Paneer Makhni or Paneer Makhanwala (with butter) is one dish which is like a one-pot dish. That is we cook everything in one single pot, puree it and finish it in the same pot. Just in case even if you are thinking of any other recipe don't. This is the simplest and the most tasty Paneer Makhni.
To make Paneer Makhni we take a little water in a pan. Very little. In this goes roughly chopped Tomatoes, a little sliced Onion, Garlic, this is Ginger, Bayleaf, Black Cardamom, Cinnamon, Green Cardamom. Now we add Cloves, Green Chilli, Kashmiri Chilli Powder, a little Butter, just a little. Handfull of Cashew nuts. Generous amount of Salt. Let's give it a nice stir. After mixing everything together we cover it with a lid and then we let it cook patiently over mild flame for about 20-25 minutes. Tomatoes are completely mashed. In fact, the Cashews in this are also soft. We'll turn off the gas. Before grinding, we cool it down a bit and these Bayleaf needs to be removed and Black Cardamom is also removed. With that remove the Cinnamon too. We remove these 3 spices because when we grind it these spices will take it to a darker shade. So we have to remove them. This goes in the blender. Now we will grind this. This has blended nicely. And as it is so finely blended we need not strain it. Just in case something isn't fine with your mixer or you see some chunk you may strain it.
We'll take some Butter. Good amount of butter. Now you might take less butter if you don't want too much butter. In fact, if you like no Onion, no Garlic food to eat. You may avoid adding Onion, Garlic, and Ginger, in this. Butter has melted. First, we add a little chopped Ginger to it. Ginger, Butter, and Green Chilli are 3 ingredients which give a nice flavor to Paneer Makhani or Butter Chicken. We add Green Chilli into this. Lightly saute this. Now we add the Cottage Cheese (Paneer) into this. Just lightly cook them. It may seem that the butter is in excess but understand that in this gravy we didn't add a lot of butter we added just a little butter. And there is butter in Paneer Makhani. And just in case you don't like to eat, a lot of butter you can always cut it down. Sprinkle some Salt. We add a little Kashmiri Red Chilli to this. And immediately after this, we add the gravy You have to be careful that the Chilli doesn't burn. So the Chilli, light stir and then the curry. Gently mix it. Nice, soft, silken, creamy Makhani curry. Curry is very versatile.
We have added Paneer in this now. If you want, you may add mushrooms, or mix vegetables in this. You may add chicken in this. At the same time if you want to make "Matar Paneer" (Peas and Cheese) Make this same gravy toss the Peas and Cheese in the butter and then add the same gravy to it. That will be a different style of "Matar Paneer" But again very tasty. Cook this for about 5 minutes over mild flame. Add some salt. As per seasoning. Now, Turn off the gas and after that we add into this Cream. Lightly mix it. With that goes dried Fenugreek leaves powder You may crush it completely or keep it a bit coarse. Up to you. Now a lot of recipes tell you to add sugar or honey to this. You can add some sugar. But it is added only when your tomato is too sour Specially those Desi Tomatoes we get in the summers They are too sour. A little sweetness offset's them. It should not be very sweet. This is just perfect. It doesn't need sugar. And our Paneer Makhani is done. We need to plate this. Carefully lift the Paneer. Pour some cream over. And a fresh sprig of Coriander. And our Paneer Makhani is done.