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 and cashew nut paste can be added to the sauce but I prefer not to add it, it’s because it feels rather strange adding nuts and fruit to my curries. I grew up eating South African Indian food which is never cooked with any nuts or fruit so I’m not about to start now, well maybe I’m just not that adventurous. All the same this Easy Vegetable Makhani is still absolutely delicious without the nuts.
I remember eating this dish at an authentic Indian restaurant here in Johannesburg and it was the most delicious vegetarian dish I have ever eaten, however I think they got a new chef at the restaurant and it never tasted the same again. So I thought I will try making some myself and I think this 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.
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 add paneer. I prefer making my own , you can totally omit the spices if you are using my recipe for Spicy Paneer
There’s nothing better than eating this curry with rice or freshly made naan bread, it’s wonderful to soak up all that sauce, I’m drooling just thinking about it. I prefer to steam my vegetable before adding it to the sauce and I think this is a quick and easy way too. You can add vegetable according to the amount of sauce you prefer in your curry, if you want a whole lot of sauce then add less vegetable but if you want less sauce you can add more vegetable. I add about 2-3 cups of vegetable together with a little bit of paneer.
Easy Vegetable Makhani
- 400 gram canned tomatoes
- 1 onion finely chopped
- 2 bay leaf
- 2 tspn ginger/garlic paste
- 2 tbsp vegetable or any cooking oil
- 1 tspn cumin seeds
- 1 tspn ground cumin
- 1 tspn ground coriander
- 2 tspn Kashmiri chilli powder
- 1 tspn masala optional
- 1 tspn garam masala
- 1/2 tspn turmeric
- 1 tspn dried fenugreek leaves
- 2 tspn sugar or 1 tspn honey
- 1/2 cup/125ml fresh cream
- 2-3 cups fresh vegetable steamed. I used cauliflower, green beans, carrots, potatoes and peas
- paneer I used a litre of milk to make my paneer, however you can add a little more if you wish
- 2 tbsp greek or plain yogurt
- Steam your vegetable for a few minutes until cooked and set aside
- Heat oil and add cumin seeds. Once the seeds start to burst add the bay leaf and onion. Sauté the onion until it's translucent. Add the ginger/garlic paste and fry for a minute.
- Add the ground cumin, coriander, chilli powder, masala and turmeric. Cook for 2 minutes, it will form a thick paste, add a few drops of water to prevent it from burning
- Add tomatoes and yogurt. Season with salt and add the sugar. Cover and simmer on low heat until the tomatoes are cooked, the oil will surface to the top when it is ready.
- At this stage remove the bay leaf and blend the sauce until it's smooth. add it back to the pan and add the fresh cream together with the fenugreek leaves, crush this between our fingers and then add it. Add your vegetable and if you are using paneer, you can fry it in a little butter or oil and add it to the sauce. Add garam masala and serve hot with naan bread or rice