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The Heartbeat of Punjab


This is a traditional vegetarian dish from Punjab – a delicacy with Indian Cottage Cheese (Paneer) in a rich tomato gravy. It’s called Paneer Makhni… and the Punjabi heart skips a beat when it hears these words.

The ingredients that you will require for this dish are:

  1. Indian Cottage Cheese (Paneer): 250 grams

  2. Cashew Nuts:100 grams

  3. Mustard Oil: 2 tablespoon

  4. Tomatoes: 4, medium-sized

  5. Ginger, chopped: 1 teaspoon

  6. Sesame (Til) Seeds: 2 tablespoon

  7. Green Chilli: 1

  8. Garam Masala: Just a pinch

  9. Cumin (Jeera) Seeds: 1 teaspoon

  10. Asafoetida (Heeng): Just a pinch

  11. Turmeric (Haldi) Powder: Just a pinch

  12. Coriander (Dhania) Powder: 2 teaspoon

  13. Sugar: 1 teaspoon

  14. Cream: 2 tablespoon

  15. Salt: to taste

  16. Coriander (Dhania) Leaves: for garnishing


Cut the Paneer into bite-sized cubes. Soak the cubes in hot water for a around 3 to 4 minutes. Drain the water and keep the Paneer aside.

Coarsely chop the tomatoes.

Peel, wash and coarsely chop the ginger.

Wash and coarsely chop the coriander leaves.

Finely chop the green chilli.

Grind the cashew nuts into a powder.

Finely grind the sesame seeds.

Puree the chopped tomatoes, ginger and green chilli.


Heat the Mustard Oil in a pan on a Medium flame. When the oil reaches its smoking point and emits wisps of aromatic smoke, add the asafoetida and cumin seeds. In a little while, the cumin seeds will begin to splutter. Add the ground cashew nuts and stir for a minute or so.

Next, add the tomato-ginger-green chilli puree and mix thoroughly. Add the ground sesame seeds, turmeric powder, coriander powder, sugar and salt. Mix well.

Cover the pan and let the contents cook for around 3 to 4 minutes. Uncover and stir at regular intervals.

Add the cream and continue cooking for around 2 minutes, stirring frequently.

Add around 200 millilitres of water to the pan, cover it and let it cook for 3 minutes or so.

Add the Paneer cubes and stir well to ensure that the cubes are well-coated with the tomato gravy. Cover the pan and cook for around 5 minutes – then remove the pan from the flame.

Sprinkle the Garam Masala over the contents of the pan and stir well.

Transfer the contents to a serving dish. Garnish with the chopped coriander leaves and serve hot.

Your traditional Punjabi Paneer Makhni is now ready to be served. This dish is usually eaten with Roti or Rice.

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