Thursday, February 12, 2015

Makhan Gravy (The South Indian style)

Creamy, Tangy, Buttery and Tasty makhan gravy 

My favorite pass time is to observe families at the super market, usually the kind of things you see at their trolley, you can easily figure out the eating habits of the family. One such day while i was walking in the aisle of a busy store picking my groceries. I noticed this young family with 2 Kids, one boy and one girl both pushing separate trolleys picking their own Junk (Sorry food !!).  Both the trolley's were filled to the brim, overflowing with every variety of chips and biscuits. I was eager to know who the parents where and how they would react to this. As i neared the frozen section to pick some panner and curd, I saw the parents digging into the frozen parathas, cutlets, spring rolls and many many more things that i could not recognize. I heard the mother tell the boy "Beta, enough of all the junk you have taken, now take some burger buns, its going to be burgers for tomorrows lunch". All this while the father was eating a BIG bar of cadbury caramello right there even before billing. Phew !!!

My heart went out for these kids who would never in their life know the difference between Junk and Healthy food.

I have a huge regard and respect for young mothers and working woman who despite of their busy life feed their children with home cooked healthy food. This recipe is dedicated to all you people who cook and work towards a healthy and happy world (I mean actually cook !!)


Onion - 3
Ginger - 1"
Garlic - 10 Pods
Tomato puree - 200 gms ( 3 Big tomatoes, refer notes)
Cashew - 6 whole (Optional) - I didn't use
Red / Yellow / Green  Bell Peppers - 1 each chopped into big chunks
Paneer - 1 Packet (Chopped)
Onion - Peeled into layers and chopped into big chunks
Kasturi Methi - 1 Tsp
Amchur Powder - 1 big pinch (Optional)
Dhaniya Powder - 1/2 tsp
Jeera Powder- 1 tsp
Chilli Powder - 1 heaped tsp
Garam Masala - 1 Tsp
Jeera - 1 Tsp

Butter softened - 4 big tsp
Oil - 2 Tsp
Fresh Cream - 100 gms (Optional) - I didn't use
Milk - 200 gms
Water - 1/2 Cup

Cooking Method 

  • Grind onion, cashew, ginger and garlic into a smooth paste.
  • Heat Oil along with 1 tsp of butter, add jeera and once it crackles. Add the onion paste and fry on slow flame until the oil separates from the mixture. 
  • Add tomato puree, fry until the moisture is completely evaporated and the oil separates from the mixture.
  • Add salt, kasturi methi, amchur powder, dhaniya powder, jeera powder, chilli powder and fry well.
This red gravy is the main base masala for most north indian dishes, you can also make this in huge quantity and freeze it in ice tray. Once set, transfer the cubes into a ziplock cover and use.

  • Reduce the flame, add milk, water and garam masala, let the gravy simmer in low flame.
  • Take a separate wide mouthed vessel, add a tsp of ghee, Add Bell peppers and Onion. Fry on high flame until you get a slight charred effect on the skin. If you reduce the flame the veggies will start to give out water. 
  • Remove from flame and add into the simmering makhan gravy along with Paneer. 
  • Add fresh cream.
  • Simmer the entire gravy for 2 min add the remaining 3 Tsp of Butter and close the lid.
  • Serve hot with Butter Roti's. 

Tomato Puree : Boil water, add tomotoes close and allow it to sit for 15 min. Peel the skin and roughly chop the tomato. Grind into a smooth puree.
This is not the recipe for authentic north indian gravy, this recipe is born after a lot of trial and errors and definitely has a strong south indian touch.
I do not use Cashew and Cream on regular days, I use it only if i have guests coming over.
The most time consuming part is to ensure the tomato mixture is well fried on slow flame, if that is done then 90% of the recipe is completed.
The frozen gravy is a boon to all working and young mothers as it  stays fresh for over 15 days or even more.  (I haven't used beyond that )
The veggies can be altered as per your liking, you can add mushroom, peas, baby corn. Or even add some Chicken for the famous Butter Chicken Masala.

Cooking time : 30 Min
Serves : 4 Adults 


  1. Nice click Preethi... its really mouth watering...

  2. Looks so delicious. Can't wait to try it.. Nice click Preethi :-D Thank you for such a wonderful recipe....