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Makhani is a Punjabi word that literally translates to “with butter.”

Typically, makhani dishes are red or orange in color thanks to the rich array of spices that are often required for preparing them. Our take involves soft paneer cubes and smoky cauliflower, tossed in a makhani-style sauce and topped with fresh cilantro and crispy onions. Don’t let the long ingredient list fool you – it’s the perfect warming meal for a cold winter night.

How to Make It

Difficulty: Easy

Overall Time: 45 min

Prep Time: 25 min

Cook Time: 20 min

Serves: 4


Roasted Cauliflower

  • 4 cups bite-sized cauliflower florets
  • 1 tbsp canola oil
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • ¼ tsp fine sea salt


  • 1 onion, coarsely chopped
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • 2-inch long piece of ginger, peeled
  • ¾ tsp fine sea salt
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp mild or medium curry powder
  • 3 tbsp salted butter
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 23 fl oz (660 mL) strained tomatoes or passata, about 2 ¼ cups
  • 3 tbsp cashew butter
  • 12 oz (350 g) paneer, cut into ¾-in cubes
  • ½ cup 10% cream or coconut milk
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • Crispy fried onions (optional)
  1. For the spiced cauliflower, position rack in center of oven. Preheat to 450°F. Toss cauliflower with canola oil, coriander, cumin, and salt. Roast until golden, approximately 20 to 25 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, for the curry, combine onion, garlic, ginger, and salt in a blender. Purée until smooth. Set aside.
  3. Heat a pot over medium. Add 2 tsp each coriander, cumin, and curry powder. Stir constantly until spices smell fragrant and toasted, about 1 minute. Add butter and tomato paste. Stir for 1 minute. Add onion purée. Cook, stirring often, for 5 minutes.
  4. Reduce heat to medium-low. Stir in strained tomatoes and cashew butter until combined. Cook, partially covered with a lid to contain any splattering, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, cover paneer cubes with hot tap water in a large bowl for 10 minutes to soften.
  6. Stir cream and garam masala into curry. Then, add paneer and roasted cauliflower. (Add more cream if you prefer a looser curry.) Sprinkle with cilantro and crispy fried onions, if desired. Serve with garlic naan bread or buttered basmati rice.

How to enjoy it

Substitute paneer with 12 oz (350 g) extra-firm tofu, if desired. Cut into ¾-in cubes and soak in hot salted water for 10 minutes before adding to curry.

Paneer and Roasted Cauliflower Curry
Paneer and Roasted Cauliflower Curry by Casa de Suna

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