Nothing like eating warm Naan with that delicious spoonful of orangish color Paneer Gravy or Vegetable Gravy at restaurants. You can achieve the same taste and that richness when you prepare at home too. The best part of this recipe is you don’t need to add cream. Milk + Cashews give enough richness to the gravy and it doesn’t need additional cream or canned tomatoes. Cream is something which will not be available in our Indian Kitchen all the time. Same with Canned Tomatoes too. Whenever there is a potluck happening I am that designated ‘side dish’ person 🤣 I use this particular Makhani gravy as a base. If my friends prefer Paneer I will prepare this as just Matar Paneer or if they are ok with adding Vegetables I make Vegetable Makhani. It has always been a crowd pleaser and a hit recipe of mine among our friends circle. Thought of sharing some of the tips and tricks, how to fix common issues and stuff related to preparing this delicious restaurant style Red Gravy/Makhani Gravy.
Few points to remember :
- Don’t add too much of ginger garlic paste while making the gravy. I generally use fresh ginger and garlic pieces and I usually add 1 teaspoon of chopped pieces.
- Always make sure to boil/reduce the tomato paste first before adding milk and cashew paste
- Pressure cooking tomatoes helps in reducing the time taken for the raw smell to off. Especially when you are cooking for a big group of people this step helps. In case if you are making this only for two servings or small portion then directly grind tomatoes with ginger garlic pieces and then cook the tomato paste
- I used an Instant Pot since I was preparing for 10 and i didn’t have a large pan. Hence you will be seeing IP pics below. You can always use wide bottomed vessel or even pressure pan to prepare this gravy (as seen in one of the pics above).
- Always taste inbetween to balance the flavors
- No curry leaves or whole spices required for this gravy
- Adding a good dose of fat (be it oil, butter or ghee) helps to enhance taste. Don’t skimp too much on this
1.How many tomatoes required for making the gravy for two people?
For two people I use 250 gms of Paneer & 4 medium sized Tomatoes. I usually make a paste with 3 Tomatoes and add one chopped tomato to give some texture to the base. Also there are some varieties of Tomatoes which are too bland. Adding chopped tomatoes gives that extra sourness to the gravy. Increase quantity depending on the number of servings you will be making. Like I always say everything is based on your preference. If you are someone who isn’t a fan of too much Tomatoes the you can very well skip adding extra chopped tomatoes to the gravy 🙂
2.Shall I add onions along with Tomatoes while grinding the base?
Sometimes onions might be bitter and grinding them will ruin the taste of the gravy. From personal experience this had happened to me twice with Red Onions. Hence I prefer to use only tomatoes for preparing base. Chopped onions can however be added to the gravy along with other Veggies or Paneer
3.What is the substitute for Cashewnuts?
Cashewnut is the main ingredient that gives that creaminess to the gravy. In case if you don’t have Cashews you can use Almonds. Soak alomds in water for sometime. Remove skin and then prepare a paste with milk. If you don’t have any nuts either then mix 2 tablespoon of wheat flour with Milk and add this to thicken the gravy. Increase quantity of whear flour depending on the amount of Veg Gravy you are preparing.
4.What is the substitute for MDH Kitchen King Masala Powder?
This is another ingredient which gives that Restaurant style flavor to the gravy. Personally i use this powder in so many dry subzis too. If you don’t have it at home then use regular Garam Masala and a teeny tiny bit of Chaat Masala instead. Chaat masala adds a mild sourness to the gravy. Its all a personal preference. Do taste test and add extra if you want
5.What if the gravy becomes spicy? How to balance?
Adding extra Milk and Sugar might help. Alternatively you can also add little lime juice before serving the gravy. Start with adding less amount of chilli powder and then gradually add extra if needed. Tasting inbetween helps in balancing the flavor
6.My base gravy is always watery and doesn’t have smooth texture. How to solve the issue?
When grinding tomatoes you don’t have to add extra water. Adding water will make the tomato paste very thin. Also make sure the tomato paste gets cooked first in the pan. The tomato has to be reduced for few minutes before adding cashew paste or anynthickenener of your choice. You can save the gravy by adding more milk.
7.Can I make the gravy in bulk and freeze it?
I have personally made the gravy in bulk and stored in refrigerator for 4-5 days. It was good. I generally don’t preplan or precook much. So not sure how it will turn out when you thaw from freezer. But it is worth giving a shot. I shall update here if I freeze the gravy
8.What can be added to this creamy Makhani Gravy?
Steamed Veggies, Boiled Potatoes, Paneer, Tofu, Plain Cauliflower & Peas, Sweet Corn, Capsicum and there are number of combination you can try with vegetables. You can even add Eggs or Animal protein too if you want
9.Is adding Kasuri Methi really important?
Yes! Crushing the dried methi leaves and then adding it at the end is mandatory. It gives that restaurant style finishing touch to the gravy. Also the mild bitterness in the leaves helps to balance the richness of the gravy
10.How do I get that perfect orangish/red color?
A good mix of Turmeric Powder, Kashmiri Red Chilli Powder, Plain Red Chilli Powder, Coriander Powder,MDH Kitchen King Masala Powder and milk yield this color. It also depends on the variety of Tomatoes you use.
I have tried and explained most of the common queries. In case if you need any more information do comment below or comment in my Instagram Post. Shall try and respond with whatever I know.
The following measurement serves 10 people. I prepared this Vegetable Makhani Gravy for a potluck lunch that happened few days back. You need to reduce quantities of Tomatoes and Spice powders according to your preference. I will also give a rough measurement for preparing for two at the end of this post. Hope it will help for those who wanted to prepare small quantity of this gravy