Vegetable Makhani is similar to Butter Chicken as it’s exactly the same sauce that’s used minus the chicken. It consists of a rich, creamy sauce.
This really is an Easy Vegetable Makhani. I have simplified the process to make it less tedious.
Some recipes call for cashew nuts and when I do have some I use it in my dish. However, I have left it out of this recipe.
I remember eating this dish at an authentic Indian restaurant here in Johannesburg. It was the most delicious vegetarian dish I have ever eaten.I
They probably have a new chef at the restaurant and it never tasted the same again. So I thought I will try making some myself.
I think this Easy Vegetable Makhani recipe is as close to the real thing. It has the right balance of spices and a hint of sweetness.
I never liked a sweet curry but these authentic creamy sauces does need that hint of sweetness, it makes all the difference.
What Ingredients do I need
You can add any vegetable you want to this dish but I think firmer vegetable works better. It doesn’t get all mushy in the sauce and you can also add paneer. I added the following vegetable to my dish:
French Beans/Green Bean
I used fresh tomatoes although there are times I have used Italian tomato sauce (passata).
For this dish you will require a little bit more in terms of butter and oil. However, this isn’t your everyday dish.
It is a special occasion dish or a dish that you make every once in a while so you can splurge a little.
From watching a lot of Indian chefs cook authentic Indian dishes; I have noted that they use red onion in their cooking.
This is sweeter than brown onion and also caramelises better than brown onion and I guess that’s the reason.
What spices do I need
Unfortunately for some dishes you require a little more of a variety when it comes to spices. For this dish you will need a few different ones.
It is basic Indian spices that can be found in any Indian spice shop. Most supermarkets also stock almost all of the spices.
It’s best to roast and grind your own spices, the flavor is definitely better. I tried to simplify this recipe as much as I could without compromising on flavor.
Let me tell you it is so delicious. It is better than the restaurants, trust me.
What do I serve my curry with
There’s nothing better than Naan bread to mop up all that yummy sauce. However, Roti or Basmati rice is also good.
It’s a matter of personal preference. However, if I had a choice Naan Bread it would be.
More Vegetarian Dishes to try:
This recipe was first posted on 5 November 2018 and updated on 21 February 2022.
Easy Vegetable Makhani
- 1 large onion roughly chopped
- 1 tablespoon butter + 1 teaspoon
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 bay leaf
- 4 cardamom pods
- 4 cloves
- 4 roma tomatoes blanched and blended
- 1 cup warm water
- 1 tbsp kashmiri chilli powder
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon dried fenugreek leaves
- 1/2 cup fresh cream
- pinch of sugar only if you require that extra sweetness
- fresh coriander to garnish
Roasting the Vegetable
- 1 cup cauliflower florets
- 1/2 cup green beans
- 1 large potato
- 1 teaspoon kashmiri chilli powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ginger garlic paste
- 2 tablespoon vegetable oil
- Preheat oven to 180 degrees celsius. Chop the cauliflower, potato and green beans into little pieces. Marinate with 1 teaspoon Kashmiri chili powder, 1 teaspoon ginger garlic paste, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 2 tablespoon vegetable oil. Place on a foil lined baking sheet and cook in the oven for 30 minutes or until potatoes are soft and tender. Remove from oven and set aside
- Heat 1 tablespoon butter and 1 tablespoon vegetable oil in a pot. Add the cinnamon stick, bay leaf, cardamom and cloves. Fry a few seconds until fragrant. Add the onion and fry until golden brown and caramelised
- Add the tomatoes and cook until tomatoes are soft. About 10-12 minutes
- Discard all the spices and place the tomato mixture into a blender, preferrably glass as it's hot. Blend into a smooth sauce
- Heat another tablespoon of vegetable oil or butter in the pot. Add 1 teaspoon ginger and garlic paste and fry for 30 seconds or until the raw smell disappears. Add the Kashmiri chilli powder, cumin and coriander. Mix well, add a few drops water and cook for 1 minute. Add the blended sauce and 1 cup warm water
- Simmer until it heats through and starts to bubble. Add the fresh cream, roasted vegetable, paneer and dried methi leaves
- You can fry your paneer in one teaspoon of butter and add it to the dish or add it without frying. If you want a soft, sponge like paneer, place it in warm water with a little salt, after frying and then add it to the sauce
- You can add a pinch of sugar the dish if required
- Garnish with fresh coriander. Serve hot with rice or naan bread
- The vegetable I used weighed 350gram
- If you don't want to add the paneer add another cup of chopped vegetable
- If you don't have fresh tomatoes you can use a cup of tomato passata instead
- You can reduce or increase the amount of chilli powder according to your taste
- The amount of sugar can be adjusted, if you prefer a sweeter curry add more or less if you don't want too much sweetness.
- A lot of authentic Indian dishes use red onion as it is sweeter and caramelises better than brown onion. It's what I used for this dish
- I have noted from using the red onion and very ripe tomatoes I didn't need that much sugar. You can adjust the amount according to your taste