Paneer Makhani in Tomato Gravy is a basic Punjabi gravy sabji made in butter. It is similar to paneer makhan wala because it has the same buttery flavour. Even the Kaju paneer butter masala contains butter as the base. I mean, the making of all three of them is in butter.
The bottom line is whether it is makhani or Makhan Wala, you will experience the smoothness of butter.
Makhani is a Punjabi word, and it means “butter”. This particular word is believed to be derived from the term Makhan. Therefore, either way, you’re going to deal with butter. With context to our recipe, the paneer makhani has a base of red tomato gravy. I mean, we will cook this dish in tomato gravy instead of cashew paste.
Generally, restaurant-style paneer recipes have a thick gravy. They use curd, cashews, almonds, heavy cream, milk or yoghurt to thicken the gravy. Using them makes the gravy thick and enriches the overall flavour. I believe that’s the prominent reason why we love eating out.
Tomato Base Gravy
Like I said above, tomato puree will make the base of our gravy. Remember, we will not use tomato pieces because it will take longer to cook. However, there’s no hard & fast rule not to use tomato pieces. You can if the time permits.
The idea behind using puree is upfront. It takes less time to cook, maintaining the taste & texture of the gravy. However, if you insist on using tomato pieces, mash them in the gravy. The natural tomato juice will smoothly integrate with other items. Mashing will even speed up the cooking process.
Cook Until Butter Separates
A common term we often read or hear. Now there’s a big reason why this comes across. The question is, when will oil or butter separate. Of course, it will once the ingredients are thoroughly cooked. For instance, our paneer makhani tomato gravy. In this recipe, you will need to cook the masala and tomato puree until the butter separates.
Now you might be wondering what happens if I don’t cook until the butter separates. It’s plain & simple. The ingredients will not release their flavour & aroma. As a result, you will have a raw taste of herbs & spices. Therefore, cook until oil or butter separates.
Paneer Makhani Tomato Gravy Extra Shots
Making paneer makhani in tomato gravy is relatively easy & requires less time to cook. How about making it more delicious? Follow the tips below to get more out of your makhani. Here you go.
- Tomato – Use juicy red tomatoes & not green ones. Natural tomato juice will enrich the gravy.
- Cashew Paste – The paste makes the gravy thick & rich. You can pair it with tomato puree in the gravy.
- Beaten Curd – This is yet another excellent add-on similar to cashew paste. Again, you will love the gravy.
- Paneer Cream – Grind two paneer cubes with water to make paneer cream. It’s a good substitute for curd & cashews.
FAQs for Tomato Gravy Paneer Makhani
After exclusive detailing, it’s time to resolve your doubts. Hence, here are some faqs. Read them thoroughly.
Can I add onions to this recipe which is tomato only gravy?
Yes, you can add onions but in puree form. Onion pieces will again take longer to cook. Above all, without onions, too, your makhani will taste excellent, just like mine.
Why there are no whole spices in this recipe?
We have homemade garam masala powder instead of whole spices. If you are still adamant about adding whole spices, use cumin, cardamom, cinnamon, bay leaf, black cardamom, etc. Saute them properly in butter & then grind to a fine paste.
Can I replace Kasuri methi with methi dana?
No, don’t do that. Methi dana, aka fenugreek seeds, has a stronger flavour than Kasuri methi. However, both of them are strong, yet Kasuri methi is adviseable. You can skip Kasuri methi if you want but don’t replace it with other items.
Is paneer makhani tomato gravy spicy?
No, it is mildly spicy. If you refer to the ingredient list, you will know there’s no whole spice. Secondly, there’s garam masala but only 1/2 tsp. On top of it, we have used Kashmiri red chilli powder for the red gravy colour. So, all in all, it is not teekha.
Can I use almond paste in this recipe?
Yes, you can use almond paste. But you will need to saute the paste very well in butter. Otherwise, the almond taste will overpower. Refer to my Badami paneer masala gravy recipe.
Thus, our paneer makhani tomato gravy concludes here. Get in touch with me in the comment section. See you in the following recipe.