Wanna make restaurant-style silky smooth & creamy Makhani gravy or Makhni sauce, then follow this easy recipe with stepwise photos to make your next meal finger-licking delicious. This buttery curry base is one of the basic gravy or curry bases used to make several North Indian vegetarian recipes like Paneer Makhani & non-vegetarian recipes.
Making this restaurant-style makhani gravy a part of your meal prep during the weekends is bound to save you a lot of time on weekday nights.
Using this gravy base and your favourite ingredient, you can get a meal on the table in no time on busy weekday dinners
When you have to cook for a party or get-togethers, having a bottle or two of this makhni sauce will ensure that you get the curries done in record time and cooking for a crowd gets to be child's play.
Table of Contents:
Tomatoes: I have used hybrid tomatoes, as they have thin skin and have more pulp than standard tomatoes.
Spice powders: Kashmiri red chilli powder, coriander powder, cumin powder and garam masala powder
Whole spices: cinnamon stick, cloves, cardamom, star anise and cumin seeds
Thickening ingredients: The ground onions give the paste more volume, and cashew nuts make the gravy thick and creamy.
Butter: Unsalted butter gives the makhani gravy a glossy sheen and silky smooth texture.
Seasoning: Salt and sugar.
Other ingredients: ginger garlic paste, green chilli and oil.
Please refer to the recipe card for the correct measurement of ingredients.
To make restaurant-style makhani gravy,
1. Mark & Cut a cross or ‘x’ on the head of the tomatoes.
2. Blanch the tomatoes in hot water. Let cool & peel the tomatoes. Drain & reserve the stock.
3. Take peeled tomatoes, onions, cashew nuts, and some stock in a mixie jar.
4. Grind to a smooth paste and set aside.
5. Heat oil in a pan and add tempering ingredients - cumin seeds, star anise, cinnamon, cardamom & cloves. Stir till aromatic.
6. Add green chilli and ginger-garlic paste to the pan.
7. Sauté well and add a slurry of Kashmiri chilli powder added to 1 cup of tomato stock.
8. Add the spice powders - turmeric, coriander and cumin powder.
9. Once it comes to a boil, add ground tomato paste.
10. Cook for a few mins and add sugar.
11. Drop in butter to get the silky texture.
12. Season with salt.
13. Cook over low flame till the gravy looks silky smooth and creamy.
14. Stir in garam masala powder and switch off the stove.
Once the makhani gravy cools down, refrigerate till use.
1. Make sure to cook the makhani gravy over a low flame to prevent the powders from burning and changing colour.
2. Store the makhani gravy in the refrigerator only after it has cooled down to room temperature.
This recipe is
- Low Carb
Instead of cooking the tomatoes in a saucepan over an open flame, you can place them in a pressure cooker and cook for 2 whistles.
After the pressure releases, open the lid, remove the tomatoes & peel the skin.
This makhani gravy is mildly spiced, but if you prefer it to be spicy, then replace half the quantity of Kashmiri chilli powder with regular red chilli powder.
For a vegan option, you can skip adding butter or use a non-dairy, plant-based vegan butter.
You can use melon seeds or de-skinned almonds in place of cashew nuts.
This makhani gravy stays well in the refrigerator for up to a week or 10 days. You can use a stainless steel jar, glass jar or food-grade plastic jar to store the gravy.
How to use Makhani Gravy
Making Paneer Makhani will become child's play and will take just 10 mins when using this makhani gravy. You can also make this Mushroom & Peas Makhani.
It is best to use hybrid variety tomatoes or whatever variety that has more pulp that does not taste way too tangy.
Avoid using standard tomatoes as they are full of seeds more than pulp, and they taste tangier too.
Since this makhani gravy does not have any cream added to it, you can freeze this for 6 to 9 months. Use either a Ziploc or a freezer-proof jar.
I add cream to the makhani gravy only when I’m going to be using it immediately.
After adding cream, you can also store it in the fridge, but make sure to use it in the next 2 or 3 days.
Do not freeze the makhani sauce to which cream has been added to prevent it from spoiling.
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Makhani Gravy Recipe - Restaurant Style Makhni Sauce
- 4 large tomatoes
- ⅓ cup onion finely chopped
- ¼ cup cashew nuts
- 1 green chilli slit & cut into half
- 2 teaspoon ginger garlic paste
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 2 tablespoon unsalted butter
- salt to taste
- ½ inch cinnamon stick
- 3 cloves
- 1 cardamom
- 1 star anise
- ¼ teaspoon cumin seeds
- 2 tablespoon oil
- 1 tablespoon kashmiri chilli powder
- 1 teaspoon coriander powder
- ½ teaspoon cumin powder
- ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
- ½ teaspoon garam masala powder
- Mark & Cut a cross or ‘x’ on the head of the tomatoes.
- Heat a saucepan with 2 cups of water. Drop the tomatoes into the water.
- Boil for a few minutes till the skin of the tomatoes appears to break. Switch off the stove & close the pan with a lid and let it cool down a bit.
- Drain the water or tomato stock from the saucepan & set it aside to be used later.
- Peel the skin off the tomatoes and set it aside. Discard the peeled skin.
- Take 1 cup tomato cooked water or tomato stock, add kashmiri chilli powder, mix well without lumps and set this slurry aside.
- Add the peeled tomatoes, onions, cashew nuts, and remaining cooked water or stock to a mixie jar.
- Grind to a smooth paste & set aside.
- Heat a pan with oil. Add tempering ingredients - cumin seeds, star anise, cinnamon, cardamom & cloves. Stir for 20 secs for the spices to become aromatic.
- Add green chilli, and ginger-garlic paste & sauté for 1 to 2 min over a low flame or till the raw smell goes off.
- Add the Kashmiri chilli powder slurry to the pan.
- When it comes to a boil, add coriander powder, turmeric powder, and cumin powder.
- Mix well and let the mixture come to a boil & the oil begins to separate and float on top.
- Add the ground tomato paste & mix well.
- Let it cook for 4 to 5 mins over a low flame, or till the raw smell of the spice powders goes off.
- Add sugar, butter, and salt.
- Mix well & cook for 5 to 7 mins over low flame till the sauce looks silky smooth & creamy.
- Add garam masala powder, stir well and switch off the stove.
- Let the gravy or sauce cool down completely to room temperature.
- Transfer this Makhani Gravy into a clean, dry jar & refrigerate till its time to make Paneer Makhani.
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