Introduction to Coconut Paneer Makhani
If you’re a fan of butter paneer, I highly recommend giving coconut paneer makhani a try! Its creamy, tomato-y, rich, and has just a little touch of sweetness. Plus it doesn’t require cashews like my butter paneer recipe so it’s a little simpler to make and also reduces the cost of making this dish. Plus coconut milk in Indian food is definitely an underrated combo.
Keys to Success:
PRO TIP: Don’t skip the fenugreek leaves! Although some of the spices used in this dish are less readily available then the spices you may find at your local grocery store, the investment in fenugreek will be worth it! It adds an earthy and rich flavor to this dish that really can’t be mimicked by another spice or substitute. Fenugreek leaves really elevate the flavor in this dish, and in many other Indian dishes too. It’s one of my favorite secret ingredients.
PRO TIP: Stick to using canned crushed tomatoes in this recipe rather than using fresh tomatoes. Canned tomatoes can be a really useful ingredient since the flavor of the tomatoes is a bit more potent and concentrated. Plus, canned tomatoes are a little sweeter than fresh tomatoes and add the necessary flavor to this dish.
Garnish + Finishing Touches
I love topping off this dish with extra coconut cream. To get the perfect consistency, make sure to use canned coconut cream and shake it well. Canned coconut milk naturally separates and the thick cream floats to the top. Shaking up the can helps to emulsify the thick cream on top with the thin coconut milk underneath. After shaking, pour some of the coconut milk on top. To thicken it, you can mix a little bit of sour cream into the milk as well; this will help the cream remain on the surface of this dish and gives a beautiful look. I also like to garnish with a little cilantro but that is totally optional.
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Coconut Paneer Makhani
- 1 c Yellow Onions (finely chopped)
- 1 tbsp Crushed Ginger
- 2 tbsp Garlic (finely chopped)
- 1 c Canned Tomatoes (crushed)
- 1 tbsp Canola Oil
- 1 tsp Cumin Seeds
- 1 tsp Coriander Powder
- 1/2 tsp Garam Masala
- 1/4 tsp Turmeric
- 1/8 tsp Cayenne
- 1 tsp Kashmiri Red Chili Powder
- 3/4 tsp Salt
- 1 tsp Fenugreek Leaves
- 1 can Coconut Milk
- 1 tsp Sugar
- Add oil to pot and lightly roast cumin seeds over medium heat until fragrant.
- Add in onions and sauté until translucent.
- Add in ginger and garlic and sauté for another minute or so.
- Add in coriander powder, garam masala, turmeric, cayenne, kashmiri chili powder, and fenugreek leaves and cook for about another minute.
- Add crushed tomatoes and salt and simmer for 5-7 minutes and keep mixing well.
- Add in coconut milk, sugar, and your paneer, and then simmer mixture on a low medium heat for 15 minutes.
- Optional: if your mixture is too thick you can add in some water too – start with a 1/4c if needed.