe I have added it. (Feel free not to, but I promise there is something so magical about this variation).

Let us move to recipe now.


2 tablespoon oil

1 bay leaf/tej patta

2 green cardamom/elyachi

½ inch cinnamon stick/dalchini

5-6 cloves garlic/lehsun, roughly chopped

1 inch piece of ginger/adrak, roughly chopped

1 large onion/payaz, roughly chopped

3 large tomatoes/tamatar, roughly chopped

7-8 cashews/kaju

4 tablespoons butter

½ teaspoon kashmiri red chilli powder

½ teaspoon garam Massala

¼ teaspoon turmeric powder

½ teaspoon red chilli powder

¼ teaspoon black pepper powder

1 tablespoon coriander powder

1 teaspoon sugar

Salt to taste

¼ cup cream

Water as needed

250 grams paneer chopped

1 capsicum chopped into cubes

2 teaspoons kasturi methi

1 tablespoons coriander leaves, finely chopped.


Heat oil in a pan. Add bay leaf, green cardamom and cinnamon. Let it sit in oil for 20 seconds. Reduce the heat to slow.

Add in chopped garlic, ginger and onion. Sprinkle ¼ teaspoon salt and cover it with the lid. Cook till onions turn soft and there is no raw smell.

Add tomatoes, cashews and around ¼ cup of water. Cover and cook again till tomatoes release the oil and it becomes soft and mushy.

Let the tomato mixture cool down and then grind it into smooth paste.

Heat 2 tablespoons of butter. Throw the tomato mix in the butter. Add in it kashmiri red chilli powder, turmeric powder, coriander powder, red chilli powder, black pepper powder, garam masala and salt to taste. Mix it all well. Add ¼ cup water. Cover and cook again for 5 minutes till you gravy bubbling up and leaving oil on the sides.

After 5 minutes, slowly add in the cream and sugar. Mix and let it cook covered for 7-8 minutes. You must see shiny creamy gravy. Have a quick salt test to see if you need anything.

In the meantime on a separate pan, heat ½ teaspoon butter and sauté paneer cubes till you see some light golden colour on its skin (do not over roast the paneer). In the same pan also roast bell pepper (capsicum) till you see some cooked or burnt spots on its skin. Set both aside.

Throw in paneer and capsicum in the gravy. Add ¼ cup water. Let it simmer covered on slow heat for 5 minutes.

Finally add in kasturi methi and coriander leaves.

Serve with dollop of remaining butter on the top. And swirl of some fresh cream.

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Naan | No Yeast | Instant Naan | Chilli Garlic Naan | Naan on Tawa/Pan | Stovetop Method

Naan Bread and I are sure there are tons of recipes of it all over the internet and it must very confusing to decide which one to use. Well, to be honest it all depends on what your needs are. To elaborate the statement; do you want Naan to be without yeast or maida (all purpose flour). OR you want the naan to be cooked in oven or stovetop (gas/hob). OR you don’t have much time and you want an instant naan recipe. OR you want a healthy version let’s say whole wheat (chakki atta) naan.

So as mentioned, there are so many variations of naan recipes from the ingredients used to the method of cooking. I have made all kinds of naan at home but never shared the recipe, because there are so many kinds of recipes already on the internet. For me it all started when I shared this post of Dal Makhani and Garlic Naan on Instagram and people started asking for the recipe.

This naan is made from scratch and is yeast free (so no yeast) but I used yogurt (dahi/curd) instead and is made using half and half of all purpose flour (maida/plain flour) and whole wheat flour (our chapatti ata like Pillsbury or ashirwad). I wanted to keep the dinner as fuss free as possible so I made it on the pan/tawa and then roasted it on stovetop to give that tandoor or restaurant kind smokey taste and flavour.

Just by using this simple and basic naan dough recipe you can make so many variations of naan. Use chopped garlic to make garlic naan. Or green chillies to make chilli naan. Or both chilli and garlic to make Garlic Chilli Naan. You just need to brush some butter on the hot naan and there you have Butter Naan. Sometimes I also like to use mint and coriander leaves to get that restaurant style feel. Since naan is so widely popular all over the world now, I have seen Italian twist also given to naan by adding pesto, fresh or dried Italian herbs such as oregano, basil and chilli flakes.

What to eat with naan? I would say any paneer dishes goes really well with naan. But you can also pair it up with hummus and yogurt dips. Or like me, I love naan with Dal Makhni (I honestly don’t feel there is any better combo then this one.)

You can see the making of the naan in this video below.


1 cup All Purpose Flour

¼ cup whole wheat flour

¼ teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon sugar

Salt to taste

¼ cup Yogurt

A little less then ¼ cup water

1 tablespoon Oil

2 tablespoons Garlic chopped

1 tablespoon green chilli chopped

1 teaspoon mix of sesame seeds and onion seeds (kalonji and til)


In a mixing bowl mix; yogurt, salt, sugar, soda, whole wheat flour and all purpose flour. Mix all the dry ingredients well.

Add yogurt and start forming the dough. Start adding water little by little (you might not need to add all the water). The dough should be stretchy and soft. Cover and keep it aside for at least 30 minutes.

Heat a flat non-stick pan or skillet or tawa.

Divide the dough into 4 equal parts and roll it to ball shape of ball.

Start rolling the naan. Shape doesn’t matter; I rolled into oval cylindrical shape. Sprinkle onion seeds, sesame seeds, chopped garlic and green chilli on one side of the naan.

Place the naan with garlic side first on the tava. When you see the bubbles turn it over and cook the other side. Naan needs to be cooked on high heat. When the other side is also cooked properly; start roasting the naan on an open heat/flame on the stovetop. If you have gas burner then reduce the heat and cook the naan with the help of tong till you see brown spots. If you have induction or electric hob, then use a iron grill to roast the naan. (You must see the video above to understand what I mean).


Rest the dough in the warm place. Do not put it in the fridge. The more you rest the better the naan will be.

For that authentic taste skip whole wheat flour and use only all purpose flour.