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The curry base in a large pan/ kadhai.

How To Make Indian Makhani Gravy (Curry)

Learn how to make Indian Makhani Gravy or Curry, which is perfect for paneer or chicken makhani and paneer butter masala. Also can be frozen for later.
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Diet Gluten Free, Vegetarian
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 10 Portions
Calories 143kcal
Author Richa


  • 4 tablespoons Butter
  • 2 tablespoons Oil
  • 1 Green Chili
  • 4 Kashmiri Red Chilies
  • 2 tablespoons Ginger Paste
  • 1 tablespoon Garlic Paste
  • 2 Bayleaves
  • 2 Cinnamon Sticks
  • 5 - 6 Cloves
  • 2 Cardamoms
  • 1 teaspoon Peppercorns
  • 2 tablespoons Cashewnuts chopped
  • 1 tablespoon Poppy Seeds Khus Khus
  • 14 Tomatoes large (1 ½ Kg , coarsely chopped)
  • 1 tablespoon Garam Masala Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Chili Powder
  • ½ teaspoon Turmeric Powder
  • 3 tablespoons Ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon Sugar or Jaggery (Optional)
  • 2 tablespoons Kasuri Methi Dry
  • 2 tablespoons Fresh Cream
  • Salt to taste


  • In a large pan or kadhai, heat a tablespoon of butter and two tablespoons oil.
  • Add green chili, red chillies, ginger, garlic paste and whole spices. Saute for a minute or two and add cashew nuts, poppy seeds and tomatoes. Mix well. Cover and cook this for ten to fifteen minutes till the tomatoes start breaking down. Switch off the flame and set aside to cool.
  • Once cool enough to handle, fish out as many whole spices as possible, and grind the mixture to a smooth paste.
  • In the same pan or kadhai, heat the remaining butter and add the ground paste from step #3. Add garam masala powder, chili powder, turmeric, ketchup, salt and sugar or jaggery (if using) along with ½ cup water. Bring this to a boil.
  • Once the curry comes to a boil, simmer and cook for 30 minutes, till the oil separates slightly. In another pan, dry roast the kasuri methi and grind it to a fine powder. Mix kasuri methi and fresh cream in the curry and switch off the flame.
  • Let the curry cool completely before dividing it into smaller portions and freezing it in ziplock packs.


  1. Tomatoes: Substitute fresh tomatoes with three 15 ounce can of diced tomatoes. Or use 4 cups Tomato Puree or Tomato Passata
  2. Garam Masala: I use homemade garam masala, but you can substitute it with any store bought garam masala. Please note that garam masala is different from curry powder
  3. Butter: I love adding butter to this dish, but you can substitute it with ghee
  4. Sweetness from Ketchup: I think a really mild sweetness in butter chicken is actually nice and it balances the sourness from tomatoes. But feel free to reduce or increase the amount of ketchup based on what you like.


Calories: 143kcal | Carbohydrates: 13g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 16mg | Sodium: 203mg | Potassium: 462mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 1701IU | Vitamin C: 25mg | Calcium: 53mg | Iron: 1mg