Curry for Change

Changing the lives of families
who suffer from hunger.

Cheat’s Paneer Makhani


Paneer Makhani is that buttery, rich and decadent dish of cubes of Indian paneer nestled in a creamy tomato curry. I have a cheat’s version that creates the sublime creamy texture with Greek Yoghurt and milk. Best of all, it uses ready tandoori masala as a spice base. After all the hard work that’s gone into the other recipes, this is one dish you can whizz up in a jiffy and no one will even notice. You’re welcome.

500gm diced paneer
2 tbsp tandoori masala
2 tbsp tomato puree
4 tbsp milk
6 tbsp Greek-style yoghurt
4 cloves garlic
1 inch ginger
2 tbsp butter
1 tbsp single cream
Half tsp garam masala



  1. Take the Greek Yoghurt out of the fridge, and mix it well with the milk in a jug. Peel and finely grate the ginger and garlic. You can also puree it with a tablespoon of water in a small food processor.
  2. In a wide and shallow sauté pan, or frying pan, warm the butter on medium. When it’s hot, mix in the ginger and garlic for two minutes, and as it starts to take on colour, stir through the tomato puree and the tandoori powder. Add a tablespoon or two of hot water and cook this for a couple of minutes until the pungent aroma of the spice powder goes.
  3. Lower the heat to a high simmer and stir in the milky Greek yoghurt. Don’t worry if this splits, it will all be okay in the end. When the mixture is stirred through well, add in the paneer cubes. I use a pack of ready cubed paneer for this, but they are often stuck together. So instead of separating the cubes individually, I let the warmth of the pan and a gentle flattening motion with a slotted spoon do the trick, mixing all the ingredients together without breaking the crumbly paneer.
  4. Cover and simmer for five minutes. To finish, stir in the garam masala and salt to your taste. You could pour a tablespoon of single cream over the top if you fancy it.

This recipe is part of Mallika Basu's vegetarian three course Curry for Change menu. Get the entire menu.

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