Paneer Makhani

Home-made fresh cheese in tomato butter sauce

Paneer Makhani is a popular Punjabi dish with Paneer, a kind of fresh cheese you can easily. Like with most Indian dishes, the original recipe is too spicy for the Western palate.

Therefore, we have toned it down just a little. We also left out the chili, because Ayurveda recommends fresh or dried chili only in small amounts, to avoid too much increase of Pitta Dosha. Paneer Makhani goes ideally with rice or also with the various Ayurvedic flatbreads.

Preparation 10 min, cooking time 25 min.

Recipe for 4 persons


  • 1 ½ cup of diced Paneer*
  • ½ cup of cashews
  • 2 Tbsp. sesame seeds
  • 2 Tbsp. Ghee or butter
  • 4 medium-size tomatoes
  • 1 Tbsp. chopped ginger
  • 1 tsp. cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp. ground coriander
  • ½ tsp. ground turmeric
  • ¼ tsp. asafetida
  • ¼ tsp. paprika
  • ¼-½ tsp. black pepper
  • 1 tsp. rock salt
  • ½ tsp. cane sugar
  • 3-4 Tbsp. cream
  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro (coriander leaves)
  • ½ Tbsp. Garam Masala

* Making Paneer at home, step by step


  1. Put the paneer in a bowl of cool water for about 30 min. The paneer will soften and get a nice texture.
  2. Grind the cashews together with the sesame seeds into flour in a spice grinder or electric coffee grinder.
  3. Remove the skins from the tomatoes and puree them in a blender along with fresh ginger.
  4. Heat the Ghee or butter in a wok or frying pan. Add the cumin seeds and asafetida. After the cumin seeds begin to pop, add the ground cashews and sesame seeds and gently roast for about 1 min, stirring frequently.
  5. Now add the ground coriander, turmeric, paprika, salt, sugar, and pepper, as well as the pureed tomatoes and mix well. If necessary, reduce the temperature a little and simmer for 4–5 minutes.
  6. Now add the cream and a cup of water, stir and simmer gently for another 3 minutes or so, until you have a nice creamy sauce.
  7. Take the paneer out of the water and add it to the pan, stir and let it simmer again for a few minutes. Depending on the consistency, add a little more water if necessary.
  8. Add Garam Masala and the chopped cilantro, stir and season with a little salt and pepper.

Bon appetit!

Download the recipe as a PDF file.

Recipe and photos: Jochen Lotz

© Maharishi Ayurveda Health Centre Bad Ems

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